If you are planning on breeding hamsters, there are a number of things that you will need to know beforehand.
While these animals are very easy to breed, it is still imperative that you know what to do going in.
This article will help to boost your chances of successful hamster breeding.
Before the Hamsters are Born
You will be able to tell when a pregnant hamster is about to give birth by looking for a couple of signs. The hamster will start collecting a large amount of food and become irritable. She will also begin putting new material in their nest.
Pregnant hamsters need a special diet to ensure a healthy birth. You’ll need to provide your hamster with more fat and protein than normal. Their diet should consist of about twenty percent protein and ten percent fat. You can also give them other foods like cheese, boiled eggs, carrots and nuts from time to time.
During the Birth
When your pregnant hamster gives birth, new babies will come out of her every half an hour or so. You can expect anywhere from 5 to 20 babies with each birth. This whole process usually lasts just a couple of hours.
It is imperative that you keep the mother calm while it gives birth. You don’t want to do anything that could put additional stress on it. This could cause serious complications with the birth.
Do not Clean the Cage
You should wait about two weeks after your hamster gives birth to clean out the cage. Startling the mother shortly after it has given birth can result in some very negative consequences all around. You can, however, clean soiled spots as needed.
Maintaining the Proper Temperature
You also need to make a point of maintaining the proper temperature in the hamster cage after the mother has given birth. A temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. If the temperature goes significantly higher or lower, you could end up losing some or all of the pups.
It is a good idea to invest in a digital thermometer so you can always tell what the temperature is inside the cage. Newborn hamsters aren’t very good at regulating their internal temperatures, so you need to stay on top of this each day.
Feeding Your Baby Hamsters
Baby hamsters feed from their mother for the first four weeks of their life. After that, you can start feeding them yourself.
One of the most important aspects of caring for your new baby hamsters is feeding them properly. You should give the babies wheat germ cereal while they are still very young. If your babies are younger than ten days, you should give them millet seeds. These seeds are very small and do not pose any risk of choking.
You should also make a point of keeping the water bottle in the hamster cage filled at all times. It is crucial that your hamster babies and the mother stay hydrated throughout each day. If you notice the water bottle starting to get low, you should fill it back up immediately.
Handling Baby Hamsters
Handling baby hamsters is not only okay, it is actually a really good idea. You can start handling the babies a couple weeks after they are born. This will help them get accustomed to human interaction, which is very important. If you want your hamsters to develop into well-adjusted adults, this is essential.
Taking the Babies from Their Mother
When your baby hamsters have reached four weeks old, you will want to take them away from their mother. While this might seem a little bit cruel, it is necessary for normal and healthy development.
It might be a good idea to take the babies from the mother slightly sooner than four weeks. Keep a close eye on the mother to see how she is behaving. If she seems very agitated, it might be a good idea to move the babies out four or five days early.
If you don’t want to end up with dozens of hamsters within a very short period of time, you’ll need to separate the males from the females. You should do this once the hamsters reach six weeks old. This is the point at which these animals become sexually mature and capable of mating.
Fortunately, it is pretty easy to tell the difference between male and female hamsters. Females have a rectum and a vulva, and they are near each other. Males have a penis and a rectum. There is a space separating them that is easily observable.
Rejected Baby Hamsters
There is a chance that the mother will reject one or more of their pups. This sometimes happens, and there isn’t a lot that can be done. You will, however, want to make an effort to get a surrogate mother for the rejected pups.
When you are searching for a proper surrogate for your hamsters, you will need to focus on ones that have babies that are close to the age of the rejected ones. This will help to ensure that the babies grow into healthy and well-adjusted adults.
- You can tell when a pregnant hamster is going to give birth soon, as they will begin collecting more food than normal.
- Make sure that you don’t do anything to put additional stress on the mother while it is giving birth.
- The whole birthing process lasts about two hours on average.
- Wait a couple of weeks after the babies are born to clean the cage out.
- You can expect to get five to twenty babies in just one birth.
- Baby hamsters feed off their mother for the first four weeks of their life.
- Once your hamsters are older than four weeks, you can start giving them food.
- You can begin handling the babies two weeks after they are born. This interaction is an important part of their healthy development.
- You should take the babies from the mother once they reach four weeks old, separating the males and females.