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View Poll Results: which animal?
guinea pig 6 46.15%
hamster 0 0%
gerbil 7 53.85%
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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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Old 06-30-2005, 03:59 PM   #11
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I kept my rat in an old fish tank (when he was in it. he was so tame because I had him out constantly). Depending on what type of rabbit cage you have, a rat would do ok. The metal hutch type cages work great. Some of the coated wire cages with plastic bottoms they make for rabbits, I wouldn't trust. A guinea pig would do well in either type cage.
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Old 06-30-2005, 04:20 PM   #12
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well... my mom kind of hates rats. i kind of like mice but it reminds he too much of rats. im thinking of going with a gerbil.
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Old 06-30-2005, 04:25 PM   #13
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Go for the rat. Make sure the bottom of the cage isn't wire (it damages their feet)
The wire top and plastic bottom work well, but mine keeps chewing through the plastic. He's got me trained quite well. He starts chewing on the cage, I go get him something else to chew on.


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Old 06-30-2005, 05:15 PM   #14
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If you want a rodent I vote for a rat. I had one years ago and she was the neatest small pet I have ever owned. My students named her Hairy Houdini and it ended up being a good name since she and her friend escaped (causing a panic at my school and their banishment. ) She would sit on my shoulder when I taught, snuggle on my neck under my long hair when she wanted to rest. She was also very clean compared to many rodents and would wash herself very carefully after being handled by a human.

I would get another rat, but they freak my husband out and he won't allow it!

I have had hamsters. Hamster bites HURT like the dickens. I will never have another one again. I have never had gerbils or guinea pigs.

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Old 06-30-2005, 05:53 PM   #15
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Keep in mind that some rodents are social and it is encouraged that you buy at least 2 at a time. Gerbils are one such rodent. My two girls have two cages connected by tubing. They get tons of exercise running over the sliding glass door from cage to cage. My gerbils and degus are in my gallery.
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Old 06-30-2005, 06:05 PM   #16
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maybe a chinchilla type thing? if i can find one under 50$ ill probally get it. anybody have one?
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Old 06-30-2005, 06:24 PM   #17
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I've kept chinchillas. Very cool critters. But, due to their need to dust bathe, they can be very dirty. You have to buy them dust to roll in to keep themselves clean. Their coats are so dense, water messes them up. I've bred them in the past. I'd love to get another pair. Good luck finding one under 50bucks.
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Old 06-30-2005, 06:27 PM   #18
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ic... so thats improbable i guess.

how big of a cage do they need?
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Old 06-30-2005, 06:28 PM   #19
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If you want a chinchilla, they sell for $110 and up, from what I have seen. Degus are smaller relatives of the chinchilla and also enjoy dust baths. When I clean their cage, I put them in a cat carrier and add the dust. They are so cute rolling around, but I do not leave the dust in their cage.
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Old 06-30-2005, 06:43 PM   #20
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lol it is fun watching them bathe. I used to have a covered box for mine as well but it still made a mess. A chinchilla doesn't get large and a rabbit cage would be fine. They do like exercise though. Mine had a large running wheel that they wore out.
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