Hamsters are very cute, funny and unpretentious animals, so many people bring jungariks or Syrian hamsters as pets. But if you are a happy owner of two heterosexual hamsters that live in the same cage, or plan to breed them, then we recommend that you read this article, from which you will learn how to determine a hamster’s pregnancy, how pregnant females of these cute animals look, and about the rules for the care and maintenance of future mothers who are bearing offspring.
How to understand that a hamster is pregnant
Immediately determine and understand that the hamster is in an interesting position is not so simple, since the belly of future mothers increases only in the second half of pregnancy. What does a pregnant hamster look like?
Important! The signs of pregnancy in hamsters are very indirect, and to understand whether the hamster is pregnant, if you do not know exactly when the mating occurred, is possible only by the changed behavior of the small animal.
At the same time, you need to understand that, like humans, hamsters have their own character, disposition and temperament, so at the beginning of pregnancy, females behave differently. Some become calmer, more peaceful, others, on the contrary, show anxiety and even aggression towards their relatives or owners. A pregnant jungar may increase appetite or thirst.
Important! Visible signs of pregnancy in hamsters appear approximately 10 days before birth.
Around the middle of pregnancy, the female begins to equip the maternity "nest", pulls in improvised material. In this case, the most reliable sign that allows you to understand that the hamster is pregnant is an enlarged, rounded tummy. By the middle of the term, the nipples enlarge and swell. The pregnant jungar in the last week before childbirth resembles a big pear. The hamster, which carries the cubs, tries to move carefully, slowly, spends little time in the game wheel.
If you are interested in whether a hamster has become pregnant after mating, you can do a simple test. About eight days after mating, examine the female with your hands. Carefully place the animal with its front paws on a flat hard surface, grasp the tummy with your hands behind. The thumbs will be on the back and the rest on the stomach. Feel the tummy from the ribs to the pelvic bones. So you can feel the fruits that feel like small balls, and you will understand that the hamster is pregnant.
A few days before the birth of babies, hamsters become very restless, can rush around the cage, transfer various objects and food supplies to the maternity nest. In this case, the hamster can simultaneously prepare several maternity places in the most secluded corners of the cell.
How long does a hamster's pregnancy last?
No one doubts that the hamster can become pregnant only after contact with the male. Despite the fact that experienced breeders do not recommend keeping two or more small animals in one cage, since hamsters are quite territorial creatures, many get a couple of hamsters. Therefore, if you do not want unwanted mating to occur, ask the seller to determine the sex of the animal at the pet store.
The gestational age of hamsters, the duration of gestation depends on the breed. Dzhungariki bear offspring 18-21 days. The average gestational age for a Syrian hamster is 16–18 days. Campbell's hamster, Chinese breed hamsters bear cubs for 18–22 days. Pregnancy in Roborovsky hamsters lasts 23-30 days.
In fluffy pets, 3 to 6 cubs are born. In adult females, more hamsters are born than in young animals.
If you plan to breed hamsters, you need to not only know at what age the puberty of these animals comes, but also note the mating period. Hamster puberty occurs at the age of 3-4 months. At the same time, hamsters can become pregnant already at 6–7 weeks, but still the optimal breeding period is from 4 to 10 months.
How to determine pregnancy in a hamster?
I must say that if the moment of mating was not noticed, then it is unlikely to immediately determine whether the female is pregnant. This can only be assumed by the changed behavior. The following symptoms are possible:
- increased irritability and aggressiveness or, conversely, complete calm and relaxation,
- collecting materials for the nest,
- increased appetite.
The most obvious indicator is an increase in the abdomen, but if it becomes noticeable, then the birth is coming soon. You can also determine pregnancy by stopping estrus and swelling nipples. Photo of a pregnant Syrian hamster
How long does a hamster's pregnancy last?
In different types of hamsters, the timing of gestation varies and quite significantly. Pregnancy period in days:
- Syrian - 16 - 18,
- Dzungarian, Chinese, Campbell - 18 - 21,
- Roborovsky - 23 - 30.
A careful examination of the Syrian hamsters a week after mating, the Dzhungar - 9 days later you can feel in the stomach small balls of fruit. At the same time, the nipples swell and weight begins to arrive. If this does not happen, you need to look for shortcomings either in nutrition or in the state of health of the pet.
Does the course of pregnancy differ in different species?
In the table, we note what features of behavior are characteristic of different hamsters.
Aggression towards the male
Is there a false pregnancy in hamsters?
A situation is possible when all the signs are present, but the birth does not occur. In this case, we can talk about a false pregnancy. This happens to hamsters. In addition, under the influence of stressful situations, the formed embryos can simply dissolve. If such a malfunction occurs in pets, it is best to consult a veterinarian. Pregnant Dzungarian hamster
Care for a pregnant hamster
First of all, the female needs peace during this period. Once it is determined that the pregnancy really happened, you need to move the cell to a quiet place. It is better to replace the usual dwelling with a sufficiently voluminous glass container, in order to further eliminate the loss of cubs through the rods. It is necessary to provide the hamster with material for building the nest, it can be paper napkins without dyes.
