We are proud owners of hamsters. Predominately, Syrian hamsters with the occasional Campbell’s Russian Dwarf hamster. The only thing we don’t like about them is their short life spans. Several times, there was discussion about possibly mating our little ones to acquire more little ones instead of having to purchase them. There were many we considered and recently decided to go for it. Now, we are the proud grand-hammy-parents of 13 (!) little wriggling ones.
It started with the mother, Minnie,
and the father, Harry (Harold).
On February 7, 2015, Minnie presented us with a little of hamster pups. The were so little, pink, wriggly, deaf, and blind. We couldn’t tell that first day how many there were.
After about three days they began to develop some downy fur covering and darker patches of skin on the ones that would have some dark fur. This was an exciting moment.
This was the first time my husband reached into the cage to gently pat them with one finger. The mama didn’t seem to mind. I know, it goes against everything you’ll read about hamster rearing. Don’t touch the babies. Don’t disturb the nest. Leave the mother and everything alone except for more food and clean water for two weeks. We have a trick though. No percentages on how often this works, it could only be us.
See those green things in the bedding? That’s pieces of my husband’s shirts. He holds our hamsters daily, for 15 minutes to several hours at bedtime or during the day if he happens to be home. Some of them chew his shirts when he’s not diligent. So, we cut them up and every single cage maintains his scent because of those shirts. Mama hammy has had his scent on those babies from the moment of their birth. Rule of thumb, just leave the nest alone.
Notice, I didn’t touch them. We weren’t crazy.
On day six, they have started to actually grow fur. They haven’t left the nest on their own, but the husband has started to hold them and I’ll reach in and pet them. They’re getting bigger here.
The most recent footage we have of the babies is from Sunday, February 15, 2014. I’ll post their pictures and more updates in another blog post. Currently, today, February 17, 2014, they are roughly the size of my thumb, are becoming mobile, and we’re waiting for them to start leaving the nest. I gave them all a nibble of slightly solid soft food and they enjoyed it with gusto. They should be ready to wean soon.
More to come in the next post!