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Roborovski dwarf hamster

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The Roborovski Dwarf Hamster

The Roborovski dwarf hamster (Phodopus roborovskii), is also called Robo, Robbie or desert dwarf hamster. Robos are the smallest dwarf hamsters that are also kept as pets.

Name Dutch: Roborovski dwarf hamster
Scientific name: Phodopus roborovskiic
Origin: The (semi) deserts of China, Russia, Mongolia and Manchuria
Age: 2,5 years
Height: 5 - 7 cm

Wearing time: 19-21 days

Birth: viviparous

Nest Size: approx. 5-6 boy
Activity: Twilight and Night Active
Legislation: not
Stay: Terrarium, Aquarium or Rodent Cage
Minimum size: 70x40cm for a couple, maximum 80x50cm

Food: The diet of the Roborovski dwarf hamster consists for 80% of various different grass and herb seeds, in addition they eat small insects and other plant parts.

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The appearance of the Roborovski dwarf hamster

Roborovski dwarf hamsters are the smallest dwarf hamsters that are also kept as pets. They are about 5-7 cm long and weigh only 25-40 grams.

The original wild color Roborovski dwarf hamster is yellow/sand colored with a gray undercoat. The belly and muzzle are white. The Robo also has a white spot above each eye, making it look like he has eyebrows.

There are a number of other colors that come with Robbies:

– Cinnamon
This is just a shade lighter than the wild color. Funny thing is that the young Cinnamon hamsters are always born with red eyes, but after a few days they are almost black.
These Roborovskis have a completely white head, otherwise the color and markings are the same as the wild color.
– Blue
These are Robo's with a solid grey/blue color and a white belly. with this color the hamster has no eyebrows.
- snow bear
This hamster is completely white with only a spot on his head.
– Fur
This is a white hamster with spots. Fur comes in wild color, as well as Cinnamon and Blue.

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The behavior of the Roborovski dwarf hamster

Due to their small size, Roborovski dwarf hamsters are faster and more difficult to handle than other hamster species. The primal instinct as prey is still clearly noticeable and they will try to flee if you want to pick them up. Fortunately, this will be a lot less if you take enough time to tame the hamster and handle it regularly. Roborovskis live in the wild in small groups and pairs. Within a group, an alpha pair is determined that can produce youngsters together. After determining the alpha couple, a natural balance is created and each hamster knows its place within the group. This balance can be disturbed by the group becoming too large, new hamsters that do not fit in the group, or the aging of the dominant Robo's. Unfortunately, this can mean that hamsters that have lived well together for a long time suddenly start fighting and no longer accept each other. Robos are very good and avid diggers and they love to do it! Where the Russian dwarf hamster prefers to take an old hole, the Roborovski dwarf hamster is constantly expanding its castle. The Roborovski dwarf hamster does not hibernate (like Syrian hamsters) or hibernate/torpor (like the Russian dwarf hamster). Roborovski's are mainly active in the evening and at night, although they also want to wake up during the day and come and have a look if they hear something. They are very active, curious and inquisitive by nature and are therefore super fun to watch!

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The Robo is a real group animal by nature. In the wild, Roborovski dwarf hamsters always live in small groups and pairs with a strict hierarchy.

Hamsters keep their fur clean and healthy by taking regular sand baths. Because the Robo is a real desert inhabitant, it is recommended to provide at least 1/3rd of the stay with a sand area. This can be bath sand, terrarium sand or a combination. Terrarium sand is often somewhat moister sand, which means that very nice tunnels can be dug. If you choose this sand or another, digable, ground cover, it is important to also put a large container with bath sand in the enclosure.

Due to their poor eyesight (they don't see depth) and lack of climbing talent, it is not recommended to house them in a wire cage as they can fall very wrong if they try to climb out of curiosity.

To be able to dig well, they need a good layer, at least 20 cm, of ground cover. A terrarium where the doors are at the front and a bit higher is most suitable, because you can really see the passages they dig! But an aquarium or mainly closed cage with a deep bottom (duna) is also suitable.

Did you know that a hamster travels miles in the evening and at night in its search for food? To be able to imitate this behavior in the hamster house, a running wheel should certainly not be missing! The minimum diameter for a Roborovski dwarf hamster is 15cm. It is wise to place 2 wheels with couples, so that they cannot argue about this.

We recommend the minimum size for a pair of Robo's: 70x40cm.


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male or female?

How can you tell if your Roborovski dwarf hamster is a male or a female? To see that you have to turn the hamster on its back. You can recognize a female Robo by the genital opening and the anus are very close together. It looks like there is only 1 hole. The back of a female hamster is nicely round, you can see this best when you look at the hamster from above.

The sex organ of a male hamster is a little further away from the anus than that of the female. In adult males the scrotum is clearly visible. Seen from above, the bottom of a male Roborovski dwarf hamster is a bit more pointed.



What does the Roborovski dwarf hamster eat?

Hamsters eat about 10% of their body weight per day, which equates to about 2,5 to 4 grams per hamster. Hamsters are mainly seed eaters (granivores). Robos are not big eaters. They originate from the desert, there is no abundance of food and water and they do not need much of this. The diet of Roborovski's consists of several different grass and herb seeds. In the wild this accounts for 80% of their diet, in addition they eat small insects and other plant parts.

Hamster pellets or mixed food?

There are many different hamster foods. Some consist only of pellets. This means that each kibble contains exactly the same ingredients and nutritional value. As a result, the hamster can not only get the tasty seeds and the hamster always gets enough nutrients.

There are also foods that are composed of all kinds of different seeds and kernels, this is called mixed or mixed food. With this food, the hamster has more variety and can choose what to eat first and what to save for later. The advantage is that this is more similar to the natural diet of the Roborovski dwarf hamster. The risk with mixed food, however, is that the hamster only picks out the seeds he likes best and leaves the rest.

Is mixed food always bad? No definitely not! Mixed food is just as good as hamster pellets, but we should not spoil the hamster too much! If you give the Robo a full bowl of food to choose from every day, he will certainly do that, but if you feed your Roborovski only 2 teaspoons of food a day (he doesn't need more) he will eat everything cleanly.

You can also alternate it perfectly by giving your Roborovski dwarf hamster, for example giving hamster pellets one day and a mixed diet the next day. or maybe offer a mixed feed only on weekends.

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What Do You Need?

How nice that you have decided to take a couple or group of robos! What do you need? We have prepared this handy shopping list for you to help you on your way.

  • stay (minimum 70×50)
  • ground cover
  • nesting material
  • at least 2 running wheels (ø 15cm)
  • at least 2 houses
  • at least 1 food bowl
  • at least 1 water bowl/bottle
  • big sandbox + bath sand
  • gnawing material
  • nutrition
  • snacks
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