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Old 12-11-2018, 05:21 PM   #1
SamAndCompany
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 3
Default Homemade diet questions

Hello!

I don't think I'd be here asking questions if I was able to order what I need. Right now all I have available for commercial hamster food is oxbow, a couple versions of hagen which are practically just corn, oil, and filler, and the generic walmart brand. I'd love to use mazuri, sunburst, and then add my own mix for added variety, but they're simply not available where I live.

I'm in the middle of calculating a hamster diet and a gerbil diet, I don't want to have anyone confused so yes they are separate mixes. I'm well aware they have different needs.

My plan was to do 50% oxbow and 50% homemade, excluding treats and fresh veggies, but of course it's not that easy.

Anyways, my issues are that I obviously have too low protein largely due to including oxbow, and I can't find dried veggies. I have mealworms but without overdoing the fat I can't get what I need in terms of protein. Usually I see mazuri is recommended for boosting protein and I'd love to use it but can't find anywhere that ships to canada for a sane price. I've heard mixed opinions on shrimp and can't seem to find that either. I know pure bites are a common alternative but my only pet shop doesn't carry them and I'd like to avoid meat if possible.

My question is, would it be possible to use a rat or mouse pellet to boost protein, if the ingredients were safe? I don't see why not but I figured I should ask. On that note, would oxbow mouse and young rat work? If I remember correctly it has 19% protein, which would help somewhat if the portion was large enough. It is mainly corn however, so not a fan of that but so is mazuri. Oxbow is one of the only brands my pet shop orders in so if they have any other options I'd be happy to hear about them.

Second question, veggies. I've looked high and low and can't find any dried that aren't in a flavoured soup mix. I wanted to dehydrate my own but then realized what an ordeal that would be. If I can't get them I shouldn't make a homemade diet, so what options do I have? Right now he's getting oxbow with fresh veggies every three days, extra mealworms and tofu. All the foods in my shop have even lower protein than oxbow so I'm stumped.

Sorry this is so long, thanks for any help
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:49 AM   #2
cypher
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Location: Wales UK
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Default Re: Homemade diet questions

A pellet diet isn't ideal for any hamster but if the only way you can get a good balance of nutrients is to use a combination of different pellets than that's probably the best you can do as long as the ingredients are safe.
I wouldn't worry about dried veg really, oxbow is very high in fibre so you won't really need more of that & it's better to give fresh for the micronutrients rather than dried, non of my hams have been keen on any dried veg tbh but they all enjoy a variety of different fresh veg & have something daily.
Tofu is fine for extra protein, plain cooked chicken is good too, mealworms are high in fat but giving a few is fine, if you can find dried fresh water shrimps they're great for protein with less fat too.
It is difficult to get protein high enough with raising fat levels too much when you try to make your own diet I know, but if you give fresh veg & low fat protein like tofu & chicken it does balance out better.
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:01 PM   #3
SamAndCompany
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Default Re: Homemade diet questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
A pellet diet isn't ideal for any hamster but if the only way you can get a good balance of nutrients is to use a combination of different pellets than that's probably the best you can do as long as the ingredients are safe.
I wouldn't worry about dried veg really, oxbow is very high in fibre so you won't really need more of that & it's better to give fresh for the micronutrients rather than dried, non of my hams have been keen on any dried veg tbh but they all enjoy a variety of different fresh veg & have something daily.
Tofu is fine for extra protein, plain cooked chicken is good too, mealworms are high in fat but giving a few is fine, if you can find dried fresh water shrimps they're great for protein with less fat too.
It is difficult to get protein high enough with raising fat levels too much when you try to make your own diet I know, but if you give fresh veg & low fat protein like tofu & chicken it does balance out better.
Thank you! I've been chatting with people on another forum (just because our timezones are more similar) and I have a couple new options. I can get sunburst from one place online but it is expensive, and I'm going to ask my pet shop if they can order it but I'm pretty skeptical. I got a couple suggestions of where to look for dried veggies. Otherwise I feed fresh once every three days and tofu once a week with mealworms every once in a while, but I've been told dried veg is still needed and of course is nice to add. I'll be looking everywhere I can for dried crickets and I'll ask my friend who should know if anywhere in town has dried shrimp.

Honestly I can't seem to get the protein above 12% in my mix, it's that bad. Some way or another I think I'll get sunburst, I only have one hamster and he eats so little that I don't think it makes sense to do mostly homemade. So question is: I'll hopefully be able to bump up the protein in sunburst with mealworms, buckwheat, quinoa etc, but what if I did 25-35% homemade for added variety? I feel confident doing that and I already do with my mice, they seem very healthy and happy
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:57 PM   #4
marcusbaer
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Join Date: Dec 2018
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Default Re: Homemade diet questions

I have heard very good things about Oxbow, it is what I have always used in the past and what I plan on using when I get back into the hobby, and it is great! Obviously, as with almost all other commercial hamster foods, you should feed them other things, like oats, fresh fruit, flax seeds, etc. but as the main diet for daily/ bi-daily feedings, it is great!
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