Breeding Chinese Hamsters
If you are thinking about breeding your hamster(s) then please research what is involved thoroughly. How you answer the question "why do you want to breed?" is a good way to gauge how well you have thought breeding through.
If your answer is along the lines of wanting to see cute babies, then I would suggest doing additional research, including my page on finding a breeder.
Breeding hamsters is not a way of making money. Baby hamsters eat vast quantities of hamster mix, not to mention the protein-rich extra food and additional supplies, and even asking for a rehoming fee does not cover the cost of raising pups.
Breeding Chinese hamsters can be difficult as the females are very aggressive to the males. The females have been known to remove tails and limbs of their prospective mates, and sometimes kill them.
Baby hamsters should never be handled before their eyes open as the mother can become distressed and kill them.
As a member of a hamster club affiliated with the National Hamster Council, I breed only to improve the quality, health and temperament of my hamsters.
I recommend attending a hamster show to talk to experienced breeders and obtain your foundation hamsters from a reputable source.
I like providing others with healthy, tame pets and often get updates on 'my babies' from their new owners. I especially like to see one of my babies win in a show!
Areas to Consider Before Starting Breeding
What are your aims in breeding?
What are the recommended youngest and oldest ages for parents to have pups? What is the usual litter size and recommended maximum number of litters for a female?
How do you pair the species you are interested in?
How do you care for mum and babies?
How do you sexing young hamsters and when do you separate them from mum?
What are the minimum ages for first handling and rehoming?
How do you find/screen homes? Be aware that people may express interest in having a hamster, but decide not to rehome one when they are old enough to leave.
How will you house mum and babies if homes can't be found or if their owners no longer can keep them?
How will you keep records of hamsters/pedigrees/health problems/sold animals?
Which pairings are 'safe' and which are 'dangerous' (e.g. satin to satin Syrians)?
Which common health problems should you look out for? Are there any particularly associated with the colour/species you are looking to breed? Are there ways of screening for health problems (e.g. urine testing for diabetes in certain species)?
Do you have a local good vet for hamsters and a vet fund for treatment?
Do you have sufficient resources (cages, supplies, funding) to keep your hamsters, including babies, healthy and entertained?