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My hamster gave birth! HELP ME!

(15 Posts)
Blackberrybush Thu 20-Sep-12 15:49:46

I got a new hamster about fourteen days ago, she's a very beautiful girl called Timmy (petshop said she was a boy, so we called her Timmy, checked before we went, realised she was a girl- they said nothing would have happened, and stupid me trusted them). She is tame already, loves the kids, and seems like a perfect hamster after just two weeks! She tamed very quickly and easy,we waited a day for her to settle in, and then took it very slowly, and she seems perfect, like my other hamster George.

Anyway, she started making a nest. And had a slight bulge. I didn't know she was pregnant, she was still really sweet and gentle with us. Anyway, I cleaned her out a few minutes ago. I very gently tipped open the nest thing, she had about twelve hairless pink BABIES.

I've done some research about them, and I haven't touched or looked at them since now, but I'm terrified. 1) I don't want to find half eaten hamster babies (do they really kill their babies? is avoiding them until they're 2wks the only thing which will stop there, or can I do anything else?) and 2) I don't know what will happen to the babies.

I bought them from PetsAtHome (I normally adopt, but my friend had got a hamster from PetsAtHome and said the hamsters there were in great condition) and I was wondering if I could take them back when they are about 7wks old, but I'd like to choose the owner and make sure that they're alright.

When do hamsters start fighting, and when should I sell them? When do I start taming them? I know that I could keep three of them if really, really necessary but that would be really hard, and I want to sell them all if possible. Do I clean them out in the weeks I can't touch them? What if they start to smell? When do I separate the girls and boys- when can they start breeding with each other? I know about hamsters, I've had more than twenty five in my lifetime, and the youngest hamster I've ever had was 10wks. I'm generally good at taming hamsters, and caring for them, but I've never had baby hamsters before. I'm 33wks pregnant with twins- I really don't need this hassle and hopefully they'll be out of here by 7wks- I won't sell them too early, but please tell me they can be sold before 7wks. Please, please help me.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 20-Sep-12 15:51:55

I had this, twice. A pet shop will take them. Go back and ask will the shop take the babies and double check what age.

Don't stress out the mother or she will eat them. I can still hear the crunch crunch crunch of one of mind getting eaten.

LaVitaBellissima Thu 20-Sep-12 15:54:01

Sorry I have no idea, yuk at hamsters eating their babies sad

Last thing you need at 33 weeks with twins!

I'd be taking Timmy and family back to PetsAtHome smile

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 20-Sep-12 15:54:47

Just keep them quiet, don't let anyone touch the babies at all, and hopefully will be ok.

They eat them if they are stressed.

We need a vet!

On the plus side they are SO cute.

LaVitaBellissima Thu 20-Sep-12 15:54:51

Pickles noooooo not crunch, crunch, crunch, I'm going to have nightmares!

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 20-Sep-12 15:56:54

Yes! Only ate one of four I think.

Might have been peckish!

They are hellish cute when they get a little bigger.

All hanging off the bars going ee ee ee. grin

wannaBe Thu 20-Sep-12 15:58:39

they will eat them. and they're not cute until they grow fur and start looking like hamsters. grin tbh I agree with a previous poster - I would take the lot back to the pet shop.

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Thu 20-Sep-12 16:01:36

I kept the mother and just took the babies back.

It will be good for the dc to see them grow as long as there is no crunch crunch crunch!

Blackberrybush Fri 21-Sep-12 17:10:27

I've decided to keep Timmy (she seemed so sweet when we got her), and as I had a half day today (the whole afternoon! freedom!) I went to PetsAtHome. They were very nice, said they'd take the babies in at, preferably 6wks, but could take the mother and babies at 2wks. It depends about giving birth (all my Dcs have been premature, so I'm hoping for 40wks, more like 37-38wks if things are the same as last time) and if so, they will be 4-5wks old. My friend would take them in (her DS just lost a hamster, so would love to care for them).

It would be good for the DCs to see the baby ones, but as soon as they can be split up, I'm giving them away, having two newborns, a 12yr old and a 7yr old (not to mention countless other pets) is going to be too much. And even better, I sent a note into school with DS1 asking if they needed any pets (they have pets in each class). They said they wanted EIGHT hamsters. So I'm feeling a lot more optimistic. They also wanted to take in the hamsters from 4wks (BIG bonus).

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Fri 21-Sep-12 17:48:46

That's really good!

They aren't too much hassle really, as long as you split them all up before they all start fighting each other.

They really are cute, still remember mine all trying to run on the wheel at the same time.

If none have been scoffed yet it's looking promising. From memory it was right after with mine.

Blackberrybush Sat 22-Sep-12 11:37:25

So it's looking good? We've recently been told we have to put our Shetland down, and the babies have made everything a lot happier. PetsAtHome said to split them up at around 5-6wks, when they start fighting apparently, and the school is happy to keep them together for a week or two, so that's good. I haven't checked again, but DH said a little one had fallen out of the nest, and Timmy had dragged it back in. If it's fallen out of the nest, and isn't going to be able to get back in, what do I do? Do I use a spoon or something?

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Sat 22-Sep-12 22:22:51

I'd say so, they eat them when they are born if they are stressed or feel unsafe. Im not sure how common it must be!

I think it's best to try to avoid handling them and the mother should be able to keep them in the nest.. Hope nothing happens!

How many have you got?

Blackberrybush Sat 22-Sep-12 22:44:56

There are twelve babies- one of them is about half the size of the others when I looked, and they were feeding, but I've done some homework since then, and I think she was still in labour. So there could be more? I've put the food in quietly, and I think some has been taken, and I've moved the waterbottle closer to the nest so it's easier for her to get. Anything else I should do?

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Sat 22-Sep-12 22:47:19

No I don't think so, just keep them quiet and let them get on with it. It was ages ago I had them mind but I didn't do anything special apart from that.. Great the school can have them!


Blackberrybush Sat 22-Sep-12 23:08:27

How do you DO those teddy bear faces? No smileys below which have them. So I've been fine? I haven't jeapordised the lives of twelve (or more) baby hamsters? Phew.

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