Can you feed mice to hamster food
Hamster food consists of many different components. The optimal hamster food offers a varied menu and meets the different needs.
Dwarf hamsters, for example, have different requirements than golden hamsters. You can find out how to feed your hamster correctly here.
Proper nutrition is the basis for a long and healthy life for a hamster. It consists of several components that not only add variety to the food bowl, but are also important for health.
Hamsters need this food
An optimal hamster diet and husbandry consists of several components. Buying only ready-made feed from pet stores is not enough. Contrary to popular belief, hamsters are not vegetarians, but rather eat almost anything they can find.
Basically, the hamster should have hay freely available. He needs this not only as a basis for food, but also for nest building.
dried animal food
Much of the hamster diet should be dry food. This can either be bought as a ready-made mixture in the pet shop or mixed yourself.
How large the amount of dry food should be varies depending on what kind of hamster it is. Dwarf hamsters, for example, require a smaller amount of dry food than golden hamsters.
But the composition of the feed also plays a role. If it is a food that is rich in herbs and hay, the hamster will need more dry food than a dry food consisting of only grains.
Fresh food is a valuable source of water and vitamins and is an important component of hamster nutrition, especially in autumn and winter, when feeding green forage is more difficult to manage.
Vegetables can be fed daily, but only in small quantities, as otherwise they can spoil.
Cucumber, lettuce leaves, carrots, zucchini, beetroot, pumpkin, and peppers are all good for this purpose.
Fruit, on the other hand, should only be offered once a week. You should avoid stone fruits and bananas, as many hamsters react with diarrhea. Berries, apples, tomatoes and pineapples, on the other hand, are good feeds.
Caution should be exercised with dwarf hamsters: there is a risk of diabetes, so regular feeding of high-sugar fruit should be avoided. If a hamster is at risk of diabetes, it is advisable to do without it completely.
Like fresh food, green fodder contains a high proportion of water and many vitamins and is a good addition to the hamster diet.
Hamsters like to eat green fodder, but it is a bit time-consuming to put together. In summer it is particularly advisable to feed fresh dandelions, daisies (very popular), carrot greens, ryegrass or chamomile.
Kitchen herbs such as parsley and dill are also popular with hamsters and can be grown in the kitchen all year round.
The leaves of kohlrabi are also well received.
By the way, you can also sow your own little meadow for your hamster.
To do this, you simply take a smaller flower pot and fill it with soil and sow it with various seeds such as grass, oats, barley and wheat.
After a while you will have a small meadow that your hamster will happily accept.
Few people take into account that hamsters in nature sometimes take account of animal proteins. For the health of your hamster, however, it is important to offer it animal protein three to four times a week.
These include meal beetle larvae, crickets, moths, shrimp, house crickets and flea shrimp (dwarf hamsters particularly like to take them). Usually every major pet shop has such feed animals. Raw minced meat and chicken as well as dog treats are also suitable sources of protein.
If you do not want to feed your hamster live animals or meat, you have the option of upgrading the hamster feed with dairy products such as low-fat quark, natural yogurt and cheese.
When feeding cheese, you should make sure that it is as low in fat as possible. Milk or cream are not suitable as hamsters are lactose intolerant.
dried animal food
How to recognize good dry food
For hamster newbies in particular, it is advisable to buy ready-made hamster food in pet shops. This is usually ready-mixed and contains all the essential components.
When buying, you should make sure that you are buying food that is tailored to your hamster. Dwarf hamsters, for example, have a higher need for animal proteins and would not be optimally supplied with a food tailored to golden hamsters.
You can recognize good dry food by the fact that unnecessary sugar is avoided. The main components should be small seeds (grass seeds, herb seeds, flower seeds and, in small quantities, oil seeds), cereals, only a few nuts and kernels, and dried vegetables and herbs. Due to the animal protein, it should also contain dried insects.
