Looking for signs of hamster pregnancy? Have you recently added a new member to your family, just for them to add a few more? Do you think your new hamster might not be the male you expected, but a soon-to-be mom? Or has your pair of brothers turned out to be a brother and a sister?
Signs Of Hamster Pregnancy
Pregnant Syrian hamsters become the shape of a pear, as the babies expand her stomach outward, while a dwarf or other smaller hamster may only look a little larger. Watch to see if your hamster is nesting, which is when they use the bedding in the cage to prepare a corner to give birth in. They may also stash more food than normal nearby, in expectation.
How to deal with a pregnant hamster
- If you know or believe your hamster is pregnant, up the amount of protein in their diet. This can include but is not limited to, giving them more bugs (usually mealworms, but grasshoppers and other insects can work too), seeds and nuts, et Cetera.
- Also, if your dwarf hamster is being kept with a sibling, separate them as soon as possible. Only male dwarf hamster siblings can be housed together, and if one of them is pregnant, you will know that you do not have a pair of brothers. Syrians should never be kept together.
- When it gets closer to them giving birth, you should remove all of the accessories from their habitat, except for the food bowl (if you use one), water bottle, and a few of their favourite chew toys (because being pregnant and giving birth is going to cause some stress).
Syrians have a shorter pregnancy span, of around two and a half weeks, or a usual of sixteen days. Dwarf hamsters pregnancies can last from three to four weeks, or typically twenty-two days.
Preparing for Pups
The span between a mouse becoming pregnant and giving birth is 19 to 21 days. You should increase the protein in the diet as soon as you are aware that they are pregnant, with unseasoned chicken, boiled eggs, cheese, seeds, or nuts being good options. Make sure you are providing plenty of water and quality pellets too.
Give the cage a deep cleaning before the birth, as you will only be able to spot clean for a while post-birth. It can also be helpful to avoid excessively stressing the mother, by keeping other pets away from her room, or long times away from the cage. Leading up to the birth you can also provide more paper or other bedding to help her build the nest, which she will begin building a few days before giving birth.
When can you touch baby hamsters?
A mouse’s litter averages from 6 to 10 pups. The baby mice are born pink, deaf, and blind. Around six days they will begin to grow fur and can begin to hear. Around fourteen days they will begin to see.
During this time, you should avoid the cage as the mother will be more aggressive, and may harm their offspring if you cause more stress. Limit your cleaning of the cage to only spot cleaning at this point.
At 21 days the mice can be weaned from the mother, and you can begin separating them between two different cages, female and male.
Female mice will have more prominent nipples, while the males will have noticeable balls. This will need to happen before they reach 6 weeks of age, as this is the average age of sexual maturity.
Baby hamster growing stages by weeks
A litter of hamster pups can vary largely in size, from being as small as three to up to ten. Hamster pups are small and pink, being born without any fur, and with their eyes shut and blind to the world.
Here are some important things to keep in mind:
- For the first two weeks, you are going to need to avoid contact with the mother and the babies, besides the supplying of food, water, and spot treating soiled areas that are far from the mother and her pups.
- Make sure there is enough food and water, as mother hamsters are known to thin the litter if they do not believe there will be enough for all of them, and make sure not to touch her pups as she may reject them.
- Do not complete a full cage clean, to help reduce stress for the mother and pups, and prevent accidentally making contact with the babies. Some pet parents choose to also place a blanket over the habitat.
Around the second week, the pups’ eyes will now open. This is also around the time they will become interested in the solid food that their mother eats. You can also now complete a full cage clean, and begin interacting with them.
Week 3 and 4
Between the third and fourth weeks, you may be able to start separating the pups by sex, as they can now be weaned from their mother. This will need to be done before they reach the age of five weeks, which is when the young hamsters will reach sexual maturity.
Around eight weeks you will need to separate the same-sex pairs, as this is when they become more territorial. You may have to do this sooner if your hamster begins fighting. If your hamsters are dwarf, and you have a pair of males that do not fight, you may be able to have them live together.
IF you provide a large enough cage (around 900 square inches). Again, Syrian hamsters should not be housed together, no matter the sex from this point on.
If you are rehoming any of the hamsters, this is the time for them to go on to their new homes. Do not rehome any of them from their siblings if they are younger then six weeks.
Around the age of their sexual maturity, you can begin rehoming them. Female mice should continue to be fine to live together, but if you rehome multiple males or caring for multiple males yourself, warn to be prepared with additional habitats in case fighting happens as they are more territorial.
Hopefully, you’ve got all the signs of hamster pregnancy information you need above. Rememeber to always take care when preparing and caring for your new hamster pups!
Disclaimer: This article is for accidental litters. Please do not attempt to breed your own hamster without vet guidance, as you can weaken the genes and risk the development of disease and birth defects.
Hey, I’m Amy and I’m in love with my Pets! I have a diverse variety, including 2 cats, 1 dog, 3 rabbits, 2 guinea pigs, a rat and a beautiful macaw. I love writing about everything pet-related and spend as much time as I can sharing my personal experiences.