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My Hamster Just Gave Birth! What Should I Do? How?


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#1
winternite

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This is dedicated to the countless clueless people that open threads just to ask about and waste time by waiting for other experienced people to reply. While waiting, anything could go wrong.


The Ultimate Rule

Now, the ultimate first and foremost thing you should do is DO NOT TOUCH THE BABIES!

Why?

Because the mother might eat them, that's why.

Now you may ask 'Why would the mother eat them?'

When hamster babies are born, known as pups, they have no scent and the mother recognizes it as her own because of her instincts. If you touch it, they will smell like something else and she will not recognize it as her offspring, but rather as something that's not supposed to be there, or she might mistake it as another female's pup. Being defensive that it may harm her babies, she will attack it and eat it up, brains, limbs organs and all.

If you are using a cage and a pup drops out, don't panic. Use the tissue from the cage or get a piece of tissue, rub it on the bedding, and pick the pup up and put in in the cage. You don't have to open the nest. The mother will hear the squeaks and come, or she will notice it later when she walk around.

Cannibalism is not uncommon for hamsters as it is a form of protection. Though you may have followed the first rule, it doesn't mean all the pups will 100% survive.

If the environment is stressful (Lots of noise, in a busy area, too bright etc), the nutritional requirements are not enough, or even if the mom is just not a good mom, you may lose from one to all your pups.


The First Rule

- Give her as much food as she wants and supplements.

Oh, does that mean give her what she likes? Can I give her only kuaci?

No. Kuaci aka sunflower seeds are not good if she takes a lot. It's empty fats and not enough for her to raise a healthy bunch of babies. Giving only kuaci is like you living on french fries. BUT, this doesn't mean you shouldn't feed her kuaci at all. Give her small amounts as sunflower seeds have Vitamin E and carbs, but very fattening.

Then what can I feed her?

First off, are you feeding her a good basic diet? No cheap brands please. They not balanced at all and they're cheap because they're very low in quality, meaning very low in nutrition.

Good basic brands are :-

-Harry Hamster
-Prestige
-Sluis
-Xtra Vital
-Hoppel-Mobbel

These brands can be found in any retail petshops.

Supplements are fresh fruits, vegetables, hard boiled egg white, wheatgerm, organic grains such as amaranth, raw peanuts, buckwheat, flaxseeds etc. Mealworms and crickets are great high protein treats to give to a nursing mom.

But if you find crickets or mealies too yucky, you can try giving some dog food. Wait! Don't rush to the Supermarket just yet! Be sure to use GOOD brands such as California Natural, Nutro, Orijen, Royal Canin etc. Remember! Don't use any brands that contain avocado, garlic or onions in them because these ingredients may be harmful to them. No citrus fruits like pineapple and oranges too, it may upset their tummies very badly.

The list of safe food to be fed to hamsters is posted in the Hamster Diet.


The Second Rule

- Please resist to stare or poke at them and don't change the bedding even if it stinks bad.

This will cause the mother to stress and the risk of losing the pups are higher. If you really want to have a peep, wait at least for a week to 10 days after they are born. Use something long and blunt, like the end part of a pencil, rub it in the bedding, then gently pry the bedding to have a look.


'But it smells really bad, is there anyway I can change the bedding?'

- It's not very recommended, but if flooding occurs from a leaking bottle or the bedding is so disgusting until it turns yellow or something, then you can try this method.

1. Take the mother out and put her in a temporary container.
2. Use a spoon and scoop the babies from underneath along with lots of the nest bedding. Put in a separate container.
3. Wash the tray or tank, then put the new bedding.
4. Dig a spot at the corner at where the nest was, put the babies there with the old bedding. Scoop them, don't touch them.
5. Return the mother to the cage/tank.

Once the pups are a few days old, they'll start to wander around and nibble everything. They will open their eyes at 10 days old and you can start to touch them a little. But please do not overdo it as they are only babies. Do not attempt to grab them either as they will panic and you might drop them. Scoop them up with both your hands, cup them inside and go to a wide soft surface like your bed. Let them roam around your bed and you can stroke them a little bit. Do be careful! Because they are not used to you holding them and will not sit still. They'll look like little peanuts and at this age and wobble when they walk which is very cute.

