I know that this is a very old thread, but I wanted to say something here...
Originally Posted by buggygirl65
The father will not help he will eat them
Gerbils are VERY different from hamsters.
It is ALWAYS adviced to leave the father GERBIL, specially with a first time mom, as raising a litter is a very hard job for the mom and the father helps a lot. However they mate right after the birth of the litter.
Hamters are a different story. Syrian hamsters should always be alone. A male syrian will kill the litter. Dwarf hamsters can be housed in groups, and males won't kill the litter if left with the female when she gives birth, but he won't help with it either... just mate with her so you'll have litter after litter of them.
When you keep a pet rodent, be sure to research the SPECIFIC rodent you have, they may be all have similar aspects, but are very different and have very different needs and behaviours. Don't assume that since you have owned one species and know everything about it, you know everything about them all.