Before you decide to breed a hamster, you should be prepared with a plan to deal with the litter when
the hamster gives birth. Hamsters are known to give birth up to 18 babies per litter, although the average is 4-8 babies.
You can give away the babies to good homes, or sell them to a respectable and responsible pet shop. If you decide to keep
the babies, you should be prepared to buy cages and supplies before the babies are born. You should separate the hamsters
into different cages after they are weaned to avoid fighting and health problems due to overcrowding.
Keep a chart
that records and summarizies the breeding and birth. Only healthy hamsters with a good record of successful births should
continue to be bred. Syrian hamsters can be bred at 2-3 months old, while dwarf hamsters can be introduced at 4-6 weeks old.
A younger female can often be introduced to an older male, but not the other way round.
As hamsters are solitary animals,
the female will not readily accept the male. Both must be introduced gradually and close supervision given. If the female
is not ready to mate, she can be seen trying to turn the male onto his back by putting her nose under his belly. Then both
hamsters must be separated.
Before mating, both hamsters will sniff each other and the female will stand quite still
with her hind legs braced and her tail and ears erect when the male places his front paws on her back. Then mating will take
place. For Syrian hamsters, the male should be separated from the female after mating. This is to prevent one or both of the
parents from destroying the babies. For dwarf hamsters, the male can be retained in the cage as he can help to raise the litter.
If you want to continue to breed the pair, do not remove the male when the litter is born, because you probably will not be
able to introduce the pair again afterwards.