Scientifically, rodents like hamsters are classified as mammals, thus capable of reproduction and giving birth. Baby hamsters are called pups.
There are instances when pet owners find it hard to distinguish if the hamster is already impregnated. My friend, who is also a hamster owner, bought his pet from a pet store near our place. After several weeks, he was deeply surprised when the pet that he bought has given birth to eight baby hamsters. This happens. Even pet shop vendors sometimes are not aware that the hamsters on sale have been bred for reproduction. Hence, female hamsters are ready for reproduction in the age of two or three. At this time, they are highly fertile. This can be easily seen when the genital area is already reddening.
How do Baby Hamsters look like?
Naturally, hamsters have poor vision. They are born nearsighted. Everything for them appears black and white because they are also colour blind. However, they are gifted with extreme sense of smell, which they use to easily detect if they are already in danger and in searching food.
Baby hamsters are totally blind and deaf because they are coated with skin-like lining after birth. Mommy hamster often gathers them in pile and covers them with materials available in their cage as a way of protecting them from any harm. Also, they are often born on litters, minimum of 6 to 8 baby hamsters.
Baby hamsters are very vulnerable after birth. Holding them at that point is definitely not advisable because their hamster smell might be gone and mom hamster won’t be able to recognize them. Hands-off is the ultimate rule. Mom hamster might abandon them and worse, she might eat and kill them.
When to introduce food to Baby Hamsters
After birth, baby hamsters should stay with mom hamster for milk. In two to three weeks, or just after their eyes are opened and their sense of hearing is functioning, they will start looking for food. This happens when they are two weeks old. From there, they can be fed with the usual food (like cooked food scraps, veggies, fruits or pastas) given to adults but of little amount.
Like humans, diet should also be observed properly to maintain good health. The introduction of food like fruits and veggies to the baby hamsters after weaning should be done with care because they are very susceptible to food-related illnesses like diarrhea. Food should not be given in a gradual manner.
Hamsters carry their food through their cheek pouches. These pouches are spacious enough to store food that they gather. When full, the cheek would look twice bigger than their head. They store the gathered food to the place near where they sleep that’s why they can still survive in a week with the absence of food. They use their two sharp teeth, or incisors to chew or to grab food to eat.
Since baby hamsters are extremely vulnerable after birth, they should be nurtured with extra care.