Play sessions should not take more than a few minutes per pup.

Around 12 to 14 days they will start to nibble on solid food, giving them some fresh fruits, veggies or a piece of dog kibble is good for them as they can eat a little on their own.

When do I separate them from their mom?

Now, once they reach 21 days of age, it's okay to separate them but best to keep them with the mother till 28 days so that they can learn more surviving skills from the mother.
Once you've separated them, you should sex them and put all the males in one tank and all the females in another tank.

But if your female seems to be struggling with nursing them and becoming skinny, you can separate them at 18 days, but feed them a little puppy and/or kitten replacement milk you can find in pet stores. Soaking some wholewheat bread into the milk make it easier and cleaner to feed the pups.


Reasons to why most or all the babies do not survive or disappear.

1) The mom feels that she does not have enough nutrition to suckle so many babies. She will kill the weakest one first.
2) The mom feels scared or threatened, so her instinct tells her to cull the babies so that she will have the nutrition and get away in order to be able to have another batch of babies in the near future instead of just leaving the babies to the predator/threat. In the wild, if she thinks that the predator is so darn near and gonna eat her any minute, she'll make a run for it. Leaving the babies without a choice. But as pets, they don't have that option.

3) The baby is sick/injured and/or dying. She will instinctively kill it so that it hasn't a chance to pass whatever that made it sick if it's an infectious disease, and/or eat it to regain lost nutrition.

NOTE: If the baby dies, most hamster mothers WILL eat their babies because if she just leaves it, the stench of rotting flesh will attract unwanted company.

4) She's not a good mom or she's too young to be bred. Though most hamsters are good mothers, there are bound to be a few that will not suckle their babies and probably just step on them a lot. This will need extra attention to spot so that the unattended pups can be given to a foster mother. Do not confuse this behaviour when seen in the first few hours after birth. It's normal, especially for first time moms, to ignore their pups for the first few hours. Just leave them be and they will usually know what to do.

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☆ღ ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶ ~ what goes around comes around ~ KARMA ~ ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶ ღ☆
~ i miss ah lian ah lian in my derams ~

(。◕‿◕。) ~ a frenz is a loving companion at all times ~ (。◕‿◕。)
~ value has a value only if its value is valued ~

*************************************

in loving memory ~ my beloved ღ ❤ ღ ღ ❤ ღupdated 09/09/14
~ :wub:
ah lian my dearest cutie lovely farnie pretty wf robo galsobz sobz :wub:
☆ my 5 darling ☆ ღ ❤ ღ ~ # list of my hammies food #soft diet #sprout # (。◕‿◕。) ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
~ ah lian, 1 wf robos, 4 normal robos ~

"learn to know and understand your hamsters, dun expect them to understand you instead" -ah lian
"hammy wun feel lonely w/o another hammy to accompany but will only feel lonely if the owner neglected them" -ah lian


~ 朋友的相处,费心费力去经营,无私无偿地付出,结果是怎样?原来他们心中少了我 ☆ 后悔还能看破,遗憾不能弥补 ~
~ no guy is worth your tears... the one who is, wont make you cry ~
"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain stupidity" -Frank William Leahy
"It is only the foolishest that cannot see one real self clear." ღ ❤ ღ


#2
ChowHousehold

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Thanks WN! This is an ultra Important article
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ZyZy (boy), ZaZa (gal), since 16 July 2011

TicTic (boy), TacTac (boy), and ToeToe (gal), since 4 September 2011

 

In memory of

ZyZy (boy) ~ 16 July 2011 (not DOB) to 8 June 2013 ~/ ZaZa (gal) ~16 July 2011 (not DOB) to 29 August 2013 ~/ TicTic (boy) ~ 4 September 2011 to 17 January 2013 ~/ TacTac (boy) ~ 4 September 2011 to 1 October 2013 ~


