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Old 05-14-2017, 04:47 PM   #1
emojimom
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Default Feeding a Baby Hamster

I just adopted the youngest hamster I've ever owned. She is about 2 months old (you can read more about her in her thread), and I wondered what I need to know about nutrition at this age. Drago mentioned in the thread that I should feed extra protein and vitamins. I give my other hamsters mealworms and freeze dried chicken, which they love, so I just wondered what else I need to be doing to make sure I provide the best for my new baby.

Here's a photo of the cuteness, and thanks in advance for any help!
IMG_3675.JPG
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:10 PM   #2
Drago
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Default Re: Feeding a Baby Hamster

Feeding young hamsters isn't too much more difficult than adult hamsters, but everything you feed should be fed with purpose. It is within the first 6 months of life that hamsters do the most growing so they must be supplied with a bit of a different diet than adults.

For protein- the best results are yielded when a hamster pup is fed a diet of 18%-19% protein. Any higher and the growth rate is slightly less, and lower and it's the same thing. After six months or so, you can lower the protein to 16%-17%

Fiber- this stays on the lower side in young hamsters, they only need around 10%-12% at this age, but it's crucial you raise the amount to 12%-20% as they grow older. Especially as they reach a year or so

Fat- you can give quite a lot of fat at this stage in life. It's been shown that hamsters can thrive on diets of up to 20% fat for up to a year so try to keep it under this amount. A better number to shoot for at this age is about 7%-10%

For vitamins, feed lots of turkey, eggs, tofu, cheese, low fat milk or soy milk, peas, and peanuts. These will all give good vitamins with the two most crucial being niacin and B12 at this age.

Good luck with your new little one, and if you ever have any other questions, please ask
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:45 PM   #3
emojimom
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Default Re: Feeding a Baby Hamster

Thank you so much, Drago! That was enormously helpful!
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Feeding a Baby Hamster

I'd disagree on fiber.Too much fiber will cause problems(both an inability to produce solid stools and a harder time producing stool in general,as an example),and most hamsters do perfectly fine with around 7-8%.Some may need slightly elevated levels but that's easy to accomplish between fresh foods,pureed pumpkin(should have high quality probiotics free of any artificial ingredients,unspecified biproducts,and processed sugars like dextrose for added digestive support benefits),and certain extra grains.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:22 PM   #5
Drago
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Default Re: Feeding a Baby Hamster

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmityvilleHams View Post
I'd disagree on fiber.Too much fiber will cause problems(both an inability to produce solid stools and a harder time producing stool in general,as an example),and most hamsters do perfectly fine with around 7-8%.Some may need slightly elevated levels but that's easy to accomplish between fresh foods,pureed pumpkin(should have high quality probiotics free of any artificial ingredients,unspecified biproducts,and processed sugars like dextrose for added digestive support benefits),and certain extra grains.
Studies have actually disproved the myth that hamsters don't need a lot of fiber. They in fact showed that in this case, it's quite the opposite! Comparing the digestive system of the hamster to other animals, it's quite similar to that of your typical ruminant (i.e. goats, cows, and deer) whose primary food is, grasses! Besides that, a Syrian hamster's natural diet would be in large, grasses (though obviously not exclusively). Studies done on around 60 different hamsters show that the optimum levels of fiber sit around 10%-20% with the gray area being up to several environmental and biological factors. If you'd like to read up on the study itself, I'll link it below. You'll need to flip through several pages to find it. There have been multiple others similar to this one which all have concluded the same results. Plus, higher fiber takes stress off the digestive system. In the end what you feed your hamster is up to you, but it's just my opinion that high fiber is important

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/N...8/#!po=68.6508
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Feeding a Baby Hamster

Two months is probably the average age for pet shops hams that are brought home so you don't need to worry too much as long as you have a good base mix, that's always the most important thing.
A little extra protein is always good at that age, mealworms are high in fat so fine for a young ham but not too many, just plain cooked chicken or freeze dried chicken & maybe a little scrambled egg now & then will be plenty.
Introduce a variety of veg slowly & work up to daily for extra vitamins & minerals.

Hamsters do need plenty of fibre, it is very important for them & I have never come across a ham having too much but a good mix & fresh veg daily should provide all you need.

A lot does depend on your main mix.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:33 PM   #7
AprilPearl
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Default Re: Feeding a Baby Hamster

Congrats on your new hammy

I think Drago has given amazing advice that I really can't add to! Just wanted to say that for the milk, you can soak a little bit of weetabix or rolled oats in milk. But, make sure your ham doesn't pouch it! Mushu was contantly trying to pouch his porridge, so I have stopped giving it to him in case he gets an impacted pouch.
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