BREEDING PAIRS TO AVOID
By Tammo & jennawing
Any male will usually mate with any female, but that does not mean that it’s safe to mate the two. There are a few breeding pairings to avoid, and I’ve highlighted some of them here.
You shouldn’t mate 2 satin Syrian hamsters together. The result is supersatinisation, which means the babies will have very sparse fur, and if you breed supersatins, the result is almost hairless hamsters. There is evidence it can cause skin problems but I’m not sure its been verified. If you have a satin hamster and wish to get satin babies, find a non-satin hamster, and you should get a mixture of non satin and satin babies, although sometimes you can get all satin babies or all non satin.
NB: Satin Campbells do not have this problem and 2 satin Campbells can safely be mated.
Never mate 2 white-bellied hamsters together as there is a large chance they carry the ‘white-bellied’ gene, also known as the eyeless white gene. This combination produces eyeless whites, which will either have very poorly formed eyes or no eyes at all. All hamsters carrying this gene have white belly fur, but not ALL hamsters with white belly fur actually carry the gene. This means it is hard to separate carriers of the gene from non-carriers. All banded and spotted hamsters have white belly fur, so unless you are 100% certain they do not carry the eyeless gene, you should mate them to a plain coloured hamster with normal coloured belly fur. ALL roan hamsters are carriers of the gene, so never mate a roan to a roan under any circumstances. Carriers of the gene can be identified by their eyes, which shine with a bright-red glint when a strong light is shone into them. If you have any doubt as to whether your pair carry the gene or not, play it safe and don’t mate them. The same applies to mottled campbells.
Do not mate any hamster with a deformity it was born with. E.g.: kinked tail. *You can feel a kinked tail by running your thumb and finger down the tail. Kinked tails are often found in Dark grey, lilac, and smoke pearl hamsters. Kinked tails won’t actually affect your hamster during its life, but if you breed the hamster, over time, its offspring could develop congenital spinal problems.
If a hamster has proven to be a recurring bad mother if is not the best idea to breed her again. She may pass on this trait to her babies and it is obviously not something to be desired. It is common for the mother to kill some young if she is stressed, disturbed or feels unwell enough to care for the litter. Also she may kill a sickly or deformed baby. But if she does it for no reason at all it is best to not breed from her again.
JENNAWING’S ADVICE ON BREEDING HAIRLESS HAMSTERS
In order to get a new litter of hairless hamsters, a breeder must first breed a hairless male with a haired female. The females of those litters will carry the hairless gene and when bred with another hairless male, some of the litter will be hairless. The same genetic mutation that causes the lack of hair also effects other aspects of the epidermis- namely the mammary glands- where the milk is produced. Female hairless should NEVER be bred, as they cannot produce milk to feed their young. Take care never to put a hairless female in contact with any male hamster. If you see hairless hamsters in mixed-gender cages at a pet store, explain to the store-workers the importance of keeping them separated. Any hamster bred with a hairless father will carry the hairless gene so care should be taken that these hamsters are not bred unknowingly or if further hairless generations are not the intended desire. The new owners of any haired offspring of a hairless hamster should be told and made to understand that their hamster carries the hairless gene.