What should you do if your hamster has babies? If your hamster is pregnant, then you’ll need to know what to do when the baby hamsters arrive.
Firstly it’s important to note that a female hamster will start nesting when she is pregnant. You should provide some nesting material for her; toilet roll makes a great nesting material. You should also make sure that the cage is clean and that any toys and wheels are removed.
If you don’t remove the toys from your hamster’s cage she may be looking to get rid of excess energy after the birth and start to play. If she gets too over excited she may fall on the baby hamsters and kill them.
Before and after the birth of baby hamsters
For a couple of days before the babies are due you should not disturb your pet, she will just want to nest and prepare for the birth. If you’re wondering “how many babies will my hamster have?” there is no easy answer to that question. Hamster litters vary in size, from one to as many as twenty, so be prepared.
Baby hamsters are born blind, deaf and naked. This doesn’t mean that you should try and move them if they are born scattered around the cage. Your hamster will have the mothering instinct and she will go and collect the new born hamsters and bring them to the nest. If you get your scent on the babies at this time there is a good chance their mother will abandon them. For this reason you should also not attempt to clean the cage for a couple of weeks after the babies are born.
Why not watch this video of baby hamsters being born?!
The first two weeks of a baby hamster’s life
By the time they are five days old most baby hamsters have a light covering of fur. They are still blind at this point, but this doesn’t stop them from exploring the cage from the time they are about seven days old. You should make sure that you lower the water bottles in the cage so that the days’ old baby hamsters can reach them. It’s also a good idea to scatter some food around the cage so that they can pick it up and eat it, as well as being fed by their
mother. At this stage the baby hamsters will start to look like a proper hamster but they can’t see until their eyes begin to open when they are about two weeks old.
When can baby hamsters leave their mother?
Although baby hamsters can see from the age of two weeks they are still too young to leave their mother. It’s an important time in the rearing process of a baby hamster though. This is the time when you should clean the cage and put some fresh toilet paper in as bedding. It’s also the time when you should start to handle a baby hamster. The mother will now be less concerned about this, and the sooner you start to handle hamsters, the sooner they start to get used to you. Make sure you are gentle when holding baby hamsters. You should also remember that they can move very fast, so be careful.
When they are between 21 and 28 days old baby hamsters are ready to leave their mother. You need to make sure you separate them at this stage. If you don’t remove them from their mother’s cage she will start to chase them away. If you have dwarf hamsters they should be separated into male and female only cages. Although they will probably live really well together you need to watch for any fighting and separate them further if this happens. If you have Syrian hamsters each baby needs to be given its own cage, or they will start to fight.
Raising baby hamsters isn’t hard; the mother does most of the work, but you do have to make sure that you’re very careful in following the procedures correctly, to make sure your hamsters are happy and healthy.