Djungarian aka winter white dwarf hamster (phodopus sungorus) comes only in 2 colors, agouti and sapphire. Pearl pattern can be presented in both and the hamster may seem nearly white.
A Sunfire Djungarian Hamster is a hybrid, which is a mix of a winter white dwarf hamster and Campbell’s dwarf (Phodopus campbelli) hamster.
These hamsters are marketed as unique breeds because of their colors commonly referred to as Mandarin or Sunfire hamsters.
In Europe, these hamsters are usually referred to as Mandarin hamsters.
They are the result of a genetic defect caused by cross-breeding (Campbell’s and Russian Winter Whites). They’re very prone to disease including diabetes, getting overweight and eye problems (eyes start bulging out of the sockets) so you need to feed them a low-sugar / high-protein diet to keep them healthy.
Sunfire Djungarian Hamsters despite this are among the most popular types of hamsters and can be roughly classified into several subspecies and hybrids. Today, we’ll discuss just one of these subspecies: the Sunfire Djungarian hamster.
Sunfire Djungarian Hamster Overview
The term “Djungarian hamster” actually refers to a number of different hamsters, mostly categorized by color and pattern. Let’s take a look at a few basics of Sunfires, as well as care tips you should know about.
History and Origin
Djungarian hamsters are a form of dwarf hamster. Sunfire Djungarian hamsters are also known as Russian dwarf hamsters or winter white dwarf hamsters. Originally found in cold, snowy places like Mongolia, Siberia, and Manchuria, Djungarian hamsters may fluctuate in weight and coat color, in order to keep up with the changing seasons.
However, the Djungarian hamsters you’re likely to encounter will have been bred in captivity and might not change coat color or fluctuate in weight.
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Color and Pattern
Like other species of hamsters, Sunfire Djungarian hamsters come in a variety of colors and patterns. Hamsters bred in captivity are likely to have a more impressive range of colors. This is usually due to selective breeding, with the purpose of creating more colorful and eye-catching pets.
In summer, a Djungarian hamster is likely to have darker fur. Their fur may be pale brown or dark brown, with their face a dark grey or dark brown. You’ll notice lighter spots around the ears and whiskers. Another noticeable feature of a Djungarian hamster is the black-brown stripe running from the head to the tail. The underside of the hamster – throat, belly, tail, limbs, etc – will all be white.
In winter, a Djungarian hamster will have lighter fur. The purpose of this color change in the wild is to help the hamster blend in with the snowy landscape. The hamster will develop a thicker coat in the winter months, with the fur turning a lighter grey.
Some types of Djungarian hamsters can have slightly different patterns and colors to their coat, like colored pearl, sapphire pearl, marbled, and sapphire.
Sunfire Djungarian hamsters grow to around 70-90mm and weigh anywhere between 19 and 45 grams. Like most hamsters, they have a lifespan of 1-3 years.
Djungarian hamsters are one of the easiest hamsters to tame, and can quickly become social and loving pets. This friendliness is one of the reasons dwarf hamsters are so popular, and with proper care and training, a hamster can quickly become part of the family.
To properly tame your Sunfire Djungarian hamster – or any dwarf hamster for that matter – you’ll need to go about it the right way. Here are a few steps to follow to tame your new hamster.
- Give your hamster time to adjust.
For your hamster, coming into a new cage and new environment can be a frightening experience. You might be tempted to try handling your new pet right away, but be sure to give your hamster at least a day or two to adjust to its new surroundings.
- Let your hamster get used to your presence.
Just because you can’t handle your new hamster for a day or two doesn’t mean that you can’t interact with them. Your hamster might notice you going about your regular business, and they should hopefully get used to your being around. Talking to your hamster is also a good idea so that they can get used to your voice.
Try not to put your hamster in a loud or very busy area of the house. However, you don’t want to keep your hamster away from all human sounds altogether, as this can lead to your hamster being spooked by any kind of noise or interaction.
- Take precautions before handling your hamster.
The first thing to do before handling any pet – especially a hamster – is to wash your hands, both before and after handling. Aside from minimizing the chance of passing infections onto your pet, this also means that your hands won’t smell like food. If your hands smell tasty, your hamster might think your fingers are a snack, and take a bite out of you.
Pick a good time of day. Hamsters are nocturnal, so pick a time later in the day when your pet is active. Don’t wake your hamster from sleep, as they can be disoriented and view you as a threat.
- Let your hamster come to you.
Resist the impulse to grab your hamster. Cup your hands and lower them slowly and carefully into the cage. The idea is to let your hamster walk onto your hands. Once they’re comfortable being held, you can work on slowly lifting your hamster in your hands out of the cage.
It may take a little while for your hamster to feel comfortable enough to walk onto your hands. You might want to try placing treats in your palms, but make sure your hamster doesn’t think your hands are part of the snack.
If your hamster does bite you, blow a puff of air into its face. This won’t hurt them, but it will be an unpleasant enough experience to discourage your pet from biting.
- Regularly play with and handle your hamster.
Last but certainly not least, you need to handle your hamster regularly. The more careful handling your hamster gets, the more comfortable they’ll feel around humans.
Should You Get a Djungarian Hamster?
So, should you get a Sunfire Djungarian hamster? These are pleasant and sociable little creatures, easy to tame and care for. All you need is a hamster cage, hamster food, bedding, and a few toys, and your hamster will be perfectly happy.