It is necessary to clean the housing regularly and even more thoroughly than usual, since during this period the female carefully stores food that can deteriorate. Adult Dzungarian hamster In your hands, take your pet carefully and only if absolutely necessary. At the same time, you should take care of protecting your hands (for example, gloves), otherwise the hamster may scratch or bite.
About 4 days before birth, all contact with the animal should be discontinued.
Nutrition features of a pregnant hamster
In order for the female to be able to take out and raise healthy cubs and not be affected herself, her diet needs to be supplemented with calcium, protein foods and vitamins. You need to include the following products in the menu:
- chicken meat,
- low-fat cottage cheese
- vegetables (beets, carrots),
- germinated cereal seeds,
- greens, juicy herbs.
Of the first three components listed, one should be in the diet daily. With green and succulent feeds, you need to be careful not to cause diarrhea in the pet, but they must be turned on. Little hamsters
Calcium deficiency can be made up by adding a tablet containing this element, or just crushed chalk into drinking water. You can do the same with ascorbic acid.
It is better not to give perishable foods in large quantities, as the female can hide them, and this will further contribute to the development of various infections.
Single content or in company
Campbell's hamsters get along well. Sometimes female and male dzhungariki are loyal to each other. But this is rather an exception to the rule. The struggle for territory is more characteristic for these rodents, therefore it is better to keep them separately, planting the female to the male only for the period of mating. Even Campbell's hamster will feel better alone before giving birth. Do not take small hamsters with your bare hands
How is the birth?
Hamsters usually do not need help with childbirth. The only exception is when the mating time is known exactly and the hamster is already “rejoining” its term, then it makes sense to contact a veterinarian. Moreover, approximately 4 weeks after the appearance of the offspring, the female does not need to be disturbed, just carefully add water and feed. Even cleaning days 8 is not worth doing, and then carry it out carefully, without touching the nest.
Delivery during normal course lasts about 3 hours, if delayed to 6, this is still within the normal range. Hamsters appear with an interval of about 5 minutes, completely without hairline with eyes and ears closed. The female gnaws the umbilical cord and eats it together with the fetal bladder in each cub. When the offspring are numerous, the mother may not have time to cope, then some hamsters die. All hamsters are born blind. If this is a Syrian hamster, it is strictly forbidden to intervene. The first two days it is not recommended to even clean up the dead hamsters. You can try to help a young dzhungarik, take him (not with his bare hands) on a napkin, free him from the bubble and gently massage. Then you need to return it to his mother and see if she will accept this hamster. If the female refuses to feed, it will be necessary to feed him artificially.
A female hamster can give birth to 4 to 12 cubs (18 hamsters are known to be born), but she usually eats sick and non-viable. The hamster eats or refuses to feed offspring in several cases:
- if she feels weak or unhealthy (with an unbalanced diet),
- when she was disturbed (due to stress),
- if he smells another's smell on the cubs.
After 4−5 weeks, the hamsters already become adults and they need to be sent to separate dwellings, only females can be left with their mother longer.
Nutrition for hamsters and hamsters after childbirth
The diet of the female after childbirth should remain strengthened, since a lot of energy is spent on lactation. Even with such nutrition, the hamster during this period loses up to 25% of its weight. All products that were given to the animal during pregnancy remain on the menu. It is also necessary to monitor the drinking regimen in order to produce a sufficient amount of milk, the female needs a lot of liquid. Newborn hamsters eat baby food. Little hamsters, when they stand on their paws, become very active, and they also need a lot of calories. Solid food is introduced gradually, canned baby food can be used. Of cereals, fine-grain mixtures of foreign production are best suited.
If you follow all the necessary recommendations, you can get healthy offspring 3-4 times from one female in her life. The most suitable hamster age for childbearing is from 3 to 12 months.
Signs of pregnancy
How to determine pregnancy in a hamster? This is not easy to do, because the pet becomes rounded at the end of the term. Signs of pregnancy hamsters may not be accurate. Basically, you can determine the pregnancy of a hamster by its behavior.
If the hamster does not have the next estrus, this is also a striking sign. In the middle of the term, the hamster's nipples increase significantly. Very often, the owners do not even suspect about the onset of fruiting in their pets. If the hamster’s pregnancy was not part of your plans, then you should not be upset, because you can give birth to an animal on its own. Obvious signs of pregnancy can be determined 10-12 days after mating.
Changes occur during the gestation of the female; they affect behavior and character. The hamster is now not so active. He moves around the cell very carefully, without making sudden movements. The hamster does not go to the owner’s hands and looks aggressive. But there are cases that everything happens the other way around. Pregnant hamsters eat a lot and sleep longer. The hamster begins to prepare for the appearance of the kids, equips the nest and makes food supplies.
