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Old 01-04-2013, 12:19 PM   #21
Lougarry
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Default Re: Mix Comparison

I've read a few papers now on protein intake for hamsters, but they are all quite old and I have yet to find anything specifically focusing on fat and fibre.

I think the fact that all manufacturers have such different balances of nutrients speaks to the fact that there is no consensus/evidence-based guidelines.

I am sticking to Silver's mixes because my hamsters like them and seem healthy on them, which in the absence of any evidence is enough for me. I don't want a mix with lots of processed ingredients or lots of things that get left.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:38 PM   #22
Dandelion07
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Thumbs up Re: Mix Comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lougarry View Post
I've read a few papers now on protein intake for hamsters, but they are all quite old and I have yet to find anything specifically focusing on fat and fibre.

I think the fact that all manufacturers have such different balances of nutrients speaks to the fact that there is no consensus/evidence-based guidelines.

I am sticking to Silver's mixes because my hamsters like them and seem healthy on them, which is the absence of any evidence is enough for me. I don't want a mix with lots of processed ingredients or lots of things that get left.
Absolutely, and that is another factor: when they leave stuff they aren't getting what it says on the packet anyway!

I must say, I enjoy providing 'extras' like leaves and other seeds (even mung beans), and it's thanks to HC that i know the kinds of things to give. I've been studying starlight's list and there really is no pattern to what is manufactured. It is the compilation and sharing of this sort of information that enables us to make more informed choices about what to offer.

So thank you Starlight, it is very helpful (and great ticks lol)
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:46 PM   #23
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Default Re: Mix Comparison

It`s mind boggling that the gap in levels is clear to compare thanks to Starlight`s list. And I agree, Silver has probably done more work on this than many of the `big` brands have in terms of nutrition of each grain. And because Silver`s mixes have far more variety within them, I would be inclined to say they are better than the others on that list just because her mixes have such varied seeds, grains and puffs within them. While comparing those to the blandness of some commercial mixes, (alfalfa/grass pellets, corn/maize, peas as hard as concrete and extruded coloured biscuits which have raising agents within them) it`s no wonder Silver`s mixes go down well with hamsters because it`s what they would normally go for in a natural diet. Small seeds.

Hamsters too will always be a bit choosy with their food, so allowing them a large variety is necessary to keep their interest in what they consume and if they are only fed a few extruded biscuits and corn, I doubt they would live very long.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:47 PM   #24
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Default Re: Mix Comparison

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Originally Posted by StarlightSerenity View Post
Trying to make more work for me Hehehe I should be able to do that. A few more columns, what about corn and peas too? I'm don't really know much about the sugary stuff as I only briefly looked into it once. So, molasses, fruit, peas/corn, no added sugar? That sound good?
Sounds like a good plan maybe seperate columns for peas and corn? Thanks for compiling it btw
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:01 PM   #25
Dandelion07
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Default Re: Mix Comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by racinghamster View Post
It`s mind boggling that the gap in levels is clear to compare thanks to Starlight`s list. And I agree, Silver has probably done more work on this than many of the `big` brands have in terms of nutrition of each grain. And because Silver`s mixes have far more variety within them, I would be inclined to say they are better than the others on that list just because her mixes have such varied seeds, grains and puffs within them. While comparing those to the blandness of some commercial mixes, (alfalfa/grass pellets, corn/maize, peas as hard as concrete and extruded coloured biscuits which have raising agents within them) it`s no wonder Silver`s mixes go down well with hamsters because it`s what they would normally go for in a natural diet. Small seeds.

Hamsters too will always be a bit choosy with their food, so allowing them a large variety is necessary to keep their interest in what they consume and if they are only fed a few extruded biscuits and corn, I doubt they would live very long.
Yep - I've heard many good things about the Silver mixes, and that the hamsters don't seem to be ignoring any parts, hence getting what it says on the tin (bag!). My hamster is picky: he doesn't like the green long things in Harry Hamster mix, nor does he like meal worms [I am still getting to know him...]

