How to breed hamsters

How to breed hamsters

Hamsters :

The hamster is a small-sized rodent, its body is covered with long and dense fur, the color of which varies depending on its species, ranging from grayish-brown to red-brown, and its lower parts are white or gray-black hues, small furry ears characterize the hamster, an inner cheek pouch, it has a solid body, a tail much shorter than the body length, wide feet, short stocky legs, the hamster is a hamster live in burrows that he digs himself and makes more than one entrance to them, and they are divided into compartments for storage, nesting, and other activities, he may also live In burrows dug by other mammals.

Types of hamsters :

There are 24 types of hamsters, the most famous of which are hamsters that can be kept as pets such as:

  • Syrian hamster, or golden hamster:

It is scientifically known as Mesocricetus auratus, which is the most famous species of hamster, ranging in length from (12.5 – 17.5) centimeters, lives from (2-3) years, has a curious and solitary nature, is known by several names depending on the difference in its colors, including the golden hamster, honey, and others.

  • Russian dwarf hamsters:

Also known as the Campbell dwarf hamster, and scientifically known as Phodopus campbelli, it ranges in length between (10-12) centimeters, and lives between (1.5-3 years), native to semi-arid regions of Central Asia, the Altai Mountains, and northeast China, this type of hamster can coexist with other individuals of the same species and is fast-moving and active at dawn and dusk.

  • Russian Dwarf winter white hamster:

It is also known as the Siberian hamster, its scientific name is Phodopus sungorus, its length ranges between (8-10) centimeters, and it lives between (1.5-2 ) years, and it can be found in Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia, it is called Winter White because it replaces its grayish-brown or grayish-blue summer fur with a bright white coat during winter.

  • Chinese hamsters:

It is scientifically known as Cricetulus griseus, and its length ranges from (10-12) centimeters, and it lives for (2-3) years, and it is a calm-natured hamster, native to the deserts of northern China and Mongolia, either its fur color is grayish brown, it has a dark stripe along the spine, and the lower part of the body is pale in color, or its fur color is grayish white, and it has a dark stripe on the back. Compared to other types of hamsters, the Chinese hamster’s body is long and thin, and its tail is long.

  • Desert hamsters:

Scientifically known as Phodopus roborovskii, it is a small animal no more than (4.5) centimeters long, and lives for no more than (3.5) years, native to the Gobi desert, the steppes of Mongolia, and parts of northern China, the color of its fur is sandy, or golden, and the lower parts of the body are white in color, the desert hamster is characterized by white markings above the eyes, it is the smallest species of pet hamster, the longest-lived species of hamster, and has an active, fast nature.

Reproduction of hamsters :

Female hamsters are usually aggressive with males, but they accept the presence of males in their fertile period, and after mating, the pregnant female becomes fatter than usual by two or three times, becomes less active, tends to eat more food, and a female hamster can become pregnant two or three times per year, and the gestation period varies from one species to another, ranging from (18 -22) days, and gives birth at a time between (3-12) puppies depending on the type of hamster, but it is not necessary that the mother breastfeeds all the young, and can eat some of them.

When the date of birth approaches, the mother’s activity increases, and she begins to build a nest to receive puppies, gives birth while standing, cuts the umbilical cord, and the birth of all puppies takes between (10-30) minutes, and the mother takes advantage of the period between a small exit and another by sleeping, or reorganizing the nest, and then begins to clean the puppies that are blind and remain so during the first two weeks of birth. Puppies start drinking water between 13-15 days after their birth, and start eating between 16-21 days. Puppies are weaned when they reach the age of (3) weeks, and they become sexually mature between the sixth and seventh week of their life.

But why do female hamsters eat their young There is more than one theory to explain a mother hamster eats her young, one of which is that she eats some puppies, to provide her body with enough protein to breastfeed the remaining puppies, or because the place where she lives does not accommodate all the young, and she may also eat her young if she estimates that there is not enough food for everyone, so she eats some puppies before they die on their own, another theory says that the mother may suffer from trauma during childbirth and looks at the young as a source of threat to her and eats them, or she may do so only to reduce the burden of caring for them, and she also eats weak and abnormal puppies. One of the tips that those who want to keep a hamster as a pet should adhere to is not to touch the young hamsters and carry them early because they will pick up the smell of humans, which leads to the mother treating them as a source of food because the human smell is then associated with food.

Feeding hamsters :

The name hamster is derived from the German word “hamstern” and means treasure because hamsters collect food in a special pouch on each cheek to take it to burrows and store it to be able to eat it later. hamsters feed on fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, Acorns, corn, insects, lizards, frogs, and other small animals. When buying a hamster as a pet, care must be taken that its food contains (16%) protein and(5%) of fat at least.

General information about hamsters :

Here is some information about hamsters:

  • The golden hamster, or Syrian hamster, is an endangered animal according to the IUCN Red List, due to the loss of its natural habitat as a result of the expansion of humans in agricultural and development projects.
  • The sense of sight of a hamster is weak, and it compensates for this thanks to the special glands located on its back, which secrete easily distinguishable odors. while walking, the hamster begins to rub his back with objects that he passes near, and uses this smell to deduce his way back to his burrow.
  • The hamster’s teeth are constantly growing, and he needs twigs and wood to keep his teeth short, otherwise, they will grow and grow longer and injure the lips and the roof of the mouth.
  • A female hamster puts her young in the pouch located inside her cheek when she feels the danger and moves them to a safe place.