Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What The Heck Is It? (Sexing Hamsters)

So you have this adorable ball of fluff in your hands and suddenly the question pops into your head: is this a boy or girl hamster? And now your freaking out because your worried the pet shop didn't sex them right, and you don't know rather to call it "he" or "she" and you can't name it until you know! Calm down....Breathe. It's going to be ok....Because this post is about sexing hamsters!

While you can always ask the pet store or breeder what the sex of your new furry friend is, you should keep in mind that they may be wrong! The pet store may have mixed up the hamsters or the tags on the cage and the breeder may not be as experienced as they say they are. However, regardless of how trustworthy your pet store or breeder is, it is always a good idea to know how to sex hamsters.

Sexing hamsters can be a bit of a challenge, especially if they are young, untamed, you don't have one of the opposite sex to compare it to, or you are inexperienced. But don't get discouraged. Remember, be gentle and patient with the ham ham in question, because you don't want to frighten of force it. Cup your hamster in your hand and gently position it on it's back, so you can see it's tummy. Hold the hammy in a slightly upright position and look for the below mentioned things.

The Easiest Way
The simplest way to distinguish between sexes in any species of hamster is the anogenital distance. This is the distance between the genital openings (In male: penile, in female: vaginal) and the anus. In female hams this distance is much shorter. Male openings are about half an inch apart, while females are so close they almost appear to be one.

Sexing Syrian Hamsters: Syrian hamsters are usually much easier to sex, because the difference between the male's and female's appearance is more obvious.

Once they are four weeks old, male Syrian hamsters have noticeable testicles that hang from their rear (Keep in mind, these can be retracted or may be hidden in fur).

 In female Syrians, if their fur is short enough, they will have visible nipples for nursing pups.

Sexing Dwarf Hamsters: Dwarf Hamsters are usually harder to tell apart.

Male dwarf hamsters have testicles as well, but they are less noticeable (Keep in mind, these can be retracted or may be hidden in fur). Male dwarves also have a scent gland on their tummies.

Female dwarf hamsters, just as Syrian hamsters, have nipples, but they are less noticeable and are often to small to feel and are well hidden in fur.

Just something else to think about:

*The rump of male hams is often rounder and longer compared to a female's back side. This is especially noticeable in Chinese hamsters.

*Male hamsters will often have a very small yellow urine stain on their tummies. This is not a definite way of telling the sex of your ham, but it can be a helpful aid.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions feel free to contact me! The fastest way to get in touch with me is through facebook! http://www.facebook.com/HamsterTalk


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