WINTER WHITE HAMSTER – With all of the pets out there, making the right choice can sometimes take some time, effort, and research. After all, even if you are familiar with all kinds of pets, the various kinds of options within the certain realm of pets can be overwhelming to the best of us.
Such is the case for hamsters. So, we’re going to take some time and learn about the Winter White Hamster, a hamster with many different names. Also know as the Dawn Hamster, the Djungarian Hamster or the Siberian Hamster, this special kind of hamsters is one of the three kinds of different species in the Phodopu genus of hamsters.
Winter White Hamsters come from northwest China, Kazakhstan as well as Mongolia. Just like a lot of other hamster brands that are similar to each other, the breeds can create hybrid offspring, but it isn’t recommended due to the idea that it can cause a lot of problems (see below).
One of the most unique traits of these incredible creatures is that they can change their colour of fur to absolute snow white when the winter season approaches.
This comes from the need to match the snow when they are kept wild, which would keep them safe from predators out there on the hunt. They are common pets in Europe, Asia and North America.
Winter White VS Hybrid: Which is Better?
Everyone has a different idea of what they want as pets, but the debate between a hybrid/cross-breed and the traditional pure Winter White Hamster is a common one.
When you are looking at hybrids, you have to remember that a lot of them are going to have a problem with health, due to the fact that they are cross-breeding so closely related. They have the same number of chromosomes, which can sometimes lead to serious, life-long health problems such as diabetes.
So, purebred Winter White Hamsters are great for those who want a strong, healthy, fully grown hamster that is going to have a good attitude and personality. The traditional breed is recommended for those who want friendly and charismatic pets.
Appearance of the Winter White Hamster
Male hamsters have a scent gland on their stomaches, just above the middle of their body. The gland can often be misinterpreted as some sort of secretion by many unexperienced pet owners. They grow to be between 2-3 inches and have a rounder shape than some of the other kind of hamsters that are available to purchase as pets.
These creatures are extremely soft and fluffy, with silky smooth coats of fur that lays flat on their body. Unlike their close relation, Campbell’s, they have longer snouts. Additionally, a Campbell’s hamster tends to have a coat of fur that is much more woolly.
Their fur comes in three varieties: pearl, sapphire, and sapphire-pearl. When they are cross-bred, they will have other variations and tints. When you see a hamster that is described as being “mandarin” or “mushroom”, these are signs that it is a crossbreed, so keep this in mind.
They also have what are called dorsal stripes and are very distinct to mark who they are. Here is a break down of their colourings and how they work:
- Normal: Black and grey fur with black eyes
- Sapphire: A blue-grey colour with a hint of smokey touches
- Pearl: White as the main colour in the fur especially on the end of the strands
Behaviour as Pets and Animals in General
When you have Winter White Hamster as a pet, you will find that they are calm and pleasant for the most part. In terms of hamster breeds, they tend to be some of the calmest options when you are picking one meant for the whole family. They enjoy spending time with their human and gently be stroked and socialized.
In terms of how they do with other animals, Winter White Hamsters do well when it comes to enjoying time with other same-sex hamsters. Sometimes they can even live in small groups and enjoy happy and profitable lives together.
They’ll socialize with each other and enjoy all sorts of things together, including playing. If you have other hamsters from different litters, or hybrids, you can even have them all live together as long as each one is given the space and time to safely get used to each other.
If you decide to keep a hamster living on his own, you have to make sure – in order to keep him healthy and happy – that he gets lots of socialization with you, his human, and lots of toys that can keep him occupied. Hamsters can get lonely and need a lot of help and support to make sure that they have profitable lives.
Keep in mind that hamsters are going to be fighting regardless of how docile they are. While male hamsters tend to be less aggressive than females, the will still get into fights and bully each other once in a while. They will have fights over who’s in charge, and they will start screaming at each other, or at their toys that are annoying them.
Remember that if anyone is getting injured or worse, you need to separate them and re-introduce them to make sure that everyone stays healthy and happy in the long term of things.
If you hear a lot of noise from the cage, you definitely need to take a look to make sure that everyone is getting along and behaving. The last thing you want is a dead pet and a traumatized hamster and human family.
Taking Care of Winter Whites
Just like any other kind of hamster, these hamsters are going to need a relatively large environment to find their lives comfortable and profitable. They love to have a lot of bedding choices, toys and a good quality hamster wheel in order to exercise and keep fit.
If you have more than one in a cage, you also need to make sure that they have enough toys to go around. Remember, they do get territorial after all.
Make sure that you are careful in their diet and stick to the idea of keeping them on a low sugar food cycle. This will make sure that their life span is long, and it keeps them away from potentially developing diabetes.
Life Cycle – How long do Winter White Hamsters Live For?
When you are looking at breeding your hamster to start the next generation, you need to know a couple things about it. First, hamsters become sexually mature in only 3-4 weeks old and a female can become pregnant as young as 4 weeks old.
Typically, these hamsters will have smaller litters especially during the winter season. That being said, there is no season that is best or worst, they will reproduce all times of the year.
Hamsters have the amazing ability to make their pregnancy longer if needed, however, they typically gestate for 25 days maximum, and then give birth a series of little creatures, typically 4 or 5, though some can have up to 9 per litter.
It’s important to remember that you won’t be able to get into the cage after a mother has given birth initially, so make sure that you give the cage a thorough cleaning before the birth occurs.
Also, you should take the male hamster out of the cage as well, as females can get pregnant again the same day they give birth, and this leads to problems with health down the road.
When in the wild, hamsters usually live up to a year, but in captivity – assuming they have happy lives with lots of exercise and food – they can live over two years with quality of life firmly in place. This makes things great for those who want pets with a short lifespan but lots of fun within that life span.
Interesting Facts about Winter White Hamsters
When these hamsters are in the wild, their coats tend to change colour in the winter, but this doesn’t happen when they are bred and raised in captivity. Unlike a lot of other hamsters, these are not nocturnal, enjoying being active during the day instead of at night. If you are enjoying a room with them, this is definitely a huge perk that you will love.
Purebred Winter Whites, or Phodopus Sungorus, can be tricky to find in most pet stores, forcing you to find a licensed breeder in your area of choice.