A Ham for All Seasons

It’s been busy in non-hamster life here at Casa Vectis recently, so apologies for another belated blog post; playing with baby hamsters is hard to resist!

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Each year has it’s pattern in the hamster room. Even though the hamsters are kept indoors with heating and a light on a timer in Winter, and air conditioning in Summer, I’ve noticed a similar pattern each year. Despite my efforts to control conditions and keep them in similar condition year-round, the hamsters still seem to know as the seasons and weather change.

Over Winter few litters are born. I can pair and pair suitable hamsters but success rates are much lower regardless of extra food and supplements. In Spring this changes (usually – hamsters aren’t always compliant!) But in Spring is where I’ve found the biggest peak of hamster losses. May to June is when I’ve noticed more of my older or unwell hamsters on the Retirement Shelves passing over the Bridge. This year, however, has been unusual here. May and June passed relatively quietly in terms of losses, and ‘breeding season’ seemed late to start. My hamsters started having more success with litters a little later in the year, and over the last six weeks the losses I expected in May have hit the oldies and the diabetics. So far they’ve passed quietly in their own comfy nests.

I find Summer a nice time for growing on new youngsters and continuing with my plans for the next generation. Autumn usually has a smaller peak of losses amongst the Retirement Shelves, and then it’s Winter again. A time for extra richness in the hamster mix to maintain condition and few litters.

The power of nature and the seasons amazes me, and frustrates me and my attempts to control it!

Run free, wee hams: Arreton, Esme, Tisi, Celti, Astin, Ning, Fi, Chessie, Nettle

 

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