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Old 03-16-2020, 03:13 AM   #1
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Freezing hamster food

I know some of you on here do this, but how exactly do you freeze your hamster food - how long for? then do you defrost it and just keep as normal? does this not ruin it's shelf life?

Thanks.
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Old 03-16-2020, 03:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Freezing hamster food

I put my food in a freezer bag (even if the food is already in a bag) freeze for a minimum of 48hrs but usually for at least a week. I only take out a small amount at a time & leave the rest in the freezer, if you have a really big bag of food that will last you a while it may be better to divide it up before freezing.
When defrosting it is really important that it's in an airtight bag or container so all the condensation remains on the outside of the bag & the food doesn't get damp.
It shouldn't degrade the food & shorten shelf life, it will keep for much longer in the freezer but once defrosted shouldn't be kept for longer than normal.
It may depend to some extent on how natural or processed the food is, seeds & grains freeze & defrost just fine but I'm not sure about the biscuit type bits in some foods as I don't use that kind of food.
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Old 03-16-2020, 05:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Freezing hamster food

Hi. I put the bags of hamster food in the freezer for a week. If you have space you can leave one in there all the time then when you need a new bag, take it out and put the newly bought bag in the freezer. So you always have a spare bag in the freezer. I currently don’t have the freezer space to do that but have 2 or 3 bags of various hamster mixes that have all been frozen.

They defrost really quickly- within 2 or 3 hours. After freezing/defrosting, I tip the contents of the hamster food bag into a lock and lock food storage box which is airtight. And put fees out from that. For the regular mix anyway. I also have a bag of science selective that is open (having previous been frozen) and just an open bag. But I would never leave an open bag of hamster food if it hadn’t been frozen first. Because that’s how my moth outbreak started.

I freeze the food for a full week. To make sure any moth eggs are dead. It has worked very well for about 4 years and never had any bugs since-). The freezing kills bugs or eggs. I do the same for hamster treats and treat sticks as well - and hay and herbs. Not all al the same time so it doesn’t fill up the freezer. I also freeze cork logs and any wood bark items (some have had woodworm!). This is purely to kill any microscopic insects or eggs that could hatch. It isn’t for disinfecting. Did my research on moth eggs!

The airtight storage box probably isn’t essential if the food has been frozen but it’s quite convenient and keeps the dry mix fresh. Also avoids the chance of a moth laying eggs in the open food bag. I think that is less likely as they are usually a specific type of food moth but I actually had 3 different species hatch out and some were clothes and carpet moths as well as food moths.

Sorry - maybe too much information ugh. But basically prevention is better than cure. Any dried pet food is susceptible. Even if it is in sealed plastic bags - moths can lay eggs through plastic bags - seems unbelievable but apparently the case.
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Old 03-16-2020, 07:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Freezing hamster food

It does sound unbelievable that anything could get into a sealed plastic bag, but when you live in a place where you see it happen so frequently as I do it's not that surprising.

A lot of forum members have seemed to have the wrong idea though in other threads etc by assuming that since hamsters naturally eat insects it shouldn't do any harm when random insects wander into cages or are in food etc. This isn't really accurate when there is such a massive difference between insects that are actually raised properly for consumption and those that you have no clue on background - the ones with unknown background being almost guaranteed to be treated with harmful pesticides and such(as a significant portion of insect contamination will happen while in storage - so even certified organic foods can contain pesticide treated insects). There's a very good reason why feeding wild insects is so frowned upon and considered unacceptable in the reptile community!
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Old 03-16-2020, 07:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Freezing hamster food

Also an invasion of them is not nice!
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Old 03-16-2020, 12:29 PM   #6
Celestial
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Default Re: Freezing hamster food

Oh dear, I didn't know this was a problem!

I have never seen any insects, or bits, alive or dead, in or around our hamster's cage and food (excluding some dried mealworms we bought). The only insects I find are usually in my room or the kitchen and definitely came from outside (e.g. wasps )

Should I start freezing my hamster's food and wooden accessories? We don't have much freezer space...
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Old 03-16-2020, 12:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Freezing hamster food

Freezing food and wooden accessories is a really good idea. Even with things you buy in pet stores you never know for sure if you're going to end up bringing home something, which could become a really big problem - much bigger than sacrificing some freezer space for at most a week!

It does go beyond food and wooden accessories though. Anything that could potentially harbor any sort of bugs and such should be frozen - no matter where it comes from. It may not be convenient, but a situation like Serendipity has had is hardly a nice alternative.
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Old 03-16-2020, 01:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Freezing hamster food

Moth eggs are so small you can’t see them - they only hatch out generally when it gets very warm but in my case it was winter but the room was warm and cosy.

It’s a good idea to freeze the food- you just need space for one bag of hamster food for a week then it can be taken out. One bag at a time kind of thing if space is short. Wood items is a personal thing - not everybody does that. Treats and chew sticks with grains on I freeze as well.
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Old 03-16-2020, 01:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Freezing hamster food

Thanks everyone for your responses.

So I think I have this right (sorry if I am being a bit dumb, cognitive function not great at the moment). I can place my whole bag of harry hamster food in the freezer- for a week, take it out and decant into my airtight tin that I use for my hamster food and then it will last as long as the normal BB date? I can also do this with their treat bars?

I can't freeze my aubiose/megazorb bedding as I don't have room for that and I don't have the energy to do it in small batches either as I am simply not well enough to.

Should I be freezing the paper wool I use too? will that not go a bit soggy - or again, as long as bag airtight, should be ok? How is this different to using unfrozen tissues/toilet roll?


On a side note, as a human I buy seeds/nuts/grains in bulk all the time, have done for years, never had a problem - could this be a potential problem too?
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Old 03-16-2020, 02:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Freezing hamster food

Freezing the food may extend its shelf life beyond the bb date but best to stick close to that.
I've never frozen substrate, there may be a slight risk of bugs but it's just not practical, I do freeze things like hay, dried flowers, leaves & moss.
I don't know what paper wool is.
Bugs & moths aren't only found in pet foods, they can be found in human foods too, firts ones I found were in a bag of flour! The main risk with ham food is that you won't see any eggs until they hatch out in the cage.
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