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Forum Home > General questions concerning your hamster > Sticky: Breeding and After Birth

TinkaHams
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Posts: 809

Hi all.

I've decided to post a thread about breeding 1st post and Now After birth 2nd post.

I've seen alot of people interested and considering breeding on here, and I want to make sure that those people, are informed and got thier facts together before they start.

Breeding hamsters isn't necessarily a bad thing - and I'm not against the breeding of hamsters! Knowledgable and responsible planned breeding can produce wonderful animals and further the hamster fancy. However the decision to breed should not be taken lightly or for the wrong reasons - so please please please, THINK BEFORE YOU BREED!!!


1. Quality - vast majority of hamsters shouldn't be bred from. Responsible breeders fancy qualities of body conformation, size, depth of colour, quality of markings and fur, and health AS WELL as a good temperament. Good temperament is a given, not something to breed for! Simply being a sweet-natured pet does not make for good breeding material. If you're breeding your own pet with your friend's pet because they're both sweet hamsters, it is highly unlikely they are both good quality hamsters, especially if they came from a pet shop with an unknown background.


2. Practicality - do you have the space to house perhaps 6/8 hamsters if you can't find homes for them, can you afford that many cages? Can you afford to feed them and keep them in bedding and toys, for possibly three years? Can you spend at least twenty minutes a day playing with each one? Can you afford unexpected vets bills - which may run into hundreds of pounds/dollars? Do you have a competent hamster vet nearby, that you can get to in an emergency at any time of the day or night?


3. Responsibility - are you going to let these babies go to any old home, or a pet store, where anything may happen to them? Will you check each possible home, make sure the new owners are knowledgable and able to care for your hamsters, will you make yourself available to advise the new owners for the life of that hamster, and are you willing to take the hamster back at any time, if for some reason the owners can no longer keep it? You have bought these animals into the world, you really should be willing to take responsibility for them for their entire lives.


4. Reality - can you cope with the possibility that the first-time mother may eat her own pups? That she may die during a difficult birth, whilst you watch her writhing in pain? That pups may be stillborn, or born with deformities that require them to be put down, you may have to deal with sick or dead pups?


5. Knowledge - do you actually know what you are doing? Do you understand hamster genetics - are you aware what varieties of hamster a particular mating may produce? (And no - if you mate a Agouti hamster with a white hamster you do not get a litter of half Agouti and half whites, or a litter of Agouti & white hamsters!!) Do you know the genetic history of the animals you are breeding from - do you know what colours their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were, do you know of any hidden recessives in the line? Are you aware of possible lethal combinations of various hamster markings? Have you read up on husbandry of pregnant and young hamsters - do you know how to care for them, how to feed them, what to expect at various stages, how to sex young pups, when you should be separating them into different sexes and at what age they should be housed apart from their mothers?


6. Why? - Finally, why do you want to breed hamsters? If it's to make money, forget it! This is NOT a profit-making business. If it's because you WANT TO and you think it's CUTE, take a while to think about the reality and practicality of it, and all the points mentioned above - does your hamster (and the possible mate) really fit the quality criteria, are you really knowledgable? If you're breeding because you want more hamsters, for yourself or for your friends - please, please contact your local animal rescue, sanctuary or shelter. There are many unwanted hamsters spending their lives in shelters due to people becoming bored of them, abandoning them, or breeding indiscriminately until they can no longer cope with them. Please give one of these unlucky hamsters a second chance rather than bringing more hamsters into the world to add to the shelter's problems.


Thank you for taking the Time to read this.

 

Tinkahams.

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August 6, 2011 at 3:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

TinkaHams
Moderator
Posts: 809

Hi! This section of this thread is about what to do after the babies are born, some of you will of purposely bred your hammys while other's may of discovered a lovely little bundle of surprise! Well what to do first?

1)Removing the Father - It is best to remove the father, before the litter is born, but for most people remove him as soon as you realise their are babies.

Why? 

 

  • Well, He will seek to mate again with the mother which is is very bad for her. Will increase her stress, weaken her body, means she wont get enough protein to provide enough milk for the current litter. If babies are already born thier is already a chance she is pregant again.

 

2) Protein - Yes, the new mother should be fed extra protein enriched foods! This can be done before the birth too! To ensure she already as a good supply. These can be egg whites, unsalted peanuts, some brown bread soaked in semi-milk, as well as some fresh lowfat yogurt. you need to replace this food EVERYDAY even if they dont eat all of it.

