Rodent lovers, the idea tempts you to combine several different species, as in the nature. But the questions are jostling: will the small mammals get along? Will they be able to live in the same type of cage? Share their rack ? Do the same activities? Before expanding the tribe, we answer all your questions.
Rodent species with different origins
In the state Savage, each species of rodent occupies a specific ecological niche in a precise distribution area: the Andes Cordillera in South America for chinchillas, degus and guinea pigs; Africa and Central Asia for the gerbil; Europe for rats and mice … In terms of their habitat in captivity, the chinchilla and the octodon require a cage in height when the guinea pig prefers a long surface, offering a maximum of floor space. A hamster, rat or mouse needs more space narrow. A large rodent will require spaced bars that can let smaller mammals escape. Despite their very distinct habitats, you really want to bring all these beautiful people together under one roof. This decision deserves reflection because, in addition to their place of life, the new companion animals (NAC) are opposed in many other aspects.
They don’t follow the same diet
Not all domestic rodents share the same menu and it is not recommended or even dangerous for their health, to deviate from their natural diet. Some are herbivores (guinea pig, chinchilla, degus, etc.), while others are omnivorous (rat, mouse, hamster…). Rat food, which is rich in protein, will not be suitable for guinea pigs or octodons, which are strict herbivores. There are also nuances between herbivores : the chinchilla for example, eats dry and dehydrated food but especially not waterlogged greenery. Conversely, the guinea pig needs vegetables and fresh fruits, grass and vitamin C supplements. Rats, mice and hamsters are omnivorous-grain-eaters while gerbils are grain-eaters prone to insectivorous. It should be borne in mind that unsuitable food can generate serious dietary imbalances with consequences irreversible in our small rodents with sensitive stomachs.
Rodents do not behave the same
Rodent species also differ in terms of their sociability. Mice, chinchillas, rats and guinea pigs can live in pairs or alone, provided you devote sufficient time to them. The hamster is a solitary animal that can show itself aggressive if we impose company on him. By nature fearful, the guinea pig likes its tranquility. The rat, beneath its gentle air, can become a predator in the presence of a guinea pig or a mouse. As for the gerbil, it may not tolerate the presence of another rodent. If you introduce an animal into its territory, it will consider it as a enemy and will attack it without hesitation. Rodents also differ in their way of life: hamster, chinchilla and certain species of gerbils are mammals. nocturnal and will disturb the animals daytime. In view of their biological rhythm and their behavior, it turns out to be difficult, if not impossible, to bring together several species of rodents in the same cage.
Inter-species cohabitation under conditions
In summary, the reunion between different species of rodents is difficult to achieve for the reasons mentioned above. If you really want to organize an inter-species cohabitation, precautions must be taken. First of all, one must choose mammals that present templates similar – in order to avoid injury during their interactions, and then, ensure that roommates follow the same diet so as not to put their health at risk. In reality, the only possible combination concerns the gerbil and the octodon. Originating from Andes, these two species with social behavior need companionship for their well-being, otherwise they risk sinking into the depression. The problem: the gerbil behaves very territorial to the point of violently attacking any intruder. This is why rules will have to be respected in order to gradually build their link. As a first step, the only way to introduce the two species must be with a cage with a separation wire mesh. Rodents will thus be able to see, feel and interact without touching each other and thus injure themselves. Many weeks will be necessary for a friendship to be formed and once friends, the two mammals will have fun like crazy. In any case, it is strongly advised not to combine two males in the same cage because cohabitation risks creating sparks and it will be necessary to plan as quickly as possible sterilization of all those hairballs to prevent uncontrolled reproduction.