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breeding mill? - becca_2305 - 03-11-2014 05:44 PM

I've just read on another thread something about breeding mill.
I'm quite a new to owning hamsters and haven't heard of this before.
could anyone explain what is it. is it anything like a puppy mill?
do pet shops sell a lot of hamsters from mills?
beca x

RE: breeding mill? - STs Hamstery - 03-11-2014 11:31 PM

A Hamster Farm is a for profit facility which mass breeds Hamsters to meet the demands of big chain stores. So yes in a way they are equivalent to a Puppy Farm but with Hamsters instead of Dogs. Many breed to fill the demands of Reptile food, and often do many different kinds of Rodents not just Hamsters.

Their sad because they think nothing about health or tameness just that they can meet the demands for Reptile food and big chain pet stores. Often pups are stripped away from the Mother when just 3 weeks old and then tossed in a big dark box and shipped all over the country, These pups are usually scared and very stressed out and often are weak and sickly with Wet Tail. Many die in transit and the Farms bring the dead ones back and freeze them and resell for snake food.

Mothers are forced to produce and produce until they are too weak to produce any more then are killed and used for Snake food. Their usually kept in very small cages with nothing but a water bottle and block food to eat. Often more then one Hamster is kept in a cage and cannibalism is very common.

Not a very nice place to be or come from for sure.

RE: breeding mill? - hammyhugs - 03-13-2014 04:05 PM

I cannot tell you how much I hate the b.......s who are resonsible for this!!!


Jo xx

RE: breeding mill? - becca_2305 - 03-13-2014 10:12 PM

My goodness thats awful.
How can that be allowed to happen. sad

RE: breeding mill? - hammyhugs - 03-14-2014 07:20 PM

It is called greed sweetie, I know it beggars belief!!


Jo xx

RE: breeding mill? - STs Hamstery - 03-15-2014 04:48 AM

The saddest part is you can't stop them by rescuing that adorable Hamster sitting in the P@H adoption section cause until they get stuck with loads of unsold Hamsters they will continue to use Hamster Farm Hamsters.

Though Snakes and large lizards must eat too, it doesn't mean the animals they consume should have to live in that kind of environment either IMHO.

The only way I know of that can actually change the high demand for Mass production for profit Farms would be for smaller hobby /show breeders to be willing to work together, and offer Hamsters to pet stores. It took me almost 2 years to get established with a private owned pet store here in Ohio. I had to offer them a good price so they could make a small amount of Profit on just a sale of a Hamster, as well as meet the heavy promises that Hamster farms give of taking back and refunding/replacing any pups that died before sold. I went one step farther and guaranteed to take back any that became untame before being sold.

Since I worked towards longevity and health I also had it written in a contract that if any of my pups developed wet tail within 4 weeks of sale I would give the store a complete refund and take back ANY hamsters in their store that contacted wet tail if started from my Hamsters. Many thought me crazy to offer that agreement but for almost 6 years now I have only had to take back 3 pups for retaming (2 of which had been sold and mishandled and then returned for a refund) NONE have contacted Wet Tail and the stores over all profits from sales of Rat cages and larger wheels and restocking of needed supplies like bedding, and food has seen and increase of about 70%( the store really likes that part Big smile ) Also the returning Customer who lost their Hamster to old age, or by the satisfied Customer bringing in family friends who want a Hamster they have seen yet another profit increase.

In fact it was from the owner of this store that I got back into Hamster breeding after a two year leave. In that two year time she had no other private breeder offer her pups so she had no choice but to go back to buying from a distributor from a Rodent Farm. Wet tail returned and many of her Hamsters were biters from fear aggression. She still got credit for dead Hamsters but over all sales plummeted when all the Hamsters left were mean and biters. The owner even offered to pay me for my new Hamsters and until I decided to increase my numbers she paid for all my needed food.

If one small hobby breeder who has the main goal of producing Healthy, tame, and friendly Hamsters can make a difference in one pet store(I actually have three which sell my Hamsters) Then imagine what effect it would have if several breeders started doing the same as myself? It still won't stop the for profit farms who raise rodents for snake food but it would bring to a grinding halt the demand for pet pups in pet stores. The biggest problem there is Big chain stores like to demand and want the pups NOW they want the amount they need NOW, and they want their cages full with the colors THEY prefer (Usually Banded, Dominant Spot in Black, and of course lets not forget those Calicos), and all those Bear named colors too in the USA.

They don't want colors that most show breeders breed for. They also have to be educated on the proper age to sell a hamster pup since most stores think it is fine to sell a 3 week to 4 week old Syrian pup. Course at that age they usually get about 3 weeks more time to sell the pups before they start to fight and hurt each other, and must be housed in separate cages.