How long will your pet's pregnancy last? Pregnancy in Syrian hamsters, dzhungarik and other breeds lasts differently. In total, the period is from about 16 to 22 days. First of all, the hamster breed plays a role. An animal can lead from 2 to 10 children or more. Pregnancy in Syrian hamsters has a short period, and the term has 16-19 days. During childbirth, the pet produces 6-12 cubs.
A pregnant hamster of the Dzungarian hatches offspring in the period from 19 to 22 days. This breed can give birth to from 2 to 7 small hamsters. Chinese breeds have a long gestation period. The gestational age of hamsters reaches from 20 to 22 days. The female can give birth to 5 to 7 hamsters. The animal of the breed "Roborovsky" leads a small number of children, only 3-5 pieces. A pet of this breed runs from 19 to 22 days.
Important points in the gestation period
The gestational age of hamsters varies, depending on the breed of the animal. Hamsters begin to get pregnant at different ages, the most suitable is 4-10 months. But the chances of getting pregnant appear in 1-3 months.
The early appearance of offspring in a hamster dramatically changes the life of the owner and the animal itself. Firstly, it is necessary to separate the pot-bellied animal from the rest. Fights between a female and a male may appear, and as a result, someone will die. The pregnant pet becomes aggressive, and this behavior can also be observed while feeding the cubs.
The owner must necessarily relocate the animal in a glass container before giving birth. This is due to the fact that babies can fall out of an ordinary cage. Be sure to fill the bottom of the new housing with sawdust so that the layer is 5 cm. The water is suspended so that the kids do not reach it and drown. All entertaining animal toys are removed from the cage; they can be harmful to the life of hamsters. Mother should not interfere with anything at the time of feeding.
In the first fruiting period, a tactile connection is still possible, and when the end of gestation comes, the pet cannot be touched. The female will be able to give birth herself, without human help, especially since during this period she is very angry with her owners.
A pregnant pet will gradually increase in size. The appearance of the Dzungar breeds resembles a pear. It is difficult to find out that the hamster is dzungarik pregnant, because it has a long and fluffy coat. The size of the abdomen depends on the number of offspring and the term. Nipples gradually increase and become visible from under the coat. In addition to external signs, there are also indirect ones, they are as follows:
- lies in a ball,
- the appearance of anger
- moves slowly and carefully
- looking for secluded places to relax,
- prepares a place for childbirth,
- eats a lot and drinks.
How to eat
It is important to feed the pet with the correct and healthy foods during the period of gestation. Nutrition should be varied and healthy. The diet should consist of dry mixes, sprouted cereals, herbs, fresh fruits, and vegetables.In addition, the animal needs protein food.
Proper feeding required
Every day you need to give a boiled egg, low-fat cottage cheese and boiled chicken, not salted. Every day you need to change the water, it should always be fresh. Vitamins such as glucose and calcium can be added to it. If there is, put a small piece of chalk in the cage, let the animal gnaw. It is very healthy and contains a lot of calcium.
Be sure to carry out a general cleaning before delivery in a cage. It is carried out 4-5 days before the birth itself. It is forbidden to clean in 1-2 days. The cell is well washed and disinfected. Putting a new litter is impossible, as the female will be very nervous. At this time, it is advisable to less disturb the expectant mother. She herself prepares the house, as it will be convenient and comfortable.
She also makes food supplies, so people do not want to disturb her. Put any fabric, hay and bandages in the cage, they can come in handy during childbirth. Put a small cardboard in the form of a house so that the mother can hide her newborn children there. Since hamsters are nocturnal animals, it will be easier for them to give birth at night. If the birth began during the day, hang a towel on the cage so that the female thinks it is night.
How to recognize the birth process
Childbirth lasts at the dzhungarik for about 3-6 hours. Usually they do it on their own. It is forbidden to touch the mother during childbirth and after. It is also forbidden to do such processes:
- make a lot of noise
- make sharp movements near the animal,
- examine her and the kids, as well as touch her hands.
If a mother experiences stress, she may not want to feed the children or even eat them. You can not disturb her and newborns for 16 days. During this period, it is forbidden to clean the cage. You can tidy up for 10 days, but carefully and do not touch the children.
If you do not follow these rules, then you may not be able to breed pets. If the bearing of the offspring was difficult, then the female may treat the children badly and not accept them. If, during fruiting, the female does not receive the necessary food, mainly this refers to protein products, then she can enjoy her children.
When to contact a veterinarian
In general, there are no deviations. To see a veterinarian is only necessary if the animal walks for a long time and cannot give birth. Such symptoms hint at the appearance of a pathology. There are times when a pet gives birth and eats its children, and the owner is waiting for childbirth, and there are none. Due to the fact that the hamsters' pregnancy lasts differently for everyone, the owners cannot immediately understand this, therefore they cannot take the pet to the clinic on time. The doctor will help determine the onset of fruiting, and will tell its exact date.
It is worth remembering that the animal is experiencing severe stress during a trip to the clinic, so you should not get it nervous ahead of time. The animal can be done by ultrasound, if the owner is sure that something is wrong with his pet. To determine the pregnancy of a hamster, just watch him for several weeks.