Campbell's Russian Dwarf Hamsters: Breeding
Breeding Campbell's Russian Dwarf Hamsters is much simpler than breeding Syrian Hamsters as they will live together in mixed sex pairs or groups and breed naturally. Pairs or groups are best established at a young age as introducing older hamsters can often result in fighting. Males will naturally mate with the females if kept together and when in season the female will allow the male to mount her. He will thrust a few times before dismounting and washing himself and then often will remount and mate again. The male will usually mate with the female several times.
Not all unproven males will get a female pregnant after the first mating and some males may need to mate several times before a successful pregnancy occurs. The actual mating may not always be observed. The gestation period of Campbell's Russian Dwarf Hamsters is approximately 18 to 21 days and if mating was observed then the time of the expected arrival of the litter can be roughly calculated. If mating was not observed then it is often not possible to predict when the litter is expected. Many females do not appear pregnant until a couple of days before the birth but an increased aggressiveness of the female towards her mate, colony hamsters, or humans is often an indication of pregnancy. The female will often banish the male or other hamsters from the nest a couple of days before pregnancy and/or after the birth. Therefore as soon as it is noticed the female is pregnant it is best to clean the cage.
Females usually give birth during the evening, night or early morning but sometimes give birth during the day. The female is active right up to the moment of birth. Before giving birth to each baby she tightens her abdominal muscles two or three times then sits up and crouches over as she gives birth to a single baby within a couple of minutes. A placenta, which looks like a small red blood sac, may be released after the birth of each baby and is normally eaten by the mother as it is a good source of protein. Babies are born at approximately 10 minute intervals and the mother may be active between each birth. Therefore babies may be born around the cage but the mother will usually collect them all up and place them in the nest once birthing is complete.
After the female has given birth there are often spots of blood on the bedding or around the cage. This is caused by the passing of the placentas and is normal and nothing to be alarmed about. Severe bleeding from the female though should be cause for alarm. The pups are born naked, blind and deaf, weighing only around 3 grams. If the hamsters are to be dark-eyed the eyes can be seen under the skin but if they are to be red-eyed the eyes cannot be seen at birth. They are born with teeth which allow them to suckle. Their skin is transparent and once fed the milk can be seen in the stomach.
Click on Pictures Above to Zoom In Last Updated: 30 May 2011