Baby hamsters are those who stay in the nest for a long time: they are born naked, blind and are totally dependent on their mother.
Breastfeeding: in the days following birth, the mother barely leaves her young. She adopts a special nursing position, standing on top of them so that none are crushed under her weight. The young instinctively move by crawling towards its udders (between seven and eleven) and cling to it to suck.
Warming up: when the mother, after a few days, leaves the nest, she does not fail to cover her young, still hairless, with various materials taken from the nest.
Toilet: it is an important element of mothering: the mother licks her young abundantly.
The mother carries her young
It sometimes happens that a baby hamster, still very small and defenseless, ends up outside the nest. He then launches a call for help barely perceptible to a human ear. With that, the mother grabs him as best she can with her incisors and brings him back to the nest. Sometimes small hamsters are even carried in cheekbones.
Stages of development of a baby Hamster
On the day of birth : the skin is reddish, hairless, limbs weak, not fully developed, eyes are closed. The animal moves by staggering and crawling. Urination and defecation only start after abdominal massage, performed by the mother.
From the 2nd day: the pigmentation changes in place, the body takes on a darker color.
From the 5th day: the mother brings food back to the nest, first nibbling attempts. A light down appears. First grooming gestures, lying face down.
From the 10th day: the eyes are open. The animal knows how to fill and empty its cheekbones. The toilet is now done while seated, although in this position the baby hamster often loses his balance. He defecates independently.
From the 14th day: first independent outings outside the nest. Games with brothers and sisters.
Day 21: the hamster has reached full autonomy.
If the mother rejects her babies …
If the mother eats her young or does not want to feed them, you will have to do it yourself . They need to already have at least adult hair, not newborn fluff, and their incisors, even if they are tiny.
To feed the baby hamster, you can give soft fruits and vegetables, small seeds, bread dipped in milk, boiled ham, hard-boiled egg… And don’t forget hydration! You will have to offer water every few hours. If you don’t want to drink, try a syringe without a needle.
Caring for prematurely weaned hamster pups is complicated and does not guarantee their survival.
Separating the baby Hamster from its Mother
Between two and three weeks, the siblings begin to play together . It is a real delight to see them do it. We never tire of looking at them.
Feeding a Baby Hamster
A baby hamster can start to eat solid food as soon as it is weaned, around 3 weeks of age. Do you want to learn how to feed hamsters after weaning? We teach you everything you must do to take care of them!
In principle, when hamsters are weaned they are already able to eat the same food as an adult , with the difference that they still do not have fully developed teeth and the skin on their cheeks is not as flexible. Therefore, you may find it difficult to take the larger seeds.
Just in case you get to nibble on your feeder, it is better to feed it in a metal or ceramic one, not plastic, since the latter could swallow pieces.
The hamster is omnivorous. You can give him a mixture of seeds that already contains an ingredient with animal proteins or give it separately, with a biscuit for dogs or boiled egg from time to time. You will supplement that with fresh fruits and vegetables, but do not make vegetables the base of his diet or they will give him diarrhea!
Also, never forget that you will need to have fresh water available at all times.
How to care for a baby hamster
Your baby hamster will need a cage with a series of objects and conditions to be able to live comfortably:
- A soft bed or shelter to rest.
- One bed in the entire cage of hay, sawdust or cat litter . You will have to renew it every several days.
- The ideal temperature is between 18 and 25º. In less than 14º they can go into hibernation.
- One wheel to exercise every day , they have a lot of energy to burn!
- You will have to clean the cage often , renew the bed, remove the remains of food and feces. If you want to deodorize, use a product without perfumes, as they can give them allergies.
The cage is the place where you will spend the most time! Therefore, you have to take care of every last detail. Keep in mind that you should not touch very small hamsters, as they are very delicate . Also, if you bring your scent to them, their mother may not recognize them and reject them or even attack them. Mothers sometimes eat their young.
Remember! You should not make your hamster breed if later you will not know what to do with the young or you will not want to find a home for them. Be responsible with your pets!