Weaning and separating

At the 22nd day of their life, the first very stressful part in their young life will take place. Short time after the mother stopped nursing them, they´ll have to experience being separated from their mother.

Cause male babies will gain fertility at the age of 25 to 30 days, you should separate the boys from their mother and sisters before day 28 after birth. They are old enough now. The best idea is, to put all the boys in one cage and the girls (except the mother, of course) in a second cage. Let them stay there for two more weeks, before you give them to new homes or a petshop.

To make this less stressful to them, think about my routine of separation:

I start separating at day 22, but first only the boys - and only in the evening for about 4 to 6 hours. After that theyīll went back to momīs cage. I do this for 4 days and on day 26 they finally go to the "boys cage" and stay there.

Thatīs when the girls also went to their own "girls cage". I have this three cages direct beside each other (boys-mother-girls) with a space of about 30cm/11" in between, so they can smell the others presence. The boys will sit in that corner of their cage, that is near to their mothers cage - for the first days.

This is only possible if you use wire-cages, like i do in general. I never use tanks or plastic-cages.

Don´t forget to handle them - each hamster each day.

You should not separate them to single cages before they are 5 weeks old. Personally i give them two weeks in the boys/girls-cage together with their siblings before they go to new homes. I know that some petshops want them younger, but you should NOT obey here ! It is not interesting what the petshop or any other one wants, it is only interesting, what is best for the hamsters. A responsible petshop will not force you to give the hamsters away too young. The best argument (if you´re in need of any) is, they will be tamer and healthier at the age of 5 or 6 weeks.

If the petshop continues with making problems, cancel your agreement and search for another shop. That will be much better for your hamsters !

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(c) Kay Michaelsen 2002