If your female hamster is suddenly more hostile, or slower, hoards more food, is swollen and building a nest, she is the vahan of incarnation. You’re going to have to get ready for 7, 10 or even 20 pups. And if you want to be the vahan for the miracle of birth listen up.
Touch me not
You might be used to worshipping your pet hamster, but put some distance in it. Pregnant hamsters are nervous. Handling can cause them stress, so much so that they might abandon or eat their own children. Depending on her breed, her gestation period will last around 16-30 days. And your compassion through this time will be rewarded. But take her to the vet to confirm the pregnancy. A swollen belly could also result from a tumour or Cushing’s disease.
The cycle of life is a thing of beauty and the hamster on the wheel is its perfect metaphor. A hamster reaches sexual maturity early, in the fourth week of life. But it’s recommended to keep females and males separate till they are at least five months of age for an easier pregnancy. Baby hamsters are hairless, deaf, blind and thin-skinned so be prepared. You will have to bring them up at least for two weeks before you rehome them.
Pure and clean
Cleanliness is a highly regarded virtue. To provide a safe, low-risk birth for your hamster, clean her cage as soon as you learn about the pregnancy. Leave her alone closer to the due date and 14 days after birth to avoid giving her stress. Fix extra bedding of shredded, soft toilet or face tissues in her cage for the manger. Remove all the toys from the cage to prevent accidents. Also remove the father from the cage, he may not survive the brunt of Hamster Mama’s pregnancy wrath.
Chew on this
While goodness of the soul nourishes me, a good diet nourishes your precious pregnant pet. Your hamster’s body is a temple. High protein and fat content, treats of carrots, nuts, hard boiled eggs, cheese and greens will appease her. Milk will give her additional calcium and promote lactation. Offer extra food as she will be stockpiling it for her children. Take care though that it doesn’t go bad and mouldy.
All rituals are magical because of the enigma injected into them. The final act of the pregnancy too must be shrouded in mystery. You should give your hamster as much space and quiet as possible. After the birth of her new family, cover the cage with a sheet. It keeps the odd smells off the babies and makes it less likely that their mother will kill them just like Ganga killed her sons. But If you’ve followed this guiding light, your new hamster family must be happy and safe. Blessing you and your family!
‘Look at the hamster
Is she sleepy
Growing fatter and still hungry?
Milk, eggs and nuts appease
This mighty nester and her peace
Stay away, leave her alone
Her babies are her own’