Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 06:42 pm
Baby hamsters cannot survive on their own for the first 3 weeks after birth.
During this period, they are dependent on their mother, who helps them and takes care of them, but sometimes it happens that the mother of the hamsters does not take care of them, she can abandon them or she can even eat her babies.
Why is my hamster not feeding her babies?
Hamster’s mother not feeding their babies when she is scared, or she has stress and does not have enough food, and when their babies are born with some anomalies.
If the mother, not like the hamsters, does not take care of the babies, we as owners will have many difficulties raising the baby hamster by ourselves.
In today’s article, you will learn why hamster mothers abandon their babies, and how to take care of them ourselves without her help.
Why Is My Hamster Not Feeding Her Babies?
A mother hamster loves her baby, but sometimes she abandons her newborn baby.
If hamsters are left without their mother at the beginning of their life, it is very difficult for them to survive.
Here are some reasons why mother hamsters abandon their babies.
When the birth of the mother hamster is over, she feels very tired and is in a stressful situation.
She is very vulnerable after giving birth and the stress she feels can cause her to stop caring for her baby and abandon it.
Therefore, the best solution is immediately after giving birth to let the mother hamster be with her babies and not touch the babies, or not touch the cage.
Do not move anything in the cage, it is best to just watch from the sidelines and not take any steps until a few days have passed.
A mother hamster needs a few days to recover from giving birth and the stress she gets during those times.
Not enough food
During pregnancy and after giving birth, mother hamsters need a lot of nutrient-rich food in order to nurse the baby and themselves.
If the mother hamster feels that she does not have enough milk, she will stop nursing the baby and may decide to abandon it.
She will feel that she does not have enough food to be able to breastfeed the baby, and she herself will be constantly hungry and nervous.
That is why it is most important that the mother hamster has a special diet during and after giving birth, it is of great importance for both her and the baby.
Fear causes the mother hamster to abandon her baby.
When a mother hamster is frightened she may stop caring for her baby and leave it alone.
She will stop feeding them and taking care of them, so we have to pay attention to the environment around her cage so that nothing disturbs her because it can scare her.
Therefore, after giving birth, we should be quiet, and not play loud music or similar things that can scare the mother hamster.
Danger from predators
A mother hamster will abandon her baby if it smells different from other babies.
Hamsters have poor eyesight and rely mostly on all their senses, if the baby has a different smell, she will leave it, and may even eat it, thinking that it is a danger from predators.
Therefore, never touch the babies of the mother hamster, because you will change their smell and their mother will not like that baby anymore.
The first birth of baby hamsters
If the mother hamster is giving birth to babies for the first time she may be very inexperienced in the situation and not know what to do.
Some mother hamsters immediately manage the new situation with the babies, but not all of them are the same.
When the mother hamster is not experienced enough, she will leave the little babies, and you will have to take care of them.
As the mother gains experience, she will learn what to do with the babies, but at first, it is always more difficult which is completely normal.
Problems with the baby
A mother hamster is smart enough to notice if all her babies are healthy and okay.
If the hamster mother notices that one of the babies is not healthy enough, if it has some congenital defects, if it is weaker than the others, she will not take care of it and will abandon it.
The mother hamster then focuses on the other babies and this is a completely normal reaction for her.
The mother hamster thinks that the weak babies will not survive and she does not want to waste milk and nurse him, she thinks that the baby will not survive.
How do we feed baby hamsters without their mother?
When the time comes for the mother hamster to give birth, we as owners must be prepared for the possibility that one of the babies will be rejected by the mother.
Therefore, you will need some items to be able to feed the baby hamster yourself:
- a small syringe
- baby hamster milk
- baby hamster formula
Now that you have the necessary things you can start feeding the baby hamster as follows.
The first day
As soon as you notice that the mother hamster is not taking care of one of her babies, you need to take it immediately.
The baby hamster needs milk immediately, and therefore you need to react promptly to prevent dehydration.
The baby hamster is hungry and must get milk to survive, otherwise, it may die.
In the first 14 days
In the first 14 days, baby hamsters need milk.
Therefore, you will use the syringe to give them milk mixed with a little water and heated to a lukewarm temperature.
First, consult a veterinarian to know what amount is sufficient depending on the breed of hamster.
When we talk about milk, you must not give them cow’s milk because it does not have the nutrients that a baby hamster needs, you can give them Lactol or KMR powder.
After 15 days
When the baby hamsters are already 15 days old, you can enrich their diet and give them the baby formula for hamsters in addition to milk.
Specifically use baby formula just make sure there is no garlic or onion.
The ratio should be 50-50 for water and baby formula.
After 20 days
If the baby spends 20 days and remains alive and healthy, it means you fed him well.
After 20 days it is time to stop milk and start with other foods such as fruits and vegetables.
You can give them small amounts of broccoli or bananas.
After 30 days
When the baby is 30 days old, then it is ready to start feeding itself.
Then you can relax and rejoice that you managed to properly feed a small baby hamster and helped him become independent.
If the little hamster is too weak or still not doing well in self-feeding, then help him with his diet for a few more days.
How to care for baby hamsters without their mother?
When the hamster mother leaves her baby, besides nutrition, other things are needed that can be taken care of so that the baby hamster can have pleasant conditions for development.
Here’s what to watch out for:
- temperature – should always be around 68-74 F, so that the baby hamster is not too cold or too hot. In the first 20 days, the baby hamster has no fur, so we have to pay attention to the temperature in its cage.
- bedding – in the cage where you will keep the baby hamster, there should be bedding that will not irritate it so that it can sleep soundly, use toilet paper as bedding for the baby hamster.
Read more: Should You Cover Your Hamster’s Cage at Night? Let’s Discover
Can you return the baby hamster to its mother after a while?
You can try to return the baby hamster to its mother after 30 days, but it can be very risky.
The mother hamster will not recognize her baby, and the smell of the baby hamster will also be changed.
The mother hamster may think it is a predator and injure or kill it, so it is not recommended to return the baby hamster to its mother.
Read more: 10 Signs And Reasons Why Are Hamsters Sad