How to Care for Your Pregnant Hamster

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Be aware of the possible signs of hamster pregnancy.,
Give the hamster some damp tissue or toilet paper.,
Expect a pregnancy to last for 16 days.,
Feed her a healthy and balanced diet.,
Ensure that there is adequate clean water provided daily.

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Consider removing other hamsters from her cage.,
Keep the temperature constant.,
Provide nesting material.,
Keep the cage clean.,
Use dim lighting.,
Don’t handle the pregnant hamster too much.,
Provide an exercise wheel.,
Keep an eye on her general health.,
Look for signs of imminent birth.,
Do not be concerned if the mother eats or abandons an unhealthy baby.,
Provide extra bedding for the pups after birth.,
Leave the mother at peace.,
Check for the health of the pups as they grow.,
Tame the pups.,
Feed weaned pups with good food.,
Separate the pups.

Besides having kept the hamster in with a male hamster, the following signs may be present:

The hamster may become irritable and fight with other hamsters in the same cage or nearby
The hamster becomes more reclusive, shy and retreats easily; she may behave in a nervous or jumpy manner
The hamster gets defensive; she may growl when picked up, moved or has her cage cleaned
The hamster becomes more lethargic and slows down considerably
The hamster might drink more than usual and hoard her food;
, She may turn this material into a nest for having her babies. If so, this is an indication that she is due soon.

Food may be taken to the nest.
If another hamster is present, the pregnant hamster will behave defensively about the nest and guard it.

, This is the shortest pregnancy period of any mammal. If you have any concerns about the hamster’s well being, or you don’t want the pregnancy to continue, see your vet immediately.

, The hamster should be given extra protein and food filled with extra vitamins (vitamins are found readily in fresh produce).

Good sources of protein include cooked egg, bread soaked in milk, boiled bone-free chicken pieces, etc.
Plain oatmeal is much liked by many hamsters.

,, This will reduce stress levels for her and she won’t need to behave defensively, which may result her eating the babies.

, It should be warm but not too hot. Normal room temperature is good, provided you don’t like it too cold!

, Tissue paper, plain unprinted paper, toilet paper are good nesting material items.

Do not use paper with ink on it, as this may be toxic to her and the babies.

, This will ensure that harmful bacteria do not build up.

, This will give her enough light but allows her to feel safe by not being exposed under a glare. You could also cover one side with a blanket.

, If you do, this might interfere with the birthing when the time comes.

, She needs to stay fit during pregnancy and not get overweight. Having constant access to an exercise wheel will allow for her to stay active, keep her weight in check and contribute to the healthy birth of her litter.

, If she appears sick, see the vet quickly.

, When she is ready for giving birth, the pregnant hamster will often curl up in her nesting corner in her house or cage. Leave her be, as she needs plenty of peace for the birthing effort ahead. Ensure she has access to food and water as usual.

Expect the hamster’s nipples and belly to grow a lot just prior to the birth.

, This behavior is natural and is done so the litter as a whole stays healthy.

Never place dad in with the pups. He will attack and eat the babies.

, The mother will continue to touch up the bedding to ensure the comfort of the babies.

, The new mother is excitable, nervous and easily disturbed. She will stuff her pups into her cheek pouches if she is worried about their safety. Keep curious children and pets away from the house and don’t poke your hand in or touch the pups for the first week.

, However, do not touch them for the first seven days, or when their eyes open; if you do, your scent mark may cause the mother to kill and eat the baby. You may feel safer not touching them at all until they are weaned (about 3 weeks old).

, Baby hamsters are not tame and need taming before they can make suitable pets. Some of them will bite at first and attempt to get away from you; you will need to persevere to get them used to human handling. To tame a pup:

Wait until its eyes have opened (about 14 days after birth).
Rub your hands in the sawdust it lives in. This will disguise some of your human scent.
Sit on the floor or somewhere that the pup won’t be harmed if it jumps out of your hand.
Scoop up a pup with care, placing it on the palm of your hand to hold carefully and using your other hand to cover and prevent it from falling. Remember that pups are very delicate!
Hold each pup briefly. Expect some to bite or resist you; this is a natural reaction, so don’t give up or drop the pup. Be gentle and stay very calm. Most will respond well to calmness.

, Suitable choices include milk-soaked bread, hard boiled egg pieces, finely diced ham mixed with finely diced cucumber and milk-soaked bread. Keep all food given in small amounts. Remove uneaten food within 24 hours.

Place water bottles low enough for pups to reach. If using a dish, keep it shallow to avoid drowning.

, Remove the male pups after four weeks. At this time they are matured enough to start mating and you don’t want this happening. They can now be rehoused or given to a trusted new owner. Separate all the pups (and mom) after 6 weeks. At this stage, all of the babies definitely need their own homes. This means separating all siblings from each other and the pups from their mom.

Be aware that is is possible for hamsters to become pregnant from around 8 weeks. This is not healthy as the hamster will be too young to have a safe pregnancy; as such, it is really important to separate males and females at around the 3 to 4 week stage. Most breeders recommend 4 weeks as the male/female separation time.

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