Which Rodent(s) should I get, newbie here. - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Which Rodent(s) should I get, newbie here.

Hello, I am new here, you can find my introduction in the intros section.



I currently have a Dog and 3 Lizards but Im looking to get some small rodents but unsure which.

I am very dedicated and able to pay any vet fees etc. I joined here to get some help on first choosing and then on care. I have read a lot of caresheets but I think the best information comes from owners.

The rodents I have looked at are:
Chinchillas
Degus
Prairie Dogs
Sugar Gliders
Chipmunks

I am looking for something which is good fun to look after, shows good activity and likes to be handled which I belive all the above are.

I dont mind how long they live as my Bearded Dragons will live for 8 to 15 years aslong as it doesnt live 80 years like a Tortoise.

I will be at work through the day so ideally something which is awake more in the morning and evenings. Im usually up at 6 and then back about 6 and go to bed at 11. I heard Chinchillas and Degus fit this time well however they make a lot of noise whilst your sleeping? I'm a deep sleeper so doubt they could wake me but could they wake people nextdoor?

I was also told Prairie Dogs and Sugar Gliders have a complicated diet so was thinking Chinchillas, Degus or Chipmunks?

Finally I was thinking of getting 2-3 of a rodent as I understand they are all very social. I know not to get more than 1 male so was thinking of 3 females? Also is it ok to buy from pet shop or is a breeder a lot better?

I know from experience with Lizards in pet shops they are not always looked after properly so better to buy from a breeder?

Sorry for the essay but all help is 100 percent appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Scott

Scott - 21 - Wakefield
-----
M - Bearded Dragon - Jack - 5 months
F - Bearded Dragon - Bella - 5 months
F - Rankin Lizard - Dizzie - 3 months
F - Jack Russell - Pip - 18 yrs
Breeding Crickets and Dubai Roaches
Chinchilla or Degu in 2009

Last edited by dragon ranch; 10-31-2008 at 01:03 PM.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 01:06 PM
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What do you mean by "likes to be handled"?
A chinchilla will tolerate being handled, but most don't really care for being handeld. They want to run around, and explore the world on their own.
Not that they mind being handled, they just don't like the whole cuddle thing

/Pia

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 02:15 PM
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i don't know how cuddle-y chipmunks are either, but they are really cute, a city around here only calls them squinnies which i think is super cute.

Rats are super friendly and social and are quite for the most part and couldn't wake neighbors i haven't had any of the others hehe

You may want to think about (if you haven't already) life span, do you want a long life span or shortter? i take it that you don't mind by having a few lizards normally they are long lifers.

some states some of those will be illegal such as prairie dogs or sugar gliders you may want to look to see if any are illegal for where you are

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Last edited by Kendalle; 10-31-2008 at 02:17 PM.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 03:27 PM
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I know they aren't on your list, but I would say your best bet would be rats if you're just starting out with small mammals. First of all many of the other small mammals available as pets are just available not truly domesticated to be pets. Fancy rats have been domesticated for centuries just like dogs and cats so if you're looking for a cuddly companion animal they are the way to go.

Second some of your more exotic small mammals for instance sugar gliders really take some experience and know how to get the nutrition, cage requirements, socialization, and taming right. They can be pretty overwhelming for a beginner.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 04:31 PM
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Like the above, I would recommend rats, they are a total joy to have!
Yes, it is best to have rats in groups as they are very social and it would be best to buy rats from a breeder because rats from pet shops (Like mine) tend to have RI's or just health problems proping up in their life consistantly.
Rats LOVE to have a cuddle and come out to play! I have never been bitten by one of my rats and it's very rare.
You can even teach them tricks! I think rats would be the best for you, even though they were not listed above. I know their tails put people of, but they are actually quite fastinating!
I would recommend getting males for a first time because they are more laid back and females are prone to tumours.
It sounds like rats would be the perfect pet for you. They are nocturnal animals, but mine have learnt to fit into myroutines and they soon know what time it will be for dinner or play time because they will be jumping up at the cage expecting you LOL
Take a look at the mouse and rat conversation and see what you think, or there are some good websites, like:
http://www.ratz.co.uk/petrat.html
Hope my information helps
xxx


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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all your help.

I dont mind lifespan, I would prefer longer if given choice.

I have looked into Rats but for some reason they dont appeal to me, I dont mind them but maybe I want something bigger or more unsual. Maybe its the persona surround rats.

I am fine with something a little more complicated as with Lizards you need to ensure they have the correct supplements, enough calcium, right temperature, correct level of UV etc.

I just read that with Prairie Dogs and Sugar Gliders you need to weight the food, for eg 5gs of this and 10gs of that which is too much work.

As for handling I dont mean like a cuddle, its more just like with the Lizards, lifting them out, giving them a stroke and watching them interact with the room.

