We would love for your next furry friend to come from us. One of the reasons we started a hamstery is to give people in our area an alternative to buying hamsters that come from mills where they aren't well cared for or bred conscientiously. If you buy a hamster from us, it will be:
In short, our hamsters are better than ones from pet stores. At a pet store you'll find hamsters of unknown genetic background with no information about their health, which are not accustomed to human contact and liable to be aggressive. Hamsters have immune systems that aren't as strong as other rodents, so they can easily catch diseases from mice, rats, gerbils, or guinea pigs. PetCo in Harrisonburg charges $12.99 for a Syrian hamster and $19.99 for a "fancy bear" hamster. PetSmart in Harrisonburg charges $14.99 for a Syrian and $22.99 for a "fancy bear" hamster. There is no such thing as a fancy bear hamster. That label originated with European show-quality hamsters that were imported to North America and were indeed bigger and better than pet-store hamsters, but the difference was lost years ago after interbreeding with commercial pet store stock without regard for selection. These days, a "fancy bear" hamster is just a Syrian that the pet store chose to put in a different cage and charge more for. Hamsters marketed as "shorthaired," "longhaired," "teddy bear," "fancy bear," "panda bear," "dalmation," "tortoiseshell," or "tri-color" are all just Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). We several color genes in our pool, so our hamsters come in various combinations of Golden, Cream, Black, Silver Grey, Cinnamon, and Rust; and also Shorthaired and Longhaired.
We do not ship hamsters. If you are too far away to travel here, we might be able to refer you to another breeder closer to you.
When you come to get your hamster, you must either bring along something to transport the hamster home in, or have previously arranged to buy one of our homemade cages. Some people go out and buy a small cage or pet carrier for this purpose, but that's not necessary if your hamster's actual cage fits in your vehicle.
We charge $30 per hamster. We charge more than a pet store does because of all the time it takes for us to handle communication with our customers. We don't make money from breeding hamsters. We breed because...well, that's covered on the About Us page.
If we have hamsters available, they'll be on our home page, along with upcoming litters. Contact us if you're interested in one. If the hamsters still too young to leave us (or not yet born), watch our Facebook page for updates as they grow!
Because too many people have reserved hamsters and then effectively fallen off the face of the earth, leaving us hanging with an abundance of hamster pups, we have instituted these policies:
If you ask to be placed on our waiting list, this reserves a hamster (or hamsters) for you. At some point we will email you letting you know when the hamster will be available. If you do not respond to that email within a week, you forfeit your reservation. You must make an appointment to pick up the hamster(s) on or after the date of availability. The appointment must be made before the date of availability, or you forfeit your reservation.
Getting hamsters for breeding
Hamsters are cute, and we completely understand the desire to breed and raise pups!
However, breeding can be dangerous for hamsters if not done properly.
We are pretty relaxed when it comes to other people breeding hamsters. If you've done some research and seem to know the basics, we will most likely be fine with you using our hamsters for breeding. We've mentored a few people and would be excited to teach others! We just want the hamsters to be safe and well-cared for while they're being bred.
When someone tells us they want to breed our hamsters, we might want to ask some basic questions. For example, we might ask how to supplement the mom's diet while she is pregnant, when it's okay to touch the pups, and when the pups should be separated into different groups. This helps us know that our hamsters will be well cared for and alleviates our concern!
Zika Hamstery does retain the right to hold back a hamster if we think they're not going to a good home.
There have been a few times where one of our hamsters was bred without our prior knowledge or consent. In a case like this, we will not sell another hamster to that person. We'd much, much rather know beforehand than to find out through a third source or after the fact! Please, talk with us, first.
And, of course, if you're curious to know more just for the sake of curiosity, that's fantastic! Ask us questions. You can ask about genetics, how we choose which hamsters to keep for ourselves, what mistakes we've made in the past, what it's like to watch a litter grow up... anything you'd like to know! We'd be happy to talk more with you.