As with taking care of most mammals, breeding dwarf hamsters is very serious business. Below are some facts and tips to consider when you plan to become a dwarf hamster breeder:
• They can be sexually mature in as early as 30 days.
• Get them in pairs that are allowed to mature together. The best age to reproduce for them is at 4-6months.
• Dwarf hamsters are allowed to breed before 4 months are observed to have more probability to eat their young.
• Some pairs can mate again as early as 1 day after the female gives birth. Some pairs mate after the litter has been weaned.
• To avoid over-breeding, separate males from females. Not letting them over-breed also increases the lifespan of the female because her body is allowed to recover before getting pregnant again.
• Some females can give birth to up to 20 pups, so prepare to quadruple your efforts after birth.
• They have limitless energy. Provide a big cage enough where they can play and run around.
• Provide them with fresh food and water daily.
• Clean cages once every week.
• Do not bathe your hamsters.
• Pregnancy can be observed with a female’s body getting rounder, and her nipples getting more prominent. The gestation period is an average of 18-24 days. The mother will nurse the litter with milk from her teats.
• The father will eventually learn to help out with taking care of their babies, with some persuasion from the mother.
• Breeding dwarf hamsters does not require you to help out with the litter. Do not handle them until they are about 4 weeks old.
• On the 4th week begin weaning them from the mother. Separate males from females to prevent breeding too early and feed them regular food cut into tiny pieces.
• If you decide to give or sell some to your friends, they can take their new pets at 5-6 weeks. Remember to teach new owners the responsibilities of being a hamster care-taker.
Breeding dwarf hamsters can be perceived as hard at times, especially with the fast rate of reproduction and the need to continually separate the young males and females. However, if done properly and with enough patience, it can also be a very rewarding experience. Try settling with a pair now and see yourself!