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Old 02-24-2020, 06:43 AM   #1
Ithuviel
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Default 2 litters at the same time (help with info pls)

Hi everyone

Sorry if i'm putting too many questions but i still have lots. So some of you may have red this thread where i explained that i took a female hybrid hamster in foster care that has 3 or 4 pups. When i took her in the pups were 5 days old (the owner told me). Unfortunately, she was not immediately separated from the male after giving birth.

By my calculations, when the current pups will be almost 3 weeks old i should expect a new litter. My concern is that she will cull her new pups because the old ones are still there. I don't know if i should separate the older pups early.

Did anyone else experience this? what should i expect?

Another information i got from the previous owner is that the current pups is a second litter. The first one was killed by the owner. Apparently they had them since december, but they were dumped by another previous owner that got bored of them

I still find it rather strange that they didn't have many litters all of this time. Another thing i noticed about the mommy hamster is that her ear is bitten and she is missing a "finger" (i don't know what to call them). This is probably due to fighting. Otherwise she seems very active and is taking care of the pups.

I am giving her extra food and extra proteine daily and she seems extremely fond of tissue paper.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2 litters at the same time (help with info pls)

I would take out the older litter before she is due to give birth to the second so that mum is better able to take care of the younger ones. It's not unheard of for dwarf breeders to do that with a back to back litter and the pups usually do okay.
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Old 02-24-2020, 11:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2 litters at the same time (help with info pls)

That is helpful of Fluffagrams for you so that answers the question. I assume the first litter would then need some kind of hand rearing? Hopefully someone who knows will answer that one!

You're doing a grand job with them - remember not to go too close to the cage or disturb the Mum or the nest until the pups are coming out on their own and their eyes open. Hopefully there won't be a second litter.
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Old 02-24-2020, 12:05 PM   #4
sushi_78
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Default Re: 2 litters at the same time (help with info pls)

It might be a little longer than 3 weeks until the next litter. It's thought that when dwarf hamsters get pregnant while already nursing a litter they can delay implantation such that the pregnancy is extended. This is an adaptation that allows them to have back-to-back litters (though in captivity it's still not a good idea of course). If you don't have more pups when the current litter is 21 days old, I wouldn't assume the mother isn't still pregnant.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9143142
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:01 PM   #5
cypher
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Default Re: 2 litters at the same time (help with info pls)

As sushi said a second litter may be delayed but you can't be sure so it may be safer to remove the first litter, I think they would be feeding themselves by 3 weeks but I'm sure they would need extra care & probably still some soft foods, someone here who breeds hams may be able to advise you on that.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:32 AM   #6
Ithuviel
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Default Re: 2 litters at the same time (help with info pls)

Thank you for telling me abut the delay. After i searched gestation period in hamsters i panicked. I hope i will be able to tell if there is a second litter before birth, i don't want to separate the pups for no reason. The signs of pregnancy that i read she is allready having, like nesting, eating and drinking a lot of food, but she is nursing pups. So my guess is that she needs extra for the pups. My chance is if i will be able to tell a few days before the second birth if she has pups inside her.

What should i feed pups this young if it is necessary to take them away from mom?

Thank you all for all the info i really didn't know about the delay.

Side story for today:
Yesterday evening i absolutely had to remove the green tray from the cage because it became a safety hazard. She kept digging for days under it and it could have fallen on her at any moment because she just kept digging. I did this just in time because when i lifted the tray up she had one of the pups with her under it. She then moved the pup back into the nest then i added more bedding and a bendable bridge.

This morning, i found her sleeping in a hut that is next to her nest and i panicked. I tought: OMG she abandoned her pups because i removed the tray! She was in that hut seeming very content and sleeping. She got out to drink and there was no pup in the new hut. I can't even remember what i had for breakfast, i was so stressed. I came back and a saw in their old hut 2 pups. I was happy they were alive. Shortly after the mother came and tended to them. I was so relieved she has not abandoned them. I am so happy. Anyway i could safely see that there are 3 pups. My guess is that she has 3 and not 4 as i was informed.

Thank you all once again.
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2 litters at the same time (help with info pls)

It is quite common for mums to move litters and also to have multiple nests. Sometimes they even have some pups in one nest and some in another and will tend to both lots separately. Dwarf pups at 3 weeks are quite independent and should be eating well. Supplement with baby food and protein such as tiny chopped boiled egg, plain chicken cooked rice and pasta as well as little bits of veg / fruit and plenty mix. They should do fine. Give them loads of bedding to keep warm too and ensure the males and females are separate at 4 weeks. If there was only one female I would leave her in with mum.
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2 litters at the same time (help with info pls)

Plenty of info there for you . As regards whether or not she is pregnant, I believe it is very difficult to tell but sometimes just before they are due to give birth they get very large at the back end. If that helps. See how it goes for now. Best to let her settle again for now. She maybe felt the house was a bit cramped and so moved in somewhere else and goes back to feed the pups. She might have felt they were a bit exposed in the house as well hence trying to move them under the green tray. Just see how it goes but best not to get too close to the cage to keep looking - and keep a distance. Just keep putting plenty of food and water out.
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Old 02-25-2020, 03:36 AM   #9
Ithuviel
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Default Re: 2 litters at the same time (help with info pls)

I'm just so glad that there is internet now because i don't know how i would have done this without you guys. Thank you so much.
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Old 02-25-2020, 05:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2 litters at the same time (help with info pls)

Ithuviel, all I can say is a huge and very heart-felt "well done!".

You are caring for these little creatures that have been placed in a tough situation through no fault of their own and it is not an easy task so please just know that I have immense respect for what you are doing.
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