Sunday, September 10, 2006
And Babies Make...
Yep, another "burst" of happiness as we welcome our babies today.
Our 2nd Generation hamster, Sandy has just given birth to 6 litters this afternoon.
My son and I were able to witness and capture the magical moments of hamster labour and births... all 6 of them!
Like any animal, the mother instinct kicked in and Sandy knew exactly what she had to do with every birth.
The first two births were about 3 minutes apart, while the 3rd and 4th were about 8 minutes. The 5th about 10 minutes and thought we had them all, the last but not least came 15 minutes or so later.
This morning, Sandy was active but became restless and slowed down by midday. She was actually seen panting as she laid in the corner of the cage. Labour pains I presumed.
Sandy seemed to know exactly what she was doing from the first birth. She eat the placenta for the first 3 babies and stopped at the 4th. Full? Err... I do not know.
The 5th one she did clear off and cleared and eat away the placenta, but left the 6th alone. Definitely full.
So the two babies had their umbilical cord attached to them until it dried out. She did not do anything to it, so I snipped it off with the help of my son.
Not sure if that was alright, but the two babies were stuck together, entangled by each other's umbilical cord.
She was quite restless after that. I believe she was looking for a good, private place to have a litters, as she frantically dug into the pallet-bedding. She even sent one or two of her babies flying off into the air while too preoccupied with the burrowing.
We helped her a little by separating ply of tissues and shredding it into thin strips for the babies bedding.
We place the tissues in the little green-dome house and transferred the babies into it, trying not to touch them with out bare hands for fear of confusing the mother of its scent.
Finally led Sandy into her little green house, where she stopped being restless. She stayed in the house and started to tend to her litters just like all loving mothers do.
Yes! Mission complete. And babies make... 17! Yikes!