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Old 08-16-2019, 12:10 PM   #1
milliehamster
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Smile Is it possible to create your own hamster food mix?

Hi there! I am new to this forum and this is my first post. I would be very thankful if some people could offer me advice and help with the situation below!

I got my Syrian hamster, Millie, around 6 weeks ago. She is currently around 3.5 - 4 months old. Millie is very tame - she loves being handled, never bites, loves cuddles and playing with her toys! She lives in a large 100cm x 50cm cage (around 770 square inches).

The only issue that I am trying to solve is her picky eating. I use a mixture of Harry Hamster food and Pets at Home hamster pellets. I have tried exclusively feeding her the pellets, however she did not touch them on their own. She is also very picky with the Harry Hamster food, picking out only the pieces she enjoys. She does NOT like the artificially made chunks, such as the ones coloured orange, green, brown and black.

My question is, would it possible for me to formulate my own hamster food? I already have all of the ingredients for the mix that I am about to list below.
To do this, I would:

1. Take out all of the artificially made pieces from the Harry Hamster food mix that she does not like (essentially leaving the grains, seeds, nuts, muesli and pea flakes).
2. I would then mix in some dried mealworms, for added protein.
3. Add in some of the pellets.
4. Add some forage mix, containing petals and small pieces of timothy hay.
5. Add some garden forage mix containing maize, beans and carrot.
6. Mix in some Nature’s Touch food mix, which is more of a plant based food.

Once I have formulated the mix, I would observe what Millie eats from the mix, and what she leaves in the bowl. I would continue to alter the mix until it contains the foods and nourishment that she requires. I also have a hamster vitamin solution, which I add a few drops of to Millie’s food once or twice a week.

I am also aware that creating your own hamster mix requires extensive research, and that having specific quantities and composition of nutrients is important.

If anyone has any tips or advice that they can offer me, please do respond to this post. I would be extremely appreciative of any help or advice offered. Any advice about other ingredients to add to the mix, or if you have any experience in making your own hamster food, I would be very thankful for any help. Thank you for taking the time to read my post

I just want the best for Millie - I want to give her the best life possible.
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Old 08-18-2019, 04:56 PM   #2
chesca_27
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Default Re: Is it possible to create your own hamster food mix?

Hi! Congrats on getting Millie and it sounds like she’s already having a wonderfully spoiled life.

Firstly, I’d stop feeding the P@H pellets completely because they’re so processed (it doesn’t have any whole seeds) anyway and the Harry Hamster is considered a great food on its own already. Personally, I would just try and get through the picky eating exclusively with the Harry Hamster and there are tutorials on YouTube that go through dealing with picky eating (maybe someone else will link a good one). I also think the vitamin solution is unnecessary since she should be getting the right nutrients already from the HH (Harry Hamster) and any extras like vegetables and mealworms.

However, if you do want to go down the homemade food route, I will warn you it is expensive and time consuming to research. Personally, I feed a completely homemade mix for my hybrid dwarf, Artemis. Unfortunately, you will have to work out the nutritional information of each ingredient, unless you are feeding a mix which you aren’t changing (aka not removing/adding anything to it). I hope that’s not too confusing. Basically, if you want remove things from the HH mix, you’d need to calculate the protein, fat and fibre quantities of the remaining food, which could be tricky. However if you weren’t changing in the basic mix’s composition, for example using the Nature’s Touch food as it is, you can use the values on the packet. You’d also need to find forage packets with nutritional information, or mix your own individually with nutritional values from the internet and by buying the ingredients separately.

Personally, I think it would be easier to go down the route of just using Harry Hamster and dealing with her picking eating issue. Th artificially coloured bits are usually what contains most of the fibre and added vitamins. Alternatively, I think it would be easier to make a hamster mix from scratch, than start changing the nutritional content of a premixed food (by removing things), although it is pricey and time consuming. I highly recommend making a spreadsheet for your different ingredients and nutritional values, because it makes it easier to adjust and see what you need. Hopefully someone can add what the rough percentages of fat fibre and protein should be because I can’t remember off the top of my head. Anyway, good luck and I hope this helps!
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:40 PM   #3
milliehamster
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Default Re: Is it possible to create your own hamster food mix?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chesca_27 View Post
Hi! Congrats on getting Millie and it sounds like she’s already having a wonderfully spoiled life.
Firstly, I’d stop feeding the P@H pellets completely because they’re so processed (it doesn’t have any whole seeds) anyway and the Harry Hamster is considered a great food on its own already. Personally, I would just try and get through the picky eating exclusively with the Harry Hamster and there are tutorials on YouTube that go through dealing with picky eating (maybe someone else will link a good one). I also think the vitamin solution is unnecessary since she should be getting the right nutrients already from the HH (Harry Hamster) and any extras like vegetables and mealworms.

However, if you do want to go down the homemade food route, I will warn you it is expensive and time consuming to research. Personally, I feed a completely homemade mix for my hybrid dwarf, Artemis. Unfortunately, you will have to work out the nutritional information of each ingredient, unless you are feeding a mix which you aren’t changing (aka not removing/adding anything to it). I hope that’s not too confusing. Basically, if you want remove things from the HH mix, you’d need to calculate the protein, fat and fibre quantities of the remaining food, which could be tricky. However if you weren’t changing in the basic mix’s composition, for example using the Nature’s Touch food as it is, you can use the values on the packet. You’d also need to find forage packets with nutritional information, or mix your own individually with nutritional values from the internet and by buying the ingredients separately.

Personally, I think it would be easier to go down the route of just using Harry Hamster and dealing with her picking eating issue. Th artificially coloured bits are usually what contains most of the fibre and added vitamins. Alternatively, I think it would be easier to make a hamster mix from scratch, than start changing the nutritional content of a premixed food (by removing things), although it is pricey and time consuming. I highly recommend making a spreadsheet for your different ingredients and nutritional values, because it makes it easier to adjust and see what you need. Hopefully someone can add what the rough percentages of fat fibre and protein should be because I can’t remember off the top of my head. Anyway, good luck and I hope this helps!
?

Thank you so much for your very detailed and informative reply! I did not even consider the fact that the artificial coloured bits would be the most nutritious part of the mix. I had the silly idea that the more ‘natural’ parts of the mix would be the best for her, however I now realise that this concept is totally wrong!!

Luckily I haven’t been removing those pieces for long - probably just under a week. I really hope that I haven’t caused any harm to her by doing this. I have been supplementing the food with appropriate amounts of fresh vegetables, forage mix, mealworms etc.

I think another mistake I made to begin with, was that I would provide Millie with the Harry Hamster mix (in it’s entirety), then in the afternoon when I spot cleaned her cage, I would empty the food bowl (containing the left over artificial coloured pieces) into the bin and give a new bowl of food. I now realise that this most likely encouraged her picky eating, as I feel that I should have left the leftover food for her to eat the next night!

I plan to re-visit the idea of a homemade hamster food mix sometime in the near future. Thank you for making me aware of the challenges that the process can bring. I am grateful that you informed me of the need for extensive research, nutritional values, calculations and a lot of time!!

Many thanks again. This is my first post on the site and I am very grateful for the useful information you have provided!

Last edited by milliehamster; 08-18-2019 at 08:41 PM. Reason: Additional unneeded line-space at top of post
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