Why? 
  • The protein is used by the mother to grow healthy babies while within the womb and to ensure she has a large milk supply for her litter. Remember this is more important if you think she might of already been "caught" by the father as this will help ensure the next litter is healthy and keep her from being stressed.
  • Egg whites - Hard boil an egg and de-shell it, remove the yolk, and cut the egg white into small pieces, and leave it to cool at room temperature, then place into the cage.
Tip - When using Milk/bread/yougurt they can tend to make a mess and encourage mould growth. I use old and cleaned milk bottle tops as small dishes! You can wash them and re-use them!




3) Baby death - Your babies have died or been killed? Well the father wont kill and eat the babies but the mother will, and he may be seen doing so after the fact. 

Why?

  • This is normally if she is not getting enough food/protein to support all of her litter. to prevent this give her extra food and the rich protein food.
  • Stress is another factor that can cause the mother to kill her young, if she is a first time mother and has a large litter the chances are she might kill off a few of the weaker pups to reduce her stress and ensure the survival of the stronger ones.
  • Spooked is a VERY common one. your hamster is giving or given birth, the entire family and the cat are watching, this will cause her to stress believing you to be a preadator. other spooking reasons are; getting too close to the nest.
  • Baby out of the nest, this is a common cause for death, the baby is suckling and mother moves, but baby holds on then drops out of the nest. 

BUT - The baby is still alive!! Best to use the spoon method below to replace the baby outside the nest entrance it needs to re-enter the nest alone



4)Cleaning - What about cleaning the cage I hear you cry! Well put your kettle on and put the feet up because for two weeks you cannot, I repeat CANNOT touch that cage! Do NOT touch anything within the cage bar the water bottle. You should be safe to scatter food around the cage somewhere close to the nest but not next to.

Why?
  • Well as already disccussed this will spook the mum & babies, and cause her to kill her little ones. So don't touch,and don't loom over the nest!!

Tip - Place a clean spoon under the bedding of the cage in a area FAR away from the nest, This means if you DO need to do something you scent will be masked. 


Wait till two weeks to do this. ;)

5)Excerise - You NEED to remove the wheels from the cage normally again you should do this before the birth but is a must after the birth, the mother will be fine with not being able to excerise for two weeks.

Why?

  • This prevents the babies from being carried onto the wheel where she might drop them and crush them and prevents her from making a nest under the wheel and having it move and crush the babies.


Tip - If you see her scatching at the sides of the cage try covering it with a blanket, this will help keep her calm.



6) Bedding? - I's generally a good idea to place strips of toilet paper or tissue in the cage so the mother can build a soft nest. Ideally, you would do this before the birth but adding some afterwards won't harm them so much just make sure not to drop over the nest


Tip - If your hammy has built her nest in a area that is not suitable like under a waterbottle or on a tier, by adding more toilent paper will encourage her to move the nest.



7)Aggression - this is sadly a nasty side effect of a hammy being pregant or having pups. The mother will become very protective, so may act more aggressive than usual; this is natural and no cause for concern. But If excessive fighting happens with cagemate be it father or helpful sister it might be for the best to part them to prevent any serious fighting.


Tip - Preparing a LARGE split cage before the birth is a good idea if you want to keep the bond between father and kids or other family members.



8 ) Weaning and Sexing - The hamsters will be ready for weaning at around 2.5-3 weeks of age, and it is best to start thinking about sexing them around 3.5 weeks and separate the male pups into one group and the females into another. 

Why?

  • Roborovski's can breed successfully as early as 4 weeks old and it's best to part them around 3-3.5 weeks old to prevent inbreeding which is dangerous it Increase's the risk of miscarrage, deformed, babies genetic issues such as spinning, ADHD, tumours, cancer, mental conditions, as well as shorterned lifespan
The sexing page on our very own website has some of the best advice for sexing your little pups. 

Alot of people have mixed idea's on the best way to sex them. Some people place them in a clear tub and look up and under to see thier little bellys. Other's use a clean tall glass to prevent them moving.

 In my experience I find comparsion is the best way, firstly gain a helper and box. With first ask your helper to hold the mother/father while you gently pick up the pups and compare their lower region to the adults then place the compared baby into the box to prevent you picking the same one over and over.

