Weaning Seperation

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Weaning Seperation

Postby BexPetz » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:41 pm

OK: I have a boy (Tiny Tim) and a girl (Topsy) roborovski hamster. On July 19th 09 they gave birth to five accidentally planned babies.
At the moment I think that I have five girls, although one of them has resumed the same shape as Topsy on her pregnancy (big shoulders, wide, round body, head smaller than proportion). She might or might not have been pregnated by a secret brother. When I first sexed them at two weeks old I found one who looked exactly like a boy, but at 5 weeks old he had disapeared and they all seemed to be girls. There is a chance that one is a boy, and although I found the sexing page on this website incredibly helpful I'm still unsure.
This is the problem:
The babies are at weaning age and the cage is not big enough for all six (the Dad is back in his own cage).
One hamster is incredibly tame and friendly, and since she has been so special from Day 1 I want to call her Tiara.
The two other tame hamsters are very close friends, but do not get on with the special, supertame one.
One of the remaining two is the large one (who I want to call Heffalump), who is not tame, and a very, very paranoid hamster who runs very quickly before hiding in a corner, digging her claws into whatever she's standing on and shaking in fear, I want to call her Skittles because she is more skittish. I have decided that since Topsy isn't particularly tame, I will put her with these two, in a three.
I am wary about putting the three tame ones together because two of them are quite attached to each other but the supertame hamster doesn't get on with many of her sisters. I might call the pair Tilly and Tally, since my brother already named one of them. I don't want the pair to reject the tame hamster, because they are in an odd-numbered group.
I can't take the pair away beacause that would leave THREE with the mother, and the supertame one would be a lot harder to get to know and tame daily if she's in shy company.
I can split them all into pairs because the hamster left with Topsy would outlive her.
This is the problem.
Can you please offer any advice?
Thanks.
My beautiful rabbits, TigerLily, Rolo, Dinah, Ducchess, Dimples, Mittens, Button and Mistletoe. I have 5 roborovski's, 7 gerbils and my 3 chickens.
Please look at or join my website: http://www.freewebs.com/gerbilgirl22
BexPetz
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Re: Weaning Seperation

Postby Alex » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:50 pm

Perhaps you could leave the tamer one with the mother, and then keep the others in rather 2 pairs or a group.... i think i have the numbers right lol...

You should be alright leaving them in with their mother as that way the female being older immediately has dominance ... so this helps prevents fighting.
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Re: Weaning Seperation

Postby BexPetz » Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:59 pm

It's not the fighting I'm worried about. The mother's already nearly two years old, and the baby is two months. When the mother dies the baby will be left completely on her own - that's what I'm scared of. There are two very large baby hamsters, Heffalump and another one I've probably nick-named. Are odd-numbers really bad? I can't think of a better combination which doesn't involve odd-numbered groups.
Thanks.
My beautiful rabbits, TigerLily, Rolo, Dinah, Ducchess, Dimples, Mittens, Button and Mistletoe. I have 5 roborovski's, 7 gerbils and my 3 chickens.
Please look at or join my website: http://www.freewebs.com/gerbilgirl22
BexPetz
Baby Robo - Just Born
 
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Re: Weaning Seperation

Postby Tammy - Oak Farm » Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:26 pm

Hiya,
Robos being on their own isnt really that terrible - Robos can live alone happliy as long as they have plenty of attention and plenty of toys.
I think you should leave one baby with the mother and then let the others live together either in a pair or a group of four, as alex said. Another option is to leave three babies in with the mother and the other two on their own - that way when the mother does pass away the babies will still all be together.
The only problem with robos is that you can never 'plan for the future' with them - you just have to take each day as it comes with robo pairs or groups - sometimes they get on, sometimes they fight and need to be split up. Your hamsters may need switching and changing around quite a few times before you find a combination that works.
Maybe you should leave them all together - as long as they have their cage set up to minimise squabbles they could live happly together.
No matter who lives with who you definately need to accurately sex all of the hamsters, or you are going to be having the same problem again!!
Please ceck the following page and compare each hamster:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=13
If you are still having problems then take a photo of each hamster and post them in a new thread for us to see - hopefully we can then help you :)
Tammy x
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Re: Weaning Seperation