I refuse to sell pups to a store that are not at the youngest, 5 weeks old and often wait till their 6 weeks old. My main store I work with actually built a special cage set up which allows them to house one Syrian to a cage (they have 10 cages for Hamsters now). They also increased the cage size to give my much larger sized pups more room. They switched from tiny 6 inch wheels to 8 inch wheels. All because they were willing to listen and learn and change. I can't see P@H, Pet Supplies Plus, Petco or even Petsmart being willing to do all those changes (though my local Petsmart has started ordering less Syrians and housing them solitary now. I spent several hours with the store manager just telling her what benefits it is to buy less, buy older, and house better, their Hamsters. Their losses have decreased quite a lot, but sadly it is only one store of many that was willing to change, and they still can't buy from private breeders but MUST buy from their companies supplier who in this case if a California based Rodent Farm company that I have a hunch is gaining stock from Hobby breeders cause the quality of their hamsters, as well as the age they are getting them in is about 5 weeks old. The Syrians are always begging to come out and be handled, and the over all scene is better.

However Most Chain stores are only interested in one thing and that is a final sale with Profit. They don't care if Hamsters are mean, weak, unhealthy. All they care about is getting in what ever amount of Hamsters they want in the fastest time they can, paying a low cost and selling them for a profit. Rodent Farms can meet their demands and do it in a quick fashion so alas Rodent Farms are currently the only way they buy their animals be they Pets or Reptile food.

Many people have asked me if I worry about the final home of my pups. I can't say I know where each pup has gone, but I can say I have met Many, many of the happy new owners through the times. Often they see me buying Hamster supplies not even at the store I sell to and start talking to me about their beloved Hamster. Before long I find they own one of my Hamsters and then I get to see pictures on their phones and get invited to come see them. This just happened last fall when I stopped to buy a old old Hartz Hamster cage for one of my Dwarf Hamsters. When I asked why the cage was for sale I figured it was because they nolonger had the Hamster, but it turns out their Hamster named Harvey had out grown the cage so they bought him a Rat cage instead. When I asked them where they had bought Harvey from you guessed it from the store I supply. Harvey was 1 year and 3 months old and they were thrilled to have me send them his parents pictures and we now talk often and when Harvey's time is over they will return to the same store to buy their next Hamster. Happy owner Happier yet Hamster and happy ending for another when Harvey is called home.

RE: breeding mill? - becca_2305 - 03-16-2014 07:52 AM

That all sounds so interesting.
I'd always try to find hamsters from hobbiest breeders in furture.
P@H are shocking.

Is the pregnancy and birth scarey when breeding hamsters?

RE: breeding mill? - QueenHannah - 03-19-2014 07:44 AM

heres some more info on rodent mills. http://www.shadowrat.com/rats/petshop.html
I will warn you now, some of the images you might see on there are quite upsetting.

As for the pregnancy and breeding of hamsters, I think the mother hamster more or less takes care of business 99.9% of the time there is no need to interfere. Obviously a breeder would have to know what they were doing or the chances of the mother getting stressed and culling her babies would be very high. smile

RE: breeding mill? - STs Hamstery - 03-23-2014 09:25 PM

Pregnancy and Birthing is not scary when you know the pedigree of the two parents.

Though any female Hamster can have birthing difficulties resulting in her life being in danger, or lost. It is one thing you must accept and be prepared to have happen. I had one of my favorite Hamsters here named Faith die from birthing complications just 2 weeks ago.
Faith was and excellent mother and tended her litter until at 3 weeks old Mom was found dead in the nest with all her 6 pups trying to suckle her.
Faith showed not one sign of womb problems but she had Closed Pyrometra. I am very thankful to God that she left me with 6 lovely pups of which my Keeper is a Dove Tortoiseshell. Two of her boys are going to another forum member and the remaining 3 pups were sold to my local pet store at 5 weeks old.

I often take in Pregnant Syrians from pet stores/Craigslist. This year my 1st litter's Mom is a very young Black Banded girl who had less then 24 hours to adjust to my home before she birthed. She was too young to be birthing pups, and though she was able to birth fine she culled all pups the second the pup emerged from the birth canal.

My 2nd litter was Faith's litter and she lost 3 beautifully marked Black Dominant Spot pups but didn't eat them just left them in the opposite corner of the nest for me to remove.

My 3rd litter was Betia's litter and she started with 11 pups +/- I don't fuss with new moms to attempt to avoid culling. I found a few very under sized pups dead in the potty corner and by weaning at 5 weeks only 4 pups survived to be weaned. Betia will get a rest for about 3 months and if I feel she is OK will let her have one more litter.

