Baby hamsters are so cute! But they are so fragile as well. This means that we have to understand everything about them to ensure that we know what is going on with their health and their diet. We also need to understand their development throughout the weeks of their life. These are all vital issues when it comes to ensuring that our baby hamsters grow to adulthood!
We will be looking at questions such as: how many babies can a hamster have, how to clean a cage with babies in it, the diet for a baby hamster, and much much more! Enjoy!
What is the usual size of a Hamster’s litter?
Hamsters are different from humans in the sense that it is completely normal for them to have more than one child in their litter! It’s actually incredibly unusual for hamsters to have one or two babies! This makes them similar to other mammals such as cats and rabbits. This means that you are going to have a lot of babies to look after! European hamsters in the wild have been designated as endangered as their mothers just are not having enough kids!
The usual size of a hamster’s litter is around 4-6 children, however they can have up to 20! It really does depend on the hamster!
How often do hamsters have babies?
Hamsters obviously have a short lifespan, this means that they need to have as many children as possible before they die. This means that female hamsters have around 1-2 litters during their life. This helps them recover, as they are very tiny creatures! Make sure you help your hamster recover after they have had their children, it’s extremely hard for them after all!
How long does it take for a hamster to give birth?
This really does depend on the breed of hamster. After all, they are all extremely different in their size and lifespan!
- Syrian Hamsters have a gestation period of around 16 days.
- Dwarf Hamsters give birth around 18-21 days after conception
- Robo Hamsters might be pregnant for up to 30 days!
As you can see, it really does depend! Make sure you know your hamster’s breed and figure it out based on that! Remember that this isn’t always concrete so keep an eye at your hamster around these times!
What is the usual appearance of a baby hamster?
Baby hamsters can look completely different to other baby hamsters. There’s plenty of similarities though, even with their different breeds! Some of the similarities include:
- Being born hairless – They will all be a lovely shade of pink!
- Teeth – They will all have lovely teeth!
- Lack of sight or hearing – Their eyes and ears will be closed at birth
Their size will be different though. Syrians will be larger than their dwarf hamster counterparts!
Baby hamster growth stages
Baby hamsters are known to grow quickly, and this means that they will go through rapid stages of development! The majority of the growth occurs within three weeks; many of the changes are obvious but many of them are quite subtle. So here’s a week-by-week guide to your baby hamster’s development!
This is, by far, the most fragile state of your hamster’s development. This will be shown by your hamster’s behaviour during their first week. They won’t be active and will want to stick close to their mother and feed on them. They may start to grow their fur and will definitely not want any human interaction as they will want to be close to their mom.
Make sure that you don’t engage with them at all during this time. This is because they might end up looking like foreign objects to their mother, which could result in them being eaten. Let them be close to their mother as they need interaction!
Their ears may start opening at this time as well, which means that they will be able to hear your voice! Consider talking around them quietly so they start to understand your voice, it may help them get attached to you later on.
At this stage in their development, your baby hamster will become a bit more independent. They will still stick close to their mother but they will potentially travel around the cage without her. This is because they will finally have enough fur to be able to survive on their own. They can regulate their own temperature without their mother.
You still shouldn’t touch the children whilst they are in the cage. It may upset the mother and result in cannibalism. Hamsters are incredibly fragile and you need to be careful!
Hamsters will grow in size by quite a bit over the next week! They will still be smaller than their parents but they will have grown quite a bit! Their eyes and their ears will definitely be open and you may spot them eating without needing their mother to help them.
They will start to ween themselves from their mother’s milk and will become a lot more independent from them. At this point, you should be able to pick them up. But be careful, they are so fragile. They will also figure out how to drink from a water bottle, so they are becoming very independent!
Should you touch baby hamsters?
We can’t blame you for wanting to touch your baby hamsters, after all, they are so cute! Baby hamsters are lovely and adorable but you really should avoid touching them until the third week after their birth. This is because the baby mother is prone to abandoning them if they are constantly touched by any other animal.
Abandonment can be through simply not feeding or providing them with energy, or even by eating them. The latter usually happens when the mother is stressed, which means you need to keep the mother extremely relaxed. Imagine giving birth to 5 children, you’d be stressed too!
What can baby hamsters eat?
Baby hamsters will acquire almost all of their food from their mother. This will be in the form of milk in the early stages of their development before progressing to solid foods around their third week of development. As long as the mother is present, you shouldn’t have any issues with feeding the baby hamsters. Simply feed the baby mother slightly more than normal and she will give her pups food. Add some lettuce to their diet for a lovely treat!
If the mother is separated from her children, that’s a different story. Check out our article for help with that.
When should you separate your baby hamsters?
The best time to separate the baby hamster from their mother is just after weaning has finished. This means that the baby hamster doesn’t need to rely on their mother’s milk anymore and they can survive on their own. This stage really does depend on the hamster though.
The median time for this is around 3-4 weeks. You might notice that the mother’s attitude towards them changes around this time, she may become aggressive and territorial. They need to fly from the nest after all! Separate the hamsters into seaprate cages and make sure that Syrian hamsters don’t share a cage. This can easily lead to a dead hamster if you do make them share.
Ensure that you separate them into cages depending on their gender! Hamsters can get pregnant from an early age and you don’t want to deal with this all over again!
How to clean a cage with baby hamsters inside?
We don’t recommend cleaning the cage whilst the baby hamsters are still growing. By still growing, we mean until around the 3rd week of development. Cleaning the cage can scare the mother by removing her natural scent from the cage, this can cause abandonment.
Clean out the cage before the mother gives birth, you can use our gestation period section as a guide for when that happens! It’s better to have a dirty cage than dead hamsters after all.
We’ve looked at so many questions when it comes to this topic. We’ve found out that hamsters can have up to 20 children in their litter and that they normally give birth once or twice during their life. The average gestation period is around 16-30 days, depending on the breed of hamster. Hamsters are born hairless and defenseless but grow quickly into beautiful and self-sufficient animals that should be housed on their own!
Have you dealt with baby hamsters before? Share us your story in the comments!