Genetics is a complex subject. I will try to explain it in the easiest way, so that those who read this will understand a little before they start breeding their hamsters. The first thing is DON'T BREED YOUR HAMSTERS before you have done some research. Before you start breeding, you must take into consideration whether you have spare cages for the future pups. You need at least two extra cages so that you can separate the sexes from their mother after they are 4 weeks old. Later, you will need more cages so you can house the Syrian hamsters separately when they become full grown, and you have not found other people to home them. In addition, you will need to provide and prepare the female Hamster some extra food before and while she have the litter, like boiled chicken ,boiled egg and bread soaked in milk.
In here, I will only explain genetics in brief. For those who would like to learn more about hamster genetics, I will post some websites at the end of this page, where you can go and get more information.
There are two types of genes: the Dominant genes and the Recessive genes.
The Dominant genes are those where they are visible on the hamster like Satin, Banded and Dominant Spot. Since it is a Dominant Gene, only one gene is required from either parent in order to have the characteristic showing up in the pup.
The Recessive genes are those in which you will not be able to see them by looking at your hamster, but by knowing and keeping records of your hamsters. These Recessive genes are not visible but they are in the hamster cells.
Genes have to be always in pairs and written by the means of letters. Every letter symbolize a particular color/coat.Every hamster will inherit one gene from his mother and one from the father, always it depends on how many genes each hamster is carrying. In order to know this we need to know our hamster's background and all this by the means of a pedigree, which by that we will most probably know what genes the hamster can carry. Sometimes, we have to test breed the hamsters to know if they are carriers of other genes or not.
Recessive genes work like this, at least two same genes are needed to shows the colour out. One gene from the mother and another gene from the father, always of the same characteristic are needed to give the hamster his visible colour. Then it depends on which colour, (Gene Codes) the hamsters are carriers of as there are more genes that when combined together it will gives us another colour.
Always when a hamster is a carrier of another gene, we use a capital letter to write their genes to show that he/she is only carrying the said gene. For example if a hamster is carrying black we write Aa not aa. This shows that the hamster is not Black but only carrying black as he did inherited only one gene (in here the a gene) from one of his parents. However, if we had to mate this hamster with another Black carrier Aa we will get Black hamsters in the litter.
Here is how it works; each hamster is Aa so they are both Golden’s carrying Black. Now we need to combine these genes like this, as each hamster will be giving only one gene to his offspring. So these hamsters can give or an A or an a gene.
Now all we need to do is to make a Punnett Square by writing the genes of one parent on the top and the others on the side and it will look like this:
After we are done from the chart on top, all we need to do is to join each gene together and it will give us the future offspring.
The Coloured letters show us what the future offspring will be.
AA is a Pure Golden as in here we removed the small letter.
Aa is a Golden carrying Black.
aa is our Black hamster.
This is the role of genetics, the more genes the hamsters carry the more we have to combine the Punnent Square and the more chance in getting more colours out. Here is another example for another mating .Let us say now we have a Black hamster, which his genes are aaBbPp which it means he is carrying Rust and Cinnamon. For this hamster to mate, we have a Cinnamon, which her genes are AaBbpp which it means she is carrying Rust and Black. First thing to do is to combine these genes like this:
For the male which he is aaBbPp they will show like this: aBP, aBp, abP,abp.
For the female that she is AaBbpp they will come like this Abp, ABp, aBp, abp. When we are done and we had joined the genes the Punnent square will shows like the chart below.
AaBbPp: Golden carrying Black, Rust and Cinnamon
AaBbpp: Cinnamon carrying Black and Rust
AabbPp: Rust carrying Black and Cinnamon
AaBBPp: Golden carrying Black and Cinnamon
AaBBpp: Cinnamon carrying Black
aaBbPp: Black carrying Rust and Cinnamon
aabbPp: Chocolate carrying Cinamon
aaBbpp: Dove carrying Rust
Here are some of the colours and the Gene Codes that will get these hamsters colours.
Anophthalmic White: WhWh
Black : aa
Black Eyed Cream: ee
Blue: aadd = Black + Dilute
Cinnamon : pp
Chocolate : aabb = Black + Rust
Champagne : aabbpp = Black + Rust + Cinnamon
Copper : bbeeppUU = Rust + Black Eyed Cream + Cinnamon + Umbrous
Dark Grey: dgdg
Dark Eared White: cdcd
Dove aapp = Black + Cinnamon
Rust : bb
Silver Grey : Sgsg
Yellow : ToTo Female To Male
Melanistic Yellow : aaTo (male) aaToTo (female)
Mink : eeppUU/Uu = Black Eyed Cream + Cinnamon + Umbrous
Sable : eeUU = Black Eyed Cream + Umbrous
Red Eyed Cream : eepp = Cream + Cinnamon
Long haired : ll
Rex : rxrx
Satin : Sasa
Short hair :
Banded : Baba /BaBa
Dominant Spot : Dsds
Recessive Dappled : rdrd
Tortoiseshell : Toto
Usefull sites :