One plus two – plus a few more.

Laura has been doing a good job of looking after Rikki, the (mad) hamster, and after having a scare thinking he may have Cushings syndrome (incurable in hamsters) his bald patch is growing new fur. After a couple of trips to the vet, it was decided that maybe he is eating just the food pellets that he likes, leaving the rest, and therefore not getting all his vitamins. So he now has special pellets that all have all the required nutrients – and it seems to be working.

Last week, Laura asked if she could take on a couple of dwarf hamsters that her friend’s sister could no longer manage, and had failed to tame. She’d thought about the logistics of taking them on, and didn’t want them to suffer, so we agreed – provided they were HER responsibility and she didn’t complain about their care. On Friday night, they were delivered, and Laura has discovered that they are either Winter White dwarf hamsters, or Russian Campbell dwarf hamsters, and we won’t know which until winter, if their coats turn white. They are pretty little things, and one of them will let us stroke it – it’s so soft and plush.

When I got back home on Sunday night, Laura told me that she did not think that they were both girls after all, and that in fact, she was convinced one was pregnant! She has separated them as “daddy” had been kicked out of the house and “mummy” was busy nesting. (Luckily she had a third cage she could use and her room now looks like a hamster farm.)

It looks like she’s right as “Nel” does look very fat and is definitely hyperactively nesting (moving sawdust and bedding all round the cage.) “Trea“ (pronounced “Tray”) is much quieter and happier on his own now, and he is the one who will allow us to handle and stroke him. Hopefully Nel will settle after she’s had the babies, and apparently this aggression is normal antenatal behaviour in a hamster.

Laura has done her homework on hamster breeding and says that the gestation period is 18-21 days but that given her roundness and behaviour, Nel is probably due quite soon. She then went on to tell me about the process in case it happens whilst she is away next week and I have to supervise proceedings! AGH! There are likely to be 4-6 pups, it’s normal for there to be quite a lot of blood, and for the mum to give birth to one pup, dash around the age and have the next one somewhere else, and so on, dotting pups all over the place. Oh great! I’m going to be a nervous wreck! PLEASE little Nel, have the pups before Laura goes away (or better yet, when she comes home!) I’ve already warned Grandpa Billy that he’ll be on nursing duty with me if it happens at the wrong time.

Anyone want a hamster? 😉



  1. […] Tuesday night Nel (daughter!) came into my bedroom sobbing and holding Nel (hamster!) saying that something wasn’t right. Little fluffy Nel was an old, old lady but was still […]

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