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Old 07-05-2012, 03:18 PM   #1
Hamster Pup
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 208
Default Breeding hamsters

Okay, let me say this first, im not at all planning or thinking of breeding hamsters any time soon, or ever! So dont say "Your not ready" or act like im planning to breed hamsters, because im not.

But, if youve been reading my posts, you know that Buttercup, the hamster I got from petco had 9 unexpected babys. I havent even sold them all yet but it went pretty well actually. She didnt eat any (1 at most, probably 0 though) And I love having all the little baby hamsters! I gave one to a really good home a few days ago and I would never give them to bad homes.

I was thinking one day, it would be fun to breed hamsters. I know that they could eat there babys or something though, but is it dangerous for the mom? Is that a terrible Idea? I wasnt going to do it now or soon because im not ready. I wasnt at all prepared for 9 babys so I didnt even know how to seperate them. But now that ive done it, if I was prepared I think I could do it. Nothing terribly wrong happened this time. Besides things I did (the day I seperated them I was scared the baby girls were going to have more babys!)

And again, im not going to do it now. Itll be a loong time before I even consider it really.
That would be stupid since I still dont know much about hamster breeding. I was just wondering if it was a bad idea to to do it some day in the future?

(by the way, I mean Syrians)

Last edited by ButterNut; 07-05-2012 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 07-05-2012, 03:52 PM   #2
Hells Hamsters
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Default Re: Breeding hamsters

Breeders spend ages studying genetics to avoid problems such as eyeless and Furless babies being born. It is advisable to purchase stock from breeders so you know the pedigree before breeding, and do a lot of research. I have been keeping hamsters for almost 20 years and I would never think of breeding, no matter how cute my hams are. There are some people on this forum who have spent years researching, so they know what they are doing.
Proud mummy of Fluffy

I started off with one hammy...but one is never enough
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Breeding hamsters

Depends why you want to do it, I suppose. If you're willing to put the time into research, effort, money etc, and you're doing it for an ethical reason in an ethical manner, then I don't see why not

Breeding (Robos) is something I want to do "some day in the future"
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Breeding hamsters

I think if you know what you're doing (genetics, papers, so on) and are breeding for a purpose (improving fur, color, for certain colors, improving size and health and disposition), have the money and room and the time, then it's a good way to give other people an alternative to the pet store. I know that the US has barely any breeders and there are masses of "rodent farms" that supply chains and such. Then again there are also a lot of hamsters in the US and UK that need homes (from shelters).
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:15 AM   #5
Wicked Witch of Manchester
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Location: Bourne, Lincs
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Default Re: Breeding hamsters

I agree with what others said, just want to add one thing - only do it if you can get a good breeding pair as well.

I don't think you would be ready for breeding for a long time, certainly as you are still in school (I think, sorry if you're not!) and it is a lot of responsibility. I know you did (or didn't do) a couple of general hamster care things that you shouldn't have (or should have) and that worries me a little.

Why do you want to breed in the future? If you have a good reason to do it and will do it ethically and be responsible about it all then I think everyone here will support you, point you in the direction of information sources regarding genetics and what have you.

Breeding is dangerous for the mother - pregnancy is dangerous for any animal, so is the birth and raising the offspring. There are so many complications that can happen and there is always risk. But, if you know what you're doing, breed ethically, you will minimise these risks. If I were you, I'd read the story of Hush Puppy before deciding to even start researching.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Breeding hamsters

Speaking of hamster breeding on craigslist somebody is selling a purposefully bred pregnant hamster.

Why would they have the boy and girl in the same cage if they were going to sell the mom when shes pregnant?
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Location: Nottingham, East midlands, UK
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Default Re: Breeding hamsters

Its good that yyou have some experience already (even if it was accidental) and your looking into it before deciding to go ahead
What I will say is, no matter how prepared you are, it will nearly always be stressful! Potential deaths of pups or even mum is something you need to consider every time. However, the rewards of bringing healthy and happy babies into the world is what makes it all worth it.

I'm definitley a young breeder, but age doesn't matter as long as you are seriously considering the consequences. As a NHC member I don't agree with breeding without good reason to do so. And by good reason I mean the litter is purely intended to improve the hamster fancy by choosing the best parents. Though personally showing isn't my main objective, providing quality pet hamsters creates better appreciation for getting hamsters from breeders instead of pet shops. Showing only confirms my hamsters are of a good standard

Anyway, not intending to ramble, my point is it isn't a bad idea to breed in future. But you may want to carefully consider your reasons for breeding x
Love from Mel and the ham hams xxx
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:55 AM   #8
Hamster Pup
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Default Re: Breeding hamsters

Thanks for all the info everbody!
I read a bit about things like no Rex x Rex and stuff like that.
How would I know whats a good pair?

The thing I would be most worried about is risk for the mom.
Buttercup did really well though.

Buttercup is not a breeder hamster but, dosent it get rid of some of the risk of eating babies when theve already had babies?
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:49 AM   #9
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Location: Georgia, USA
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Default Re: Breeding hamsters

The first step is learning the colors, patterns, and the genetic codes behind them. You'll learn what colors "go together" to create other colors and so on. This part honestly takes the longest as some of the genes are tricky!

That's not all though. You'll need to consider the shape of the hamster's head shape, ear placement, size and weight (the bigger the better), body shape, and so on. The NHC has good guidelines for type.

Once you're more familiar with the genetics and the physical appearance of a nice hamster, you'll need to think about selection. If you're breeding Longhair hamsters, you'll want to select for the longest coats. If you want the darkest Sable, you'll want to select hamsters with very strong Umbrous. Want a really nice banded hamster? You'll want to select away from hamsters with color faults. A really nice Golden? Choose ones with the most defined cheekflashes and crescents.

All of these traits are controlled by polygenes. We have polygenes too, for example, there's multiple shades of brown eyes and brown hair! It takes some time to lock in the traits you want.

For breeders, the age of the mother is very important. You run more risk of losing pups, the mother, or both the older she is. At the same time, you don't want to breed the females too early!

First time mothers do sometimes eat pups. Just because they've had a litter doesn't necessarily mean all will survive. She'll still cull pups if they're sickly or malformed. Plus, some mothers are easily excited, others aren't. Some go crazy trying to put pups back in the nest! Others just let them wander.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:11 PM   #10
Erin Loves Dwarf Hamsters
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cyprus
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Default Re: Breeding hamsters

There is definitely no harm in breeding hams so long as you stick to the basic rules, start with good stock for a reputable breeder (this can mean travelling a couple of hours to get to one), make sure you know all that you can about breeding itself as the others have mentioned in examples above, create a good bond with the parents first and finally only breed to create and continue healthier lines and/or further a colouration.

I've been researching breeding roborovskis since early 2011 and in that time I glanced over Syrians as a possibility for which species I may decide to breed after a couple of years with robo lines but I found that the amount of coat colours and the complexity of their genetics put me off ever wanting to breed them, I was too worried that I would get confused and make a mistake! In terms of genetics roborovskis, winter whites and Chinese are the better ones to go for as they have less variations in colour and patterns so if you did ever feel during your research of Syrians that they were becoming too confusing but still wanted to breed hams those species are an option I'm not saying that any hamster species is easy to breed but for me personally breeding Syrians is jumping in at the deep end!

Anyway you have been given a lot of great advice as it is and believe me the researching is wonderful when you begin to find out new things so don't feel daunted by the fact it may take a couple of years, you will know when you are ready to breed hams though and when that time comes its the best feeling in the world!

Breeding (Robos) is something I want to do "some day in the future"
I may have some Bobtails available for you when that time comes
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