Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Hamsters Named Spot
Catya is a judge with the California Hamster Association. She shares her experiences in hamster ownership from a high school student's perspective.
A litter of Syrian hamsters chows down on a special mush diet.
Photos Courtesy Catya
The litter of hamsters was known collectively as spot, and all had coats of black and white except for one cream.
Hello again, everyone! I hope you had a good Memorial Day. Summer’s just around the bend!
I’ve told you a bit about taking care of Roborovski pups, and how exciting it can be to breed hamsters. Today I want to talk to you about a time when things didn’t go as planned, but worked out alright in the end.
We met “Spot” when I was contacted by one of my hamster breeder friends. She had a litter of baby Syrian hamsters whose mother had died. My breeder friend had been taking care of the pups herself for a while, but she had to go on a business trip and needed someone to take over for a week. I was glad to help, but a little nervous about it. Usually, hamster pups don’t do well without their mom.
My friend brought over the pups, who were too cute to be believed! There were about seven of them, very small and with their eyes barely opening. Usually we don’t get to handle hamsters that young because it would stress their mom, but they weren’t living with their mom.
They were all white with black spots except for one, who was cream. We wanted to give them names, but not get too attached to them, because we knew they would have to go back to our breeder friend. So we came up with the idea of giving the whole litter one name — Spot. In fact, “Spot” referred to the whole litter collectively, which led to grammatical mangling like, “Spot are so cute.”
For the next few days, we taught ourselves how to take care of pups without a mother. We kept them warm by putting their cage on a heating pad and giving them some soft flannel in their nest. We fed them soft foods with lots of protein, like scrambled eggs and our special “moose mush” we make for the hamsters. We mix yogurt, half-and-half, and lab blocks into a mush that’s like porridge, and give it to any hamsters who are nursing or elderly. (Fortunately, Spot were old enough to eat semi-solid foods.) We made sure their cage was in a dark and quiet part of the house so they could do all the sleeping that young hamster pups need to do.
All the hard work paid off. By the end of the week, Spot had put on weight, and their eyes were open. The hamster pups were very tame, since they had been raised by humans, and I know that they were all great pets when they grew up. Although I was worried at first that these hamsters wouldn’t make it, Spot pulled through. It was a lot of fun to help raise Spot!
<< Read the Previous Entry
<< Back to blog home page
Give us your opinion on
Hamsters Named Spot