Several weeks ago I paired Miss Victoria to Nobby, a lovely lad that was here on loan from Vectis Hamstery. The couple settled in nicely but the next day Vicky decided marriage wasn’t for her any more and began telling Nobby off. The second night she decided to go for him if he even dared to cross her path so to prevent him from getting too injured, I separated them and tried again in the morning. They squabbled more and in the end they were separated before the four days were up. I didn’t know if it had worked and had heard that the girls can get cross with the boys once they have no use for them and a quick message to Vectis confirmed this. As I had no idea on what the outcome might be, I had to assume that Vicky was pregnant and began feeding her additional nutrients.

She began to look a little bit more round on 2nd October but I didn’t know if this was due to the additional nutrients or whether she was pregnant. She was moved to a maternity tank anyway on 2nd and by the 7th, she was looking rounder still. I knew I wouldn’t have long to wait – or so I thought!

I kept hoping to hear the baby squeaks or some sign that Victoria had got through delivery without any problems but Victoria had built herself a super-secure nest and was tending to those babies so that there was no chance of me finding out either way. The only thing I had to go on was her sudden slim-ness and a change in her behaviour. I had to go on the assumption that she’d had pups so as not to put them at risk until she let me know that she’d had none. I kept this up until the pups were almost two weeks old. I thought a couple of times that I might have heard rustling but it was so quiet that I couldn’t be sure and I didn’t want to get too excited just in case something had gone wrong.

Victoria tried her best to keep those babies a secret but eventually their curiosity got the better of them and on 21st October, whilst I had been preparing the pens for the show, Victoria came out for some food and was followed by a baby. She promptly chased it back inside but later on the pup appeared again and had a little wander round the tank. I didn’t see its sibling until later on whilst Victoria and the first pup were out. The second pup seemed more cautious and returned back to the nest when chased back in by Mum.

Victoria is still trying to keep those pups in the nest but I’m wondering if she’s going to be fighting a losing battle with that from now on. You’ve got to admire these mothers from the animal kingdom for raising their young without any support or intervention and to have kept it quiet for so long must have taken some work.

The litter’s official name is The Nobrias, which is a combination of both parents names, however they’re going to be nicknamed Victoria’s Secrets because, after all that effort, how could you not.