Feeding a baby hamster without the mother is not an easy task. There are little chances of their survival, especially without their mother. Hamster food can also be used for feeding a baby hamster. When they become seven days old, they begin to eat solid food.
How to feed baby hamsters without mother? You can feed milk to the baby hamster using an eyedropper and syringe. You should avoid squirting milk into the mouth of the baby hamster because it will affect its lungs and can cause pneumonia. It is necessary to keep your room temperature stable to provide a perfect environment for the baby hamsters to feed well and stay alive.
A baby hamster is also known as a pup and is also referred to as a kitten sometimes. The baby hamsters are born entirely naked, blind, and deaf, and they grow very fast. Mother’s milk is the essential diet of baby hamsters.
You should keep them away from other animals. You must provide comfortable and dry bedding to the baby hamsters. They spend most of the time in nests because it helps in providing heat to their body, which is not available to them without a mother.
How to feed baby hamsters without mother?
In this article, we have explained 7 best and proven methods to feed a baby hamster. It is recommended that you follow these guidelines to take care of the baby hamster properly. Baby hamsters need milk every couple of hours. You can use any method explained here:
Use an Eyedropper to feed the baby hamster
The right way to feed milk to the pus is by using an eyedropper. Fill the eyedropper with the Lactol, which is a milk formula used to feed the dogs. You have to squeeze the eyedropper so that the baby hamster could lick it. Keep in mind that you should not squirt the milk into the pup’s mouth because these babies are unable to handle the pressure, and their lungs could be flooded with the milk, which can cause death.
While feeding the pup, you should hold it gently and should not squeeze it even a little bit. This is because it is harmful to them and can hurt them if you hold them tightly. You can gently cup your palm and put it over the body of the pup while feeding. You can also wrap the baby hamster using a towel so that its head is sticking out and its paws are inside the towel.
Do not feed the second drop until the pup chews the first drop. Chewing is usually an action of normal swallowing by the baby hamsters. Instead of using an eyedropper, you can also use a needleless syringe or a feeding wick to feed the pup. The baby hamsters are so sensitive that even an extra drop of milk can also be the reason for their death.
Do not feed your pup with more than two drops of milk as it is enough to provide them with energy and help in growing. You can feed it solid foods when it becomes about ten days old by cutting the food in small chunks so that it can be chewed by it quickly. It takes about twenty minutes to eat the food.
Baby hamster is so small that you can hardly hold it in your hand. You should take care to hold it gently without hurting the pup. While feeding, you should take care that you are not harming the pup from the eyedropper. After feeding, you should clean the baby hamster with the cotton bud and place it back to its cage with other baby hamsters.
Feed baby hamster with a Needless Syringe
Feeding the baby hamsters using a needleless syringe is different from using an eyedropper. It is not used to feed the newly borne hamsters because feeding the milk directly into their mouth can affect their lungs. You can use a needleless syringe when the pups become around two weeks old.
For this purpose, you have to put the syringe in their mouth by gently pulling the lower lip and pushing the syringe into their mouth. You can also do this by putting a tiny bit of peanut butter to the syringe and check whether the pup wants to eat it or not. If it licks the peanut butter, it means it may want more. Then you can easily feed it using the syringe without handling the pup.
Feeding the pups with a needleless syringe is not preferred because it can sometimes cause difficulty in breathing and can also be the reason for choking or lung infection as the food is directly fed into the mouth.
You can use the needleless syringe for feeding when the pups are not taking the food directly. You can put some mashed food into the syringe and feed the pup. It can also be used to feed the medicine to the pups. For this, you should properly pick up the baby hamster in your hands.
Provide a Comfortable Cage
The cage that you provide to the baby hamsters must be very comfortable and must stay dry all the time because wet bedding can cause pneumonia to them as they are so fragile. There shouldn’t be any little wetness in the cage or the bedding. You should keep water bowls away from their cage. You should main a regular schedule for cleaning the baby hamster.
If there is water leakage in the cage or the water bowl spills in their cage by mistake, you must dry it immediately, or you can also replace the cage. You can use tissue paper to provide comfortable bedding to the pups as it can easily be replaced. Multiple kitchen rolls or cotton pad can also be used as their bedding as they are cheap and easy to replace.
You can also use facial tissues or toilet paper to make nests for them. You must clean the cage at least once a week. This task is not so easy because it is necessary to wear gloves for cleaning the cage. Wearing gloves is essential while handling the pups to avoid transferring the human scent to them. So, you should not touch or feed them without wearing gloves.
