For some owners, newborn hamsters are a long-awaited event, for others – shock and complete surprise. Many are curious about how the kids look, but they are not at all as cute as you might imagine by looking at the furry parents.
What Newborn Hamsters Look Like
Newborn hamsters are completely bald, so they look like a red swarming mass. Their ears and eyes are closed, only the sense of smell allows you to navigate. Kids can squeak loudly if they freeze or feel hungry. If the mother takes good care of the offspring, the crumbs do not make a sound. Sometimes the owner discovers that in the house there are newborn Dzungarian hamsters, by chance – when cleaning the cage, or when the grown children of the hamsters begin to crawl out of the nest.
A baby hamster the size of which is no larger than the phalanx of the finger, weighing 1-2.5 g. In the early days it can be difficult to count the offspring, the more the female feeds the children, lying on them with her whole body. It is not recommended to look into the house so as not to disturb the hamster.
Although the dwarf hamsters are much smaller in size, the newborn Syrian hamsters are not too different in size from the Dzungarian hamsters. The fact is that Syrians are multiple: the more children in one litter, the smaller the size of each hamster.
Newborn Hamster Size
How many children gives birth to a hamster
The ability of these rodents to reproduce has long been a pretext for jokes. Their fertility is really great, especially at home, when hamsters do not hibernate and receive an abundance of food. The ability to rapidly reproduce is the quality due to which rodents are so popular as laboratory animals.
In hamsters, a different number of cubs may be born, depending on the species and conditions of detention. How many hamsters are born in Dzungarian hamsters is pretty well known – from 4 to 6 pieces. Rarely, 8-9 cubs. Dwarf hamsters are not so fertile because of their size. But after learning how many hamsters a Syrian hamster can give birth to, an amateur breeder sometimes grabs his head. The average number is 6-10 babies, but it happens 16-18, sometimes even 20 pieces.
How many babies the hamster can give birth to, both the jungarik and the Syrian, does not correspond to the amount that the female is able to feed. Part of the numerous offspring is killed or devoured by the mother. Therefore, the number of surviving cubs in a hamster does not exceed 10-12 pieces.
How to care for newborn hamsters
The newborn Dzungarian hamster is a helpless creature that is completely dependent on the actions of the mother. Cubs need warmth and food. The room temperature is maintained at least 21 ° C, but not higher than 25 ° C. If the female takes care of her offspring herself, the owner will not need to take care of the hamsters that are born.
At the age of less than 10 days, raising babies without a mother is extremely rare.
At home, caring for cubs boils down to caring for their mother. In the case of rodents, the best help is not to interfere. Female and children need privacy. Toddlers of the Dzungar hamsters will be in mortal danger if their mother is stressed.
Usually the owner feeds the hamster, and that – his cubs. The female should be provided with plenty of water and food, including a source of protein and succulent feed. If the mother has enough milk, it will not be necessary to feed the cubs. You can throw grated carrots, low-fat cottage cheese and other products into the nest for the kids, if the hamster does not. Food is put in a cage with the expectation that kids of the Dzungarian hamsters can try any product.
It’s good if there is a house in the cage. If not, you need to put a small cardboard box. If the female is provided with material for construction, she herself will cope with the arrangement of the home. In addition to sawdust or other filler, paper towels are placed in the cage. It is forbidden to use cotton wool or rags, these materials are dangerous for baby hamsters (they can get confused, suffocate). General cleaning is not carried out for at least 2 weeks.
Sometimes, even with a caring mother, the question arises – what to do with newborn hamsters that have fallen out of the nest. So that the baby does not freeze, does not catch a cold, it is better to return him to his brothers and sisters. But not with a hand, but with a spoon on a long handle.
At 10-12 days, the newborn hamster begins to explore the world around him, it can not be kept in the nest. In the cage there should not be differences in height (tiers), pay attention to the distance between the rods (if the crumbs fall out). Do not put water in an open bowl. Feeders are placed so that they are accessible to babies.
Injuries at the age of 3-4 weeks are possible in the running wheel. It is interesting to watch young Dzhungar hamsters during games, but in this case the wheel should not stand on a stand (hang on the wall) and be solid, without crossbars.