#3
winternite

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you're welcome.. :D

actually most of the articles are being found just that need to give admin time to slowly put back into the articles sections..

i just post out some of the 'articles' that i feel can be useful for the time being though.. :P

☆ღ ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶ ~ what goes around comes around ~ KARMA ~ ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶ ღ☆
~ i miss ah lian ah lian in my derams ~

(。◕‿◕。) ~ a frenz is a loving companion at all times ~ (。◕‿◕。)
~ value has a value only if its value is valued ~

*************************************

in loving memory ~ my beloved ღ ❤ ღ ღ ❤ ღupdated 09/09/14
~ :wub:
ah lian my dearest cutie lovely farnie pretty wf robo galsobz sobz :wub:
☆ my 5 darling ☆ ღ ❤ ღ ~ # list of my hammies food #soft diet #sprout # (。◕‿◕。) ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
~ ah lian, 1 wf robos, 4 normal robos ~

"learn to know and understand your hamsters, dun expect them to understand you instead" -ah lian
"hammy wun feel lonely w/o another hammy to accompany but will only feel lonely if the owner neglected them" -ah lian


~ 朋友的相处,费心费力去经营,无私无偿地付出,结果是怎样?原来他们心中少了我 ☆ 后悔还能看破,遗憾不能弥补 ~
~ no guy is worth your tears... the one who is, wont make you cry ~
"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain stupidity" -Frank William Leahy
"It is only the foolishest that cannot see one real self clear." ღ ❤ ღ


#4
lakeswart

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thanks i needed this! :praising:
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#5
wongmxp

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but then how do we change the food and water ar? even if we don't throw away the old one and give them fresh food and water, how do we refill it without putting our hands into the cage? and how long later then can we change the bedding? thks thks (:
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#6
Summer White

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but then how do we change the food and water ar? even if we don't throw away the old one and give them fresh food and water, how do we refill it without putting our hands into the cage? and how long later then can we change the bedding? thks thks (:


u can still put in new food and water when the mom is in the hideout with her babies... can try to be more careful and quiet when taking the bowl and bottle out.

bedding can only be changed after 10 days at least. hence, it is advisable to clean the cage before the mom gives birth.

has ur hamster recently given birth?? :)

Edited by Summer White, 29 August 2012 - 09:53 AM.

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LovingYouForever&Always*LunaElliottLolaPennyZazzleGinger
Someday, I'll see RooNuggetWallyHaroldSquigglesNiuNiuDonutBasilPorkchopCottonTaffyTill we meet again; You'll never be forgotten.


#7
wongmxp

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haha. icic. but then how will we know when the mummy will give birth? nope. my hammie is a boy boy. i'm just curious. wanna learn more abt hammies (:
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#8
Summer White

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haha. icic. but then how will we know when the mummy will give birth? nope. my hammie is a boy boy. i'm just curious. wanna learn more abt hammies (:


usually the mom's tummy will get noticeably bigger during the last few days of pregnancy... thats when u will know that she is about to give birth.
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LovingYouForever&Always*LunaElliottLolaPennyZazzleGinger
Someday, I'll see RooNuggetWallyHaroldSquigglesNiuNiuDonutBasilPorkchopCottonTaffyTill we meet again; You'll never be forgotten.


#9
wongmxp

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oh.. icic. haha. thks thks! (:
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#10
ww robo

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I suspect that one of my robos were preg.. I've initially bought them in the same size from pet shop and was told that both of them were females. But after a month till today, I've notice that one of them is fatter than another. If it is for real that my robo is preg, I have no experience in breeding them and would like to get some advise from you guys here pls...

1) How long would it takes till the mother give birth? I've heard it'll take ~28 days, is it true?

2) When should I change the bedding before the mother give birth or it will be too late?

3) Should I seperate the male and female before or after the pups are out?

4) Is it recommended to keep the father and mother together till the pups are out and let them raise the pups together?

