Orphaned Baby Hamsters.

Orphaned hamster pups. One of the most helpless feelings a hamster owner can experience is finding a nest full of hamster pups on their own when the mother has died in or shortly after giving birth leaving the pups behind, or the mum has escaped and left the pups before they are old enough to feed themselves. Sometimes in the very rare case the mother may abandon the pups, and may refuse to feed or nurse the litter.

Hand feeding new born pups is an impossible task, and efforts are unrewarding. However, the older pups the better the survival rate. As from about 7-8 days old, depending on the size of the litter would have a bearing on their survival. The larger the litter the less chance they would have.

It is almost possible to hand feed pups from birth, although from around 7 days of old they can be drop fed with a good success rate. This is very tedious and time consuming, even then may not always be successful, as some of the litter may not survive, and they need to be fed approx: every hour, 24 hours a day until they start to eat solids. Pups usually start to eat small amounts of solid food at around 8-9 days old. The milk feeds can then be reduced to every 3 hours. The milk for feeding baby hamsters is Lactol: available from most pet shops. Lactol is specially formulated puppy kitten milk, made to match mother’s natural milk as closely as possible, and is ideal milk feed replacement for orphaned hamsters and other animals.

Do not use cow's milk. If Lactol is unavailable ordinary dried baby milk (for human babies) is an excellent substitute, as I have on occasions used this myself with good results. The quantity of mix to feed, place 3 level scoops into 10 fl oz (½ pint) hot water and allow the fluid to cool, then feed with a dropper or a bottle, the remainder can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours, warming up the required amounts for further feeds as and when needed.

The pups will not be able to maintain normal body heat as they are highly dependent on mum for this. Using a heat pad or heat lamp will keep the babies warm. Keep the cage in a very warm location and the temperature around 70 deg.



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