Introducing: The Derby Four

If you’ve been following us on Instagram and Facebook you have probably heard of the Derby Four by now. These four hamsters were rescued last Friday, their previous owner had publicly been threatening to feed them to snakes if they were not gone by the end of the weekend.

We drove down to Derby, New York with our wonderful friend, Kay, who runs Mustachio Hamstery. It was quite a journey and when we arrived I was shocked to see that the five remaining babies (there had been six- the owner was keeping one as the mother passed away and someone else was on the way for the fifth baby) together in a medium kritter keeper. I did not ask if that’s what they had been living in, but the bedding was filthy and crispy with urine so it was safe to assume they had been in there together for some length of time. Given their age, it was lucky they did not attack each other in such a small, confined space.

A Kritter Keeper like the one the Derby Four were kept in- measurements are 30.2 x 19.7 x 20.7 cm

We drove off with our four new friends, stopping in a parking lot to check their genders. We had one boy and three girls, unfortunately this meant three possibly pregnant hamsters.

Oleander, one of the Derby Four girls

They were extremely undersized for their age and it’s hard to believe they were born on December 11th, they very much reminded me of our Miss. Wazowski who was also malnourished and small when we brought her home. Because of how small they are, it is unlikely the girls are pregnant, but better to err on the side of caution since they were housed with their brother.

We were thinking they looked a lot like little snowballs since they were almost all white, Kay suggested naming the boy Olaf after the snowman in Frozen. I felt that was pretty perfect, and on the way home I mused on what to name the girls if our boy was to be Olaf. I felt that keeping with the O theme would be perfect, and so the girls because Oleander, Olivine, & Opal.

Olaf, the only boy in the Derby Four litter

They are jumpy, nervous babies, but I feel this is to be expected given what they have been through. Olivine is having a hard time adjusting, she screams whenever I come anywhere near her and it is quite heartbreaking. Even though she is clearly traumatized, she never lunges or tries to bite. None of the Derby Four have tried to give me even the slightest nip, it always amazes me when I meet animals that have been through so much pain and have every reason to snap and bite yet they do not have a mean bone in their bodies. I feel that they will be lovely companions, they are just in need of some love and understanding.

Olivine will likely stay at GCH longer than the rest, but that depends on her progress, she needs a lot of TLC. Oleander is on pregnancy watch and will therefore also be at GCH a bit longer until we are sure she is not pregnant. Opal and Olaf will be out of quarantine in a week and will both be ready for new adventures. It’s extremely important to us that they go someplace where they will be loved and cherished, these babies deserve a long life of nothing but happiness.

Miss Olivine

Be sure to follow our blog and social media for more updates on these four special babies. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for them!

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