If your hamster is expecting babies, you likely want to learn how to feed baby hamsters. These tips will help you make sure that the baby hamsters get the nutrition they need at the start of their lives. Baby hamsters can often benefit from wheat germ, broccoli and millet.
What Do Baby Hamsters Eat?
The mother hamster usually takes good care of the hamster babies. However, there are some additional foods that you can offer to the babies to help them in their development.
It is a good idea to feed the baby hamsters wheat germ cereal that will help their growth and development. Sprinkle some near to their nest.
Smaller seeds including millet are also beneficial to the babies, even if they are younger than ten days old. Put an extra millet sprig in the nest for the mother too. This will give her something fun to do as she will have to work to get the seeds of the millet stem.
What do you do if a hamster rejects her baby?
Sometimes a hamster mother can reject a baby, in this case, you will need to feed the hamster baby. It is important to be aware that this job will take up much of your time.
Hamster babies that are less than eight days old have a small survival rate if they lose or are rejected by their mother, however, don’t lose hope and try anyway.
It is a very rewarding experience to nurse a baby hamster that is without a mother. While looking after a motherless baby hamster requires more than just feeding it, the focus here is its nutrition.
If you are looking after a baby hamster by yourself, feed it evaporated milk that is mixed with water at a ratio of 50:50. Make sure to heat the solution to ninety degrees Fahrenheit before you feed it to the baby.
Feed the baby hamster the evaporated milk through a syringe or feeding wick (available at pet shops). You can also use milk formulas developed for puppies or kittens. Usually, hamster babies will slowly stop drinking milk at an age of 12-14 days.
The amount of milk to give a hamster baby depends on the type of hamster:
Feeding Dwarf Hamster Babies
If you are hand-feeding a dwarf hamster that is less than two weeks of age, begin by giving it two drops of milk every half an hour, every hour.
When it reaches two weeks old, increase the amount of milk to three drops every half an hour.
At more than two weeks old, you can increase the milk to half a millilitre every hour.
When feeding the baby hamster formula, you can also offer smaller seeds such as millet, wheat germ and vegetables such as broccoli.
Hamsters can nurse until up to three weeks old. However, this does not mean that they will not also eat solid food. They will start to use their teeth on small seeds from around five days old and will lick wheat germ if it is offered.
When the hamster reaches three weeks old, you will likely notice it eating solid food. You can relax when the hamster reaches this age and begin to wean it off the formula.
To wean a hamster baby, reduce the volume of the formula for one or two days, then stop giving it the day after.
Feeding Syrian Hamster Babies
If you are nursing a Syrian hamster baby or any other full-sized hamster type by hand, increase the volume of milk that you are offering it.
Begin by giving it one millilitre of milk twelve times a day until the hamster is two weeks old.
When the hamster reaches two weeks old, give them two millilitres of milk eight times every day. Also offer the babies smaller seeds, wheat germ and broccoli.
When the hamster reaches about three weeks old, you should notice that it will start to eat solid food. Once it is eating solid food, begin to wean it off the formula.
Hamster babies also eat adult hamster droppings. There is no need to worry as this is extremely normal and actually necessary for the hamster baby’s development.
The adult droppings offer the hamster baby bacteria that they require to digest and breakdown the cellulose food that they eat.
Motherless baby hamsters also require this bacteria in their diet. So, if you are hand-feeding a baby hamster that is without its mother, make sure that you place adult hamster droppings into the baby hamster’s nest.
What Should a Mother Hamster Eat?
When a mother hamster is expecting hamster babies they require a diet that is high in protein. It is a good idea to feed your hamster egg, unsalted chicken or beef, and mealworm (available at pet shops).
Make sure that their diet is also rich in vitamin A and E, which can be found in fruit and vegetables such as broccoli, apples (sweet rather than green), cantaloupe melon or peas.
When the mother hamster is pregnant, she can eat as many sunflower seeds as she wants (normally you should restrict the number of sunflower seeds your hamster eats). Expecting hamsters need the additional folic acid, vitamins, fat and proteins that the seeds provide.
An expecting hamster requires a sixty percent increase in their protein intake as she will be feeding between fourteen and twenty-eight hamster babies. The extra fat that the sunflower seeds provide will also prevent her from losing any weight during this time.
Make sure that there is always enough food available for a pregnant or nursing hamster. If there is inadequate food available, she will become stressed. If she has plenty of food available to her she will feel relaxed and secure.
To sum up
Whether you are looking after a motherless baby hamster that has been rejected or has lost its mother, or you want to give your baby hamsters the highest level of care, there are a few things that you can do.
Mother hamsters usually look after their babies well, however, they can use a little extra help every now and again.