Before cleaning, you have to place the baby hamsters into a soup bowl. You should clean the cage thoroughly and must place the nest in the exact place where it was before. And make sure the nest is comfortable and warm. Then put the baby hamsters back in their cage.
Baby hamster spends most of the time in its nest for the first ten days as it provides the heat to its body, which is not available without a mother hamster. You can also place a heating pad under the cage to give the heat to the pups. You should lower the water bottle so that they can easily reach it and should also fill their food dish with plenty of food, i.e., seed mix.
Keep it away from Other Animals
Keep the baby hamsters away from other animals because they are so sensitive, and other animals could harm them. The other animals could fight with the baby hamsters and can hurt them. The baby hamsters are so small and weak to compete with the other animals. They are naturally timid and so sensitive that the noises of other animals can distress and frighten them.
If you have other pet animals, keep the cage of the pups away from them. Besides keeping the baby hamsters away from other animals, they must also be separated from their fellow hamsters at a certain age. You should also separate the male pups from the female ones after 21 to 28 days of their birth if you do not want them to mate.
You should also separate the pups of different species as they are solitary animals and are usually aggressive towards other hamsters. It can be very dramatic and can cause severe injury or death when the aggression occurs between the hamsters.
So, for this purpose, you should keep them separate. They may also fight because of having less space in the cage because they require more space and separate shelter to take rest usually when they grow up.
Avoid Overheating the Food
You should avoid overheating the food you are feeding to the baby hamsters, which are around 1 or 2 weeks old because overheated food can affect their organs. It can also affect their throat, which can cause difficulty in chewing the food. Feeding the overheated food can even swell their gums.
The pups will become weak if they do not take proper diet because of having damaged organs. It can also lead them to death because they have fragile organs. They could easily get hurt even if you touch them little hardly.
If you are feeding them milk, heat it to 90oF on the top of the stove. It is advised not to heat the milk in the microwave oven because there is a high risk of uneven heating. After heating the milk, let it cool down a little bit and feel the pups once an hour.
Choose an environment with moderate temperature
As we know that the hamsters are born furless, so they cannot regulate their body temperature until they are ten days old. You should keep them at a moderate temperature of at least 70oF. You can do this by keeping their cage warm by using a heating pad or by keeping their nest warm by using tissue paper. To avoid hibernation, they should not be kept below the temperature of 18oC.
Cover the pups partially with the bedding to keep them warm when they are in the nest. You should keep the room temperature to 70oF, which helps the pups to grow well. The pups could get chilled if the environment is too cold, even if they are in their nests. You should place a thermometer near the cage of the pups so that you can easily measure the temperature. This is a must; otherwise, your pet hamster can die.
Without a mother hamster, you can feed the baby hamsters with Lactol. It is a milk formula to feed the baby hamsters and is as pure as the mother’s milk. You should start feeding this milk to the pup from the very first day for at least two weeks.
Feeding milk to the baby hamster can also upset its tummy and can also cause diarrhea, and surely you do not want something like that to happen. You should introduce solid food to the baby hamster when it has teeth so that it would be easy for it to chew the food easily and quickly.
First, you should gather some hamster pellets and soak them in the water until they are soft. Then put it into their food tray and place it where they could reach it easily. You can also start adding fresh fruits and vegetables to their diet. Wash and peel the vegetables before feeding them to the pups. If it still contains the pesticides, the vegetable can upset the tummy of the pup.
Nuts, carrots, oatmeal, wheat germ cereal, fresh fruits, grapes, boiled eggs, mealworms, cucumber, and the other seeds are the best for the baby hamsters. Do not feed almonds, apple seeds, chocolates, onions, and unwashed fruits to the pups. You should also provide them with fresh water which helps them to grow healthy.
Do not feed the baby hamsters with cow’s milk because it has nutrients that are made just for calves, not hamsters. Baby hamsters need the milk, which tastes similar to their mother’s milk. If you do not have a milk replacer for the hamsters, you can use the baby formula by mixing it with water.
It will provide the nutrients to the pups which it needs to survive. Buy a can of powdered form formula and mix it according to the given instructions. Then heat it on the stove and bring the formula to 90oF. Let it cool down and then feed the pup.
You can also feed KMR to the pups. It is also a ready-to-use formula, just like baby formula. Buy a can of KMR from a pet food shop and pour some of it into a plastic bottle. Heat it to 90oF on the top of the stove. When it cools down, use an eyedropper to feed the pup.