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Old 03-22-2021, 04:18 PM   #1
ninaa
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Default My russian hamster only eats seeds

Hello everyone! I just made this account cause I have some questions regarding my Russian Hamster diet.

I'm not new to hamsters, since I had a syrian one quite some years ago. I would give him one of those mixes and he would eat most of it.

However, my new russian hamster, Nina, only eats seeds. I bought her a mix which has pellets, crushed peas, corn, sunflower seeds, some nuts and dried worms. She only eats the peas, corn seeds and nuts, and sometimes she eats the dried worms, but she will not touch the pellets. When I give her some food as treat she only picks those things, she never even bothers to smell the pellets for a second, she just refuses to eat them.

Recently I've read only eating seeds is actually bad for hamsters, so I bought her pellet food. Only pellets. She hasn't touched them after 12 hours. Thing is, she doesn't even seem to bite her mineral stone or her biting wood. But she does try to bite me a lot, especially my hands and fingers.

What do you think I should do? I guess she will eventually eat the pellets if it's the only thing she can eat... I thought about putting just a few seeds in her plate to encourage her to eat, but I'm afraid she will only eat those lol.

What do you think I should do? Wait and see what happens?
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Old 03-23-2021, 02:38 AM   #2
Dodo
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Default Re: My russian hamster only eats seeds

hi there (again )

I actually believe dwarf hamsters should eat mostly seeds so your hamster is behaving naturally. I believe some dwarf hamster food does not contain pellets, like this one, supposedly quite good, from rat rations hamster mix - dwarf or this one from Rodipet Rodipet® Organic Hybrid Hamster Food ''JUNIOR'' - 500g

That said, if you want her to eat the pellets, the only way to go is to not feed her again until she eats them. As hamsters always keep a food stash is their hides/burrows etc, she probably has some of the stuff she likes buried somewhere that she will rely on for some time before touching the pellets.
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Old 03-23-2021, 06:42 AM   #3
Ria P
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Default Re: My russian hamster only eats seeds

Pellet food is unnatural and doesn't allow a hamster to forage. I feed our five dwarfs Bunny Dreams Expert dwarf mix from Zooplus or the Rodipet mix already mentioned. Both are made of mainly small seeds and a few other things.

It's a good idea to scatter feed because hamsters like to forage for their food which encourages natural behaviours and to eat different foods.

Mineral stones aren't necessary and i would chuck it out. Try a Whimzee dog chew instead as most hamsters love them and carry them to their nest. I buy the xs toothbrushes but there are other shapes.

Very few hamsters eat everything in a mix. Ours always leave the herby bits. Like humans they have their preferences.
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:22 PM   #4
ninaa
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Default Re: My russian hamster only eats seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodo View Post
hi there (again )

I actually believe dwarf hamsters should eat mostly seeds so your hamster is behaving naturally. I believe some dwarf hamster food does not contain pellets, like this one, supposedly quite good, from rat rations hamster mix - dwarf or this one from Rodipet Rodipet® Organic Hybrid Hamster Food ''JUNIOR'' - 500g

That said, if you want her to eat the pellets, the only way to go is to not feed her again until she eats them. As hamsters always keep a food stash is their hides/burrows etc, she probably has some of the stuff she likes buried somewhere that she will rely on for some time before touching the pellets.
She actually started eating the pellets, I guess hunger kicked in :P

I thought only eating seeds was bad for hamsters, cause they have so much fat
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:27 PM   #5
ninaa
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Default Re: My russian hamster only eats seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
Pellet food is unnatural and doesn't allow a hamster to forage. I feed our five dwarfs Bunny Dreams Expert dwarf mix from Zooplus or the Rodipet mix already mentioned. Both are made of mainly small seeds and a few other things.

It's a good idea to scatter feed because hamsters like to forage for their food which encourages natural behaviours and to eat different foods.

Mineral stones aren't necessary and i would chuck it out. Try a Whimzee dog chew instead as most hamsters love them and carry them to their nest. I buy the xs toothbrushes but there are other shapes.

Very few hamsters eat everything in a mix. Ours always leave the herby bits. Like humans they have their preferences.
How can I be sure which dog treats are safe for hammies? It does seem like a good option though, maybe she'll like them!

As for the food situation. I bought her pellet food, and after a day and a half she started eating them, so I'm more relieved now. I don't want her not to eat any seeds, but I don't like her eating ONLY seeds, they're too fatty and I read that's not good for them. I thought about using seeds as treats, that way she can enjoy some and also get used to me.
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:29 PM   #6
ninaa
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Default Re: My russian hamster only eats seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodo View Post
hi there (again )

I actually believe dwarf hamsters should eat mostly seeds so your hamster is behaving naturally. I believe some dwarf hamster food does not contain pellets, like this one, supposedly quite good, from rat rations hamster mix - dwarf or this one from Rodipet Rodipet® Organic Hybrid Hamster Food ''JUNIOR'' - 500g

That said, if you want her to eat the pellets, the only way to go is to not feed her again until she eats them. As hamsters always keep a food stash is their hides/burrows etc, she probably has some of the stuff she likes buried somewhere that she will rely on for some time before touching the pellets.
As I said in the comment above, she started eating the pellets, so I got that out of the way

I read only eating seeds is bad for them. What do you think about giving them to her as treats? It may help in my taming journey from my other post!
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Old 03-24-2021, 04:49 PM   #7
Ria P
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Default Re: My russian hamster only eats seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninaa View Post
How can I be sure which dog treats are safe for hammies?
I don't know how to link so took a photo of Whimzees.
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File Type: jpg 20210324_234133.jpg (2.05 MB, 9 views)
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Old 03-25-2021, 01:59 AM   #8
Ria P
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Default Re: My russian hamster only eats seeds

Strictly as a matter of interest: have you checked what exactly pellets are made of? There should be an ingredients list on the packet. I'm curious enough now to check next time i'm in a petshop.

The fatty seeds you've read about may be the sunflower seeds which should be used in moderation or for treats and taming etc.

There's nothing wrong with pellets nutritionally but it's a bit like a human drinking a glass of Complan instead of eating a meal.

Foraging for and hoarding food is such an important part of a hamster's life. I think it makes them happy.

Dwarfs also love enrichments like millet sprays. Rosewood does the Pick 'n Fly and Rodipet sells them but they're more expensive. The millet sprays for birds are well liked too and suitable. A pinch of brown linseeds daily is recommended to keep their fur and skin in good condition but all of those are seeds of course.

If i would replace my dwarfs food mix with pellets and remove all their millet sprays and linseeds, then i would have to deal with some very grumpy dwarfs.

Don't get me wrong, i'm not trying to tell you what to do and if you want to feed pellets only, that's your choice. I'm only trying to point things out from a hamster's point of view.
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Last edited by Ria P; 03-25-2021 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 03-25-2021, 04:25 AM   #9
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: My russian hamster only eats seeds

Hi ninaa, reading your first comment can you clarify something, when you say seeds are you referring to what you called corn seeds and sunflower seeds?

I'm only asking because most seed mixes for dwarfs such as rodipet, bunny dreams, mixerama, have a whole lot of different seeds.

For example Bunny dreams dwarf has:

Yellow millet, canary seed, pea flakes, quinoa seeds (6%), barley, mung beans (5%), puffed amaranth (5%), barley flakes, oats, silver millet, perilla seeds (3%), red millet, carrots, linseeds (2%), grass seeds, parsnips, dandelion leaves, lucerne, mealworms (1%), yarrow, ribwort, sesame (1%), calcium carbonate, beetroot, calendula blossoms, chamomile blossoms, rose blossoms, wheat bran (millet 24%).

