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How to Determine the Sex of Baby Hamsters

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Female and male baby hamsters are extremely difficult to tell apart. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Female and male baby hamsters are extremely difficult to tell apart. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Sexing Baby Hamsters

When baby hamsters are about a month old, they can be weaned. Not only that, but baby hamsters are pretty precocious. You need to separate the brothers from the sisters or you will be ankle-deep in baby hamsters before too long. This is, of course, easier said than done.

Pass the Microscope

One-month-old baby hamsters aren't even one inch long. It's hard enough to tell where they are, let alone what sex they happen to be. Unlike adult hamsters—where the sexual characteristics are amazingly obvious—the babies look virtually identical. Trying to figure out one of those Magic Eye puzzles is easier than trying to determine the sex of a baby hamster.

And baby hamsters will not be cooperative. They are live wires. They will wriggle, kick, scratch, and scream bloody murder if you try to flip them on their backs and peer under their tails. They don't care about you looking at their privates—it's their bellies they are worried about. In the wild, if a hamster is flipped over on its back by a predator, it quickly becomes a larger creature's lunch. This instinct is well-ingrained in the baby hamster.

Image you can use for comparison.

Image you can use for comparison.

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So What Can You Do?

The least stressful way to sex a baby hamster is to beg, buy, borrow or steal a portable plastic connecting tube made for hamster cages. Most of them are made in many colors. You might not be able to get a colorless tube, but even yellow will work.

Put the baby inside the tube. You may just lay it down in the cage and wait for a curious baby to waddle in. Place your hand over the entranceway. Chances are, the other end will already be blocked. Then lift the tube and baby slowly and carefully over your head. Look up. You should be able to see the underside of the hammy baby. You should see two dots. One dot is the anus and the other is the genitalia. (See the image above for a reference.) Females have their dots close together. Males have them further apart.

You will probably have to do a lot of comparing and rechecking each hammy baby. But placing them in a tube (as seen in the film below by "justinbarrass") where they don't have to be flipped over will be a lot less stress on you and the hamsters. Good luck!

These Babies Play in Interchangeable Tubes That You Can Use for Sexing

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2007 RenaSherwood

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