Hamster possibly pregnant Question 

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christine828

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We thought we bought two male hamsters, but we caught them in the act a little over a week ago. Day before Memorial Day to be exact. I don't know if this was the first time, but I've read they stop trying to reproduce once a pregnancy occurs, not sure the truth behind it though. The very next day, the female started attacking the male and so we separated them. They are syrian hamsters so we knew seperation was probable eventually but they'd gotten along great up until then. We've had them since Easter, they were a present for my son (at least that's what my boyfriend claims ) Mom is not really showing any physical signs of pregnancy, but I also read that can take up until the last few days to be seen, although this morning she seemed to be bigger than last night, but it could have just been the way she was sleeping. She is nesting it seems. Her bedding is so stuffed inside her igloo that she has to burrow her way in, she never did that before. She also seems a bit more skittish than in the past. Both mom and dad are still extremely hand shy, I don't think the pet store held them at all before we bought them. Dad still pees on you if you try to pick him up, but we're working on it. Mom would let you hold her for a minute or two at a time but now she runs if your hand comes near her.

Here is my question. She can't be very old, we've only had her two month and she may have been 2 months when we got her, so we don't want to stress her into cannibalizing the babies but I'd like to do a cage change before it gets too close to the possible time of arrival of the babies. Again, I don't even know if she is, in fact, pregnant, but if she is, I want to make her as comfortable as possible.

Any other tips are greatly appreciated as well. This is my first hamster.
 

LyndaB

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This site offers some great info on breeding syrian hamsters..... (what to expect when your "male" hamster is expecting).
 

Phantom2010

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What happened did your boys have babies?
 

elybach

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we've had a few hamsters. the female we had was a lot more skittish than the males even though we got her very young and hand raised her. it think it's just a girl thing? they also pms every 4th day, who wouldn't be moody at that? she probably is prego but if you are concerned about stressing her you could change/clean just part of the cage at a time. if she gets too stressed she can get wet tail that will kill in 48 hrs. you can tell if her tail area is wet and she isn't cleaning herself. dry tail is the cure. it is usually caused by stress. once the babies are born, leave her alone for some time(I think a week is recommended)-that can also stress her. including not cleaning too close to the babies and even possibly not looking at them. you'd have to check several sites to get more details but she will start to attack the babies also when she's ready to get rid of them at about 8 week.
 

fishingman001

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christine828 said:
We thought we bought two male hamsters, but we caught them in the act a little over a week ago. Day before Memorial Day to be exact. I don't know if this was the first time, but I've read they stop trying to reproduce once a pregnancy occurs, not sure the truth behind it though. The very next day, the female started attacking the male and so we separated them. They are syrian hamsters so we knew seperation was probable eventually but they'd gotten along great up until then. We've had them since Easter, they were a present for my son (at least that's what my boyfriend claims ) Mom is not really showing any physical signs of pregnancy, but I also read that can take up until the last few days to be seen, although this morning she seemed to be bigger than last night, but it could have just been the way she was sleeping. She is nesting it seems. Her bedding is so stuffed inside her igloo that she has to burrow her way in, she never did that before. She also seems a bit more skittish than in the past. Both mom and dad are still extremely hand shy, I don't think the pet store held them at all before we bought them. Dad still pees on you if you try to pick him up, but we're working on it. Mom would let you hold her for a minute or two at a time but now she runs if your hand comes near her.

Here is my question. She can't be very old, we've only had her two month and she may have been 2 months when we got her, so we don't want to stress her into cannibalizing the babies but I'd like to do a cage change before it gets too close to the possible time of arrival of the babies. Again, I don't even know if she is, in fact, pregnant, but if she is, I want to make her as comfortable as possible.

Any other tips are greatly appreciated as well. This is my first hamster.
I used to breed syrian hamsters a couple years ago. I would never keep syrians together unless trying to breed them. They will attack and kill any other hamster in their cage.

What you can do is this:

First look at her. Has she already given birth? If not then you can carefully pick her up. Then gently feel her belly. If you can feel movement then yes she is pregnant.
Can you see in the igloo to check for babies? What is her bedding? If it is ceder then I would get new bedding. Ceder is harmful to hamsters. IMO the paper bedding is the best for pregnant hamsters.
If she hasn't already given birth I would change the bedding and clean the cage with warm water. Once she gives birth you are not going to want to do this.

Once she gives birth don't touch her or the cage. If you do she will eat the babies. I learned that the hard way (went from 20 babies to 2). Just leave her alone. You can carefully change the water in the bottle and toss in food when she has given birth.

Once the babies are walking around with their eyes open and the mother no longer has control over them (usually with in a month) you can separate the babies and the mother. If you don't separate them in time the babies will start to copulate with each other and attack each other.

Good Luck!!!
 

Phantom2010

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Another easy way to tell if a hamster is on heat (this works for syrians anyway) - gently stoke along the back either two fingers (either side of the spine) towards the tail. If on heat she will normally 'pose' with her tail up and body rigid.

When I bred my hamsters I did a clean out 2 days before she was due (I didnt handle her, just used a jar to scooper her up) leaving most of the nest itself alone, just cleaning the other litter away. Then when the babies were out the nest with eyes open I used a jar to transfer them and the mother into a container whilst I cleaned out the cage. At about 5 weeks I removed the mother to another cage. I didnt keep them long enough to need to sex - all were sold!
 
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