My 4th litter is just 15 days old and is also a 1st time Mother and only two pups have been lost of a litter of 12. So it doesn't always depend on a knowledged breeder, but also good Hamsters with good backgrounds of easy birthing, good mothering skills, and low death rate.

Part of the reason for me having such high death rates in the first 4 litters here is due to me starting breeding so early in the season. Winters here can be very cold and the furnace is on some days all day and night which dries out the air and dehydrates really young pups.

RE: breeding mill? - becca_2305 - 03-24-2014 03:10 PM

Wow i had no idea there was so much to it.
It is something you enjoy doing?
I don't think I could do it.

RE: breeding mill? - STs Hamstery - 03-25-2014 12:00 AM

Yes I enjoy the challenge to produce a certain color and pattern Hamster and I also enjoy seeing new Hamster owners getting a healthy and hand tamed pet from a pet store who cares about their animals sold.

In the USA it isn't as easy to reach other breeders, and close by breeders often have lines too close to mine to be able to use their for sale pups. Pedigrees are almost a must have to breed with as little complications as is possible. Knowing the exact age of a female can mean the difference of a healthy happy litter and a sad ending of death for the Mom or the pups. It is very risky to breed and adult female that you don't know the age of because if the female is older then 6-7 months often she can't push the pups head and shoulders out the birth canal ending in either an Emergency C-Section(very risky and often ends with the death of Mom and pups, also very costly), or if she births with you not there to rush her off to a Vet you'll awake to find dead Mom and dead pups with possibly a live pup or two which will need to be humanely helped to the bridge because it is VERY hard to get another Syrian to accept pups other then her own, and is impossible to hand raise pups that young.

I don't enjoy having to rescue pet store pups who have been bred and ready to birth, but it is a better chance for them to come home with me then birth at the store where the chances of the litter surviving and being weaned is slim to none. It is these Pet store Mums to be that are hard on me cause many times they have been in with several other Syrians and have been in fights and have bad wounds on them. I had a lovely Cream girl I rescued while being very pregnant and she had a huge abscess on her lower belly area which included one of her bottom nipples in the oozing pussy mess. She couldn't have strong antibiotics or the pups would be harmed. She was so sick when the pups were old enough to leave her, and the Vet felt it not do able to save her life so I had to help her on to the bridge. I then had to wean her litter of 7 much sooner then is normal. All survived and I have kept one of her Boys and another forum member is taking a Female from her litter this coming April. The others went to the pet store and found lovely pet homes.

What upsets me is the stores which refuse to split by gender and will sell anyone a pregnant Hamster without them even knowing it's pregnant. Then the new owner panics when pups arrive and they have not one clue how to care for Mom or the pups. Many people who faced this situation became angry at the Mom for culling the litter, and dump her on the street or give her to a snake owner because she was mean and killed her own babies. Many panic when they find 10+ pups and no homes for them to go to. This forum gets many people like this on here who are crying in fear of how to get rid of unwanted Pups, or how to properly care for a pregnant Mother to be. Dwarf Hamsters are even worse cause pet stores see dollar/Pound signs when a prospective customer begins looking at the cute furry footed Hamsters and doesn't know anything about them so believes the sales rep when they tell them that dwarfs are not happy alone and that they MUST buy two for them to be happy.

The new owner buys two so called Males and in 21 days or less they start to clean the cage and find a nest full of pups and the worst part here is Dwarf Hamsters mate almost immediately after the pups are born so they not only have to face one litter of pups but a good chance of a second litter and also the cost of a 2nd cage to split the two adults up to prevent a 3rd litter from happening.

Many Rodent Farms sell pregnant Hamsters to pet stores They don't care at all, and most big chain stores don't care if they sell you a pregnant Hamster either. Yet another good thing to occur if a Pet store would stop buying from Rodent Farms, and start buying from reputable breeders.

RE: breeding mill? - becca_2305 - 03-25-2014 07:40 PM

thank you for all your information.
i'll always buy from breeders in the future

RE: breeding mill? - Spacemonkey - 04-28-2014 01:03 AM

They really upset me, I'd rather rescue a hammy in need than buy from a breeding mill/dodgy petshop, always little ones being dumped as the owners don't care, shocking sad

RE: breeding mill? - ilovemyhamster - 07-08-2014 04:45 PM

ok I have one question and one answer.

Question: do pets at home get hammies from breeding mills

Answer: my hamster is from pets at home and he was actually a bit weak when I gave him a health check.

RE: breeding mill? - ilovemyhamster - 07-08-2014 04:45 PM

ok I have one question and one answer.

Question: do pets at home get hammies from breeding mills

Answer: my hamster is from pets at home and he was actually a bit weak when I gave him a health check.