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Old 03-19-2017, 05:24 PM   #1
Jcsnow
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Default Mealworms

Is zoo med mealworms in a can ok to feed as a treat/ mix in food? I know mealworms are good to give but I don't really want live ones.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:31 PM   #2
InkyPen
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Default Re: Mealworms

Mealworms are good as an occasional treat - but beware that while they do contain a good dose of protein, there's also a substantial amount of fat!

You shouldn't feed live ones to hammies as mealworms have surprisingly strong jaws and can, erm, fight back. Dried ones work well.

Having had a quick look at the Zoo Med ones, it looks like they come wet (not dried) in a tin, and only keep for a week. As no hamster is going to get through that many in a week, and they're quite expensive, I'd suggest that if you have them in stock anyway for other pets, then your hammy can have a couple as a treat, but otherwise it's just not worthwhile economically given that dried ones are readily available.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mealworms

I'm pretty sure the cans may even use BPA which is definitely best avoided when possible.There are much better animal protein options available,for example dried mealworms(bird/reptile section in pet stores,also the wild bird section of various stores such as Walmart,K-Mart,Home Depot,and I believe Target as well to name a few!).

As for alternatives to mealworms,there are also dried crickets and dried freshwater shrimp.Shrimp are very high in protein but unlike mealworms have much less fat,so in some cases they could be the better choice for some hamsters(mostly obese hamsters,the healthy fats are great for underweight hamsters or those who need extra healthy fats in their diet).I use freeze dried chicken,and there are tons of different brands to choose from with that as long as you only use reputable brands.I'd recommend getting this sort of thing from Chewy though in the US,as they tend to have the best prices with mostly high quality foods and treats at least for dogs(they do carry some junk though,and brands which are definitely not safe,so do your own research as well as you always should!).

You could also try certain dog biscuits for extra protein,but you have to be extremely careful as so many contain unsafe ingredients For example,Purina and Pedigree do use biproducts(unspecified therefore unsafe as they can be pretty much anything including but not limited to slaughterhouse waste and roadkill)along with unspecified liver(again,source unknown so it could come from anywhere including unsafe sources)for example as well as BHA/BHT which is known to cause cancer.Understanding what ingredients really mean is crucial,otherwise you can easily end up using unsafe things without knowing it which is all too easy
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:14 PM   #4
cypher
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Default Re: Mealworms

The canned mealworms are fine, I've used them in the past & the hams went mad for them but as Inky pointed out they don't keep long once the can is open so even with the smallest can a lot gets wasted so I've only ever bought them as a rare treat, they smell awful btw! A lot more than dried ones!
On the plus side they are slightly more digestible than freeze dried & if you are a bit over generous with your mealworms there's less chance of hams having too much of the hard exoskeleton, not that I'm suggesting hams should have too many of any kind of mealworm!
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Last edited by cypher; 03-19-2017 at 11:03 PM.
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