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Old 02-10-2019, 04:51 PM   #1
Clare UK
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Default Changing foods and losing weight.

My dwarf hamster is 15 months old and has been fed Burgess Dwarf food since he was born and has had no problems with it. Now Burgess are no longer making that food i've been trying to find him an alternate diet and i'm struggling.

He has lost 5 grams over the last few weeks I've been testing foods and I'm unsure what to do. I've given him a full health check and he physically seems fine his teeth look perfect (give him his favourite treat and it's gone in moments), the bite marks on my thumb suggest they are sharp enough too. He's just picky.

I started adding a small amount of Bunny Dwarf HamsterDream Expert to his usual Burgess food and he didn't seem very interested but I carried on slowly introducing the Dream Expert to him until his lunch was 50/50 old and new food. That is as far as we have gotten and somewhere along the way he's lost the weight.

Should I carry on feeding him this mix or try another brand? I know in the past I've tried mixing Harry Hamster into his food for a little variety evey now and then and he would leave piles of the pellets, whatever the biscuits are and whole corn pieces. I've also tried adding science selctive biscuits in the past but I would count how many I put in his bowl and that exact number would be there untouched the next day.

I have a couple of bags of Burgess stored away but at some point he is going to have to change foods.

Any advice would be helpful.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:58 PM   #2
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Changing foods and losing weight.

I would carry on switching over to the Bunny food. It's a good mix for a dwarf hamster and it may be just the change that has made him lose weight. Now it's on 50/50 you might as well switch to the Bunny and see how he goes over the next week with it. He'll probably be less picky when he only has the new mix. I also add 2 or 3 science selective pellets to the food bowl to make sure they;re getting all the vitamins etc. I have found a lot gets picked over and left with these mixes with lots of bits and seeds - but they just take what they need and tend to eat from their hoard.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Changing foods and losing weight.

Our Syrian also seemed to be leaving his food when I gradually changed it over - but he didn't lose weight Maybe just ignoring it because it's different and they ahve plenty to eat in their hoard. So some adjustment time needed maybe.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:15 PM   #4
Clare UK
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Default Re: Changing foods and losing weight.

Thank you
The Bunny food + mealworms seems to be the best diet I can come up with so i'm hoping he'll take to it. I'll try 100% and see what happens I guess if he's hungry he'll try it eventually.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Changing foods and losing weight.

I'm not surprised you had problems adding Harry Hamster but he should adjust to the Bunny mix if done gradually, if he really doesn't seem to keen he might do better with the Rodipet mix so that could be worth a try. It can take them a while to get used to any new food so do it as gradually as you can,
Keep an eye on his weight too just to see if he continues to lose weight or if it stabilises again.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:37 PM   #6
EmmaAndChester
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Default Re: Changing foods and losing weight.

How much does he weigh and what species of dwarf is he?... I ask because I've fed burgess dwarf in the past (about 4 years ago now) and the winter white I had at the time was grossly overweight. I've also noticed the same issue (overweight dwarfs being fed burgess) with others too. The food is really poor quality - and it's really not a shame that it's going; it's pretty much straight up millet, and just a very poorly balanced diet. So the weight he is losing could actually be a good sign, but it's really impossible to tell without knowing how much he weighs and what species he is. Regardless; 5g is really not a lot - certainly nothing to be concerned about given that it was lost gradually like you say over a few weeks, so it likely was weight that he could afford (and needed to) lose.

I would stay away from all pelleted brands (burgess, harry hamster, pretty much anything you're gonna find at the local pet store etc), personally. They're *always* low quality & poorly balanced diets. Generally speaking, if you want a high quality, species appropriate diet you need to order online. The bunny expert foods are really nice, and you could keep going with that if you'd prefer; other suggestions I'd have would be rodipet, who have a good hybrid dwarf option (I don't recommend their 'normal' dwarf mix - the hybrid foods only) and my personal favourite is getzoo. I have 4 WW's currently; they all adore the getzoo mix, and they're all very nice weights too for their species. I've never had any problems switching them onto it when they come to me either, they all love it!
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Changing foods and losing weight.

Just off to check out the Getzoo mix That's new to me.
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Old 02-12-2019, 03:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Changing foods and losing weight.

The Syrian one looks interesting (maggots ugh! ha ha) - it doesn't have any percentages of protein etc that I can see.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:09 PM   #9
EmmaAndChester
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Default Re: Changing foods and losing weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
The Syrian one looks interesting (maggots ugh! ha ha) - it doesn't have any percentages of protein etc that I can see.
The maggots = mealworms haha, I think it's just an odd translation. I have both the dwarf & syrian foods and my lot love them. I prefer them so much more over rodipet too, especially their syrian mix! The GA is on the bag; I can get it for you when I'm home tomorrow if you're interested. I can't remember exact numbers off the top of my head, but I do know that the fat content is much higher than the typical 5% stressed on hamster forums (i think it's at least 12%? but I'd have to double check). Personally though I love their mixes, and I've never looked back since switching from rodipet.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:43 AM   #10
alpacassei
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Default Re: Changing foods and losing weight.

The Syrian one lists mealworms and maggots separately twice, one of the times specifically saying “fly maggots” so maggots are definitely in food mix lol

I have to say, I’ve never thought of using maggots as a protein source but they’re easy to mass-breed and it’s no different to feeding them any other insect, maggots just have a bad rep.
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