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View Poll Results: which animal?
guinea pig 6 46.15%
hamster 0 0%
gerbil 7 53.85%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-30-2005, 12:39 PM   #1
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pet preferance.

i would like to get a new animal. i think my 3 choices are guinea pig, hamster, and a gerbil. please post why you chose as you did
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Old 06-30-2005, 12:53 PM   #2
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ooooo. I can't choose between those three! But I can tell you my experience with them

guinea pig - these guys are soooooo sweet. I love them! Mine never once tried to bite and I love the noises they make. They will need a much larger home than gerbils or hamsters and love raw veggies.

hamster - The larger hamsters need to be kept by themselves. The dwarf hamsters can be kept in pairs. I like both, but only kept the larger Chinese hamster. Hamsters in my experience are more prone to nip and it can hurt. They need to be handled every day to keep them "tame." They are less active/jumpy than gerbils and are also less skittish if handled every day.

gerbils - I LOVE my two little girls I have now. Girls need to be kept in pairs and boys need to be in groups of two or more. Never keep just one gerbil as they need to social activity (grooming and other interactions) from other gerbils. I have never been bitten by my gerbils, though one of them does like to taste me. They are very active and I have created a playpen for them to run around in. A wheel isn't enough exercise for these critters. If the space is large enough, you'll see just how fast they can get. Unlike hamsters, gerbils don't need to be handled every day to make sure they remain "tame." However, they are not cuddly animals. I find them very fun to watch and handle though. Also, they smell less than hamsters or GPs. Actually, I've never detected a smell from my gerbils. Oh, and two gerbils will be fine in a 10 gallon tank so long as they get to go to a playpen, but as always, the larger the home is the better. You can find some need top extensions for tanks so that they have many layers to play on.

If I had it my way, I'd have all three and them some other creatures as well.

I do suggest you get them from a breeder. I found a guy who flew my gerbils to me for free because it was just a hobby for him. You can google search for different organizations that will list breeders near you. I used the American Gerbil Society to find my gerbils.

Good luck and enjoy!

PS-check out Degus as well. I know Menagerie has a pair. These are great creatures too.

*edit* and one more thing (sorry this is so long!), pleeeaase don't ever get a wheel that is just metal bars. legs and tails can get broken in those. I am sure you already knew this though. But I just wanted to make sure.
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Old 06-30-2005, 01:08 PM   #3
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I had a dwarf hamster and it was mean as hell. Very cute to watch but you couldn't try to hold it! Meanest hamster ever. I don't know if mine was just particularly nasty or if they are known for that but the thing could draw blood!
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Old 06-30-2005, 01:17 PM   #4
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Depends krap, what are you feeding them to? lol Just kidding. I've had all three and out of those my choice would be the guinea pig. But, like mentioned, they love veggies and actually should have them available daily.
I'd like to offer another suggestion though. Of all the rodent pets out there, rats are my favorite. They are very sweet, personable and easily tamed. I had one years ago that was leash trained and would climb up my leg when he got tired. He would sleep in my lap while watching tv. I took him everywhere with me. They get attached to you and love to be with you. Just a thought.
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Old 06-30-2005, 01:37 PM   #5
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I haven't kept rodents (except once as a kid, but I don't remember what) I did have a friend though that had a guinea pig. That thing stunk to high heaven! It was disgusting. I don't know if they all smell like that, but that is something I would definitely look into.
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Old 06-30-2005, 01:49 PM   #6
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rats are the smartest rodent! They are very in to their owners as well. The only thing is they are escape artists, and if you have other pets like birds......well a smart rat will figure out how to get it when you arent looking!
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Old 06-30-2005, 01:52 PM   #7
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I voted for gerbil on your list because my niece once had them, and I took care of them for a week. They are social, so you would need at least two. My niece's gerbils were very tame and friendly. Only downside is that they are nocturnal - you won't see much of them during the day, and they'll keep you up at night if their weel isn't well lubricated.

The hamsters were another story. They are solitary animals and don't particularly care for social interaction from their own kind, or from humans. My niece had one, and it was very nippy. On more than one occasion, it bit her and drew blood. They look cuddly, but they definitely are not.

Two other animals not on your list are mice and rats. Both are tame, curious, and friendly. They bite only when very frightened, or in pain. They are very social, so you need to get at least two - the more the merrier - I have 11 mice! They don't require a large cage, and are easy/inexpensive to care for.

Personally, I much prefer mice to gerbils because they crave human attention and will adjust their schedules to match yours. The only downside to rats and mice is that they only live for 1.5 - 2.5 years.
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Old 06-30-2005, 01:52 PM   #8
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Guinea pigs definitely smell and you need to keep on top of the cleaning of their cages, but you have to do that with any rodent.

We are going through the same situation because my daughter's hamster died not too long ago and she wants another small mammal. We are just about set on a rat, based on the reasons Fluff mentioned. She adored her hamster but it could not interact with her all that much, and it bit the snot out of her friends (never bit her, though). We think a rat that can be trained and will come when it is called, etc. might be slightly more rewarding as a pet. I'll second the recommendation to contact a breeder, no matter what you get.

You might also consider a parakeet or a cockatiel, since they can be trained and can live a remarkably long time, unlike small mammals.
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Old 06-30-2005, 03:23 PM   #9
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i was thinking about birds, but most of them are a little more expensive. plus i was hoping to use my rabbits cages. im not sure if the holes small enough for them not to get out, because ones pretty big cage with 2 platforms going up. the other one is a normal cage and is pretty nice. and those arent high enough for birds i dont think
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Old 06-30-2005, 03:25 PM   #10
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No, I would not try to put a bird in a rabbit cage, and I understand where you are coming from about using the equipment you already have. Probably a guinea pig or two would work in the same digs as a rabbit.

What do you think about a rat?
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