The cage should be in a calm place so that loud noises are heard. It is closed from the sun. Drafts are unacceptable. They explain to the children that caring for small hamsters takes all their free time from their pet, and you can’t take it in their hands for games for 2-3 weeks.
When the animals grow up and are placed in other cages, caring for the Dzungarian hamsters includes daily training for hands. Otherwise, they may bite the hands of the new owner. Syrian are more friendly, but detailed instructions on how to care for a small hamster will not be superfluous.
How hamsters grow
Reproduction of Dzungarian hamsters, as well as reproduction of Syrian hamsters is extremely intense. Hamsters and their cubs are the embodiment of rapid development. First, the fruits gain weight in the womb in a matter of days, and then continue to grow just as quickly after childbirth.
Naked red babies turn pink or dark a day after birth, depending on the color of the broken coat. By day 4, you can distinguish the color of dark hamsters, light ones look pink, but not bald.
A newborn hamster is a rather helpless creature. They can only squeak and move their paws. They find the maternal nipple by smell. On day 5-6, the ears protrude in the pups and they begin to hear.
Hamsters grow very fast. At the age of 1 week, the babies are already covered with fluff, and begin to try solid foods. Like true rodents, they were supplied with sharp teeth from the first day of life. The first meal after breast milk is most often their own feces. Coprophagy is a natural process necessary to colonize the intestines with the correct microflora. Babies also try the food brought by the female to the house.
1 week old baby hamsters
On 9-12 days after birth – a real leap in development. Hamsters begin to crawl out of the nest, although their eyes are still closed. They eat solid food – greens and vegetables, grain mix. Learn to use the toilet corner, being naturally clean. The first day of such walks, the hamster may worry and try to collect the kids back in the nest. Pretty soon, she gets bored, and the kids, staggering and falling, wander around the cage. By the time they exit the nest, they are already completely overgrown with hair.
Newborn hamsters 9-12 days
When hamsters open their eyes
Immediately after birth, the cubs are blind, the eyes are tightly closed. Regardless of which day hamsters open their eyes, this is a new stage in the life of babies. From this moment they begin to accustom them to the hands, and the hamsters themselves are actively exploring the situation.
The eyelids begin to open slightly from the 13th day of life, narrow clicks are visible. On day 14 or a little later, by day 16, the eyes open fully. Dzungarian hamsters open their eyes a little earlier than the Syrians, sometimes on the 12th day, due to the longer pregnancy of dwarf animals.
Development after 2 weeks
Starting from day 15, the mother is no longer able to tolerate the grown offspring. The owner has to make sure that the hamsters sleep together warmly, returning lost animals to the house. At 15-16 days, the kids are pretty dexterous – they wash themselves, overcome obstacles. At 17-20 days, young hamsters, Dzungarian hamsters and Syrians, begin to use the running wheel, if you give them such an opportunity. After 20 days, the animals can already eat on their own.
It is difficult to say at what point a young hamster becomes an adult. Puberty does not match how many hamsters grow. Pregnancy is possible at the age of one month, active growth lasts up to 2.5-3 months. A hamster can gain weight, it can take up to 4-5 months. After that, an increase in the size of the animal can be associated only with obesity, and not growth.
When to pick up newborn hamsters
During the first two weeks after the birth of the offspring, it is not recommended to stick your hand into the cage, even in order to leave food. It is forbidden to clean the cage. Touching newborn hamsters means putting their life at risk.
The female can eat cubs, smelling someone else.
No matter how much curiosity it is, you do not need to pick up or stroke the kids. Sometimes the litter is weighed for scientific purposes, or it is required to return the fallen cub to the nest. Then the animal is taken not with his hand, but with a spoon, or other suitable object. If you still need to pick up – you need to use latex gloves, and dump the crumbs in the toilet corner before returning to mother.
Children begin to be taught hands at the age when they can already survive without the care of the female, that is, no earlier than 2 weeks. In order not to count the days until the moment when you can get acquainted with hamsters, you need to focus on opening your eyes (do not touch blind children).
