Our 3 female hamsters just gave birth this morning, some babies are eaten by the mother or father (not sure) which is "normal daw" for it is a good source of protein so we separated the fathers from the mothers.
These are some factors why the Dad or Mom eat their babies.
1. They feel threatened and the only way they know to survive is to eat the babies. When I bred hamsters I would throw a little dish towel over half of the cage so that they had their area of privacy. Do not handle them too much ... they will feel threatened and eat their babies.
2. They can feel threatened by several different ways
a. If the nest is disturbed they will feel threatened. If it is a first litter they may move the babies from one corner to another for the first couple of days .. this is normal. Do not attempt to clean the cage. at this point.
b. If they feel they do not have a hiding place they will feel threatened then eat their young.
C. If the male is left in there he will eat the young .. to eliminate competition for food
D. IF the mothers diet is inadequate she will eat the young to make milk for some of the stronger ones
I just hope that other babies would grow! It's so cute seeing the mother building a nest for the babies!