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Old 04-10-2019, 05:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 1
Smile Food, hoarding

Hi, Iím new to his haha. Well I just got my Dwarf Winter White hamster three days ago so Iím pretty new to this and I honestly want this best my little winter. She takes little nibbles at her food and Iíve done endless research on what food is best but I just dont know. Currently Iíve seen a lot of people mention Higgins Sunburst Gourment blend and Mazuri Rat and Mouse diet get mixed. they say like 2 pellets or so and 1 tbs of sun burst to balance out the protien since Higgins SunBurst doesnt have as much. Winter isnt really eating the Rat and Mouse diet and only what she wants. Which from my research I have found out some hamsters are picky. but it worries me because I donít know if sheís eating this at all. I wanted to know if anyone had any food suggestions that include good amounts of protien and everything else needed for her diet? Or anything else any other suggestions are happily welcomed(:

My second question is , what do i do with the food winter has hoarded if I need to clean her cage? I donít want to ruin anything that is what she normally does , and If she has hoarded food, do i add more food to her bowl or let her finish what she has hoarded? I just dont want to over feed her but I dont want her to starve her self some how unintentionally. I hope all this makes sense!!!
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:28 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 7,040
Default Re: Food, hoarding

Hi and welcome, congrats on your new ham. Are you in the US? If so then Higgins sunburst is probably one of the better mixes, there's also a similar one called vita garden which I would use instead as it doesn't have all the fruit in there. Same brand but to be honest I'm not entirely sure what the best mixes out there would be for a dwarf. A bit better for diabetes prone hamsters, as although she may physically look like a winter white you should assume she is a campbells hybrid (ie diabetes prone) and treat her as such.

I'm really not surprised she isn't eating the pellets - they are unnatural after all and they'll nearly always prefer eating a seed mix over pellets. I think the main reason for adding the mazuri pellets is to raise the protein level, and especially with a dwarf that will be easy to achieve using animal protein. Mealworms, shrimp, crickets, freeze dried chicken (cat treats) will probably go down better so I'd give those a go instead.

I wouldn't work out the final mix in terms of tablespoons either. You can work out exactly the number of mealworms or chicken you need to add (say 20% protein for a baby, 18% as an adult). But it would probably end up a teaspoon or two of the seed mix plus one or two insects a day, and generally give a bit more protein while she's young.

As for the hoard you can leave it unless it turns into a toilet. If you find it has been peed on then probably try and remove the soiled stuff and then top it up a bit. Although very few of my hams have had that habit thankfully so the only thing I've really needed to do is check it from time to time to make sure no fresh food is sitting in there. You'll probably find the hoard is near the nest, sometimes next to it or below it. Like the hoard you won't want to clean the entire nest in one go, again just remove soiled bits if there are any and if it gets especially bad remove larger parts of it, but there's a good chance she'll just pee in one area so you won't have that problem.

If you are going to use a bowl that's fine for now while you establish a good diet but in time I'd recommend scatter feeding most if not all of it. It provides good enrichment and is more natural for them. As for your question of over feeding, I wouldn't just wait until the last pellet has been eaten to be honest although lots of people may advise that. I think they need food always accessible to them and if there's something in particular they don't like in a diet then you can always try and substitute or change it up a bit so it suits them more (ie the insects). Like I said one or two teaspoons a day will probably do it for a dwarf and hams are unlikely to over eat anyway. Some of it will get hoarded and it's important to let them build that up first so you can be a bit generous with food servings at first.
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Old 12-21-2019, 07:49 AM   #3
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 3
Default Re: Food, hoarding

I have a dwarf hybrid and her food is a mix of lab blocks and Vitagarden in a ratio to get greater than 20% protein. I weigh out the food and keep it mixed in an air tight container. We give her 1 a teaspoon of the mixed food every 2 days or when she finishes what is in the food bowl. What usually happens is she will eat/pouch all the seeds and things she likes and leave the lab blocks. Because the lab blocks are part of the nutrition I want her to get, it is really tough love to wait out till she has eaten them to give her new food mix. She does get treats or mealworms, favorite seeds (Higgins seed treats) and fresh food too and I try to give just a little treats (it is hard! She is cute and loves treats) so that her nutrition is on track. Your dwarf will eat the mazuri eventually, but if she has a sizable hoard, she can live off that too.

As for cleaning, I try not to disturb her tunnels and food stash but if it’s really stinky then I scoop the hoarded food and give a few seeds in the same spot.
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