The Campbelli Dwarf Hamster (Phodopus sungoris campbelli) comes naturally from the steppes of the Altai, Tuva, Northern Mongolia and Manchuria and is closely related to the Russian Dwarf Hamster . It was previously thought that the Campbelli Dwarf Hamster was a subspecies of the Russian Dwarf Hamster. Both dwarf hamster species even shared the same Latin name, namely: Phodopus sungoris. This later changed when it was discovered that they are two different species. The Campbelli was then given the addition "Campbelli".
Head-body length : up to 14 cm
Body weight : between 55 and 65 grams depending on body size
Life expectancy : 1.5 - 2 years
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters are crepuscular, meaning they are most active in the evening and early morning. However, the animals sleep cyclically, i.e. a few hours of sleep alternate with a few hours of wakefulness, which means that these dwarf hamsters are also regularly awake during the day.
Tame and familiarize yourself with the Campbelli Dwarf Hamster
Always read carefully before you decide to get a Campbelli Dwarf Hamster. They are very nice pets that can be kept together and are also awake regularly, so they can be seen during the day. Although the Campbelli Dwarf Hamster looks very cuddly, he does not always like to cuddle and he finds being picked up very scary, especially in the beginning. Because the animals do not see depth, they can run away from your hand if they are startled.
Campbellis are sometimes called "pit bull hamsters". They owe this name to the territorial behavior that can be exhibited, especially by the females. The animals attack the hand in the enclosure to protect their territory. This behavior is hereditary and cannot be unlearned. It is therefore very important to know whether territorial behavior occurs in the bloodline.
A new resident should be approached calmly, especially during the first few months. The animal must first become familiar with its own enclosure and feel safe in it before it dares to approach people. Of course, there are also daredevils who immediately approach you and are social, but most hamsters are a bit shy at first. Give the animal time and try to make contact calmly by talking to the hamster. Giving treats out of hand often works well to gain the animals' trust.
Campbellis can "box", this is the animal's defense behavior. They stand on their hind legs and use their hands to, for example, slap our hand away, we call this behavior "boxing". It is a sign of fear, but can also be a sign of territorial behavior.
Tip! Campbelli Dwarf hamsters love dried mealworms
Housing the Campbelli Dwarf Hamster
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters need a spacious enclosure of at least 80 x 40 cm ( LICG ). A good enclosure gives the animals the opportunity to dig. In the wild, Campbelli Dwarf Hamsters build beautiful corridors and they would like to continue to do so in captivity. A castle in the wild is located at a depth of at least 1 to 2 meters and is approximately 1 meter long. The depth of the castle depends on the ambient temperature. As temperatures rise, the dwarf hamster will dig deeper underground to reach the cool earth, a kind of natural air conditioning.
Hamsterscaping is therefore very fun for Campbelli Dwarf Hamsters.
At our home this translates into a spacious accommodation with digging possibilities! A terrarium is the best choice thanks to its closed nature. It is important that a terrarium allows good ventilation, so preferably it has two grilles (top and bottom). This is especially important in summer when temperatures rise above 25°C.
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters cannot tolerate high temperatures in combination with high humidity, so a temperature between 20 - 24°C and humidity below 70% is recommended. You can use a hygrometer to measure these values.
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters are social animals that can be kept together with others of their own kind. However, this is not entirely without risk. The dynamics within the group are constantly changing and can cause problems if the animals want to determine the ranking within the group. Things can sometimes go wrong when a dominant animal attacks a weaker member of the group. A little bickering is no problem, but as soon as the animals in the group chase each other and really bite, they must be separated.
House for a Campbelli Dwarf Hamster
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters are lucky! Because almost all houses made for hamsters have a good size for this dwarf hamster species. Campbelli Dwarf hamsters are prey animals and do not like to walk around the enclosure openly, but if they occasionally come across a shelter they feel a lot safer. Our advice is therefore to have at least two houses for the Dwarf hamsters. A house where the Dwarf hamster can sleep and another one where he can hide. At least one of the two houses must be larger so that the dwarf hamster can also store his food supplies there. Not being able to put away food supplies can cause stress for the animals. If the animals are kept together in a group, there must be proportionately more houses or hiding places.
Exercise wheel for a Campbelli Dwarf Hamster
The hamster exercise wheel is a very important part of the design of the Dwarf hamster enclosure. Campbelli Dwarf hamsters are active animals that like to run, often at night. This is because they naturally run a lot during the night in the search for food. So this is, as it were, in their DNA. In addition, scientific research has shown that running on an exercise wheel makes hamsters happy, digestion is improved and the animals generally remain in good condition by running.
A running wheel for a Campbelli Dwarf Hamster must have a diameter of at least 20 cm and consist of a closed running surface.
It is wise to place several running wheels as the group grows to prevent the animals from fighting over the running wheel.
Ground cover for the Campbelli Dwarf Hamster
It is important that the ground cover is diggable for Dwarf Hamsters , which means that they can make tunnels and holes in it, which preferably remain standing. This can be achieved by choosing ground cover that is already diggable in itself or mixing ground covers with each other so that they are diggable. Examples of excavable ground cover include Humus and Holenzand , but also Cotton & Cotton . A nice mix is, for example, the mix of Cotton & Hemp Fiber , Cotton & Wood Fiber or a mix of Wood Fiber , Hemp Fiber and Hay. Ground covers such as Back 2 Nature are not suitable because animals cannot dig in them. An ideal height of the ground cover for digging is around 20 cm.
