Man has it been a crazy week with this darn hamster and "his" babies!!lol Let me start by saying that I have gotten very attached to them. They are really cute (and not in a ratty kinda way), but it has been very stressful. In fact, this may have proven to be too stressful for Jessica as the hamsters are now in the office.
Let's go back to Sunday night. Jess was at her dad's for the weekend, therefore, the hamsters weren't getting any attention. But that is ok...because for the first 10 days you are to do nothing for them except change mama bear's food and water. Saturday morning, before soccer, we checked on them and all was fine...Sunday evening, I went into the room to find that the cage had been knocked off of Jessica's nightstand and was UPSIDE DOWN on the floor! Yes, I freaked! I was in shock. I could not move. Delaney was with me and all I could do was tell her to go get her daddy! Well, I spent the next hour and a half looking for mama and babies. There were only 2 babies (out of 8) left in the cage. We VERY CAREFULLY moved everything out of Jessica's room in hopes to find everone else. Starting with the dirty clothes on the floor (darn pre~teens and there lack of tidiness). I was only able to find 1 more baby over by her dresser. OK. Good starting place. I moved everything out from under her dresser....nope nothing! OK..I picked up the bed skirt. One little baby wiggling around upside down. Scott and I moved the mattress and box spring off of the bed in hopes that mama and the rest of the babies would be under there. I only found one more. So now, we have 5 babies in the cage. Not knowing what else to do, I just left the cage door open through the night in hopes that mama would come back to her lonely babies. I checked in on them at 1am...no change. 8am...nothing...
Monday morning I called the vet's office to see if they could help me with anything. She could only advise me to put hamster food outside the cage and hope that mama would come back. She also gave me the number to an Exotic Animal Vet in the area. I really wanted to know if there was anything I could do for the babies in hopes that they wouldn't starve to death. She told me to feed them KMR (kitten replacer milk) every 2-4 hours. Holy, that is more than a newborn. Not sure if Jessica sensed something from school, but she called saying she was sick. Scott told her what happened on the way home and once she was home, she found mama and remaining 3 babies. She had them in the back corner of her closet, made a nest for them and had a huge stash of food for them. Once they were all back in the cage, it took Delilah a while to settle down, but did make a new nest for them and started nursing them all again.
We now have a heating pad under the cage to help keep the babies warm.
It is hard to get a really good look because if she is not on the babies, she has them covered up pretty good, but I think there are only 4 or 5 of the babies left. Sad, but everything that I have read says that with a first time mother, she may kill them all because she doesn't know what to really do with them. So from the beginning we said we would like to see all 8 survive, but we will be happy with half of them.
We have been giving Delilah the KMR twice a day to try and help her keep up her energy to raise these babies. We are on day #6. On day 6 or 7 we can try to feed the babies small pieces of apple and/or cooked veggies.
The only thing we could think of was that the cat had gotten in there and knocked the cage down.
I have tried a couple times to get a picture, but have not managed to get one yet. I will post one as soon as I do.
PS..if there is anyone out there that knows what else I can/need to do, please let me know.