We recommend that a Syrian hamster habitat be a minimum of 360 square inches of floor space which usually is around 30" x 12”.
A great choice for hamster homes are homemade bin cages, which is our favorite. Videos on how to build a bin cage can be found online. Cage bins are inexpensive, easy to make, and simple to clean. We use 106 qt. Sterilite brand bins which provide lots of room for the hamsters to run around in. You can also make bi-level or tri-level bin cage. There are a lot of fun ideas that can be found online. We also can making a bin cage for you if needed just message me. All processed to these cages are used to keep BBH running and upgrade wheels ect. A 20-gallon or larger glass-tank is an excellent choice. The standard aquarium cover will need to be replaced. The ideal cover should be constructed of a wide wire mesh for good air circulation. Glass tanks are around the same price as the traditional wire hamster cage, but provide much more room for your hamster. Cages such as Critter trail style cages are not suitable for Syrians and should NOT be used for long term housing. One really important thing to remember, Syrian hamsters are sociable creatures, but they must be kept solitary. This is very important because hamsters are territorial by nature and will fight if kept with a cage mate. If you see our hamsters kept in multiples in one cage, that means they are litter mates that are not at the age to be separated yet. We separate all of our adult hamsters into individual cages. Although Syrian hamsters are solitary by nature this does not mean they want to be left alone. A socialized hamster, like ours, thrive on human companionship. *We also can make custom bin cages if you prefer us to make them =)
A healthy hamster diet should include lots of variety for proper nutrition. A well balanced diet produced by a great variety of foods ensures the hamsters will grow well and be healthy. You can feed a hamster just prepared food mixes, however we feed our hamsters prepared food mixes along with fresh foods which results in happy hamsters that flourish. No single prepackaged diet is enough complete nutrition for hams, a lab block is very important to a proper diet. When shopping for prepared food mixes, you will want to check the guaranteed analysis on the bag. A hamsters food should aim for 18% protein, 15% fiber, and <10% fat. We feed our hamsters a home blended diet made specifically for our hams now due to feeding so many mouths! We also feed a regular supply of RMH 3000 Lab Block food. Since the lab block we use is a breeder size bag we recommend Brands like Mazuri, Harlan Tekland, Sunburst, and Kaytee Forti to be used in place of the RMH 3000. Seed mixes are also important to a complete diet. Brands that are best are VitaNature, VitaSmart, Higgins Sunburst, and National Geographic Hamster mix. We also feed our hamsters fresh fruits and veggies. Here is a sample list of some of the fresh food we offer our hamsters: spinach, bean sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, cucumbers, squash, and apples (no seeds), blueberries, strawberries. All of these foods should be given in small quantities only. A good way to feed fresh foods is to offer a thin slice of apple, a couple of bean sprouts, a small thin slice of carrot, etc. Too much fresh food will result in the hamster developing diarrhea, also the hamster may try to store excess food. Fresh food will rot quickly, making it unsafe to eat. Any uneaten fresh food should be removed from the cage by the next day. Not all foods are safe for hamster, you will want to do a Google search to ensure you are feeding all the correct fresh foods. You can also feed your hamster extra protein in the form of tiny amounts of unseasoned cooked chicken, scrambled eggs. Again, the amounts given should be small and any uneaten portion should be removed. Hamsters also love dried meal worms, dried crickets and grasshoppers. *Hairless will need more added proteins to keep them healthy and fit!
When looking for floor covering it is best to look for one that is soft and dust free. We use aspen shavings and Carefresh or Kaytee Clean and Cozy which are made out of natural paper. We also have used pine bedding as its a bit softer for the babies. Cedar bedding should NOT ever be used. Both male and females hamsters naturally make nests to sleep in. We do not recommend the fluffy wool or cotton bedding for nest making. Fluffy bedding can be very harmful for hamsters. We provide toilet paper or tissue for our hamsters to use for nesting material. Hamsters also like hideaways to make their nests in. *Hairless should only be housed on soft paper style bedding.
Wheels & Toys
Hamsters need lots of exercise. An adult Syrian needs a wheel at least 8-12 inches in diameter. If you see your hamster's back arching while it runs on the wheel, it needs a larger wheel. Solid plastic wheels are what we recommend. Wire wheels/Metal wheels should NOT ever be used since they can cause bumble-foot. The hamsters hair or limbs could also become trapped in the wheels. Some good type of wheels you want to look for are: comfort wheels, silent spinners, Wodent wheels, Caroline Storm wheels. Another great thing to use for hamsters are 7-12" hamster balls. We recommend only allowing your hamster to be in the ball no more then 15-20 minutes because the balls have poor ventilation and body heat gets trapped in the ball. When the hamster is in it's ball make sure they can't tumble down stairs. A hamsters teeth never stop growing, and without objects to gnaw on they can grow too long. You will want to provide your hamster with wooden toys to keep them in good shape. Rodent lab blocks or crunchy snacks also will help keep your hamsters teeth trimmed. Whimzee Dog chews are perfect treat to help keep teeth at a proper length also. Remember not to overcrowd your hamsters home with too many toys. Make sure to leave enough room for the hamster to exercise and burrow.
The average life span of the Syrian hamster is around 18 months to 2 years.
Miscellanous & Tips
It is important to wash your hands before picking up hamsters. Hamsters have a great sense of smell. If the scent of another hamster or the scent of food is on your hands they might try to nibble at your hands. Be sure to wash with unscented soap. Never wake your hamster suddenly from sleep. Hamsters sleep very deeply. If they are suddenly disturbed, it is their natural instinct to be on defense. To wake your hamster, speak to it in a soft voice.