Hamsters are interesting to a large number of people, even children like them. But in order not to be disappointed in your choice, you must be able to choose the right food for your pets.
A common misconception is that Djungarian hamsters eat everything that their owners provide. In fact, the animal is able to eat everything that it can chew, but a lot – only once. The consequences of the wrong choice of products can be fatal.
Dzungaria is called the area formed by semi-deserts, and partly by dry steppes. This left a characteristic imprint on the entire diet of animals originating from there.
Hamster digestion is not adapted:
- to sweet food;
- to foods high in fat;
- to an abundance of carbohydrates and high calories.
Under natural conditions, this species eats mainly grains and seeds. When autumn comes, the rodent seals the passage to the hole. And until the onset of spring, he will eat only what he has collected in the pantry, that is, dry stocks.
In the spring, the hamster will eat green grassy plants., and in the warm season it will willingly consume berries and insects. Due to its small size, the Dzungarian hamster has an intensive metabolism: even a short fast has a negative effect on it.
Compiling a diet for a hamster is not necessary if you use special feeds.
It is strictly unacceptable to replace them with mixtures that are intended for domestic and wild animals of other species.
Standard kits contain a complete set of:
- main useful substances;
- trace elements.
The use of such compounds allows you to improve the diet of the animal and balance it. In addition to food, water must also be provided. It cannot be replaced by even the most juicy plant food. If the hamster receives too little water during the day, he may even die or become disabled. From food, in addition to specialized feed, the Dzungarian species will eat:
- various vegetables;
- shoots of green plants;
- animal protein.
What can be given?
Hamsters can eat oats. But they eat rice only in limited quantities. Corn, wheat, rye and barley can be given without question. But buckwheat and lentils can be used only in a small amount. As for berries and fruits, they may well be given both fresh and dried.
Fruit and berry food is given only to animals at least 2 weeks old.
All fresh fruits are cleaned in advance of stones and seeds. Without these components, such food does not pose any danger. It is worth considering that the main part of juicy fruits is rich in carbohydrates, as well as glucose. Therefore, a strict limit is imposed on the number of such ingredients.
Their maximum share in the daily menu should not exceed 5%. Otherwise, the life of the hamster is in danger. Fruits and berries accumulate in advance. Both dried and frozen blanks are suitable. Dried fruits (bananas, dried apricots, raisins, dates) are soaked for 3 or 4 hours before being placed in the feeder.
Seasonal fruits, including apples, are valued by hamsters the most.
Juicy food of any type must be thoroughly washed. In addition, we must try to remove as many pesticides and nitrates as possible. To do this, you will have to soak the greens, and remove the peel from the apples. Jungars love:
- sunflower seeds;
- pumpkin and melon seeds;
- peanuts and hazelnuts;
- germinated wheat;
- germinated oats;
- cashew nuts.
It is quite reasonable to feed Djungarian hamsters with germinated alfalfa. From green plants, nettle leaves, clover, basil, celery are recommended. It is appropriate to use dill, pea pods in general. Vegetables are also popular, such as:
- radish and other crops.
From berry and fruit crops are good plums, peaches, pears, cherries, gooseberries, grapes, cherries, rose hips. Going pretty good and blueberry and apricot. The teeth of a hamster are strong enough so that the animal can eat small twigs and bark of deciduous, fruit crops. Main “candidates”: cherry, apple, poplar and maple.
Beech, willow and birch twigs, pieces of the bark of these trees are also suitable for feeding rodents. On such solid food, he will be able to sharpen his teeth.
Protein meals should be added to the hamster’s diet every 2-3 days. Optimal options: boiled chicken, boiled eggs (quail eggs are also acceptable), worms from a pet store or dug up on their own, shrimp. Some hamster breeders use yogurt (only without any additives) and fat-free varieties of cottage cheese.
Hay for a hamster will give alfalfa and timothy. Such food will provide the animal with vegetable fiber.
What is better to exclude?
When compiling a list of foods that should not be given to a hamster, you can mention:
- bakery products;
An indispensable requirement is a ban on all food that contains sugar, salt and other spices. It is unacceptable to feed jungariks with fatty or fried foods. Everything that is intended for human nutrition falls under the ban. Confectionery poses the highest risk: biscuits, muesli and gozinaki are on any list of prohibited foods. Dangerous for the animal and honey, and ice cream, and all chocolate products.
Don’t take restrictions lightly. Each product that is among the unacceptable can cause the death of the animal.
Since hamsters can be given quite a lot of food, there is no need to experiment with junk food. Even if something seems unjustified or incomprehensible, there is always a reason. Any ban is developed on the basis of many years of practice.
What is quite customary to see on the table, the body of a dzhungarik may not be able to endure. Almonds, as well as apricot pits and other parts of plants containing hydrocyanic acid, are extremely dangerous for hamsters. Nitrates accumulate in watermelon pulp. Due to honeysuckle and elderberry, animals can undergo convulsions, suffocate. Solanine contained in potatoes is dangerous.
It is important to consider that a hamster is much smaller than a person and even most pets. Therefore, a seemingly insignificant portion of toxins can destroy him. All astringents (for example, contained in persimmons) inhibit digestion. Tanning components disrupt the normal functioning of the intestines and pose a huge risk to animals. But the opposite failure (diarrhea) is also harmful to the hamster.
Therefore, the following are banned:
- spicy ginger;
Cheese, regardless of variety, contains a significant amount of salt. Therefore, you can not give it to an animal.
