Looking after pups..
Whether planned or unplanned pregnancy...
On the 16th day your hamster gives birth, generally at night or early morning.The hamster above is less that 12 hours old! Heres some facts...Baby hamsters are born blind, naked (as in furless) and you can't really see their ears!
The average litter is about 5-9 pups,but can be more or less. i think the record is 21!
mummy hamster will eat their young if they feel threatened.If the litter is too big, or some of the young are weak, she will also "dispose" of some of them. this is normal.
you can tell if your mummy hamster has given birth becuase you may hear little squeaks, and odd noises like creaking doors in the nest, these are the babies asking for food!
so what do i do now? you think, well the truth is...nothing, in fact try and do less than nothing,i know its hard but try not to even look at the nest if you can.
Baby hamsters mustn't be touched until they are 3 weeks old.(or at least two and a half weeks)this includes cleaning out!Mother hamsters can get distressed at their young being handled, and again may even eat them.
Even if your mummy hamster has got out of the nest and knocked the babies about the cage,don't worry, she'll pick them up later! Do not touch!
Heres some development of hamsters for you,(when my babies get to these stages, i'll pictures up!)
Your baby hamsters are starting to grow fur!you'll see if they are dark their skin will already have changed to the colour and pattern that they will be
plus they are beginning to eat solid food.now heres some responsibility for you at last! buy some oats,(porridge will do) and small bits of chopped up vegetable and bread crumbs for your babies to eat.Scatter them about the cage.thats it!
ensure you have put enough food in the cage for mum and babies, becuase the mother will go without if theres not enough.
Dustie's babies at 5 days, turns out shes got 8 not 7 as i thought!
Dusties babies at 9 days, you can see their fur is growing, and their colours are showing.
you hamsters are now eating machines,give them oats everyday,until you feel they need bigger food,when the hamster food should be fine for them
At 16 days
or round abouts then, the babies will open their eyes! if they venture out of the nest too much before then it means there isn't enough food for them.
At 21 days
you should handle your hamsters now, to ensure they are used to it before going to new homes.
At 25 days
You can now take them from the mother.chances are shes fed up with them anyways, if she shows anger towards them before this, as long as its after 21 days, they can be removed. Put them into a communal cage.
At 32 days
By now they should be put into separate sex cages, to avoid further breeding, at 5 to 6 weeks they are ready for rehoming!
Your mummy hamster will need a break before breeding again, a month should be sufficient.looking after babies is hard work..don't wear her out!
If you really can't help yourself...
I know the feeling, they are so cute and small you just want to peek....i take no responsibility for eaten babies...but..getting away with it...
firstly, don't even look before 5 days after the birth, its too risky.
after 5 days your hamster is less likely to harm them.
ok...now your hamsters are 5 days old...
by now your mother will be willing to come out to play again.so open the door, get noticed,and she'll come out.put her in her ball.
take something like a ruler or pencil and rub it in the sawdust where your hamster pees.
carefully open the nest for a peak.don't touch the nest with your hands.don't leave the mother away for too long.
when your hamsters eyes(but best to wait til about 15 days) start to open they will start to wander about the cage to look for food.
if you want to touch them, first take the mother from the cage again, handle her, and then put her in the ball.
take the top of the cage off,rub your hands in the sawdust again then you can gently stroke the wandering hamsters, don't take them out of the nest
pick them up gently, they are small, and easily broken, hold them just above the cage floor becuase they tend to jump.
handle the mother before returning her,so she knows your smell.
All done at your own risk!!
Dusties baby at 15 days
Preparing for your new hamster
Buying your hamster and what to look for
handling your new hamster successfully
why he acts like that
breeding your hamster
caring for pups
Finding lost hamsters
sexing your hamster
webrings and sites