Finding a Hamster Breeder
Questions to ask a Breeder
Why do you breed?
I feel this is the most important question! “Because I want to” and “Because baby hamsters are cute” and "for the experience" are not good enough in my opinion. So why do I breed? Why do I risk my pets in having litters? What do I consider a ‘good’ reason? Ultimately, my aim is to improve the species. I want to establish healthy lines with good temperament which fit the show standard (which in hamsters were set to promote good health as well as aesthetics). And in that order: health, temperament, standards. And I’m happy to explain how I judge these qualities… until the poor person who asked me at a dinner party wishes they hadn’t!
Do you provide any ongoing support? What will happen if an owner can no longer keep a hamster they have had from you? Will you take it back?
If they can’t spell the name of the animal they breed then it’s not a good sign – and yes, I’ve seen breeders advertising ‘hamsters’!
If they use strange/unrecognised/vague terms for the hamster colour or species, or has higher prices for rare colours. For example, snowflake Chinese, teddy bear hamster, panda bear hamster, angora, semi-longhaired, Russian, dalmation, calico, ginger, brown, sunfire, red-eyed winter white, dwarf Syrian.
If they aren't aware of important potential problems with the species they breed, for example diabetes and hybrids in certain dwarf hamster species, or eyeless whites in Syrians.
If they are unable to handle or accurately sex their baby hamsters.
If they are deliberately breeding hybrid hamsters, often referred to as 'Russians' with colours such as mushroom, lemon or mandarin.