Postby BexPetz » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:03 pm

Thank you, the sexing was useful but I think I've got all 5 girls, I've sexed them again. I want to keep them together but I'd need a new, bigger cage and at the moment I need to upgrade a gerbil cage and fix the syrian hamster's, so I can't really fund a habitat big enough for 6 roborovski's. Just now I saw 4 babies flying in the air (it seemed, although they were jumping pretty high) and tackling each other, before fleeing in different directions and hiding. One of the babies is missing some fur, she is increbily paranoid and shivers when I'm holding her, I'm really worried and might have to leave her in the comfort of her mother instead of seperating her. Another of the babies is quite ill and crouched in my hand for 20 minutes with her eyes half-closed and watery, her breathing was irregular and she kept making some strange squeaking noises. She's too small to take to the vets at the moment, and would only get scared because the nearest vet clinic (with only one specialist in small rodents) is quite far away. I could leave three with the mother, although that would be a large group at least it will be even and it solves some problems. I'm trying not to put any on their own if I can help it, but there is one I have grown specially attached to, and then Heffalump who is so characteristic and fun!
Thanks again. Bex.
My beautiful rabbits, TigerLily, Rolo, Dinah, Ducchess, Dimples, Mittens, Button and Mistletoe. I have 5 roborovski's, 7 gerbils and my 3 chickens.
Please look at or join my website: http://www.freewebs.com/gerbilgirl22
BexPetz
Baby Robo - Just Born
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: Weaning Seperation

Postby Tammy - Oak Farm » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:16 pm

Hiya Becky,

it sounds like your hamsters are fighting quite seriously already if onehas some fur missing! so it is probably best if you do split them into smaller groups and see how they get on.

Your one baby sounds very ill!! she is not too young to go to the vets and she will only get worse if you do not get her veterinary treatment straight away! Please take her to the vets, it is much better for her to experience a little bit of stress on the journey, than for her to die!

Once the vet has diagnosed the problem, you will then know if it is something the other hamsters might have too - so you will then know wether to get them treated too.

Please keep us posted - good luck.

Tammy x
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Re: Weaning Seperation

Postby BexPetz » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:07 pm

It's very strange because when I took them out for a look they all seemed quite lively. The one who was so ill yesterday has improved quite drastically and I looked her over and spent a long time with her, but her eyes are open wide again and she seems to be perkier. I will give her a proper check-up tomorrow and clean her cage to make sure there aren't any germs left. Maybe she was just having a cold spell or wasn't sleeping well?
It was Heffalump's turn to worry me today, normally she's a very tame and friendly hamster and one of the main two who love to sit in my hand. I put my hand in the cage and she shot away, which is quite unusual. I opened up the cage and gently put my hands near her and tried to scoop her up, but she darted into the tunnels and started to scurry about. When she came out I managed to get her, but she jumped and flew about and wouldn't stay in my hands at all. I put her on the stairs with the other two I was playing with, and she reared up at them, ran into a corner on her own, and started to run back and forth. I couldn't even pick her up and she wouldn't come near me! It was as if she was having a panic attack or a hormone rush. I put her back immediately. She seems to be so big now, and not only that but she is a beautiful hamster. Her fur is a complete, sugar-cream clear with not a blemish of black like the others. Her fur is very smooth and well-groomed, and one pure, creamy cololur without obvious white eyebrows or dark fringes any where on her body. She's also almost perfectly rounded! I might extend her name to Heffalump Cabrio because it sounds pretty and suits her.
Thanks again. Bex.
My beautiful rabbits, TigerLily, Rolo, Dinah, Ducchess, Dimples, Mittens, Button and Mistletoe. I have 5 roborovski's, 7 gerbils and my 3 chickens.
Please look at or join my website: http://www.freewebs.com/gerbilgirl22
BexPetz
Baby Robo - Just Born
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: Weaning Seperation

Postby BexPetz » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:23 pm

I officially seperated the baby hamsters!

Born on the 19th July, the five baby girls are now 10 weeks old. They are split between two cages.


On the 2nd October 09 I decided it was time to wean some of the babies. I've seen the biggest baby bullying the younger ones, and some have even lost fur in a fight. I don't have a cage big enough for all six. So.....