This is especially true for the most salty varieties. But even those that are not recognized by the taste as very salty are also unacceptable. Moreover, cheese is also an abundance of fat.
If a hamster has swollen intestines, then even the most qualified veterinary care often does not save him. You can provoke bloating by giving the animal:
- black bread;
The liver of a herbivorous creature is not evolutionarily adapted to very fatty foods. Even the seeds of various plants, usually included in the lists of allowed foods, can only be consumed to a limited extent. And vegetable and butter, all types of fried foods are excluded by 100%. Of the fruits, avocados have an excessive fat content.
It is worth remembering that the danger can be not only due to chemical and biological reactions. So, the Dzungarian hamster eats wheat willingly and calmly. However, if you give him spaghetti, other dry pasta, the animal can injure the bags behind the cheeks.
For the same reason any bones (not only vegetable), sharp and too hard types of food are unacceptable. Inflammation, especially turning into an abscess, is very difficult to treat. Many hamster breeders, in order not to repeat the tedious and expensive therapy, even begin to give the seeds to their pets in a purified form.
Essential oil of any kind and bright, saturated dyes can provoke allergic reactions. Strawberries, tangerines most often initiate them. Characteristic manifestations are constant tears, reddening of the skin, scabies. There are no antihistamines for hamsters. Therefore, the only thing left is to exclude problematic products.
Lactose, which is rich in milk and dairy products, including cheese, is extremely difficult to digest. Drops for rodents give a maximum of 1 time in 30 days. Strictly prohibited:
- grain mixtures for other rodents and parrots;
- brazil nuts;
- oak acorns;
- all citrus crops;
- branches and bark of coniferous trees;
- garlic and onions;
- green plants grown within the city or in other places with unfavorable environmental conditions.
General feeding rules
It is better to alternate fruits and vegetables in the diet of the Djungarian hamster. The optimal ratio of components is 65% carbohydrate food, 16% protein and 4 or 5% fat.
A rodent will grow teeth throughout its life. It is required to provide an opportunity for grinding each of them.
To properly feed hamsters at home, it is necessary to prevent the onset of diabetes and obesity. Metabolic disorders are mainly associated with excessive food. Therefore, the grossest mistake is feeding jungars just for their own pleasure, for “fun” photos. You can not give food in response to each rise of the animal on its hind legs. By nature, the hamster already selects the most nutritious pieces of food. And keeping in closed places makes the care and maintenance of the activity of the animal only more relevant.
Food should be given no more than twice a day. You can often find the statement that the Dzungarian species does not get diabetes. This is true, but the problem lies in the frequent uncontrolled crosses with other species. If the animal is bought not from professional breeders, but in an ordinary pet store, the risk of buying a hybrid is quite high. Therefore, it is better in any case to strictly follow the recommendations for the diet.
The most reliable type of food is a combination of:
- factory-prepared feed;
- a set of grain crops;
- continuously available drinking water.
As practice shows, the life of hamsters with such food is as long as possible, there is no particular need for other delicacies. As for fruits, even their completely safe types are cut into pieces no thicker than 1 cm. Vegetables should be given in a day. Breaks between the addition of berries to the diet are at least 7 days.
Feeding a hamster something new is possible only after a thorough check. The first time, after checking the list of allowed products, they still give the smallest portion that is possible. Then, with complete success, carefully and gradually increase the amount of product. Changing dry food to a different composition, especially from another manufacturer, is done smoothly. This takes about a week – if you hurry, you can provoke indigestion.
The diet should be diversified. Giving homogeneous food daily, the owners create problems for themselves. The only exception to the rule is the issuance of dry food, it is done rhythmically and every day. The hamster must continuously receive both juicy greens, and dry food, and proteins.
“Vegetable” or “meat” days are not allowed.
Since the instinct of the Jungariks tells them to stock up, giving out large food is simply dangerous. Food hidden in the house will begin to rot and decompose. The owners should not rely on the natural understanding of the animal, but systematically check all the “warehouses” for it. Every damaged piece is immediately disposed of. Dry food supplements are given as follows:
- fruits, berries – you can 1 time in 14 days (at least at first);
- garden greens – once every 48 hours (it is advisable to dry it);
- white and green vegetables – every day;
- colored vegetables – twice a week;
- meat and boiled eggs – weekly;
- nuts and seeds – as a delicacy and a rare promotion.
But it is important to take into account specific nuances. So, during pregnancy, protein should be given 2 or 3 times a week. Of course, you should carefully check the freshness and quality of products. Connoisseurs advise (and veterinarians fully support) to feed the animal at the same hours. Then a biological rhythm will be developed and there will be fewer problems with assimilation.
It is recommended to feed hamsters in the evenings. At night, they will be active, and therefore they need energy very much. If any product provokes malaise, it is immediately excluded from the diet. You can return a problem treat back only after consulting with a veterinarian. Everything that the rodent does not eat immediately or does not hide in the house must be removed immediately.
In most cases, 0.03 kg of dry food per day is sufficient. If the feeder is empty, do not immediately think that all the food has been eaten. It is likely that part of it is hidden behind the cheeks or in the bedding. Green plants and any juicy food should be scalded with boiling water before serving.
It is recommended to use metal bowls. Too large containers should not be taken – they should fit freely in the cage.
Bowls should be kept in the cleanest place. Weekly, and ideally more often, they are washed. Water is given only unboiled. Distilled water will not work, it is best to pour settled or filtered tap water.
At the slightest opportunity, it is better to use spring water, it is necessary to give preference to it.
For information on what can and cannot be given to a Djungarian hamster, see the next video.