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Old 06-18-2022, 03:32 AM   #1
AmbientOcclusion
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Default Tofu?

I know I've made quite a few posts on protein already, but initially, tofu seemed like an excellent source of protein to me but now I'm not quite sure. Considering a hamster's size, it's recommended they're only given half a teaspoon of tofu one-two times a week. Tofu is only high in protein for a human diet, but in a hamster diet isn't that only 0.4g of protein per serving? In that case if isn't it lowering protein intake rather than increasing it?
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Old 06-18-2022, 10:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tofu?

I find tofu confusing. I read to only give it once a week but I have no idea. I bought dried tofu and gave my robo half a cube.

I thought it was given as more of a treat food. I planned on giving it once or twice a week. I am not sure if once or twice is best.
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Old 06-18-2022, 11:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tofu?

I'm also confused about tofu. I bought fresh tofu but don't know if hamsters can have it uncooked or maybe i should buy dried tofu instead.

Never considered the protein and also saw it as a treat or added variety food.
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Old 06-18-2022, 12:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tofu?

Tofu contains around the same level of protein as egg (12%), but being a very wet food it's fairly filling. If you look at your hamster's diet as a fixed weight of food that they will eat every day (say, 10g), if you feed them 1g tofu every day and they eat 1g less of their dry food, technically the protein level will probably actually be lower if you just look at the percentages. That view sort of looks at a hamster as a machine that can only take a fixed volume of food every day but I doubt things are that simple in reality.

You should be careful with additions to their diet because you wouldn't, for example, want a hamster filling up on cucumber rather than more nutrition foods. In practice this probably wouldn't happen, because most hamsters don't love cucumber enough to prioritise it over seeds and protein-rich foods.

I think that hamsters tend to prioritise more nutritious foods. They tend to go for proteins first, like insects or egg, then the fatty seeds (which are very dense in nutrients), and the grains which are fairly nutrition but not as much as the fatty seeds. Things like hay pellets tend to be left until the very end, if they're eaten at all, which isn't a problem, because they really don't provide a hamster with much nutrition anyway.

I think malnutrition would very rarely be an issue, as long as a hamster is healthy and has a variety of foods to choose from. Obviously, excessive selective feeding is a bad thing, but I think animals probably have some ability to sense what they need, and how to go about obtaining it. For example I have known gerbils to eat sand when they were lacking in minerals, because they know that, in the wild, soil/sand would be a source of minerals.

Dried tofu, having the water removed, is a denser source of protein and other nutrients, so would be a better option if you were looking to maximise your hamster's protein intake.
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Last edited by sushi_78; 06-18-2022 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 06-18-2022, 12:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tofu?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushi_78 View Post
Tofu contains around the same level of protein as egg (12%), but being a very wet food it's fairly filling. If you look at your hamster's diet as a fixed weight of food that they will eat every day (say, 10g), if you feed them 1g tofu every day and they eat 1g less of their dry food, technically the protein level will probably actually be lower if you just look at the percentages. That view sort of looks at a hamster as a machine that can only take a fixed volume of food every day but I doubt things are that simple in reality.

You should be careful with additions to their diet because you wouldn't, for example, want a hamster filling up on cucumber rather than more nutrition foods. In practice this probably wouldn't happen, because most hamsters don't love cucumber enough to prioritise it over seeds and protein-rich foods.

I think that hamsters tend to prioritise more nutritious foods. They tend to go for proteins first, like insects or egg, then the fatty seeds (which are very dense in nutrients), and the grains which are fairly nutrition but not as much as the fatty seeds. Things like hay pellets tend to be left until the very end, if they're eaten at all, which isn't a problem, because they really don't provide a hamster with much nutrition anyway.

I think malnutrition would very rarely be an issue, as long as a hamster is healthy and has a variety of foods to choose from. Obviously, excessive selective feeding is a bad thing, but I think animals probably have some ability to sense what they need, and how to go about obtaining it. For example I have known gerbils to eat sand when they were lacking in minerals, because they know that, in the wild, soil/sand would be a source of minerals.

Dried tofu, having the water removed, is a denser source of protein and other nutrients, so would be a better option if you were looking to maximise your hamster's protein intake.
How often would you suggest to feed tofu as a treat? I am really unsure about it.

That is very clever of gerbils to eat sand when lacking minerals.
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Old 06-18-2022, 01:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tofu?

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Originally Posted by cloudy View Post
How often would you suggest to feed tofu as a treat? I am really unsure about it.

That is very clever of gerbils to eat sand when lacking minerals.
It depends on what else you're feeding (such as egg etc) but a couple of times a week is probably reasonable. Half a teaspoon might be ok for a Syrian hamster but I'd give a bit less for a dwarf hamster.
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Old 06-18-2022, 01:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tofu?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushi_78 View Post
It depends on what else you're feeding (such as egg etc) but a couple of times a week is probably reasonable. Half a teaspoon might be ok for a Syrian hamster but I'd give a bit less for a dwarf hamster.
Thank you for explaining that for me.
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:18 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tofu?

I think I'd stick to egg I feel a bit suspicious about tofu - it's just soya isn't it?
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Old 06-23-2022, 09:19 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tofu?

Yes, it's soya which is used as the main protein source in a lot of commercial hamster foods such as Harry Hamster.
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Old 06-23-2022, 11:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tofu?

Thanks Sushi. I was a bit anti soya as the main protein for some time. There was something about it possibly causing health issues. So with one of our Syrians I gave a complete soya free diet from first getting him and it made no difference to the diseases of old age. So I’ve relaxed a bit about that in Harry Hamster. Although still anti GM Soya (which most of it is apparently). Organic is the only Soya guaranteed not GM. But generally prefer other forms of protein for supplements like fresh human food like egg or chicken or nuts. That’s just me though.
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