SYRIAN HAMSTER DIET: general information
Scatter feeding is best because this encourages natural behaviour and keeps hamsters active
Cereals such as barley, buckwheat and millet can be used as the base of the feed mixture but try and include as much variety as possible!
There should always be a higher ratio of flour seed to oil seed. Syrian hamsters generally prefer flour seeds (cereal flakes can also be added)
Should make up the bulk of their diet
You can source the ingredients from supermarkets, health food stores and online
GRAIN & SEED MIX
Oily seeds should make up a smaller proportion of the mix, such as sesame, flax, safflower etc
1tbsp per hamster per day is sufficient. In general the food should last until the next feeding
may be fed daily
A necessary and healthy addition to their diet
You can collect plants providing they haven't been sprayed with chemicals or soiled with dog/bird/other animal faeces
In nature you can collect forage such as dandelion, bramble, plantain & hazel leaf
You can dry forage yourself in a dehydrator/oven/in the sun, or you can purchase pre-packaged dried plants
Dried forage is useful if you can't access fresh forage (e.g. Winter or if you live in an urban area)
A small, daily serving of vegetables is sufficient
Introduce slowly to the diet!
Vary the vegetables each day
Fruit may be offered, but only as an occasional treat due to the sugar content
Herbs are often available in supermarkets. You can offer coriander, basil, parsley and more
Some examples of popular hamster vegetables include bell pepper, celery, cucumber, broccoli, lettuce, carrot, cauliflower, fennel
Hamsters do require a good supply of protein in their diet. They are not true herbivorous animals despite the majority of their diet consisting of seeds and other plant sources (some plant sources provide protein but not enough as an only protein source).
Pea & soy flakes contain a significant amount of plant proteins
Ideal protein sources: dried silkworm larvae, dried mealworm & dried shrimp
Healthy fats are an essential diet component loaded with nutrients.
Although very beneficial to the diet, remember that these are fattening foods, so offer these in moderation.
Branches are a great supplement for hamsters.
Branches also contribute to the abrasion of their teeth - this is important as they are continuously growing. The branches provide a fun activity for them.
Apple & hazel branches are common and easy to identify for beginners.
REMOVE NUTS BEFORE FEEDING
In general, I recommend avoiding pet shop treats. They often contain various unhealthy ingredients which may be harmful to hamsters. Some healthy alternatives include the following: