The birth of tiny hamsters is always a real event in the life of a breeder. However, it is worth considering that for newborn hamsters to survive, grow stronger and feel great, you need to know and be able to do a lot. After all, these tiny creatures are surprisingly weak – malnutrition, drafts or temperature changes may well cost them their lives. So, there are no trifles in their care and cannot be.
What Newborn Hamsters Look Like
Not every breeder of these rodents has ever seen newborn babies. The female covers them with her whole body, besides she usually gives birth in a house, you should not look anywhere in any case – so as not to disturb the newly made mother.
These are tiny creatures weighing no more than 2-2.5 grams and are only a little larger than large beans. They have red, completely bare skin – the hair will appear only after a week. Their eyes and ears are closed, so the only available feeling is the sense of smell – it allows you to find mom and tasty, healthy milk. Large blood vessels are clearly visible.
It happens that hamsters are even smaller – about 1-1.5 grams. First of all, these are newborn Dzungarian hamsters – they generally do not differ in large sizes. But it happens that Syrian rodents, as well as representatives of other breeds, are born so tiny. After all, the size of the cubs depends on their number. The more individuals in the litter, the smaller they will be. A hamster may well give birth to both 2-4 and 15-18 cubs.
How to care for newborn hamsters
It doesn’t matter if you were preparing for such a joyful event as childbirth or if they became a complete surprise, you should know exactly what to do with newborn hamsters.
To begin with, cubs are surprisingly fragile and vulnerable. Any minor trifle, such as a draft or a sharp drop in temperature, can kill them. Therefore, make sure that they receive good nutrition and feel good.
Many are interested in how to feed newborn hamsters. The question is really important. But the only way to provide them with proper nutrition is to completely trust the female. In the first 10-12 days, only her milk will allow tiny rodents to receive all the necessary calories and minerals. Therefore, caring for a hamster mom cannot be overestimated. Try to provide her with maximum peace (in no case do not climb into the house, even if there is a lot of garbage accumulated there) and a complete diet. It must include:
- fresh, clear water;
- low-calorie, protein-rich foods — primarily cottage cheese;
- vitamins (for this increase the amount of carrots and tomatoes fed).
Sometimes you can even throw a small amount of cottage cheese and carrots into the house – just a week after birth, the cubs are happy to taste the food that their mother eats. Although milk is still the main diet. Also try to put the feeder in such a way that small hamsters can easily get to it in order to start getting used to healthy and tasty food.
As you can see, caring for newborn hamsters is not so difficult, at least in cases where everything goes as planned by nature, without failures and emergency.
Unfortunately, sometimes lovers of domestic rodents have to decide how to feed a newborn hamster. This happens for various reasons. For example, the hamster never woke up with maternal instincts, she simply does not allow the cubs to come to her. Sometimes it happens that she just dies during childbirth. Whatever it was, but the care of the whole brood of hamsters lies entirely on the shoulders of the owner.
It’s worth mentioning right away that feeding is fraught with many difficulties, and even with maximum attention from the owner, the chances of survival are extremely small.
If you managed to stay in this mode for a whole week and hamsters, or at least some survived, you can congratulate you. It will be easier further – the interval between feedings can be increased up to 2 hours, and at the same time, feed in their diet – both dry (grain) and juicy (vegetables, fruits). After the tenth day, they will calmly dispense with milk and switch to the same food that adult hamsters are used to.
Juicy feed in the diet of newborn hamsters
Is the apartment pretty cool? So you have to take care of heating. You can turn on the desk lamp by pointing it at the house so that it burns all day – the main thing is not to overheat the hamsters. Heating with a plastic bottle of hot water wrapped in a soft, fluffy towel will be a little more troublesome. Water will have to change as it cools.
Recall again – even knowing how to care for newborn hamsters and having everything you need, it is very difficult to cope with that task. If you are not sure that you are ready to go to the end, it is better not to even begin this grueling procedure.
Many beginner breeders are very interested in when you can pick up newborn hamsters. It’s better to wait a few days than hurry up. To begin with, small rodents are very fragile – the thickest bones in their body are much thinner than a toothpick. Therefore, to damage them, just not carefully taking fingers.
In addition, taking the newly born cubs, an impatient owner will certainly bother the female. And her reaction will be the most unpredictable. She can attack the owner and bite to the blood, refuse her own cubs or even eat them – stress has a variety of consequences.
Taming newborn hamsters
Therefore, it is better for the first time to take hamsters in their hands, accustoming to this procedure, when the mother will almost lose interest in them – at the age of two weeks. By this time, they had almost reached the average size, their body had grown stronger, and the hamster did not perceive them as babies, but as independent rodents, almost ready to start their own lives. From this moment you can pick them up, run them in various attractions, feed them with various goodies.
Why does the female sometimes eat hamsters
For a man in itself, this phenomenon may seem completely wild and out of the ordinary. Indeed, well, what kind of mother can take and eat cubs right after they were born? But this is only human psychology, very different from the psychology of rodents.
We list the main situations in which the female goes for such a radical act:
- Stress – people climb into the house immediately after birth or after only a few days, causing the female to panic.
- Pathology in pups. Knowing full well that a weak or sick hamster will not survive, his mother decides to eat it. In the wild, this is a justifiable decision. On the one hand, it will replenish the supply of proteins needed for milk production. On the other hand, it will not allow dangerous bacteria to develop in the body of a dead calf.
- Too big droppings. The female decides that she will not be able to feed all the cubs – they will starve and many will die due to malnutrition. Therefore, she eats some of them so that the rest survive.
From a human point of view, this is a terrible act. But look at the situation through the eyes of a hamster and you will understand that it has a completely logical justification.