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Old 06-29-2017, 01:06 AM   #1
cypher
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Default A few points about feeding meat.

There has been a bit of discussion about feeding meat to hams recently & I could be wrong but I think it may have confused some people & I don't think all the suggestions made have been correct so I thought I'd just post a few points that may not be fully understood.

In the wild hamsters would not eat much meat at all, mostly a few insects like beetles (domestic hams may be quite far removed from their wild relatives now but mine are all quite partial to the odd beetle still!) & maybe a little carrion if they get lucky so they have not evolved with a digestive system that can cope with much in the way of meat.

A small amount of dried meat is fine, it really doesn't matter if it's freeze, air or oven dried although from experience over a several years trying different things I've found air or oven dried seems to be better quality & keeps better as well as being more readily accepted by the hams.

A small amount of plain cooked low fat meat is fine too.

The main point I wanted to make is that contrary to what has been said a few times now raw meat is really not good for hamsters.
Cooking does destroy or alter nutrients it's true but that can be a good thing sometimes & cooking makes the protein in meat easier to digest.

Hamsters, unlike humans or dogs for example, do not have an acid stomach, acid is needed to break down raw protein & also to kill some of the bacteria that are always present on raw meat so cooking is needed to make the meat easier to digest.

Also unlike us & some other animals with one stomach & a large intestine hamsters have two stomachs & the highest density of beneficial bacteria are found in the first stomach, while i have no evidence to back it up my thought on this is that feeding raw meat could easily upset this natural bacterial balance which is essential to health.

Hope that makes sense & helps if anyone has been a little confused or unsure about how best to add meat to the hams diet.
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Old 06-29-2017, 01:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: A few points about feeding meat.

Thank you Cypher!!!!!! So much. Feels like this thread was created to help me through the "meat dilemma" I was in recently. Maybe it was

Would it be ok if you answered two questions for me?

1. I have been feeding these. They are air dried, so I do not believe that they are cooked. Does that mean they are bad for hamsters?
Tigeria Sticklettis Cat Sticks | Free P&P on orders £29+ at zooplus!

2. How many times a week should I be feeding meat and how much at one time?
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Old 06-29-2017, 01:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: A few points about feeding meat.

Always happy to answer questions when I can
Although not cooked dried meat still isn't the same as feeding fresh raw meat so small amounts are fine, that's the dried chicken that I've used & the best I've tried so far.
I'm really not sure about quantities for syrians tbh, I think a few times a week is ok but while I only give mine maybe a 1/4-1/2" piece they are a fraction of the size of a syrian so you could give more than that.
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Old 06-29-2017, 01:34 AM   #4
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Default Re: A few points about feeding meat.

Thank you Cypher. So, just to be clear, dried meat is just as safe as cooked meat? It's only that my family aren't big meat eaters, so we don't often have cooked chicken or anything like that which I could feed Quigley.

I've been feeding Quigley a 1 centimetre - 1.5 centimetre long piece of the Tigeria chicken about 5 times a week. Does that sound ok?

Also, does the point about cooking apply to freeze dried meat? Is it unsafe because it is raw? Or, is it just as safe as cooked/air dried/oven dried meat?

Last edited by AprilPearl; 06-29-2017 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: A few points about feeding meat.

I don't have meat in the house either being an almost life long veggie so I stick to dried meat or something like Applaws just for a change now & then.
In moderation dried meat is fine, I haven't come across any reason to be concerned about giving it, it doesn't have the same problems as fresh, raw meat, moderation is key as with most things but the amount you give sounds fine to me.
Remember that extra protein you give is age related too so a young growing ham can eat more than an older ham who would probably be getting plenty just from the dried mix alone.
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: A few points about feeding meat.

Thank you guess I will stick to what I am doing for now then and bring it down when Quigley is older. I always worry in case I am doing something wrong that could hurt him!
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: A few points about feeding meat.

Thank you for clearing this up Cypher, it helps a lot

I think I've probably been giving them to much of the Tigeria sticks. I've been giving mine 1/4 - 1/3 of a strip each week and I notice you only give them 1/4-1/2", oops, I'll need to cut back I don't want them getting too much protein.
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: A few points about feeding meat.

Definitely agree with you! Thank you for clarifying some things as well. I used to feed more meats than I should have, but eventually I gained the same mentality towards it that you have
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: A few points about feeding meat.

Thanks for clarifying that Cypher . Jasper does get a fair bit of freeze-dried chicken (Thrive Chicken) to be honest, but I will cut that down a bit now after reading this and rely more on traditional protein methods such as mealworms (which Jasper loves anyway).

How did raw meat ever come about being recommended in the first place? If I was feeding 'raw' meat, I would only ever give freeze-dried chicken.

I am a pescetarian, but the rest of my family all eat meat, but we almost never have plain chicken or turkey.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: A few points about feeding meat.

I fear that I may have been overfeeding the dried meat, too. I'll bring it down to 2 or 3 times a week, I think. I suppose since Quigley is still a baby and I only give a tiny amount at one time, that shouldn't be too much.
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