How to Care for Hamster Babies



Know when your hamster is pregnant.,
Understand the hamster life cycle.,
Clean the cage.,
Change your hamster’s diet.,
Remove the hamster wheel and other toys from the cage.,
Remove the father from the cage, if you have not already done so.,
Provide soft building material for your pregnant hamster.,
Arrange homes for the babies.,
Know what to expect during birth.,
Do not disturb the nest.,
Do not handle the babies for at least two weeks.,
Do not clean the cage for the first two weeks.,
Provide plenty of food and water for the little hamsters.,
Take care of the babies if the mother hamster has died.,
Find a surrogate mother for orphaned babies that are 12 days or younger.,
Clean the cage when the babies are older than two weeks.,
Start to handle babies when they turn two weeks old.,
Wean the babies when they are four weeks old.,
Separate the males from the females.,
Care for your hamsters as you would any other adult hamster.

Though your female hamster will gain weight once she is pregnant, weight gain alone does not indicate pregnancy. Other indications of pregnancy include nest-building, possible hoarding of food, and signs of aggression as her gestation period progresses., Hamsters reach sexual maturity quickly in life, with some hamsters capable of breeding as early as four weeks old.However, it is generally recommended that breeders refrain from pairing hamsters for mating until five to six months of age.The gestation period for hamsters varies widely by breed. Syrian hamsters typically gestate for 16 days, while many dwarf breeds gestate for 18-21 days.Roborovski hamsters may gestate for up to 30 days.Females capable of reproduction will want to mate every four days.A couple days before your hamster is going to give birth, her stomach will swell to a very large size. However, this may also be an indication of a more serious condition. Swollen abdomens may indicate the presence of a tumor, impending heart failure, liver cysts, or in rare cases Cushing’s Disease.If your hamster’s belly is swollen, it’s best to have her examined by a veterinarian to determine whether it’s pregnancy weight or something more serious.

, It’s important that your hamster delivers her babies into a clean environment. In order to ensure that this happens, clean your hamster cage two weeks after your hamster gets pregnant (or when you determine that your hamster is pregnant), and add additional fresh bedding.Know that, since the mother hamster will not like being disturbed as it gets closer to her delivery date, you may not be able to clean the cage later in her gestation period. Cleaning the cage within 2 – 3 days of her “due date” can unsettle a female hamster sufficiently that she rejects the babies when they are born. Cleaning the cage as soon as possible after determining that she is pregnant may be your best option.
After cleaning the cage during the gestation period, do not clean the cage again until 14 days after the birth., Pregnant hamsters need a diet high in protein and fat. Aim for a hamster food that contains 18 to 20 percent protein and seven to nine percent fat.You may also want to provide your mother hamster with milky food to provide additional calcium and promote lactation.Offer your pregnant hamster nutritious treats like carrots, nuts, hard boiled eggs, cheese and greens. You should also put extra food in her cage, as she will begin stockpiling the food for her babies (and will be eating more than normal herself). However take care with foods that will go bad, since if she stock piles them the food may go mouldy in her store. It is best to give plenty of dry food, and offer perishable items as treats, in order to increase the chances of her eating it all, rather than storing it., This is important in order to prevent the accidental injury or death of baby hamsters once they are born., Female hamsters may act aggressively toward males when they do not desire a mate.Some hamster enthusiasts claim that Dwarf hamster fathers are actually very helpful in raising the litter. Consult with a vet or pet store hamster specialist if you are considering leaving your hamster dad in the cage.

, One of your hamster’s first reactions when she gets pregnant will be to build a soft nest to give birth to her babies in. You can help this process along by providing pieces of toilet paper for your hamster to shred up and use in her nest.

Clean facial tissue or toilet paper works best for nest building. It is soft to the touch and very absorbent, and your hamster will be able to tear and arrange it easily.
Avoid any long or heavy materials that the baby hamsters may become tangled or smothered in.

, You only need to do this if you aren’t planning on keeping the babies after they are born. If you are having a hard time finding friends who want to take a baby or two, try posting an ad on Craigslist. You can also check with teachers at local schools, as hamsters make excellent classroom pets.

Never breed hamsters unless you want baby hamsters and ready to take care of them. Find them a home or provide for them in your own home.

, The birthing process usually happens over the course of one to two hours, in about 15-30 minute intervals between pup births. Give her space and do not disturb her during or after the birth., For approximately two days or so leading up to the birth, you should leave the mother hamster alone. She will be stressed and may become aggressive in order to protect the nest from perceived threats or intrusions, so its best to leave her alone.She can also become highly agitated after she gives birth–she should be disturbed as little as possible or else she might abandon her babies, or even, in some cases, kill them., You want to avoid disturbing the nest and leaving your scent on the infant hamsters, or their mother might abandon or kill them.The mother hamster may also become very aggressive if you try to handle her offspring and may attack your hand.

