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Question on Hamster genetics?

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posted on May, 24 2006 @ 02:07 AM
I've got two pairs of Russian Dwarf Hamsters in separate cages. (Yes, I know you're going to say I'm a bit old for hamsters... But hey, they're cute...
) The one pair had their first litter (of 8). My first idea was to sell them, that was until the mother killed 6 of the pups, and the seventh died "under mysterious circumstances"... So it's not really worth my while to try and sell one hamster (the remaining pup), so I thought I would leave her with her parents. She is now 4 weeks old.
So the question is: Is it "safe" to leave the female pup with her parents? Will her father try to mate with her when she comes to age? And if he does, will mating be successful, and if so will the litter have genetic problems?

I know the "genetic rules" when it comes to humans, but I am clueless about hamster genetics.

Side note: I've tried moving the female pup to the other cage, but that female was too aggressive towards the newcomer, so I moved her back. Now her mother is also becoming more and more aggressive towards the pup - as the mother seems to be pregnant again.

posted on May, 25 2006 @ 02:56 AM
I know a little about hamsters (but a lot about degus), so maybe I can help.

Hamsters will inbreed like wildfire. They aren't long lived creatures, so they have to create as many of their own kind as possible in the time that they have. The sire will mate with his own offspring if he can. The genetic abborations won't usually show up until his offspring have babies (sired by him or perhaps by another father), and they are not generally severe. It could be 70 generations from now where there is a noticible change in DNA (hamsters are really, really hardy creatures).

98% of all captive "special breed" hampsters today are from the same litters that were first introduced, so it's actually a given that some inbreeding will happen (however small the risk for harmful genetic mutation is).

posted on May, 25 2006 @ 04:06 AM
Thanks for the response. Although I don't like the idea of daddy humping his daughter, I guess I'll have to live with it.

For your effort and a decent answer, I offer you my last WATS. Thanks.

You have voted Bripe Klmun for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month.

posted on May, 25 2006 @ 08:11 AM
Hey - thanks a lot! I'd done it just as I could see you're an animal lover, but I'll take what I can get. It's much appreciated.

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