More often than not, the prospective hamster owner does not wish to host an entire litter of hamsters every month. Since hamsters reproduce with propensity, make sure you keep male and female hamsters separated to avoid an infestation. However, identifying a hamster's gender can pose a challenge because of its size.
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Things you need
- Latex gloves
- Hamster Breed Book
Inspect the hamster's genital openings. Make sure you hold the hamster by the scruff of the neck and support its body, belly up, in the palm of your hand, so as to not hurt it. Use your other hand to move the hamster's legs so you can see its genital area. The animals should have two openings or breaks in the skin. One for the anus and the other for its genitals. Depending on the species, the gender can be determined by examining the spacing between the penile and anal opening, or the vaginal and anal opening. As a general guideline, males have more space between the penile and anal openings.
Check the hamster for nipples. A simple inspection of the animal's underside, while parting the fur slowly, should reveal them if they are present. Nipples are more pronounced in females after they have a littler. As always, take care to grab your hamster by the scruff of neck (just above its shoulder blades) and support its body in the palm of your hand so it does not get hurt.
Check the hamster for testicles. They should be clearly visible if the hamster is four weeks of age or older, although in some hamsters you may need to part the fur to get a good look. Make sure to support the hamster's body in your palm and hold it by the scruff of the neck so it does not sustain injury while you do this.
Check the hamster for the scent gland. Some males have very distinct scent glands. Located near the belly button, stained lightly yellow and swollen to the touch, the scent gland should be evident even if the animal has long fur.
Tips and warnings
- Ask the person you got your hamster from what its breed is.Try and ascertain its age, as genitals become more pronounced with age.Try to keep the room warm. Genitals become more pronounced in warm environments
- Identify the breed of your hamster. Depending on the specific breed, the anatomy may differ. Utilise a Hamster Breed Book to identify its species.
- Some hamsters can bite hard enough to draw blood. Keep your fingers away from their mouths.The hamster will likely try to struggle, so make sure you have a firm grip to avoid injuring yourself or the hamster
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