Tip - I sometime find that when stuck with a rather differcult sexing, that a single small dap of water or olive oil on the belly & lower half helps. 


Tip - Remember only FEMALEs have nipples!


9) Keeping the babies - Now alot of you will attempt to rehome your littleuns once they are hold enough to fly the coup! But you might decide to keep a few. With the mum it's simple you leave a few female babies with her but what about the father?  Well you can introduce the father to the babies and see if they get along but it needs to be done carefully.

Why?

  • Well first off they have been parted for a while unless you used the split-cage method suggested in number 7. He could decide to attack them as an intruder if done incorrectly.
So how do I make introductions correctly?

Empty the father's cage of all its bedding and wash EVERYTHING. Run a HOT, HOT bath till its about 1/4 full and place some mild bleach into the bath tub and start scrubbing (use gloves as the water should be really hot) clean the;

 

Inside walls (to the top)

Corners (really well)

Outside walls (top and bottom)

Water bottle and holder (Q-tip to clean the metal spout)

Sand dish.

The wheels (take it apart too)

Houses (even wood ones - I also say treat wood with child safe varnish)

Toys.

If you have loo rolls time to throw those away, so save up some fresh ones

 

After cleaning allow to air dry and then go over with a towel to make sure completely dry. Then pack in the bedding with two/three handfuls of treats mixed into the bedding and then add the water bottle. Place the male babies into the cage and leave for ten minutes. Then add the father. Remember No toys, wheels, no houses nothing but bedding,water and hamsters. This is the same method as listed in my thread called Reasons and Prevention for Fighting.


--


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August 7, 2011 at 7:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

thebushmaster
Moderator
Posts: 300

TinkaHams at August 7, 2011 at 7:37 AM

Bushmaster, I know. I want to breed mayhem but she is store bought. 

But im not against the breeding of store bought animals, I place this post as reality check for people  considering to breed. - So that they would be aware of what can happen and risks invovled. NOT to say if its correct or incorrect.

But I know your a responsible person with a responsible attitude.

Thank you "TinkaHams" I was just giving another’s opinion so other people can read yours and mine.as breeding realy isnt a walk in the park.

 

I think by having more than one opinion will help people understand that when you go online you need to research the topic at hand with extensive sources and information because no one answer is correct. Though I have to say this websites forums has to be one of the best I have been on

 


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Check Out This Photobucket Slide Show & My Youtube!

 

http://s41.photobucket.com/albums/e260/grandbush/hamsters/?albumview=slideshow http://www.youtube.com/user/J9CashMusicNet?feature=mhum

August 7, 2011 at 1:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Amanda
Member
Posts: 169

Hi TinkaHams,

Great post. This is perfect for someone wondering if breeding would be possible, because they can make themselves answer each question to be 100% sure they have everything covered.

Also, not sure if this is the place to ask breeding questions, but I have a quick one.

First off, I know that I personally could never breed hamsters for many reasons, many of which were mentioned above by you. However, I am simply just curious... what would happen if a white-faced and agouti were bred? Or a pied and platiunum? etc. etc.

Is this strictly a no-no? Just wondering.

--

Amanda 

 RIP Pip  :: My first Roborovski -- He was Pied, hyper, sweet, and extremely cute! 

August 7, 2011 at 3:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

thebushmaster
Moderator
Posts: 300

Amanda at August 7, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Hi TinkaHams,

Great post. This is perfect for someone wondering if breeding would be possible, because they can make themselves answer each question to be 100% sure they have everything covered.

Also, not sure if this is the place to ask breeding questions, but I have a quick one.

First off, I know that I personally could never breed hamsters for many reasons, many of which were mentioned above by you. However, I am simply just curious... what would happen if a white-faced and agouti were bred? Or a pied and platiunum? etc. etc.

Is this strictly a no-no? Just wondering.

This is one of my old topics:http://roborovskihamsters.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/4736560-hamster-coloration

 

I wish I could help you with this one, but ill only find out what happens if it does when my attempt to breed a molted pied with a normal coloration.So far it failed once and I wish I new why or could answer why. However I’m so mad right know because I can’t find a site that had every detail on this topicof genes and colorations.

 

 


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Check Out This Photobucket Slide Show & My Youtube!

