In Dutch hamster means hoarding. Hoarding means applying extra large stocks (mostly food, use resources like gasoline..) for an expected period of scarcity. hamsterThat hamster has two large cheek pouches used to collect winter stocks. The European hamster, common hamster or black belly hamster (Cricetus cricetus) is in Limburg also called grain wo(l)f. It is in the Low Countries an endangered species. After a breeding program in 2005, there are a number of copies released for reintroduction, but the number of burrows is limited to a few isolated relict populations.

This original steppe dweller, who as culture follower digs in grasslands, fields and farmland in loess soil and clay for burrows and pipes, is 18-34 cm, has a short tail of 5-7 cm and a weight of 160-600 g.
The colorful coat with brownish red top is white to yellowish patches on nose, cheeks and shoulders. The underside is black. This is quite specifical, in most mammals the belly is lighter than the back. He has medium-sized, hairy ears and white paws.

The hamster lives solitary and digs a tunnel system. Corridors to two meters deep with a diameter of 6 to 8 centimeters. They serve as a residence, storage for food, wintering place, refuge in case of danger, a latrine, and nests. The nests are often covered with grass, hay and other soft materials.
In his Limburg name grain refers to its food and woof or Wouf is a term for someone who is very greedy. It's been a grain hoarder.
But also an almost omnivorous with insects and snails, seeds, grasses and herbs, but also carrots and even small rodents and frogs on the menu.

In the evening and at night, a hamster is active and she comes out of her cave to eat.
Food transports happen with her cheek pouches. She empties them with her front paws. The stock can cover up exceptionally to 65 kilo’s of food, but is usually 2 to 5, and not more than 15 kilograms.
In case of danger (especially foxes) the hamster increases his cheek pockets and he makes threatening noises.
The cheek pouches the hamster also use to swim. He blows them to keep floating easily.

When autumn comes, he closes all the exits with earth. In the deepest nest, the hamster hibernates in the cold and nutrient-poor winter, from October to April, his body temperature below 5°C. Winter rest he interrupts every five to seven days to eat his food supply.

They end their hibernation when the average daily temperature for several days exceeds 5-10°C. Males awaken first. The females often only a month later.
After hibernation, the mating season starts. Males invade the territories of the females, from which they are chased immediately after mating.
After a gestation period of 17 to 20 days 3 to 15 bald, blind pups (average 4-8) are born. After 14 days, the eyes open and the young leave the nest. After 18 days the young are weaned. After 3 weeks, the mother leaves the burrow.
Females are sexually mature after 43 days. They can therefore still propagate in the same year. A female can have up to three litters per year. The reproductive season ends in July – August.

Hamsters in the wild live up to 4 years, but the average age is half lower.

For guinea pig (Cavia, family Caviidae) there are many recipes to find on the Internet, mainly from South America. They are there as well cultivated as food animals. They eat mostly grass and dandelions.

Difference hamster - guinea pig
A guinea pig does not climbs and is much bigger than a hamster. A hamster is a nocturnal animal, not a guinea pig.
Wild guinea pigs live in groups and subgroups with only one adult boar per group. They weigh between 500 and 1,500 grams, and have no visible tail. They are right after a litter, and each 16,5 to 20,5 days fertile. The pups may run a few hours after birth and eat solid food.

Charles is hoarding, and stores a supply. When he comes back with twelve bottles of gin and a bread his companion asks: " What do we do with all that bread? "