Well, the hamster journey is over. It was sad to say good bye and drop the 7 that I was unable to home off at the pet shop on Saturday. Mavis seems much happier now and is playing in her cage again and not trying to get away. It has been exciting, but also stressful! A fun surprise, but not one I have plans to repeat – the constant worry about whether she would eat her babies was unnecessary stress. Mavis is growing more and more every day and seeing the size of her siblings that were still in the pet shop, it looks like she might resemble a small guinea pig when she stops growing!
Birth to 8 days old. The babies looked like little aliens. They squeaked towards the end of the week. Eyes were closed. The internet told me Mavis might be aggressive and protective, but she didnt mind me petting her or exposing the nest to take pics. Towards the end of the week they started to get a light coating of hair.
Days 9 to 20. Somewhere around day 12, the babies started pooing. Their fur got some colour and they began to look miniature versions of their mum. Day 14 was like Christmas. I woke up excited as this was finally the day I could touch them. Mavis didnt mind and seemed happy to let me take them out to play. By the point the babies were starting to roam out of the nest, Mavis was angrily picking them up and putting them back in the nest each time they escaped. By the time she barricaded them in with bedding, another would have escaped out of another spot. I spent a lot of hours watching this rigamarole. Their eyes started opening around day 15 and one baby was considerably bigger than the rest (see day 20). I bought a second cage around two weeks so Mavis could have some time away from the babies – she was chewing the bars and trying to get away when it all became too much. During this week, lots went on – the babies started drinking from the water bottle and their eyes were opening. I read online that feeding them cucumber keeps them hydrated if they arent drinking enough – they loved it and I went through a lot of cucumber. At day 19, I put Mavis and the smaller 5 in the new bigger cage and the fatter 4 babies in a cage on their own. They were eating and drinking on their own and she was starting to push them away.
My room mate and I spent some time trying to figure out which were boys and which were girls. After much time examining and comparing to pictures, we still have no idea!
In the third week, the first of the babies went to live with my room mate. I love this as I get to see him still. A lovely lady I found through Facebook had another one for her children and it is nice to know that it will get lots of attention and love.
They were still wasting time as I spent many more hours watching them. They were running in the wheel, fighting over cucumber and making a lot of noise. Such fun! One of my favourite times was watching them trying to run in opposite directions in the wheel. They eventually mastered it and managed to run together.