 

http://s41.photobucket.com/albums/e260/grandbush/hamsters/?albumview=slideshow http://www.youtube.com/user/J9CashMusicNet?feature=mhum

August 7, 2011 at 3:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

TinkaHams
Moderator
Posts: 809

Amanda at August 7, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Hi TinkaHams,

Great post. This is perfect for someone wondering if breeding would be possible, because they can make themselves answer each question to be 100% sure they have everything covered.

Also, not sure if this is the place to ask breeding questions, but I have a quick one.

First off, I know that I personally could never breed hamsters for many reasons, many of which were mentioned above by you. However, I am simply just curious... what would happen if a white-faced and agouti were bred? Or a pied and platiunum? etc. etc.

Is this strictly a no-no? Just wondering.

you can breed them, this much is true but you must remember that both pied and plats are both recessive genes, and depending on the past genetic line will depend on what you get. 
If the past line is unknown its possible you might get one or none of a pied or plats and the rest are all normal agouti.

Unless you know the history of your robos its hard to determine if you what you will get. 

http://oakfarmrabbitsandrodents.co.uk/robo/breeding.html#colours

This is a great website if you want to ask for information on this guys.


--


Made by me please dont use without permission. :)

I'm a  Moderator! If you need help, or have a question, feel free to contact me!

August 7, 2011 at 9:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Amanda
Member
Posts: 169

Ah, thank you both TinkaHams and thebushmaster! I would love to experience little Robos growing up, but I know I should never breed because there are no good homes around me willing to adopt/buy. Maybe one day, but for now it wouldn't be a responsible decision on my part. Oh well.

--

Amanda 

 RIP Pip  :: My first Roborovski -- He was Pied, hyper, sweet, and extremely cute! 

August 7, 2011 at 10:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

thebushmaster
Moderator
Posts: 300

TinkaHams at August 7, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Amanda at August 7, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Hi TinkaHams,

Great post. This is perfect for someone wondering if breeding would be possible, because they can make themselves answer each question to be 100% sure they have everything covered.

Also, not sure if this is the place to ask breeding questions, but I have a quick one.

First off, I know that I personally could never breed hamsters for many reasons, many of which were mentioned above by you. However, I am simply just curious... what would happen if a white-faced and agouti were bred? Or a pied and platiunum? etc. etc.

Is this strictly a no-no? Just wondering.

you can breed them, this much is true but you must remember that both pied and plats are both recessive genes, and depending on the past genetic line will depend on what you get. 
If the past line is unknown its possible you might get one or none of a pied or plats and the rest are all normal agouti.

Unless you know the history of your robos its hard to determine if you what you will get. 

http://oakfarmrabbitsandrodents.co.uk/robo/breeding.html#colours

This is a great website if you want to ask for information on this guys.


omg thank you so much "TinkaHams" i love you to death for findingthat website! I looked all over the place on Google and i could not find it. How did you find that website? ima make sure if bookmark it so if anyone has questions about breeding I can pull this site up.

 

Thank you again "TinkaHams"you’re the best

 

 


--

Check Out This Photobucket Slide Show & My Youtube!

 

http://s41.photobucket.com/albums/e260/grandbush/hamsters/?albumview=slideshow http://www.youtube.com/user/J9CashMusicNet?feature=mhum

August 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

TinkaHams
Moderator
Posts: 809

haha, firstly the admin of that site is Also on here. :)

and secondly I was using that site to help me find  breeder within my area. :)

--


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August 9, 2011 at 9:19 AM Flag Quote & Reply

TinkaHams
Moderator
Posts: 809

For people looking for this thread its here!

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August 21, 2011 at 4:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

TinkaHams
Moderator
Posts: 809

hereit is!

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Made by me please dont use without permission. :)

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September 1, 2011 at 2:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

thebushmaster
Moderator
Posts: 300

This is why people should always do research and ask for help when it comes to breeding follow TinkaHams EXAMPLE!

 

THIS PERSON is a horrible person! I went to help him out and told him to come to this site and even gave some advice yet he failed at taking care of his hamster!

 

Look at this page to find out what YOU SHOULD NOT DO IF YOU ARE A BREEDER!

http://www.youtube.com/user/MrCrestieLover

 

DO NOT EVERY FOLLOW THIS PERSON EXAMPLE EVER!

 


--

Check Out This Photobucket Slide Show & My Youtube!

