Ideas behind our breeding decisions

The Aim:

To produce a stock of show hamsters.  To do this it is necessary to do well in several classes including positions in the top 4 places of the "Grand Challenge" class.  The class initially aimed for is class 1 Golden

The Proposed Method:

To keep a line of pure goldens going.

Bambi x Indiana:

First we needed a stock of "pure" goldens.  This mating should give just that!
14th April 2008
Fortunately this mating was sucessful and produced 8 babies, 2 male and 6 female.  We kept all apart from 1 female, this we let another breeder have who has helped in more ways than they might know.  We named the babies things that mean gold or things to do with gold seeing as they were the first babies since registering the prefix and they were all pure golden.  So the 7 hamsters are: Orville(m); Kin(m); Aurek(f); Eldora(f); Orlah(f); Oriana(f); and Hema(f).

Jasmine x Indiana:

Jasmine is heterogygous silver grey, in other words only contains one copy of the silver grey gene obtained from her mother, so is not a good rich silver grey as she could be and should be.  In order to get the homozygous silver grey it is necessary for a hamster to collect two copies of the gene, one from each parent.  Only having one hamster being silver grey it is necessary to create more.  The nice thing about having the pure line of goldens is that we can cross lines into it knowing that the offspring will only aquire the genes we would like to filter out.  While, because the silver grey gene is a dominant one, if a hamster picks a copy of the gene up then it is visible, unlike the recessive colour genes.  So from this mating it will be possible to tell which babies if any carry the silver grey gene.
2nd June 2008
From this mating, 9 babies were born.  6 showing silver grey and the other 3 being golden of which we will be keeping the "best" male and "best" female and finding good homes for the rest of them.  Names still to be decided on as I write this.
Both the kept babies are doing well and maturing nicely as at the 14th July, with the girl being named Arian, the male still needing his name which will be decided on by the end of the week

Midi x Chris:

Midi and Chris are both nice type goldens of a reasonable size so should produce good offspring.  Both carry the dark grey gene which is a recessive mutation and so unless it combines as a pair one from each parent then it will not show.  However, because both Midi and Chris each have one parent that was dark grey we know that each must carry a copy of the gene and therefore look forward to one quarter of any litter they produce to be dark grey.
27th June 2008
A nice size litter of at least 10 was produced.  After 6 days it's looking like at least 4 are showing as dark grey but it is still early days yet and will update this account in the near future.
Oh bugger!!! On the 14th July there are 7 babies surviving, all of which are golden!  Disappointing but both adults are young enough to be mated again in a few months time with the intention of getting that first Dark Grey offspring.

Walnut x Branwen

Branwen was dispatched to another breeder with the hope of producing offspring that she will rear.  The mating was sucessful and a huge litter of 2 is being reared by mum.  Branwen and a male, called Chrisanto, came home.

Midas x Daisy

Midas is a very nice golden from Tristar.  Daisy is a satin, black, dom-spot, banded who also appears to carry the white-bellie gene.  A mating of these two should produce a litter of goldens carrying black with a variety of patterned and possibly non-patterned babies.  The aim is to eventually produce a nice standard black dom-spot and a nice standard black roan for showing as well as nice standard satin hamsters for showing.  Again all these pattern varieties are dominant gene types and so show if it is collected from either of the parents.  The only thing to worry about is the white-bellied gene as if a baby aquires a copy from each parent then the result is an eye-less white.  So careful record of the offspring will be needed!

Kin x Indigo

Kin is the better colour and type of the two males from Indiana x Bambi and so a very good hamster to cross back to Indigo for two reasons.  One is to confirm the genetic fact that the line is still pure and the other is to produce a next generation of goldens to continue the line.  At the moment Indigo is not playing and Kin has had to be saved on a couple of ocassions from recieving serious wounds!  A very good reason to be vigilant whilst mating Syrian hamsters.  The mating eventually took place but no offspring arrived, just one of the frustrations of trying to breed hamsters!

Chris x Jasmine

In an attemt to obtain a line of cinnamon hamsters it was thought that this mating could produce hamsters with the genetics needed.  A litter arrived on the 1st September 2008.  In the litter there were 11 offspring.  The problem with any of these showing as carrying the silver grey gene could also carry the dark grey gene and so would not be suitable for the line of Silver grey and so would be excess to requirement.  Unfortunately there were none that had the pink eyes that didn't also have the silver grey gene of which we kept two - a male and a female which may be used in the future to try and obtain cinnamon's from.

Sliva and Arian

We obtained a long-haired homozygous silver grey which we named Sliva.  This mating would produce homozygous and heterozygous silver greys in roughly equal proportions.  The homozygous silver grey distinguishable by it showing no sepia colouration.  The litter produced 15 babies on the 8th November the litter were 11 silver grey babies and 4 chocolate babies.  The chocolate babies were a surprise but did tell us that in the other 11 babies then we need to check for black and rust by crossing out to hamsters known to be carrying these two genes to be sure that they don't carry these colour genes which means a few more generations will need to be bred in order to end up with a line of silver grey hamsters that carry no other colour gene.

Wynn x Orlah

With the true females getting older there developed an urgency to have litters before the end of the year.  Great relief when 15 babies were born from this mating of uncle to neice.  All are doing well and good homes will be needed for a fair number of these true golden babies.

Indiana x Eldora

Again for more true goldens this mating took place on the same evening as Wynn with Orlah.  This meant that it was more likely to get some true golden babies and if something should happen to one of the mothers then the offspring could if need be be fostered with care.  This mating was also successful and produced 9 babies giving a good choice for selecting the best for future generations and also diverging the line to a greater extent to make feasability of keeping the line that much better.  Again several of these offspring will need good homes and will be a valuable resource for other breeders.