Day 0 - November 23 - Babies Are Born
Sixteen days have passed since we mated our two hamsters, Pikachu
(female) and Furby (male). Pikachu has soft brown fur and Furby has long white
fur. I wonder what the babies will look like. They should be born sometime today.
Pikachu has made a fluffy nest in her upper cage in preparation for the big event.
When I arrive home from school, where I work, at 3:30, I check
in on Pikachu to see how she is doing. She isn't in her upper cage in her well-made
nest. Instead, she is crouched in a corner of her lower cage, surrounded by a
few wood chips without any bedding. I watch her carefully and realized that she
is in labor—the babies are being born right now! I can see a couple of tiny
pink arms and legs flailing around under her. She bunches up her body once in
a while, and then curls up under herself cleaning something. I think she is cleaning
each baby after it is born. When I listen carefully, I can occasionally hear tiny
After the last baby is born, Pikachu searches for materials to
enlarge her nest. There are only a few available wood chips. I feel sorry for
her, so I quietly open the lid and give her some soft white bedding material.
She immediately fluffs it into her nest. I give her another piece, which she happily
accepts. Despite my worries, she doesn't seem to mind the interruption and isn't
nervous at all. After she surrounds the babies with bedding, she leaves the nest
to go to another corner to clean herself. That gives me a chance to observe the
Newborn hamsters, one hour old
The babies are about two and half centimeters long and one centimeter
wide. I count approximately nine, but I'm not sure since they are all on top of
each other and wiggling around a lot. Their tiny arms and legs are about as thick
as the tip of a pencil. They have no fur, no eyes, and no ears.
There are dark spots where their eyes will develop. Their skin
is wrinkly and pink. They open their mouths and I can see a tiny white dot inside,
the beginning of a tooth. They have little belly buttons and short stubby tails.
Their skin is transparent—I can see their milk-filled stomachs inside. They
are quite helpless. Pikachu comes back to the nest and covers them with her body.
They find milk and nourish themselves so they can begin to grow.