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Old 12-15-2021, 07:51 AM   #11
Ria P
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Wink Re: Gertie had babies!!

Thank you both for the reassuring words.

I don't think that keeping a baby would benefit Gertie in any way because i would never house two hamsters together, not even a mother and daughter.

Babies are weaned at 3 weeks and they're probaby 2 weeks old now so in theory they would be able to leave their mother in a week's time. I'd prefer to keep them with their mother until they're 4 weeks old but at the same time need to avoid a further pregnancy.

I rescued a litter of 4 little dwarf babies once and one of them turned out to be pregnant already so i know at how young an age they are able to reproduce.

Gertie has had 3 litters in quick succession so her welfare is equally as important as that of her babies.

The babies are already running up and down the bridges, sit on the platform to munch on seeds, drink from both the bottle and the bowls, like to sit in the sand to wash and run in and out the house. They already behave like proper hamsters and even come up to the door to take mealworms from my fingers.
A couple climbed on the flying saucer but took fright when it started to move and quickly jumped off.

At first Gertie went after them and pulled them off the bridges then frogmarched them back to the nests but while doing so another appeared to climb on top of the house etc.

Last night a baby was on a corner shelf and tried to figure out how to get down before going down the ladder it had come up. Gertie sat in her ceramic hide but didn't get up to drag the baby off the shelf.

I think that if i would level out the set up now the babies might get bored and spent more time around their mother resulting in Gertie getting no rest at all.

Of course, i could see this all wrong but can't get rid of the feeling that Gertie is trying to communicate something to me. She keeps coming to her door. At first i thought that she was asking for more food but she has lots of food now so it's not that.

Unfortunately, i'm at work till late afternoon tomorrow so can't "talk" to Gertie for ages. Something i'm not very happy about but will ask my OH to send me video updates.

This photo is from this morning with Gertie snoozing in her ceramic hide, some babies in the sand front right, inside the house, underground, in a foodbowl.....

I have no idea if this is a typical, idyllic hamster family scenario or should Gertie be amongst her babies?
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Old 12-15-2021, 02:19 PM   #12
My my my Delilah
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Default Re: Gertie had babies!!

I have no advice to offer but it sounds like you’re doing an amazing job.
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Old 12-15-2021, 03:21 PM   #13
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Gertie had babies!!

I think waiting till four weeks is to be able to sex them correctly It might not be possible to sex them easily at three weeks - but I'm really not sure with dwarf hamsters (I know with robos it's usually at four weeks).

I think go with your gut. My only thought was it might be stressful for Gertie trying to monitor the babies if they are all over the place. They do generally all stick together around the Mother and she can keep an eye on them and nudge them into place etc. While not being able to do that might be giving her a rest, I guess it could be stressful in that she has just given up as they are all over the place. But perhaps there is no right or wrong way. Maybe ask Souffle?! Who has had many litters!

On the plus side, the babies are learning independence quickly and exploring. I think the usual thing is - being around the Mother without much distraction, until they are separated into male/female groups together, then going into their own cage/set up with variety when they go to a new a home - ie the first bit of independence. And they're usually ready for that by 6 weeks.

I am just wondering if they are weaned yet or still feeding from her as well as eating? Google tells me that dwarf hamsters aren't weaned from the Mother's milk until three weeks.
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Old 12-15-2021, 03:27 PM   #14
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Gertie had babies!!

And they can be separated from the Mother once they are fully weaned. But at 28 days, yes there is a possibility they could mate so maybe around 25 days for separating if you can sex them (ie between 3 and four weeks).
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Old 12-15-2021, 03:59 PM   #15
Ria P
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Default Re: Gertie had babies!!

Well, i've just received a message and video from my OH. He has counted 7 babies tonight!!

I got in contact with the breeder and was reassured that Gertie's behaviour is normal. Once the pups eat and drink the mothers leave them to it but still feed them a little. Gertie may have started the process of weaning them off. Some pups try to latch on which i've seen and others very much do their own thing. A big one climbed up to a corner and bar chewed trying to get out! 3 others were hovering around the feet of the climbing one acting as foot stools.

Looks like a right pandemonium.

I told my OH to chuck more whimzees through the top door.

Must go and place a food order at Zooplus now.
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Old 12-15-2021, 07:19 PM   #16
Pebbles82
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Default Re: Gertie had babies!!

Seven! Goodness. I can imagine it's mayhem.
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Old 12-16-2021, 06:49 AM   #17
Ria P
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Default Re: Gertie had babies!!

They're growing so fast. Interesting to see that trying to find a way out of an enclosure seems to be an instinct hamsters are born with.
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Old 12-19-2021, 04:03 AM   #18
Ria P
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Default Re: Gertie had babies!!

The seven babies are going to the hamstery at three weeks old not four.

They are growing, eating and drinking well and Gertie is getting fat. She sits in her ceramic hide a lot and eats too much. With seven growing hamsters about there is always lots of food but Gertie eats a lot of it.

The other day i put a plate of scrambled egg in and a baby sat on it eating. Along comes Gertie and wants the very piece of egg the baby was sitting on. She kept nudging it with her nose but baby ignored her and kept eating. In the end Gertie grabbed the baby's leg and pulled it off the plate!
That wasn't very nurturing of her.

I have a bin cage ready for the babies and the breeder says that i could move the babies now but i want to wait the full three weeks to make sure that everyone has been weaned.
It's hard to tell though. I haven't seen a baby latching on to Gertie for a few days now and sometimes there is a bit of a commotion with loud squeaking inside or behind the house involving Gertie and a baby. Not sure what this is all about.

Once the babies have moved out Gertie needs to get back to some sensible eating and exercise. She doesn't have her wheel just now because it's too heavy and could fall over onto a baby. She doesn't like the flying saucer but the babies have started to have a go on it.

I think i might join Gertie and try sensible eating and exercise myself.
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Old 12-19-2021, 06:25 AM   #19
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Gertie had babies!!

it sounds equal measure fun and stressful Ria
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Old 12-19-2021, 02:30 PM   #20
flowerfairy
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Default Re: Gertie had babies!!

What an enjoyable thread!

7 babies. Love the pic of them all swarming up the bars. You have a lovely set up for them all.
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