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Old 05-01-2016, 11:54 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Kilkeel, northern ireland
Posts: 17
Default breeding age.

Right guys a simple question, at what age do you all start breeding with females/males ? and at what age do you retire them at ? especially males, do you breed them until old age sets in or do you have a cut off point ? ie 18 months 2 years ?
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:45 PM   #2
Fluffy Hamsters
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 3,942
Default Re: breeding age.

Interestěng questions. How many times in a hamsters life would you breed them? Obviously its harder on the girls.

Not that i am considering breeding.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:54 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Leeds, England.
Posts: 1,527
Default Re: breeding age.

For females it's 5-6 months for their first litter and they should be retired at 1 year old, which usually gives 2 litters but some people manage to get 3 on rare occasions if the female is still in good condition. But the females health is the main priority so I believe 1 litter is best.

For males, I'd say breed them from 1.5 years of age, so you can see how their health is up until that time to see if they're good for breeding purposes. Some people do breed from males at early ages, but I think it's better to see how their health is for a long time before you add their genes to your lines to be extra careful

I'm not sure of the retirement age is for males, someone else will have to answer you on that.

Last edited by WinnieTheHam; 05-01-2016 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:59 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Northern Ireland
Posts: 493
Default Re: breeding age.

Hi Pat, I've heard people say (and through research myself) it is best to breed from a female when she is around the 4/5 months age and would breed no more than twice in her life time with good rest time inbetween. Males usually they can breed most of their life probably best in their prime.
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Old 05-01-2016, 01:45 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Yorkshire, UK but my heart lies in Scotland!
Posts: 27,266
Default Re: breeding age.

We would first mate 5-7 months and personally only have 1 litter from a female.
Males we would breed as long as they are eager always remembering that a mating takes a lot out of them.
We do not test mate to see if the female stands again. We find it better to give it the full 16 days as we feel test mating may cause them to resorb due to the stress of it and also the reports that some females will stand even if already pregnant.
Mating is always a risk no matter how careful you are. Risk to males of being attacked and injured as well as females being hurt.
Risk of pyo in the females due to introduction of bacteria from the male. Risk to female in carrying and birthing the litter as well as nurturing.
It needs great thought and acceptance of the risks.
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:30 AM   #6
Fuzzy Feet!
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Shakespeare country
Posts: 3,873
Default Re: breeding age.

If I remember correctly, the NHC code of practice suggests between four and eight months old for a female's first litter, and no more than three litters in a lifetime. I think it depends on the hamster a bit too, my four month old female I would not say is ready for a litter yet, she's only just growing out of what I think of as her awkward teenage phase, but a hamster that develops quickly might be at four months old. Similarly if a female recovers quickly from a litter, three might be doable, but if she doesn't, two or even one in a lifetime might be all she has.

As for boys, this summer I'm hopefully breeding my LH rust boy who is two in August, and he is definitely still very interested in the smell of lady hams! I've read that he's likely to not give me as big a litter as he is past his prime, but he is such a gorgeous hamster I feel like I need to breed from him (It's only the house move I'm currently stressing out about that has stopped me from breeding him already, his girlfriend is here and ready for him!)
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age, breeding, cut, sets, years

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