Back to Main Page

      

     Hamster care, beginner guide, faq and more
     Hamster Hideout's stars, hamster chronicles, featured works...
     Cute hamster pictures!
     E cards, free downloads, puzzles, quiz and more!
     Forum, mailing list, book reviews...
     Great hamster sites!
     
           
          

         
Hamster Basics
Hamsters are rodents
History of hamsters
Anatomy of hamsters
Sexing hamsters
Breeding hamsters
The different breeds
Syrian hamster
Syrian colours & patterns
Russian Campbell (R.C)
R.C. colours & patterns
Chinese hamster
Roborovski hamster
Dwarf winter white russian

More Info
Beginners' Guide
Hamster Care
FAQ

Breeding Hamsters


Campbell dwarfs mating.

Before you decide to breed a hamster, you should be prepared with a plan to deal with the litter when the hamster gives birth. Hamsters are known to give birth up to 18 babies per litter, although the average is 4-8 babies. You can give away the babies to good homes, or sell them to a respectable and responsible pet shop. If you decide to keep the babies, you should be prepared to buy cages and supplies before the babies are born. You should separate the hamsters into different cages after they are weaned to avoid fighting and health problems due to overcrowding.

Keep a chart that records and summarizies the breeding and birth. Only healthy hamsters with a good record of successful births should continue to be bred. Syrian hamsters can be bred at 2-3 months old, while dwarf hamsters can be introduced at 4-6 weeks old. A younger female can often be introduced to an older male, but not the other way round.

As hamsters are solitary animals, the female will not readily accept the male. Both must be introduced gradually and close supervision given. If the female is not ready to mate, she can be seen trying to turn the male onto his back by putting her nose under his belly. Then both hamsters must be separated.

Before mating, both hamsters will sniff each other and the female will stand quite still with her hind legs braced and her tail and ears erect when the male places his front paws on her back. Then mating will take place. For Syrian hamsters, the male should be separated from the female after mating. This is to prevent one or both of the parents from destroying the babies. For dwarf hamsters, the male can be retained in the cage as he can help to raise the litter. If you want to continue to breed the pair, do not remove the male when the litter is born, because you probably will not be able to introduce the pair again afterwards.

The following figures are taken from The alt.pets Hamster FAQ.

Syrian Hamster
Puberty: 4-5 weeks
Optimum beginning breeding age:
males: 10-12 weeks
females: 16-20 weeks
Estrus: Every 3-4 days
Gestation period: 16-18 days
Litter size: 1-18 (average is about 8)
Birth weight: 1/14 to 1/8 oz
Weaning age: 3-4 weeks

Dwarf Hamster
Puberty: 4-5 weeks
Optimum breeding age: whenever they're ready!
Gestation period: 18-21 days
Litter size: 1-14 (average 4)
Weaning age: 3-4 weeks

Related Articles:
Sexing hamsters
Pregnancy and birth


Thanks and acknowledgements:
The photograph featured on this page is taken with permission from AAA Hamsters

References:

  • Pawpals Issue No. 3 (J. Waters Publishing Pte Ltd.)

  • A Step-By-Step Book About Hamsters by Anmarie Barrie (1987, T.F.H. Publications)

  • Woodview Hamstery


Copyright 2000- HamsterHideout.com. All rights reserved.
Link to this Site | Bookmark this Site | Contact | System Requirements | Terms & Conditions