A hamster can have as many as 15-20 babies at once, that won't seem like a lot until they get to be about a month old. They're very cute, but, what do you do with that many of them?! Don't breed your hamster(s) unless you have somewhere for them to go when they're older.

Here are some tips on what to do to make sure she doesn't eat the babies, because that is pretty nasty stuff. (Note, she will eat them if they die for whatever reason, any way, cleaning up the nest and whatnot.. you can remove them yourself, if you like.)

- One reason a mother hamster will eat a baby, is because she needs the nourishment, that is, she's very weak after sustaining all of them for the gestation period because you didn't bother to research what she needed. So.. give her a piece of dog food, not canned dog food, but a piece of dry stuff once a day for the first couple weeks, or even just the first week. This will help her get her strength back. Also, don't touch them unless you've picked up the mother and have her scent on you, instead of your own human smell. I've always been able to pick mine up the day after, little pink wiggly things, because I'm close to my hamsters.. a lot of people aren't so be careful.

- Do NOT keep a water dish in the cage when you have babies, a water bottle is essential. It is not a pretty sight to see a baby drowned because you weren't thinking about such things..

- Though you can't have a water dish in there, make sure she ALWAYS has water available, because she needs to produce quite a bit of milk and that will drain her fluids.

- Fresh veggie treats are good for a pregnant hamster, and also after she has the babies. You should give your hamster treats like that all the time, but it's especially important when babies are involved.

- Clean your hamsters cage a couple days before her due date so she has time to make a clean nest. You won't be able to change her cage right away after they're born without agitating her considerably, so use your head and clean it beforehand. When you finally do change it after a week or so, if not a little more, keep some of the old bedding so she feels more at home.

- After about a month, they will probably start to squabble a bit, play-fighting. There is a time when you need to separate them, make sure you know when that is, or there may be inbreeding, and serious injuries. Some hamsters can stay together longer, like dwarves, but the male/female problem still exists. Syrian and similar breeds of hamster need to be separated sooner to avoid conflict.

- Again, http://www.hamsters.co.uk is a great resource for all things hamster-related. :)

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