5) Understand that it would only be advisable to seperate the pups from the parents after 21-28 days and sex them accordingly, however, is it advisable to keep the male pups with the father and the females with the mother in different tank? Will the father fight with the male babies?

Until then, I've lots more to learn.. But these are what I can only think of so far.. :help:

Edited by ww robo, 21 November 2012 - 02:31 PM.

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#11
CrystaL

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First of all, are you able to accurately determine the sex of your robos? It should be fairly easy as robo's 'balls' are quite noticeable. If both are indeed female then the fatter one might just be more dominant over the foodbowl compared to the skinnier one. Although that might not always be the case as for my 2 male robos, the skinnier one is the more dominant one.
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#12
ww robo

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First of all, are you able to accurately determine the sex of your robos? It should be fairly easy as robo's 'balls' are quite noticeable. If both are indeed female then the fatter one might just be more dominant over the foodbowl compared to the skinnier one. Although that might not always be the case as for my 2 male robos, the skinnier one is the more dominant one.


Yes.. I can see one of them, the "balls" are more noticeable than the fat one and the fat one wouldnt like to play the wheels like as before... but ofcause I cant really guarantee she's really preg...
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#13
Summer White

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I suspect that one of my robos were preg.. I've initially bought them in the same size from pet shop and was told that both of them were females. But after a month till today, I've notice that one of them is fatter than another. If it is for real that my robo is preg, I have no experience in breeding them and would like to get some advise from you guys here pls...

1) How long would it takes till the mother give birth? I've heard it'll take ~28 days, is it true?

2) When should I change the bedding before the mother give birth or it will be too late?

3) Should I seperate the male and female before or after the pups are out?

4) Is it recommended to keep the father and mother together till the pups are out and let them raise the pups together?

5) Understand that it would only be advisable to seperate the pups from the parents after 21-28 days and sex them accordingly, however, is it advisable to keep the male pups with the father and the females with the mother in different tank? Will the father fight with the male babies?

Until then, I've lots more to learn.. But these are what I can only think of so far.. :help:


1) abt 3 wks... Same for almost all ham species.

2) given that u just realised that she has put on weight, it usually means she is in her last wk of pregnancy alrdy. So u should change her cage bedding soon. Best if u dont put her in a wire cage and in a 2 ft guppy tank, so that its easier for u to change and when u take the wheel out, she wont be able to chew the bars.

3) U should separate them now, and not wait till she gives birth as he will be able to mate with her again soon aft birth.

4) same answer as number 3.

5) erm, yes u can try bonding the dad with the male pups, but since they r alrdy separated, its gonna be kinda hard to bond them unless u have alot of patience..
But the females with the mom is ok. Just that u have to watch out for them fighting. Maybe robos will be different from ww, where they can live together?... My ww that i fostered didnt even make it to one mth and they alrdy fought..

Pls give the mom more dark green veggies like broccoli, spinach.. And feed her more hugh in protein foods like tofu and wheatgerm, hard boiled egg white, mealworms etc..

And when she gives birth, make sure to take out the wheels and sand bath out. Also, put in more bedding and shredded tissues for the mom to make a nest..
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LovingYouForever&Always*LunaElliottLolaPennyZazzleGinger
Someday, I'll see RooNuggetWallyHaroldSquigglesNiuNiuDonutBasilPorkchopCottonTaffyTill we meet again; You'll never be forgotten.


#14
ww robo

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1) abt 3 wks... Same for almost all ham species.

2) given that u just realised that she has put on weight, it usually means she is in her last wk of pregnancy alrdy. So u should change her cage bedding soon. Best if u dont put her in a wire cage and in a 2 ft guppy tank, so that its easier for u to change and when u take the wheel out, she wont be able to chew the bars.

3) U should separate them now, and not wait till she gives birth as he will be able to mate with her again soon aft birth.

4) same answer as number 3.

5) erm, yes u can try bonding the dad with the male pups, but since they r alrdy separated, its gonna be kinda hard to bond them unless u have alot of patience..
But the females with the mom is ok. Just that u have to watch out for them fighting. Maybe robos will be different from ww, where they can live together?... My ww that i fostered didnt even make it to one mth and they alrdy fought..