Age 14-21 days is the best time for a first dating.
When you can put hamsters away from mom
At the age of 4 weeks, the cubs are not only independent of the mother, but already capable of reproduction. Hamsters can be planted from 21 days, and no later than 28 days to prevent early pregnancy and hamster aggression to grown children. If the babies were born very small, in exceptional cases, they are kept with their mother for up to 5 weeks, but not longer.
Important! If you do not put the babies on time from the mother, she can eat them.
When you can give hamsters after birth
It is impossible to give hamsters right after weaning. They are divided into two groups by gender and seated in separate cells. This should be a full-fledged dwelling with a drinking bowl, a house, a wheel and other toys. A cage for Dzhungar hamsters should be no smaller than for a Syrian hamster.
When the female relieves herself of the authority to take care of children, the owner’s trouble is added. It is not surprising that people are interested in what age young animals can be given. Relocating to a new home is a big stress for Jungar kids. It is optimal to distribute them at the age of 1.5-2 months, i.e. 6-8 weeks.
As a rule, breeders try to give the animals early. After all, at 7-8 weeks, fights for territory can begin, and each young hamster will need to be provided with an individual cage. In a good nursery, grown rodents are resistant to disease and accustomed to hands.
Together with the hamster, you should give a little filler, which was in use, and food for a few days. A familiar smell and a familiar diet reduce stress from moving.
How to feed a little hamster
If the cubs are left without a mother, or the female does not have milk, the owner can feed them. The task is not easy: feed small hamsters every 1.5 hours. Use baby milk formula 0 based on soy, dissolving and heating according to the instructions. Sometimes they take Royal Canin feline milk substitute.
Each baby is drunk individually from a pipette or insulin syringe without a needle. So that the animal does not choke, it is kept in a column, and milk is poured in small portions. It is advisable to massage the tummy after each feeding, monitor the presence of stool, keep warm.
Most hamsters die if their mother does not feed them, even when the breeder makes every effort to preserve the offspring. The reasons are different – aspiration pneumonia when milk enters the respiratory tract, infection (the mixture does not contain maternal antibodies and does not provide strong immunity).
Babies are more likely to survive if they can find an adoptive mother – a recently born female with a few offspring. The cubs are littered in the toilet corner of the hamster, then mixed with "native" hamsters.
Age 1-3 weeks
When artificially feeding offspring, the sooner hamsters begin to eat themselves – the better. After a few days, the milk mixture is mixed with crushed grain feed, give vegetable puree.
Vegetable puree for babies
At the age of 1.5 weeks, small hamsters can eat solid food, and their chances of survival increase dramatically. Sprouted wheat, oats, boiled egg, grated carrots and other vegetables are put into the feeder every day. From 2 weeks of age, feed small hamsters every 4 hours (6 times a day). The mixture and the crushed feed are mixed until a slurry of creamy consistency is obtained.
Both for a dwarf and a Syrian hamster, when feeding young animals, you need to focus on the list of allowed products. If the mother grows the babies, she drags her food into the nest, so they learn what adults eat.
From 3 weeks, the pups are no longer fed from the syringe, but the mixture is poured into a bowl.
At the age of 4 weeks, the animals no longer need milk and its substitutes. Although hamsters are considered to be sexually mature from 4-5 weeks old, their diet is still different from that of adults: growth continues, a lot of protein and juicy food is required. Fruits are excluded for cubs of the Dzungarian hamster. If you do not give them before 4 months of age, this prevents diabetes. Juicy food is given daily: vegetables (zucchini, carrots), seedlings, greens. At least 3 times a week – protein (low-fat cottage cheese, boiled meat and egg).
Vegetables for babies
At home, menstruation, hamsters are already separated from the mother and divided into groups (males and females). It is no longer possible to consider them children. Up to 5-6 weeks, young animals are fed with a baby porridge. You need to choose porridge carefully: it should not contain sugar, milk, flavorings. Hypoallergenic and safe for digestion – oat and buckwheat. Rice is not given to babies to avoid constipation.