The BIGGEST hamster, who looks a bit like a flat pancake with legs, and is perfectly round, perfectly cream-coloured, and bigger even than her mother. I called her Heffalump once and the name stuck. Except now she is Heffalump Cabrio.


The first robo hamster I ever-ever-ever picked up out of all of them (the parents were adopted half-way through their lives and both were previously owned by young children). Was the second biggest, the very special hamster, Tiara. I wanted to put her in the new cage but she's a bit of a bully and quite confident, so needs to be kept with her Mum (she won't fight with her).


The middle sized hamster is the PARANOID HAMSTER. She runs and runs and runs and then stops in a corner and shivers in panic, then runs into a tunnel and shakes. Even when I'm holding her she digs her little claws into my fingers and shakes. Her name is Skittles.


The second-smallest hamster and the smallest hamster are best friends and always in a pair, so I knew that I had to either keep them with Topsy or put them on their own. Hamsters work better in even-numbered groups, so I put the pair in the yellow cage on the left and left Skittles, Heffalump and Tiara with Topsy in the bigger cage on the right. The pair don't have names yet. At one point I called the smaller one Lashes because she had some white dust on her eyelashes once, and then I nick-named her Tinkerbell, because it could've been fairy dust. This is a joke, but I still might call her Tinkerbell Lashes. The other hamster I'm not sure about, they have similar personalities and Tinkerbell is only slightly smaller. What about Fizz or Dizzy or Rosemary or Snowdrop?


After I'd seperated them Skittles ran up to the top of her cage. The other three had curled up asleep in the top of the tunnel that comes out of the cage. I thought that Skittles might be left out so I picked her up and put her in the other cage. Immediately she fought and chased them, so I moved her back. She ran up the vertical tunnel to where the others were sleeping, and pushed them. The one on the end fell off.

Later that night Topsy was clawing and chewing at the cage near where her other babies were. I felt terrible, but it had to be done sometime and they needed to be weaned and they were fighting and Topsy missed them so much....

Should I put the family together today for playtime, then back to the same cages? Just to wean them slowly. The Dad is still in his own cage but he seems to be getting on well.



Thanks for reading.
My beautiful rabbits, TigerLily, Rolo, Dinah, Ducchess, Dimples, Mittens, Button and Mistletoe. I have 5 roborovski's, 7 gerbils and my 3 chickens.
Please look at or join my website: http://www.freewebs.com/gerbilgirl22
BexPetz
Baby Robo - Just Born
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: Weaning Seperation

Postby Tammy - Oak Farm » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:43 pm

Hiya Becky,

glad everything seems to be working our for you :)

Once you have them in separate groups or pairs and in separate cages it is not a good idea at all to allow them to 'play together' - hamsters do not see this as a good thing, to them it is very stressful to have other hamsters in their territory and might even cause the current pairs and groups to start fighting.

The mother will probably be glad that some of the babies are gone - she will not be worried or upset - it is normal for babies to leave the mother in the wild, so she will be absolutely fine :)

Tammy x
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Re: Weaning Seperation

Postby BexPetz » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:46 pm

Thanks. The hamsters really seem to be getting on well now, although I did put them together the next day.
The larger of the pair was mounting the smaller one and pushing her out of the foodbowl and chasing her around the cage. It's a shame but I seperated them and mixed and matched, with Tiara, the middle-sized hamster and Topsy in one cage and Heffalump, Skittles and the smallest one in the other cage where Heffalump can keep them under control

Thanks again.
Becky.

Ps: Tiara is a very slow and docile hamster. She walks at a leisurely pace and doesn't directly respond to light noises or movement around her. This is great when I'm holding her, she will sit in my hand (usually without taking a single step forward) for up to 10 minutes at a time. These aren't symptons of of something medically threatening that I should be looking out for, are they? She's keeping herself very clean and there isn't any excess dirt around her bottom. She's eating and drinking well, as I have seen her in the foodbowl and successfully at the waterbottle on many occasions.
My beautiful rabbits, TigerLily, Rolo, Dinah, Ducchess, Dimples, Mittens, Button and Mistletoe. I have 5 roborovski's, 7 gerbils and my 3 chickens.
Please look at or join my website: http://www.freewebs.com/gerbilgirl22
BexPetz
Baby Robo - Just Born
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:49 pm


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