There is an idea for some anecdotal research: diet v life length. Mind you, I doubt people stick to the same foods for the whole of the hamster's life or can remember, but it would be interesting.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:05 PM   #26
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Default Re: Mix Comparison

My previous Syrian, Luna, lost some fur on her hips after being on JR Farm Hamster Feast (different recipe now) for most of her life, switched her to Silvers mix which has a higher protein level and her fur grew back within a couple of weeks. I think I read in Hamsterlopaedia that a deficiency in protein can cause fur loss. The new food certainly made a difference, it was the only thing that changed.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:25 PM   #27
Dandelion07
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Default Re: Mix Comparison

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Originally Posted by StarlightSerenity View Post
My previous Syrian, Luna, lost some fur on her hips after being on JR Farm Hamster Feast (different recipe now) for most of her life, switched her to Silvers mix which has a higher protein level and her fur grew back within a couple of weeks. I think I read in Hamsterlopaedia that a deficiency in protein can cause fur loss. The new food certainly made a difference, it was the only thing that changed.
That's amazing. Bet Luna's happier too. (Also I read that as Luna lost some fur on her lips the first time I read it). It just shows that the balance of components is really important, and it is surprising to see such inconsistency between brands. The cynic in me says it all comes down to profit.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:38 PM   #28
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Default Re: Mix Comparison

She did enjoy Silvers mix, she did like her old one though as well, I couldn't really tell which one she preferred in all honesty!

Thinking about it though, no matter what mix you give a hamster it's highly unlikely that they will get a balanced diet all the time, you have to take into consideration that you're only giving a small portion at a time which isn't likely the exact right portion of each individual ingredient, the hamster isn't always going to eat the right amount of everything and then there are treats - give one mealworm as a treat and the 'balanced diet' is off. As long as you give a decent mix and provide a healthy base diet (ie the mix) I think their diet is going to be fine. Needs vary too - age, health, size, weight etc all have an impact on what they truly need. If your hamster seems happy and healthy then they're likely getting a good diet.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:39 PM   #29
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Default Re: Mix Comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlightSerenity View Post
My previous Syrian, Luna, lost some fur on her hips after being on JR Farm Hamster Feast (different recipe now) for most of her life, switched her to Silvers mix which has a higher protein level and her fur grew back within a couple of weeks. I think I read in Hamsterlopaedia that a deficiency in protein can cause fur loss. The new food certainly made a difference, it was the only thing that changed.
That's really interesting. I was going to do a thread about my Bubble's coat change since he has been on Silver's Syrian mix (I think we've had him about 6 weeks now) but I can't get him to stay still for photos to show before & after really well

Bubble is a long-haired hamster but not really long-haired, he had long tufts at hips & shoulders when I got him as a rescue aged 1 year old & was generally quite fluffy & even a bit scruffy (sorry Bubble!). Now the tufts at the shoulders have gone really & the hip tufts are not so noticeable but Bubble's coat overall is so much more fluffy & gorgeous-looking, it has really filled out. I'm assuming it is the oils & proteins in the seeds that have given him this coat improvement, it's so easy to see the difference in him, I will get some good photos & made a thread of it. He has gained a bit of weight too, only about 15g or so.

I have no way of knowing what he was fed before we got him, he had been returned to p@h after a year (!) & was on their muesli at p@h but don't know what his previous owners were feeding him.

Edited to add: I expect that the big companies base their feed percentages on what is fed in labs as the investment in animal nutrition is really where the money is; ie loads of money goes into nutrition research for race horses but not a lot into less money-making parts of the business. I will have a look & see what I can find about nutrition in hamsters.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:03 PM   #30
Kissa
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Default Re: Mix Comparison

I've been dropping this link all over HC in the last few days, but I found a list of all the different foods, with ingredients and percentages and pros and cons, over on the Dashing Hamsters blog a few days ago. It makes for a hefty read though, this table definitely gives a better overview, but I thought it might be of interest to you, SS (and others )

As for percentages, and the different life stages thing -- I suspect baby hamsters need more protein, as it's necessary for growth, but then most good breeders supplement their mothers' and babies' diets with high protein foods anyway. Again, older hams probably benefit from a bit more protein and fat in their diet as they start to lose condition. Having done my own research, though, I believe that the %s Harry Hamster and Silver use for their mixes is a good one -- I even found a paper about it too, but like an idiot I didn't save it anywhere and haven't been able to find it again

Being as unbiased as possible aside, I swear by Silver's mixes, because a) they have %s I believe to be ideal, b) they smell bizarrely tasty, and c) my hams eat all of it and look healthy on it
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