I am currently swaying more to Degus, Im thinking of 3 females.

I know they need dust baths and certain food with treats.

Scott - 21 - Wakefield
-----
M - Bearded Dragon - Jack - 5 months
F - Bearded Dragon - Bella - 5 months
F - Rankin Lizard - Dizzie - 3 months
F - Jack Russell - Pip - 18 yrs
Breeding Crickets and Dubai Roaches
Chinchilla or Degu in 2009
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-01-2008, 10:37 AM
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haved you think about ground squirrels? haha sorry i know people keep recommending pet not in you list, but ground squirrel seems like it fit what you is looking for. they is sort of a cross between chipmunk and prarie dog (i have never have either but i have 2 ground sqirrels). lifespan is i think about 5 years. they is basicly diurnal, but will usuly wake up whenever you come in the room. but they do wake up very early so if you ever want to sleep in dont keep they in your bedroom. so they will lern your sheldule and be awake mostly when you is there. ground squirrels is veryvery aktive and itressting to watch. but they is not completely hyper like a gerbil they aktuly chill out somtimes. they isnt territorial much so 2 or 3 can get along well even you can get males i have 2 males they dont fight. my squirrels is sooo frendly they follow me around and climb onto my hand to be piked up they is so easy to handle, but they dont like to be stroked and such for a very long time mostly they likes to explore. if you wuld like to see how they act i can take a film of mine. there isnt manufaktured pellet foods for or anything but the diet isnt extremely complikated and for an exotic they isnt hard to take care of atall.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-01-2008, 05:50 PM
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I would have to suggest rats even though they aren't in your list!! Rats are brilliant pets......i currently own 12! You can have 2 or more males together aswell as 2 or more females.....i currently have 5 boys living together and 7 girls living together....they are soooo friendly and great fun to interact with.....(girls are very playful and will often chase things and wrestle with you etc) boys are more lazy and snuggly and will happily lay on you and just hang out etc!!! They are not hard to look after but they do require a big cage and lots to keep them entertained!
I wish you luck with finding your perfect rodents xx

*Carla*
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-01-2008, 11:17 PM
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I'm a bit biased (haha), but I think that degus seem to be the best from your list . They adapt to your schedule and tend to be especially active in mornings/early evening, love to play, enjoy attention and tame easily, etc. It's important that you go to a good breeder, though, as degus in pet stores aren't usually handled much.

I would actually avoid chipmunks, since many don't enjoy being held. They're more independent than most rodents.




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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 02:21 AM
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As rats don't really appeal to you very much, Degus do seem to be the best option for you, like Sasami said.
They do have a longer life span to, as you probably know
xx


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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swedishfish View Post
haved you think about ground squirrels?
Im not sure they are very popular in the UK so might be hard to find a breeder, Degus, Rats, Chipmunks and Chinchillas are more common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasami View Post
I think that degus seem to be the best from your list . They adapt to your schedule and tend to be especially active in mornings/early evening, love to play, enjoy attention and tame easily, etc. It's important that you go to a good breeder, though, as degus in pet stores aren't usually handled much.
With Degus if I had them in my room are they likely to make a lot of noise? I heard they wake people up and are best downstairs?

Can you get good colours like Velvet Black with Chinchillas?

Scott - 21 - Wakefield
-----
M - Bearded Dragon - Jack - 5 months
F - Bearded Dragon - Bella - 5 months
F - Rankin Lizard - Dizzie - 3 months
F - Jack Russell - Pip - 18 yrs
Breeding Crickets and Dubai Roaches
Chinchilla or Degu in 2009
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 05:11 PM
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i think degus have small variation of browns and golds, and the other colors are sometimes imbred into them which isn't good

i don't think they make that much noise, i doubt they could keep someone up in another room, it depends on your cage, if you have a loud squeeky wheel for example...

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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 09:13 AM
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I would suggest rats too! But your clearly not interested.


I dunno alot about the others on your list as I don't have personal experiance with them,but I would say degus might be a good choice.I was gonna get degus a little while back.However I don't think they come in as many different colors as other rodents.


Whatever you decide to get,make sure you do alot of research!




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


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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-04-2008, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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I've joined a Degu / Chinchilla forum and Degus definately seem like the one I want and already have an idea for equipment / cage.

Hopefully be getting them next year, now all I need is a breeder.

Scott - 21 - Wakefield
-----
M - Bearded Dragon - Jack - 5 months
F - Bearded Dragon - Bella - 5 months
F - Rankin Lizard - Dizzie - 3 months
F - Jack Russell - Pip - 18 yrs
Breeding Crickets and Dubai Roaches
Chinchilla or Degu in 2009
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 07:40 AM
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Rats make good pets and there smart!
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