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Old 05-28-2008, 07:38 AM   #1
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Default To breed or not to breed......

Please don't all jump on me I'm only THINKING about this, I wanted to get some feedback before I do more than just think

Firstly I would never dream of breeding my rescue hamsters, ANY of them, and I don't think I would breed the dwarfs either but quite a number of my friends have been asking when I'm going to have syrian babies they can have.

The pet shop (small family run one in town) near me where I used to work have also said they would love to have some home bred hamsters. They buy from a breeding centre right now but they don't like "supporting" it but don't have any "regular" breeders.

Anyway so I'm thinking, should I breed a litter or 2 to see how I get on? I have a few spare cages, quite a lot of people wanting little ones, I LOVE babies (baby anything's but especially cute furry ones) and I'm registered with my vet who is 2 minutes away.

They know me VERY well with all my guinea pigs and cats already

I don't really want to breed to show quality or standard because I failed miserably at trying to do that with the guinea pigs - but it might be something I want to do in the future.

Anyway I just thought I would ask what people think? And again please don't all jump on me I am a very responsible person who wouldn't do anything stupid or irresponsible, at least not with animals!

Thankies x
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:32 AM   #2
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The only thing I would say with breeding is unless you have a fantastic reputation and customers who keep coming back, it is hard to home babies. I know people on here have been worried in the past about managing to find homes, and I also know that one or two have kept babies for themselves that haven't been able to find homes but necessarily wouldn't have kept from the off.

Also people promise you things and then decide to opt out, again members on here have experienced let downs a few times.
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Old 05-28-2008, 08:36 AM   #3
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Yeah, I had several people let me down over babies in the last litter, its very annoying when they drop out at the last minute. I managed to rehome all I wanted to in the end, there was a few hairy moments though
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Old 05-28-2008, 09:13 AM   #4
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Hi Naomi,

i really dont think it is my place to tell anyone to breed or not - i think it is a very personal descision, but, be warned, it is very addictive!

I think that if you decide to breed you just need to be prepared and make sure you think ahead.

This year is the first time i have had so many litters together and, with my accidental litter also, i have found it quite a strain to be honest!

I have had to use quite a few of my emergency cages - cages which i wouldnt normaly use, as i still have 7.5 week old Syrians which do not have homes to go, plus new Robo litters too!

I have had homes fall though, and it really is a pain - fun too, as you get to spend more time with the babies, but it puts you out a little - which i why you must be prepared.

Luckily, i have long waiting list for my Roborovskis, so they always have homes to go to - i think i will make sure i have homes for any future Syrian babies before i breed them - i have found this experience to be quite strange - not having homes for babies to go to

Also, i have found that my supplies (food, bedding, shavings, etc.) have gone down much quicker this month (and last), which i didnt really count on - not that it is a problem, but i just didnt prepae for it - so make sure you are really prepared.

Breeding is very fun, but also very stessful - it also a very big responsibility, so just think and research everything you can before starting - if you do decide to breed.

Hope i have been helpful.

Kind Regards,

Tammy x
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Old 05-28-2008, 10:46 AM   #5
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I'd strongly suggest not breeding until you have a lot more hamster experience - a couple of years at least really - and have got a good understanding of both genetics and hamsters themselves. Breeding hamsters can be so complicated, and so very traumatic - I think everyone who read Holly's posts about her Smarterone litter will testify to that.

The genetics behind breeding is SO important. There are far too many ill-bred and sickly hamsters out there who are bred by people who have no/little understanding what's really behind it. It not only weakens the hamster lines, but it also raises a whole host of health problems in the hamsters' later lives.

As for your friends who want Syrians, well, the RSPCA at Chatham still have plenty of Syrians looking for homes. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh but if people just want cuddly babies, I wouldn't want them to have one of my hamsters. They see you have Syrians and suddenly they want a baby Syrian? It doesn't like someone committed to hamster love just yet. And yes, I know I'm being demanding/choosy - but isn't that the point of breeding your own hamsters?
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:07 AM   #6
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Well you have given it a lot of thought and have an outlet for the babies. You have experience of breeding guinea pigs, if you want to breed a litter I would say go ahead and breed a litter. You only learn from experience.
I have only been keeping hamsters for 18 months and have now had 4 litters, Holly got her first petshop hamsters at the same time as me and she has also now had 4 litters.
When I bred my first litter I had not intention of getting back into showing animals, that just sort of happened. I just wanted to breed a litter of babies so I bought a pair of well bred parents from a show breeder. I was prepared to keep all the babies if necessary.
It is entirely up to you Naomi.
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:41 AM   #7
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Breeding a litter is a wonderful and fulfilling experience. I think if you have a good pair of hamsters from a healthy background, and this is what I consider the most important factor, of excellent temperament, you should allow yourself that experience. If you have the homes and a good pet shop you trust then even better. As long as you are prepared to both keep any you cannot home and take back any you have bred so they never need to go into rescue, have facilities and finance you will enjoy it. You need to be prepared for some heartbreak too. We only breed when we know we can home the babies. This works out at about 1 litter every two years! They all need taming and handling to be sure they make good pets so you need time and remember you don't want the other members of your family to be put out too much either. Good luck whatever you decide.
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:05 PM   #8
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Thank you everyone for your wonderful replies, this is exactly what I need, lots of thoughts and ideas.

When I bred the piggies I was always (and still am) prepared to take back any animal I had bred, I believe that's my responsibility after all.

The only real "problem" I would foresee is possibly having to keep a whole litter when syrians can have up to 16 babies at a time But I don't see how this would happen when my friendly pet shop already want 20, plus I would definiately HAVE to keep 1, or 2 - or more lol

ELC you are right about people only wanting "handlable" animals, not very fair or well thought out is it and you are right they have gone to the bottom of my list for babies

And Souffle I'm with you 100% on temperament, it is TOP of my list

Hmmmmm lots to think about
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:10 PM   #9
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my advice would depend on what hams you wanted to breed and wher you got them from. If they were from a show breeder and you were continuing good lines then sure. If they were pet shop hams then i'd say no, cos there are enough of those around anyway.

Personally i think the only reason to breed is to continue good lines of colour/type/temprament/heath etc. The thing with showing, to me, is that the scores from judges are a way of knowing what hams to breed, to continue the best lines. If you got one hams that scored 60 and one that scored 70, you know which one to breed. It's not about winning. Aside from that i think there are too many hams being bred than there are homes for in the country.

although having said that, Oscar got 66 but i'll still breed him cos a)he got 72.5 last time b)he's from good lines and carries good genes. He got so low cos he's so brown.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bunsey
It's not about winning
I don't understand this comment, then why do you mention judges scores?

I appreciate your comments, I just don't understand this bit, sorry
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