Has the big day arrived? Your female Is your hamster about to give birth? Here's what you should do and what you shouldn't do, to make her labor easier. You'll see, it's very simple.
Understanding the gestation period of the hamster
Before we talk about what to do when your hamster gives birth, let's take a look at the gestation period. The length of gestation varies according to the species of hamster: about 16 days for dwarf hamsters and 18 to 22 days for adult hamsters. Syrian hamsters. During this period, it is advisable to avoid handling the female too much, so as not to cause unnecessary stress.
Prepare the space where your hamster will give birth
In order for your hamster to give birth in the best conditions, prepare its space with care, such as
- Choose a quiet room Your hamster needs to feel safe to give birth. Keep him away from sources of noise and commotion to avoid stress.
- Provide suitable bedding A soft and comfortable bedding is essential for the mother to prepare a cosy nest to its young. Choose a dust-free paper or cellulose litter.
- Make sure the cage is clean and secure Cleaning: clean your hamster's cage thoroughly before it gives birth, but avoid chemicals that could be harmful to babies. Also check that the cage is secure enough to prevent the young from escaping.
Monitoring female behavior during delivery
During delivery, observe the female discreetly to make sure she's doing well and taking good care of her young. Here are the signs to look out for:
- The female seems nervous or agitated This may indicate that she is about to give birth. Make sure she has a quiet, secure place to retire and give birth.
- She removes hair from her belly This behavior is perfectly normal for hamsters expecting young. The female hamster creates a cozy nest to welcome her babies when they are born.
- She rejects some babies If the female rejects one or more of her babies, don't try to intervene. Unfortunately, this usually means that the babies are weak or ill, and that the mother considers them incapable of survive.
- She eats some of her babies Although this may seem shocking, it's actually a natural behavior for hamsters. In the wild, a female hamster may eat some of her offspring if she feels they won't survive, or if she lacks the resources to feed them.
What to do if the female seems to be in trouble?
If you notice that your hamster is having trouble giving birth or seems to be suffering, contact a veterinarian specialized in exotic animals immediately. He will be able to give you advice adapted to the situation and eventually intervene if necessary.
Care for mother and baby after delivery
And what to do after the birth? You'll see, it's easy:
- Leave the mother and babies alone Do not handle the pups during the first few days after they are born, as this may stress the mother and cause her to abandon them.
- Provide a suitable diet increase the food quantity and add protein-rich foods. You can also offer her celery for hydration.
- Check the water bottle regularly Make sure the water bottle is always full and functional, so that the mother can hydrate herself properly to nurse her babies.
- Watch the babies Baby hamsters: monitor their growth and development to make sure they are growing normally. Baby hamsters should gain weight every day and start opening their eyes around day 10.
When to separate babies from their mothers?
We recommend that you separate baby hamsters from their mothers between 3 and 4 weeks after birth. At this age, they are independent enough to fend for themselves and can be adopted by new families if you wish. It depends on the breed of hamster: