Can hamsters eat bird food? Hamsters are tiny creatures that eat almost everything from plants to seeds and meat to insects.
Suppose you are running out of hamster food but have bird food. Will you serve it to your hammy? Would it be safe? In other words, Can hamsters eat bird food? Luckily, the answer is yes; hamsters can eat bird food. To know more, keep reading!
What Does Bird Food Contain?
Can hamsters eat bird food? The term “bird food” is quite broad. It contains a mixture of many seeds. Here is the list:
5. Sunflower seeds
6. Pumpkin seeds
Pet owners often feed their birds a single or mixture of these seeds.
Some also go for commercially available bird food pellets. Apart from the seeds mentioned above, these pellets contain vegetables and fruits. Furthermore, they also contain chemical preservatives, which makes them unsafe for hamsters.
Is Bird Food Safe For Hamsters?
Can hamsters eat bird food? Is it safe for the hammy’s health? Well! The answer is yes; bird food is safe for hamsters but only in moderation. Moreover, it also depends on what type of bird food you feed your pet.
The seeds are safe for hamsters if fed occasionally as a treat. But the commercially available pellets are unsafe as they contain many harmful ingredients like preservatives and artificial colorants. So go for the seeds if you run out of the hamster’s food.
Benefits Of Bird Food For Hamsters
Can hamsters eat bird food? What benefits does it have for hamsters? When it comes to feeding hamsters, you should know enough about the food’s positive and negative aspects. So here are some of the benefits that your hammy gets from the bird food:
The seeds that birds eat contain a lot of proteins. Hamsters get 16% of the total calorie intake from protein-based food. Hamsters utilize these proteins for various metabolic activities.
Bird food is rich in fiber, and hamsters also require a fiber-rich diet. Therefore, the bird seed mix is an excellent snack for hammies as it keeps their digestive system healthy by aiding digestion.
The calcium in bird food is good for hamsters’ bones and teeth.
Do You Know?
Hamsters can eat a variety of foods, and we have researched lots of them. Check out this One: Can Dwarf Hamsters Eat Bananas?
Another important nutrient found in bird food is magnesium. It helps in maintaining your hammy’s heart health.
Iron is vital for the formation of blood. It helps in preventing anemia in hamsters.
6. Vitamin C
Bird food also contains vitamin C, which is essential in preventing scurvy and boosting the immune system of your little rodent companion.
7. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is another crucial nutrient that your hamster needs for proper vision. It keeps their eyes healthy.
8. Keeps your hammy’s teeth healthy
Munching on seeds helps your hammy in filing the teeth. Hence it helps him maintain his teeth health.
These benefits make bird food an occasional good treat for hamsters.
What Risks Does Bird Food Have For Hamsters?
Can hamsters eat bird food? Without any side effects? It is a question that worries hamster owners a lot. Well! The answer is yes, but it all depends on how much food you feed your hammy.
The bird food has no side effects or health risks in adequate amounts. However, in excessive amounts, your hamster can experience the following effects:
Since bird food is all seed-based (not commercial), it has a high-fat content. Such a high fat intake causes indigestion and obesity in your little rodent.
2. Choking hazard
Some seeds are big and have a hard coat. Your furry may find it difficult to chew them. Moreover, big chunks can block the rodent’s gastrointestinal tract, leading to choking hazards.
3. Dental trauma
Although hamsters love to gnaw on hard things, if your hammy bites on something too hard, it can even break your hamster’s teeth.
4. Stomach issues
If you feed your hamster commercially available bird food, its sugar and chemical preservatives upset his stomach, causing diarrhea.
What Ingredients of Bird Food Should You Avoid Feeding Your Little Gnawer?
Can hamsters eat bird food? Before feeding your little pet with seed mixes, do look for these ingredients
- Apple seeds
- Cherry pits
These ingredients are unsafe for rodents and should be avoided.
The Bottom Line – Can hamsters eat bird food?
Can hamsters eat bird food? The answer is yes; hamsters can eat bird food, but the seed mixes, not the commercially available pellets.
The seeds contain many important nutrients crucial for hamsters’ growth and development. In moderate amounts, feeding them to hamsters is a good option.