If you do need to move a baby for some reason, use a spoon. This will ensure that you do not get your scent on the baby. You will most likely not have to do this–even if you see that a baby has strayed from the nest, mama hamster will soon go to retrieve it.

, While it may seem odd not to clean your hamster cage, it really is in the babies’ best interest that you don’t interfere in the nesting space. Forgo cleaning the cage for two weeks after the babies are born.If you notice that there is a really wet spot in the cage, you can spot clean it but make absolutely sure that your spot cleaning won’t disturb the nest.
Keep the room temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21.1 degrees Celsius., You should check the cage at least twice a day to make sure that there is enough food and water to support your hamsters. When the babies are a week old, you can begin to scatter food along the sides and floor of the cage. The mother hamster will go out and collect the food for her babes, but the little ones will also begin to explore and get food on their own.Be sure that you are feeding the mother and baby hamsters a diet high in protein and fat content.Avoid using a water bowl, as young hamsters may drown if they fall into the bowl. Use a shallow dish instead.
You will want to make sure that the sipper bottle is low enough that the young hamsters can reach the lip of it and get a drink, which will typically happen after the first 10-20 days.

, Sometimes, baby hamsters are orphaned due to complications during the birth. If the hamsters are 12 to 14 days old, they will have a much easier time surviving. Place a heating pad on the lowest setting under the cage to make up for the lack of body heat in their mother’s absence. Shred up toilet paper and create a nest for the babies yourself. Make sure the babies have adequate food to keep their nutrient levels up. The water bottle should also be lowered to their height.

When hamsters are born, they emerge hairless and blind. Do not be alarmed by this, as this is how all hamsters look at birth.Over the course of the first week, hamster babies will gain weight, begin growing fur, and their ear canals will develop. They will also begin to crawl and forage by the middle of the second week.Use Lactol, an animal milk replacement, to nurse the hamster pups with a dropper. Lactol is available in most pet stores. If you cannot find Lactol, try using powdered baby formula.Squeeze out a small drop and touch it to a baby hamster’s mouth. Do not squeeze the dropper; rather, let the infant hamster suckle and lick the milk out.
Remember that infant hamsters cannot regulate their own body temperature. Keep the room at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or 21.1 degrees Celsius, or use a heating pad on a low setting if necessary., Wipe all of the residue from the nest/birthing process off the hamsters, so that the new mother will not recognize them as belonging to another litter due to the scent.For this reason, you may want to wear rubber gloves during this process.

Gently wrap the baby hamsters in a clean terry cloth towel and rub the towel gently to stimulate circulation (and thus warmth.) Find a surrogate mother who has babies that are a couple days older or younger than your babies. Place nesting material taken from the surrogate mom’s nest and wrap it around your babies. The goal is to get the smelling exactly like the surrogate mom’s babies. Distract the new mother with a treat and then place the babies in the nest with the other hamsters. Keep the mom away for as long as possible to give the babies a chance to wriggle into the nest and get covered in the smell.Keep a close eye on the surrogate mother. If she senses that there is something wrong or different about the babies, she may kill them.
It may be difficult to find a lactating female hamster in your time of need. Be prepared for the possibility that you may have to raise the young hamsters by hand. you can feed the baby hamsters with lactose, which helps the baby grow.

, At this point, the mother hamster will be a bit less protective, allowing you to go in and clean up after the last two weeks. Clean the cage as you normally would, but place a few pieces of toilet paper in the cage after you are done, as the mother hamster may want to build another nest.

, Handling babies at this young age will help them get used to human touch. The mother hamster will also be fine with them smelling like you at this stage in the babies development. Keep in mind that baby hamsters can move very quickly, so take precautions when handling them.

, Baby hamsters will continue feeding from their mom until they are about 26 days old. After that, the babies should be weaned from their mom.

, You will need to check the genders of your baby hamsters and split the boy and girl hamsters up into their own separate cages. They should be put into cages separate from their mother, who will have lost interest in nursing them by this time.Around 40 days after birth, the litter of hamsters will be capable of mating and reproducing. It is important to separate them before this happens.Syrian hamsters are solitary animals and should each be put in their own separate cages after around six to seven weeks.This breed of hamster tends to be very territorial and will become aggressive if it feels that its space is being threatened.
Dwarf hamsters can live in same-sex pairings and colonies fairly peacefully. Dwarf hamsters will often play together, beginning around the time their eyes open. This is normal, but after approximately 12 weeks you might begin to notice some actual fights occurring. If you see this, you should split the pair into separate cages. If it is occurring in a colony, you should put the hamster that is being bullied into his or her own separate cage.Beware that if you don’t separate them, they may start to breed with each other, leaving you overrun with lots of inbred pups within a few weeks.

, At five weeks old, your baby hamsters have grown up into adult hamsters. Play with, feed, and love them as you would any adult hamster.

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