Advice on separating potentially pregnant robos

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Advice on separating potentially pregnant robos

Postby scotia » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:42 pm

Hi
i work with a hamster rescue group and we took on 8 robos last week: one male, one female and 6 female babies from at least two separate litters. I took the male, the mother and three of the babies. The three other older babies were separated out already due to fighting and went to a separate foster home.
The male i put in by himself as i think we have enough babies going on here, and the mother and three babies i put in together. I had to remove one of the babies after two days as she was biting the two smaller ones, so she is now alone and the remaining two are with mum still. The previous owner thinks the last litter was born about 8 weeks ago, so im guessing the two remaining with mum are around 2 months. The one i had to separate is bigger but not fully grown, so could be anything up to 6 months (when he reckoned the first litter was born). The mum he said was around 18 months. I think that its quite likely that at least one of the females is pregnant. They are in a 90cm x 45cm tank and are sleeping together and there has been no signs of fighting beyond pushing each other out of the wheel ( i have two wheels in the tank but they all want to use the same one...)
Should i separate the two smaller babies from the mother, incase she is pregnant or just leave them together and watch out for fighting?
How likely is it that the older baby is also pregnant? And the smaller babies, at 8 weeks its possible but does anyone have any idea how likely?
Thanks for any tips, I have always only ever had single robos, and i have no experience of robo pregnancy.
scotia
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Re: Advice on separating potentially pregnant robos

Postby Tammy - Oak Farm » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:18 pm

Hi Scotia :)

Well done on taking on these rescues :)

As there has been a male living with these females then there is a possibility that they could all be pregnant, so the best thing to do is wait until 21 days after the male was removed and hope for the best. That is the only sure way of knowing. In my experience i have noticed that robos are one of the few hamster species where female babies do not usually get pregnant before 3 or 4 months old, and most of my females have to go through a winter (or cold period) before they will reproduce, but this is because my robos live in an outdoor shed and go through the different seasons.

I know of other breeders though who find that their robos will breed without going through cold periods, so it is possible that they could all bre pregnant, but i wouldnt have though the youngest would be pregnant, but you never know.

For the time being i would leave them all together as long as they are getting on ok - if the mother is pregnant then she will rear the babies along with her existing babies, and if the daughters have babies then they will probably end up in the same nest too, but just keep a close eye on them.

I would also make sure you feed them all up on high protein foods such as egg, chicken, tofu etc. just to help them out if they are pregnant :)

Please keep us updated and post some pics :) would be lovely to see them :)

Good Luck with them,

Tammy x
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Re: Advice on separating potentially pregnant robos

Postby scotia » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:08 pm

Thanks. ok, will leave them together and see how it goes.
This sounds like a really stupid question, but how would i know if they have babies? I dont want to rifle through the tank every day and disturb the nest and stress them out. They are currently all sleeping in a tiny wooden house that i cant see into unless i lift the whole thing up, which i dont do. Do babies make noise? (see told u it was a stupid question :) )

This is the mother
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and her and the three kids running in the wheel (before i had to remove the oldest kid)
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the dad, Elvis :D
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scotia
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Re: Advice on separating potentially pregnant robos

Postby Tammy - Oak Farm » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:14 pm

Awww, they are all gorgeous :D great pics :)

Baby robos do make noises - they sort of chirp, especially when they are looking for the mother for food or when they suckling sometimes too, it is a very sweet noise and cannot be mistaken once you have heard it once.

Female robos who are carrying more that 4 or 5 pups can look very swollen towards the end of their pregnancy, but if they are only having a small litter then they often do not look any different. Your hamsters do look very healhty, but if you are giving them more food or extras than the previous owner did then they will gain weight anyway which can be mis leading!

I wouldnt worry about not being able to see if babies have been born as there is nothing you need to do for the first 2 weeks anyway, but i know it can be useful to know, especially when it is time to clean out the cage!

One thing you could do is remove their house and let them sleep in a pile of bedding in a corner of the tank instead - the only problem you might have is that they might relocate their nest to another toy or into the wheel as they might not feel safe out in the open after sleeping in a house - but you could try a bare cage for the next three weeks, just until you are sure they are not pregnant or at least until they have firmly established a sleeping corner - you could then slowly add the toys and wheels back.

With an open nest it is quite easy to see pups when the adults come out for food or drink, and sometimes they end up being dragged out the nest by the mother - so i am sure that with this and the noise they make then you will soon know once pups have been born!

Not sure if you have see this page, but it might be helpful : http://oakfarmrabbitsandrodents.co.uk/r ... eding.html

If you need any more info then please just ask,

Tammy x
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Re: Advice on separating potentially pregnant robos

Postby scotia » Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:23 pm

Thanks for the reply! and yes i have read that link already. you have lots of great info on this site!
scotia
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Re: Advice on separating potentially pregnant robos

Postby scotia » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:48 am

Well,, guess i dont have to worry about separating them any more. They were fighting quite dramatically last night , not just the usual tussles, and one had a bite on her bottom, so i was up at 2.30 this morning putting them in separate cages. :|
I think however, i may have mis-sexed one of the smaller ones originally, s/he might possibly be a boy, but im really not sure. I checked out the pictures posted here and s/he looks to be between the two pictures of the young robos, not distincly one or the other, so im not sure now. Had a sleepless night thinking i was stupid enough to leave a boy in with two girls but when i first got them i was so sure they were all girls. I tried to take pics but the flash just bounced off his/her white tummy and i just got glare. and then s/he got fed up and starting wriggling too much. not easy to hold and take pics at 3 in the morning on your own :D
Will try again later, didnt want to stress the wee thing out too much, since a new home is probably enough excitement for one evening.. (but at least i know there are no pups anywhere yet!)
scotia
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Re: Advice on separating potentially pregnant robos

Postby Tammy - Oak Farm » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:13 pm

Hiya,

sorry to hear about them fighting, but if one has been wounded then it is the best thing to do to split them up and i am sure they will be fine on their own :)

Dont worry about possibly mis sexing them, it is very easy to do at this early age but it will get easier - try comparing the baby to the mother or the father and see if that helps - sometimes it helps to have adult male and females around :)

Some days it can seem impossible and they can all look the same and then one day you will look at them and suddenly it becomes so clear what sex each one is, you cant believe how you didnt notice before, lol, but you will soon be able to tell for sure, and now they are in separate cages then you dont need to worry anyway :)

Good Luck, keep us posted,

Tammy x
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Re: Advice on separating potentially pregnant robos

Postby scotia » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:16 pm

well, i took the little mystery one to the vets last night to see if she could tell me if boy or girl, and she didnt know either! S/he doesnt appear to have any "pom-poms", vet couldnt feel any under the surface either, but the spacing seems too wide for a girl. .... yet not far apart enough for a boy. So going to wait a week or so and see if s/he changes. The girls will be kept with me for 21 days since i separated them all, just to be on the safe side and then hopefully to their new homes. the mum and dad and one of the girls have already found new homes (separately), dad moves out tonight, mum and daughter after their pregnancy-watch! :hurray:
scotia
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