Hamsters are very common and popular pets nowadays. As a result, it is not unusual to find baby hamsters that are available from hamster owners or breeders. They are cute, cuddly, and easy to care for, but there are some important facts that you need to know about the development of baby hamsters and how to raise them to be healthy, happy adults.
Are you a proud new owner of some baby Dwarf hamsters, or are you planning on adopting a baby Syrian hamster from a breeder? Whatever the case might be, you’re on the right page!
In this article, we’ll go over how to take care of baby hamsters and their development from the day they’re born up to the day that you take them home. We will also carefully trace their milestones and development, so that you’re aware of what is happening every step of the way.
Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Hamsters
What Is A Baby Hamster Called?
A baby hamster is usually called a pup, but sometimes you may also hear them being referred to as kittens.
These general terms cover many different types of baby hamsters, including baby Dwarf hamsters, baby Syrian hamsters, baby teddy bear hamsters, baby Russian Dwarf hamsters, and baby Robo Dwarf hamsters.
You are free to use the term you prefer, regardless of the type of hamster breed that you have.
How Many Babies Do Hamsters Have?
Like most small mammals, a hamster mother will give birth to several baby hamsters in one litter.
The average litter size is usually four to six pups, but sometimes there can be up to twenty pups in a litter!
How Often Do Hamsters Have Babies?
According to hamster breeders, it’s common to breed a female hamster once or twice during her lifetime.
This is because hamsters are delicate creatures that require recovery time after delivery, and they typically only live for around two to three years.
The exact gestation period for a hamster varies depending on the species. Syrian hamsters are pregnant for around 16 days, while most Dwarf breeds give birth after 18-21 days. Other breeds, such as the Roborovski hamster, might be pregnant for up to 30 days.
When the designated gestation period has ended, the mother hamster will go into labor. Labor usually lasts for about one to two hours, with pups being born every 15-30 minutes.
It is essential to give the mother enough privacy and space during labor, as interference or noise could stress the mother out and cause her to eat her young.
What Do Baby Hamsters Look Like?
There are some variations within hamster breeds, such as baby Dwarf hamsters versus baby Syrian hamsters, but there are some things that all baby hamsters have in common.
No matter their species, baby hamsters are born hairless and pink. They rely on their mother and siblings to keep warm.
Newborn baby hamsters have teeth, but their ears and eyes will be closed for at least a week.
The size of the pup will depend on the breed. The largest breed is the Syrian hamster, and it grows to be four to seven inches long when it’s fully grown. Therefore, your baby Syrian hamster will be quite tiny, and your baby Dwarf hamsters will be even smaller!
Baby Hamsters Week By Week
The first few weeks of a hamster’s life are full of development, with many physical and psychological changes. After all, a pup must go from being a helpless baby to becoming an adult in only a few weeks!
And we’re sure you have many questions! When do baby hamsters open their eyes? What do baby hamsters eat? What are the hamster growing stages? Do hamsters eat their babies?
It’s a very interesting journey that takes place over only a couple of weeks, and there is a lot of information to cover. So, let’s take a look at each week in detail.
Baby Hamsters: Week One
In their first week of life, pups won’t be very active. They will mainly stay in their nest and nurse.
Depending on the species, their ears might open at the end of this week or it might take until the end of week two.
Fur might be visible at the end of the first week, but it might be too light to see if the coat color is light.
The human caretaker should not interact with the pups at all during this time. In fact, many breeders will not even clean out the cage for at least the first week, in order to avoid stressing the mother.
Newborn baby hamsters during their first week of life will be cared for entirely by their mother. Interference by their human caretaker has a high chance of causing abandonment or cannibalism.
Why Do Hamsters Eat Their Babies?
Under certain circumstances, the mother hamster may eat her babies. This is undoubtedly upsetting to the hamster owner! Therefore, avoiding this from happening is essential.
So why do hamsters eat their babies?
Of course, this doesn’t happen in every case. If one of the babies dies, the mother might eat it to keep the nest clean for the other pups.
If the babies are handled, they will have the human scent on them, and that might confuse the mother or cause her to become fearful and stressed, and she may kill and eat the pup.
It’s also important to make sure that the adult hamster is getting enough food, with enough nutritional value. Hamsters do not usually eat healthy and living pups.
When Can You Touch Baby Hamsters?
It is better to avoid touching baby hamsters for as long as possible, unless it’s completely necessary.
This is especially important if the mother has never given birth before.
Hamsters are known for eating their young when stressed, so this should be avoided at all costs.
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