Pls give the mom more dark green veggies like broccoli, spinach.. And feed her more hugh in protein foods like tofu and wheatgerm, hard boiled egg white, mealworms etc..

And when she gives birth, make sure to take out the wheels and sand bath out. Also, put in more bedding and shredded tissues for the mom to make a nest..

Thank you so much for your guidiance, SW.

 

My robo has given birth to 5 pups today... Thankfully, I've changed the beddings and washed all the accessories last night.

 

I've removed the sand bath, wheels, my DIY 2nd storey platform and covered the tank with cloths around. However, I have not seperate the husband and wife as I've researched some of the websites and some recommend to keep them together as the Male will be a good help to the Female.. (Is that true??)

 

I've been feeding them HH food and VC emo beauty food, along with some mealworms. I've tried to feed them hardboiled eggs but they seems not interested, I'm afraid that if I leave the chipped hardboiled eggs there for long, it will get rot or infested..

 

I'm a first timer handling this issue... I pray that my the pups will survive through their 21day probation with not getting eaten by their Mum... :(

 

Any advise..? :huh:


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#15
FluffPaw

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U had to separate the mum and dad immediately, no matter wat.

Coz they will mate again after the female give birth.

In the first place, they shouldn't be staying in the same cage.

 

Have u tried feeding the mum with tofu? 


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#16
ww robo

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U had to separate the mum and dad immediately, no matter wat.

Coz they will mate again after the female give birth.

In the first place, they shouldn't be staying in the same cage.

 

Have u tried feeding the mum with tofu? 

Nope.. will try tofu tmr cos I dont have any currently... will buy a tank for the male and seperate them tmr as well.. cos it is already too late when I saw it.. the shops would have close already..

 

I didnt know she is preg as her nipps didnt really show as the pics I've seen here... so, I just tot she is just getting fat... but.. it was really a shock for me today when I reach home and see those little red things rolling around..

 

btw, the mum is like not nursing the pups.. is it normal for now? I'm afraid the mum will ignore the pups...

 

And, shld I remove everything in the tank and leave only the water bottle and feed bowl? Currently I still have the toilet roll and the see-saw toy in the tank..


Edited by ww robo, 19 December 2012 - 02:26 PM.

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#17
Summer White

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Ok, its a must to remove the dad immediately as she will be ready to mate again a few hrs aft she gives birth. And not to worry she will be able to handle raising the pups by herself :) i also have had my foster ham give birth and she was able to raise the pups by herself.

Maybe for ww n robos, its harder to see the nipples during pregnancy. But didnt we advise u to seperate the male n female previously?

Good for u to remove the sandbbox, n wheel. Do lower the waterbottle as well. Its also a must to give her more bedding ot shredded tissues n a dark place like a house. It makes her feel safe to place her pups there.

For now, she could be resting.. Do observe more and see if she will go to the pups
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LovingYouForever&Always*LunaElliottLolaPennyZazzleGinger
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#18
ww robo

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she's still running like normal.. I have temporary seperated the male into a contanier..

 

Yes, you all had advised me.. its my wrong to "assume" she was just fat...

 

oh man... i think i could not sleep already...

 

what an advance christmas present to me...


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#19
Summer White

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Thats good :) wouldnt want ur ham population in ur house to increase.. :)

Yeah its very normal to be unable to sleep n keeping checking on the pups. But do use a dim light to check n not on the lights in ur room or hall as she will feel very 'weird' thinking that its still daytime..


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LovingYouForever&Always*LunaElliottLolaPennyZazzleGinger
Someday, I'll see RooNuggetWallyHaroldSquigglesNiuNiuDonutBasilPorkchopCottonTaffyTill we meet again; You'll never be forgotten.


#20
ww robo

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oh gosh... I didnt have any spare water bottle for the seperated male.. would it be ok to get it by tmr evening..? can the male endure without water till tmr evening..? :mellow:


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