 

http://s41.photobucket.com/albums/e260/grandbush/hamsters/?albumview=slideshow http://www.youtube.com/user/J9CashMusicNet?feature=mhum

September 21, 2011 at 7:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Piparazzi
Moderator
Posts: 1138

Good advice, Tinka! Anyone who is considering breeding should read that and research and learn more before they breed their hamsters.


This site has great information about breeding, so you should definitely check here if you do some research, everyone!

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PIPARAZZI
My hamsters are named Eskimo, Billie, and Beatrice
September 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Jim Neytrowski
Member
Posts: 5

My neighbor is a breeder and actually makes money (swapmeet kids in the apartment complex, craigslist, and penny saver!

But My friend decided to trick her dad, she had one original girl chinese for 2 years and decided to trick her dad into getting her a boy saying that it was a girl... well It worked and 22 days later there was a litter of 6 healthy cute pups! But her infuinated dad realeased all the pups and the mom into the wild (park) and leaving only the dad! This should be a lesson to all you would-be-breeders!

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October 29, 2011 at 4:13 PM Flag Quote & Reply

tae
Member
Posts: 359

That is great information! I hope it helps many people in the future.

--

Chub~ R.I.P. my first hamster to die <3                      

Jub~ R.I.P. sweet hammie <3

Bibi~ R.I.P. my baby roborovski <3

Marshmallow~ R.I.P. my white faced robo <3

Jub:   Bibi: 

Chub:    Marshmallow:                                            

Robo_Gurl thank you for being the first friend ever!

November 18, 2011 at 7:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

13Petey
Member
Posts: 1

Hi, great site.  I bought 2 females from a pet store, and several months later, I had an unexpected litter of seven pups, I separated the 2 adults, but as your site mentioned, it was already too late, as three weeks later, another litter was born.  I took the first 7 into the vet, and he did his best two sex them (4 girls, 3 boys, by his count).  So, as of now, I have one set up with the momma, and the new litter, another with the 4 girls, and the final is the dad, with the 3 boys.  I am really worried about getting these robos sexed correctly, for sure.  I would like to use the yellow mark on the male's stomach as a guide, but as of now (they are at 32 days old), no yellow is visible.  When does this appear?  They all look the same to me "down there", as they are so little.  I might try the oil, looking for the nipples suggestion.  Will you tell me exactly how to go about it?  Sorry to sound like such a rookie, I just wanted a couple of Robo's to watch when I went to bed, and I now have a colony.  Thank you in advance to any, and all help.

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February 25, 2012 at 9:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

TinkaHams
Moderator
Posts: 809

The yellow stain is mainly on males but can also appear on females and sometimes they dont appear it all depends on how clean your hammys are.
I wouldn't advise using the scent gland as a main way to determine the sex as females also have a smaller less pronouced scent gland. 
I would get.. say the milk bottle cap or coke bottle and put some olive oil in it then dab your finger in the oil and rub from middle to lower half. 
You should try comparing the with teh pictures I posted or even holding the mum or dad in another hand and comparing them I find to be the best method.

--


Made by me please dont use without permission. :)

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February 26, 2012 at 7:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

[email protected]
Member
Posts: 20

Thank you, this forum has been very helpful :)

April 16, 2012 at 6:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

ryan
Member
Posts: 61

Hi, I had one question, I've been thinking about breeding, my parents could say yes if these questions have answers:

Fisrt of all, My cage is in my living room, will people being around her cage cause stress and her to omnom her babies?


Also I have a time period of 6 weeks that I can do this, (vacation) since the gestation period is 23-30 days so I'd have 2-3 weeks, would that be OK? I don;'t even know if it's going to work with 6 weeks, although the reason of that time period is vacation, my 1st vacation is 16-17 days, will that be enough to mate them before we leave, then when we come back prep for birth?


there are also a few more I can't think of atm, anyways thank you!

--

Nibbles! (profile pic)

Fluffy! R.I.P. you cute little fluffball, I love you

Ally R.I.P. you were cute,you weren't the best mother, but in the end you gave me Jeffry!



April 25, 2012 at 4:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

ryan
Member
Posts: 61

Please reply! need answer soon!

--

Nibbles! (profile pic)

Fluffy! R.I.P. you cute little fluffball, I love you

Ally R.I.P. you were cute,you weren't the best mother, but in the end you gave me Jeffry!



May 3, 2012 at 5:47 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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