Hamsters are a small rodent that burrow underground during daylight hours. There are 25 different species of hamsters, including the Golden Hamster which is the most common species kept as a pet. They are a popular animal for children because they are very tame and are happy to be kept alone. Hamsters are also used in medical research and animal testing. If you have ever wanted to know what hamsters eat, in captivity and in the wild, keep reading to find out.
What do pet hamsters eat?
A pet hamster needs a balanced diet to meet all of their nutritional requirements. They should be fed a mixture of seeds and grains such as; alfalfa, wheat, corn, oats, sunflower etc. Some manufacturers make hamster food that contains many different grains and seeds to meet the nutritional requirements. They should also have small amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables along with a little bit of cooked protein.
They should never be fed acidic foods, processed foods (especially chocolate) or anything that may have been contaminated by wild rats or mice. The latter could carry diseases that could spread to your hamster.
What do wild hamsters eat?
Wild hamsters are scavengers and will eat any seeds, buts, berries, fruit or vegetables that they can find. When food is scarce a hamster may eat small insects to survive. Interestingly, they have a pouch on each side of their head to store extra food.