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Gerbils & Hamsters/Dwarf Siblings Reunite

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Question
A few months ago, I was given 3 adorable baby Russian Dwarf hamsters.  The person who game them to me was a pet store employee and believed that ALL THREE WERE MALES. The little "guys" lived together in a three tiered cage that gave them ample room and plenty of rooms for extra water bottles and wheels etc.

I never though to recheck for their gender as they got older and bigger. Silly me.  Two weeks ago, I was surprised to find that one of the hamsters appeared to have made a nest like area in a new location and had babies!

I removed the male and put it in a new cage immediately. I also removed the other hamster (another female!) into a third cage.  The babies are doing well (so cute); and, I am getting homes lined up for them.

However, I am wondering if I can reunite the female/sister hamster back into the original cage once the babies leave the nest? She actually seems lonely and less active since she has moved out of her original home. As I said, all three lived happily together before the babies.   It would also be nice to have two cages instead of three.

Thank you for any wisdom that you can contribute!

Answer
Hi Jennifer

Thanks for your question.  It is very difficult introducing hamsters - they won't remember that they are related. The only way you might be able to do this to swap them from one cage to the other so that they smell each others scent.  After a week of doing this put them in neutral territory - the bath is good but remember to put the plug in. Put some mixed bedding in with both scents and some food. Watch them all the time then if they are ok (after about 30 minutes) and not bothered by each other try them in a cage you might be best putting them in the male's cage (without him obviously) so that again it is neutral territory. If there is any sign of aggression then they need separating. If they fight you will never be able to stop them.  Only try this when the babies are about 4 weeks - at that time the males need  splitting off anyway.

It is impossible to know if this will work but it is worth a try. If there are any female babies they can remain with mum if you want them to providing they don't fight.

Good luck!
Regards
Sheila

Gerbils & Hamsters

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Sheila Adby

Expertise

Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is www.thehamstersite.com

Experience

I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website: www.thehamstersite.com

Publications
Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Education/Credentials
Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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