dwarf hamsters can
be an exciting and wonderful way to introduce the family, especially
children to the joys of nature however there are many things to
consider before embarking on the process.
gestational period for a dwarf hamster is typically between eighteen
and twenty days and the size of the litter or the amount of babies
they have can vary quite dramatically and anything from one baby up
to ten babies should be expected.
the babies are born it is especially important that owners leave the
babies and their mother to get on with being a family. Owners should
refrain from touching the babies and as hard as that may be it is
critical that mother and babies are left to bond and learn about
themselves and each other before being handled. Normally after a
period of about ten days it will then be acceptable for owners to pet
them and handle them, however not for too long as this could cause
the mother to become anxious about her young and she may become
distressed. Don’t worry about cleaning or changing the bedding for
the first ten days, they will be absolutely fine and the mother will
ensure they are kept clean.
will take about seven days before any fur will be seen on the babies.
When they are born they do not come out with fur but after a period
of about four days you will notice the pigment on their bodies will
start to develop and then fur will start to appear. It will take
about ten days for their eyes start to open and they start wondering
around. Only after they have reached this stage are they safe to
care will need to be taken when handling the baby dwarf hamsters as
like their parents they are very jumpy and fast and can easily jump
out of your hand. Now you have started handling them it would be wise
to do this on a regular basis but only for brief periods. This will
help to tame the babies and make them friendlier to humans.
dwarf hamsters will start to eat hamster food when they are about two
weeks old and small portions of oatmeal, wheat germ and tiny pieces
of bird seed should be introduced regularly. The babies will develop
a lot faster when given small grains and in turn they will become a
lot healthier. You could even introduce very small amounts of fruit
or raw vegetables.
about ten days old you will notice that they will seek out the water
bottle and start to take small amounts of water in. Once this happens
the mother will start feeding them less and less and after about 4
weeks she will then stop feeding them altogether and the babies are
now fully weaned and should be taking regular meals from the food
bowl. It is at this point you will need to remove the babies and
place them in their own cage. Especially if there are males in the
litter because if they are not removed then it will be quite likely
that the mother will become pregnant again and inbred pregnancies are
not encouraged for various reasons. Place females in one cage and the
males in another.
they are four weeks old the dwarf hamster care in the previous
article should be followed as they are at the stage where they are
now fully independent. However you should check on them regularly if
you have more than one in a cage as they are prone to squabbling just
like human children and because of their delicate frame they can
become injured. It is also at this stage when they are ready to be
given away to friends or family or sold in pet stores.