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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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I've been thinking about getting my neice a hamster or gerbil for Easter. Right now I have rats and mice so I have some kind of concept of keeping them healthy, etc.
My question is, what would be more suitable for a 4 year old? She already knows how to hold the mice and stuff, but I want a hamster that is less prone to bite. I would definitely be taking care of it, I just want something that she can enjoy also. I have a habitrail cage, and I'd rather get something that can be housed alone. I know gerbils need to be in pairs, so I guess they're ruled out. I just need an idea I guess. Any help I will appreciate.

*Missy*
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 10:11 AM
 
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Syrians can be housed alone and so can dwarfs, but Syrians are less prone to bite.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 12:59 PM
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Gerbils don't bite unless they are frightened. I would recommend a gerbil because they are calmer and easier to tame (in my opinion). They also don't need as much attention to keep their cage clean and they are easy to keep healthy

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 02:45 PM
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I'd pick a Syrian hamster because they tend to be calmer and easier to handle. Dwarf hamsters may jump out of her hands or be difficult to catch.

However, a Habitrail cage isn't really big enough for a Syrian and they can get stuck in the tubes.

And yup, gerbils need to be kept in pairs.




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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 06:00 PM
 
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>> I would definitely be taking care of it, I just want something that she can enjoy also. <<

OK then, Syrian hamster. House the ham alone.
Habitrail cages are too small unless you have many add ons and extra tubes. Depending on the size of the ham (which varies alot) the tubes should not be too small, but the wheel might be. I keep big Spiny mice in mine, or dwarfs.

I keep Syrians in large thirty gallon Sterilite bins with lots of toys.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 07:15 PM
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I have had both hamsters and currently have a gerbil...for a 4 yr old, I would say get a hamster, as long as you realize you will be mostly responsible!Gerbils are high strung and hyper, while hamsters are not as hyper...but hammies are more prone to bite.Also a Habitrail cage is no good for gerbils, as they are mainly plastic...I had Ember in one when I first got her and she destroyed the thing pretty much and I had to move her into a metal bar cage.




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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Ok. I think I'm going to take her to the petstore and let her pick. My ex's neice had a hamster in a crittertrail and it died because it got stuck in the tube and she failed to tell me that. Maybe I'll get her a tank or something. I just want to learn atleast some things about gerbils and hamsters before she picked. I of course would be the main cargiver, so it's not like she's going to be taking care of it. She only comes over twice a month, and she hates it, because my brother is a drunk and he doesn't want to do anything with her. Now he's on house arrest and can't take her anywhere. I just want her to have something she can call her own.
So I guess my real question is, how much different are hamsters and gerbils than mice? I know their personalities are different, but what about care and stuff?
Thanks.

*Missy*
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 04:02 AM
 
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>> how much different are hamsters and gerbils than mice? I know their personalities are different, but what about care and stuff? <<

That is a huge question. Read some old threads in the different forums.

Spiny mice, fancy mice, white mice, agouti (wild) mice; dwarf hamsters, Syrian hamsters; gerbils.

I don't even know where to begin.

Mice dig more and are more jumpy than gerbils. A little. Depends on the individuals. Dwarfs are different from Syrians, way different. I don't know where to begin!

Care? Syrians have to live alone in a big habitat with a big wheel. They need to get out and play, explore, and forage for awhile. Dwarfs being smaller can do that in a big bin. Gerbils will dig more - and gnaw more! No plastic for them, but more wooden stuff. Mice love smaller wheels, tubes, and they gnaw, but are smaller than gerbils so they do not gnaw so much. Spiny mice are a whole different deal, but since you likely won't get any (or even find them) forget it. Well bred fancy mice from a breeder are rather tame.

NONE of these animals should bite when handled correctly, and all can be quite tame including dwarfs.

Oh, much less sweet fruits for dwarfs who are prone to diabetes.

Read some old threads and do some more research. Answering very general questions such as yours is difficult.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 09:45 PM
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I actually find mice calmer then gerbils!My gerbil is crazy and never stops!




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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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well the only thing i know about and is that they like to live in pairs. Some are more active than and some are not.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-08-2006, 08:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanilla_Rat
I actually find mice calmer then gerbils!My gerbil is crazy and never stops!
"My gerbil"? Maybe he would be less crazy if he had a friend - they way gerbils of course are supposed to be housed. Do not do any introductions without carefully reading on that subject.

I have many mice. The agouti mice are nuts; the white mice OK; the fancy mice rather tame. Spiny mice are a little tamer than many gerbils.

They all have different personalities.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 05:59 PM
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My gerbil has been alone now for almost 2 yrs...I doubt she will accept another gerbil.I am aware that they do better in pairs as do rats and mice.However I asked at another forum about it and they told me that if I got another gerbil, Ember probably would not accept it.I am not going to put her through that stress and then have 2 gerbils that are living alone!Plus she is doing perfectly fine alone.

And I have owned mice for years now and raised mice and they are so much calmer then gerbils...I have only had one gerbil in my life, but I have researched them and found out that most gerbils are really hyper and high strung.





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* To the world you are ONE person,but to a rat you are the world *


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Last edited by VanillaRat; 04-09-2006 at 06:06 PM.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-14-2006, 09:09 PM
 
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I only have gerbils and yes some of them are very hyper but they can be tamed. I have the first two I got a year ago and they are very tame and very sweet the baies are getting there. I have some that bite I don't like it, but they are not vicious bites either and once they are picked up they don't bite as much unless I have a sunflower seed scent on me then well I asked for it then. I think Gerbils are fine with children though just can't be so noisy with them because they will get scared. You don't really want a timid Gerbil But they are very cute they look like they want you to pick them up to cuddle but really they want you to get them so they can run around lol I go near thier cages they come right up to the door because they know they are getting out for a run around on the bed and maybe floor if they can manage to get down lol and they do get sown too
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 07:09 PM
 
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Well, i am just a new member here...and this is my 1st post...soo...ah you know what i mean! Anyway, you should wait until she is a little older. younger children tend to get bored with animals and will not take care of it...so i would look out!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-05-2006, 09:59 PM
 
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btw you can find spiny mice i know two breeders! i myself was a spiny mouse breeder in the past.
anyway, i wouldnt get her any! but if you are so sure that she should have some kind of critter id say a rat actaully. if youd like to consider those. need to be in pairs tho
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dwarf hamster, dwarf hamsters, fancy mice, spiny mice, spiny mouse, syrian hamster, syrian hamsters


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