Sand bath for Campbelli Dwarf Hamsters
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters like to take an occasional sand bath . Sand has a degreasing and therefore cooling effect. Because sand has a degreasing effect, it also has a drying effect. Animals with skin problems should therefore not be given a sand bath. If the sand dries out the skin too much, it can become itchy, causing the animals to bathe even more. It is therefore important to keep an eye on the hamsters' bad behavior and to remove the sandbox if there are signs of skin problems (red spots, bald spots, scabs, wounds).
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters are nest builders
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters are real nest builders, they always need nesting material so that they can line their hole with it. Making a nest is therefore part of the natural behavior of a dwarf hamster. Therefore, always give him 15-25 grams of nesting material.
Nesting material must be nice and soft, absorb moisture and have fragile fibers so that the animals cannot become entangled in it. Materials such as cotton, hemp, toilet paper and hay are ideal.
Campbelli Dwarf Hamster food
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters are granivores (seed eaters). The diet of Campbelli Dwarf hamsters consists mainly of seeds and a small amount of vegetable food in the form of herbs , but also animal proteins . Campbelli Dwarf hamsters catch small insects in the wild, so it is good if their diet also contains animal proteins.
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters carry their hamster food in their cheek pouches. What you see is that the Dwarf hamster stuffs his food in his cheek pouches and quickly takes it to his house or pantry. Carrying food in the cheek pouches is also called 'Hoarding'. Thanks to the cheek pouch muscle, the food is held in the cheek pouch and the hamster can transport it safely and quickly.
Dental formula: 1013/1013 (Ratio of incisors at the top - bottom = 1: 2-3) Incisors continue to grow
Molars do not continue to grow: The large cheek pouches that extend to the shoulder blades are a flexible protrusion of the buccal mucosa
Stomach: consists of two chambers: the anterior stomach and the glandular stomach
Small cecum: with limited ability to process crude fibers. Protein-rich cecal droppings are only eaten in case of food shortage
The percentage of crude fiber in the diet should be a maximum of 10% for optimal digestibility and absorption of the diet.
Some bloodlines of the Campbelli Dwarf Hamster are very susceptible to developing diabetes. These animals are allowed to consume little or no sugar.
Gnawing material for Campbelli Dwarf hamsters
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters have a natural need to gnaw. This is because dwarf hamsters are rodents and have continuously growing incisors. It is therefore necessary that they can gnaw on something to wear down the teeth. If dwarf hamsters do not have enough opportunities to wear down their teeth, the teeth may become too long or grow crooked, with all the consequences that entails.
Rodents use rodent wood to wear down their teeth. Because rodents' teeth are always growing, they need to be gnawed regularly so that they do not become too long and grow crooked.
Some Campbelli Dwarf Hamsters gnaw wood very actively and others not at all. On the one hand it is a matter of taste, but on the other hand it is a matter of need. If a Dwarf hamster has no need to gnaw because its teeth are kept at their proper length through food, hay or other nibbles, it will gnaw less on wood. It is good to always provide natural gnawing wood so that the animals can always gnaw when they need to gnaw.
Dental problems in Campbelli Dwarf hamsters
If you notice that your hamster is very enthusiastic about taking the food, but then does not eat it, there may be something wrong with its teeth. Drooling can also indicate dental problems. If you suspect that there are dental problems, it is best to contact your veterinarian.
Reproduction of the Campbelli Dwarf Hamster
Campbelli Dwarf hamsters are social animals and also live together in small family groups in the wild. Once young are born, the parents care for the young together until they are old enough to leave the nest.
The female is willing (in heat) and ready to mate every 4 days. This takes about 12 hours. If successful mating has taken place on these days, the young are born after approximately 19 days.
The difference between males and females can be seen in the distance between the genital opening and the anus. This distance is greater for a male than for a female.
Sexual maturity : from 4 weeks
Breeding mature: females from 12 weeks
Number of litters : 3-4 per year
Litter size : average 7 (max. 10) litters per litter
Gestation period : 19-21 days
Birth weight : 1-2 g, nest stayers
Weaning time : from week 3
Health of the Campbelli Dwarf Hamster
The biggest problem with Campbelli Dwarf hamsters is diabetes. Unfortunately, many bloodlines in the Netherlands have been affected by this and the animals have become susceptible to developing diabetes. In addition, we regularly see dental problems, Parkinson's (tremors) and skin problems. In connection with dental problems, we recommend that you check them regularly to detect any dental problems in time.
It is not necessary to treat the animals preventively with anti-parasite. It is not necessary to provide extra vitamins with a complete hamster diet.
If you have the following symptoms, it is wise to consult a veterinarian
Drooling, moist nose and eyes, protruding teeth, not eating, losing weight, eating foreign materials that are softer than the food.
Bald spots, lots of scratches, scabs, wounds, bumps and lumps.
Wet and dirty ass, drinking a lot, falling over, lethargy, different shape and color of the feces.