Sunday, May 1, 2011

Motherhood is Tough

This photo makes me laugh so much. Poor Arwen. Trapped with 10 kids, day in, day out. Hang in there, Arwen - it's almost over!
Whenever they nurse, she looks dead, it's a little disturbing. Poor momma, mobbed by 10 hungry little guys. There are still 10 - our little runt is hanging in there, amazingly.
This is from a few days ago. You can see the runt's half the size of the others. We've named him Estel (an Elvish name from Lord of the Rings) and I've been trying to give him special attention, but he is quite tiny. If he does survive, I'm not sure if he'll live a normal life or what. We'll just have to wait.
The others are little pigs. We have been giving them a varied, healthy diet to make sure their digestive systems develop properly and that they get fat and big. They love their food - that guy up there is enjoying a piece of carrot as big as his head.
We feed them greens, apple slices, oats, carrots, peanuts and cheese every day, as well as the occasional bits of dog food for protein. The greens are great for hydration (and as you can see, they adore them). Although today they all figured out how to use the water bottle!
There are two cream/white-coloured pups, with ruby red eyes. These two are super squirmy. I'm fairly sure one is female and one's male, so they will be named Elrond and Rivendell once we separate them.
There are four brown and black pups. They are absolutely impossible to tell apart, but they're frigging cute. We're debating some names for when we separate them - Baggins, Brandybuck and Gimli are for sure, but we can't decide on number four.
The browns are very active and exploratory, and it's a fun game to try and get them to stay still. They love to all go in different directions!
All the babies seem very comfortable with human hands, climbing all over our fingers. Today they decided that my thumb tasted delicious, and for some reason, every single baby tried chewing on me. It didn't really hurt but we are trying to discourage that habit!
This is Pippin, my favourite. He's a gorgeous dark golden colour and the boldest of the litter.
Rohan is Pippin's twin in a lighter colour. He was the last one to open his eyes and is still a little squinty.
And finally there's Shadowfax, who is beyond adorable. Look at that big nose! Shadowfax is the fourth white one, but he stands out because of his gorgeous black eyes.
They are almost ready to be weaned - they will be separated into smaller groups, away from their momma, by next Friday or earlier. Their ears are starting to pop up and soon they should look like proper hamsters.
Meanwhile, Merry, one of the other hamsters from the duffel bag, gave birth in the shelter today. "Too young to be pregnant" my you-know-what. Luckily a foster family was dropping off another animal, so they took her. Millie, the third female, looks very round as well and I've taken her home to wait for more babies.Three litters? This duffel bag count is adding up.


gracerock said...

The first photo of Arwen is hilarious! She looks totally exhausted and frazzled. Poor woman! And the one of the baby eating the lettuce is too cute! I believe the caption for that should be "NOM!". He's certainly enjoying himself! :P

Anonymous said...

Sooo cute! Baby with the lettuce and feet in the air is really cute photo!