So, you can see it has lots of different types of seeds and they are measured in a well balanced nutritious way and should not make your hamster fat or unhealthy.
However, say you fed your hamster an extra 10-20 sunflower seeds as a treat everyday and they ate them all, of course they would probably get fat as they are fattening.


Also as Ria already advised hamsters do not need a mineral block of any kind (this was a mistake I also made at first) it can mess with their own delicate mineral intake and they don't need that. If they are on a good food/seed mix they should not need any extra minerals.

Hope that makes sense and helps you.
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Old 03-25-2021, 05:07 AM   #10
ninaa
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Default Re: My russian hamster only eats seeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
I don't know how to link so took a photo of Whimzees.
Thanks! I'll look for those in the pet store. I hope Nina likes them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
Strictly as a matter of interest: have you checked what exactly pellets are made of? There should be an ingredients list on the packet. I'm curious enough now to check next time i'm in a petshop.
The pellets I bought are Versele-Laga Complete Hamsters & Gerbil.
Here's a link to their website where they state the nutritional facts:
Hamster & Gerbil - Versele-Laga

Ingredients: cereals (40%), derivatives of vegetable origin, vegetables (peas 15%), meat and animal derivatives (chicken 4%), fruit (apple 4%), oils and fats (salmon oil 1%), seeds (linseed 2%), minerals (montmorillonite clay 0.5%), yeasts, eggs and egg derivatives, fructo-oligosaccharides (0.3%), calendula, yucca (125 mg/kg), rosemary, green tea.

Analytical constituents: protein 17.0%, fat content 6.0%, crude fibre 4.0%, crude ash 5.5%, calcium 0.6%, phosphorus 0.4%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ria P View Post
Foraging for and hoarding food is such an important part of a hamster's life. I think it makes them happy.
Yeah, at the end of the day I want her to be happy. Maybe what I'll do is mix the pellets with some seeds formula, and be careful about sunflower seeds, cause it looks those are the most discussed around forums and should be limited because of its fat content.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaTheHamster1 View Post
Hi ninaa, reading your first comment can you clarify something, when you say seeds are you referring to what you called corn seeds and sunflower seeds?
The seed mix I bought is Versele-Laga Nature Hamster. Here is a link to their website:
Hamster - Versele-Laga

Ingredients: cereals, derivatives of vegetable origin, vegetables (green peas 12%), seeds (striped sunflower seeds 6%), vegetable protein extracts, fruit (apricot 1.5%, raisins 1%), nuts, insects (mealworms 4%), minerals, yeasts, oils and fats, herbs, MOS, FOS, calendula, grape seed.

Analytical constituents: protein 18%, fat content 9%, crude fibre 8%, crude ash 9.5%, calcium 0.7%, phosphorus 0.4%

They don't really state all of the seeds. In the website you can see a picture of the mix. If I were to describe it, I'd say there's sunflower seeds, grape seeds, white seeds, corn, peas, dried worms, peanuts and pellets. And also some kind of thing that looks like a big extruded rice grain, but it may be an egg of some sort. She would eat everything except the pellets and sometimes the worms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaTheHamster1 View Post
So, you can see it has lots of different types of seeds and they are measured in a well balanced nutritious way and should not make your hamster fat or unhealthy.
However, say you fed your hamster an extra 10-20 sunflower seeds as a treat everyday and they ate them all, of course they would probably get fat as they are fattening.
Maybe I should take away the sunflower seeds and only give them to her as a treat and burry some of them under the bedding so she can play for a bit. That way I ensure she doesn't overeat them and I get her used to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaTheHamster1 View Post
Also as Ria already advised hamsters do not need a mineral block of any kind (this was a mistake I also made at first) it can mess with their own delicate mineral intake and they don't need that. If they are on a good food/seed mix they should not need any extra minerals.
Okay, I'll take it away then. I bought it for her moreso so she could file her teeth, not because I was worried about the mineral content, but it may not be useful for any of the reasons hahaha.


Thanks everyone for the advice! I think it'll really help!
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