What you should consider when feeding and storing
When feeding dry food, it is important that it is fed as fresh as possible. Due to the fat contained in the feed, there is a risk that the feed will become rancid.
In addition, the vitamins contained are lost and the nutritional value of the feed decreases. Storage for more than 4 months is therefore not recommended for hamster food.
In order to guarantee the shelf life of the food, it is advisable to pour it into a tin can after purchase. Old cookie jars are suitable for this purpose.
Neither the plastic cans nor the cardboard containers in which the food is purchased are recommended. The moisture contained in the food cannot escape in plastic cans.
There is a risk that the feed will spoil more quickly. Cardboard containers, on the other hand, do not provide adequate protection against mites or other pests that could contaminate the feed.
Make hamster food yourself
When putting together your own dry food for hamsters, the question arises again and again as to which foods are suitable for hamsters and which are not.
There are a number of tables that provide a very good overview of which foods are very suitable as hamster food, which foods are not and which should only be fed in moderation.
As with the purchase of ready-made food, you should take into account that dwarf hamsters depend on a different food composition than golden hamsters.
A balanced hamster food contains many small seeds such as millet, hemp seeds and amaranth, herbs, unfertilized grass seeds and dried larvae.
Many hamster owners mix birdseed with dried vegetables, herb mixes, nuts, grass seeds, and grain mixes.
In contrast to the ready-made mixes purchased in pet shops, you have to note that hamster food you mix yourself is not complete food.
It is therefore imperative that you supplement your own mixed dry food with vegetables, fruit (in moderation), special herb hay and fresh animal protein for a species-appropriate diet for hamsters. In summer you can also get your hamster fresh herbs and grasses.
How to feed your hamster as appropriately as possible
In addition to the right hamster diet, it is important to meet the hamster's basic needs. Above all, this includes movement, which, in addition to searching for food, can also be guaranteed by a hamster running wheel.
Adequate exercise is just as important to maintaining health as the right food. In addition to moving around, your hamster will love to find its own food. In the wild, hamsters spend a lot of time looking for something to eat.
It is only possible to a limited extent to simulate the search for food in a hamster cage, but with a few tricks you can keep your hamster busy and prevent obesity and sluggishness.
Let the hamster look for its food
It is perfectly normal for us humans to eat from a plate. We humanize our animals accordingly and offer the hamster its food from a bowl. However, it is much more species-appropriate to distribute the hamster food all over the cage. Places where the hamster does its business should be omitted.
Hamsters that are not used to searching should be introduced to this new type of feeding slowly and the food distributed near the bowl.
You should avoid hiding components such as grass seeds in the litter. Here it is advisable to distribute the forage on surfaces that have not been littered. Cardboard boxes and egg cartons are ideal hiding spots.
When filled with some hay, your hamster will be busy looking for food for a long time.
Other ways that your hamster has to work for its food are wicker balls or hamster waffles, which you can buy in any pet shop.
Special case of fresh feed
Fresh food is only conditionally suitable for being distributed in the cage. Depending on the size of the hamster cage and the diligence of your hamster, there is a risk that the food will go bad and spoil.
For fresh food, it is best to feed it in a bowl, alternatively you can get metal skewers especially for this purpose in the pet shop.
The food is threaded onto the skewers and fastened in the cage. It is only important that the food skewer cannot swing around freely in the cage, but has a firm hold. Otherwise your hamster could injure itself.
The art of the hamster
Hamsters are naturally in the habit of stocking up for bad times. Colloquially, this behavior is referred to as hoarding.
In some hamsters this behavior is very pronounced, so that they immediately stuff the food into their cheek pouches and bring it to their house.
The hamster's characteristic is less pronounced in the dwarf hamster than in other hamster representatives. Dwarf hamsters do not naturally hibernate, so the need of the smallest hamsters to collect food for times of need is correspondingly low.
Nevertheless, the dwarf hamster will also keep a small supply. Due to the risk that this feed can spoil, it is advisable to replace this supply regularly.
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