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Originally from the deserts of Russia and China, Roborovski hamsters, also known as “robos,” are one of the smallest and longest-living hamster breeds. Robos can be taken from their mothers as early as 3 weeks of age, and can live to be more than 3 years old. These highly energetic hamsters are usually good-tempered and get along well with one another, though like any animal, the personalities of individual robos can be different, so monitor cagemates carefully.
Robos are friendly in nature and usually enjoy the company of robo companions. Robos will often sleep in the same location in a cage and play with one another continuously. This is good if all of your robos have even tempers, but it can be problematic if they fight, or if one is significantly more dominant than others. Observe your robos at night when they are most active. If it becomes clear your robos are fighting and not playing, you will have to separate them.
Robos from the same litter are more likely to get along with one another than unrelated robos, or even sibling robos from different litters. Young robos are weaned from their mothers as early as three weeks, and are best placed in new homes between 3 and 7 weeks of age. While robos are small, measuring not more than 2 inches, they are extremely fast and energetic, so secure housing is required to keep them safe and contained.
Non-related robos can live well together if they are properly introduced, especially if they are relatively young. For best results, slowly integrate a new robo into an existing robo living environment. If possible, place two separate tanks or cages side by side so the robos can see each other, and swap out bedding so each becomes accustomed to the other's scent. Allow the robos to play together in a secure, supervised environment outside of their homes and carefully watch for fighting or aggressive behavior. If all goes well, integrate the robos into a single cage.
Male and Female Robos
Littermates or not, a male and female robo paired together in the same living environment will quickly reproduce. It can be difficult to tell the gender of robos, especially very young ones, but take all precautions to professionally sex the animals and ensure you don’t inadvertently house opposite genders together. If you do accidentally breed your robos, separate the parents as soon as a litter is born, as the female becomes fertile and available for mating immediately after birth.
- Hamster image by Stana from Fotolia.com