Food Change and Why


At this point I have been giving the hamsters Carefresh Complete Menu every other feeding – alternating between that and Hazel Hamster. And with that I have added a few biscuits of Science Select Hamster and Kaytee Forti-diet Pro Health Rat & Mouse (that is the one actually better for Hamsters based on the ingredients and nutritional index).

I give the Gerbils Gerri Gerbil.

But my eldest son, with a severe peanut allergy) is getting more interested in the hamsters and gerbils by the month. He’s aging and wanting to be involved so much more. Especially with feeding and helping with cage cleans and such. I haven’t been able to allow him to do much of anything with them and that is sad.

All of this due to the peanuts mixed in their food (Hazel).

So, I have begun to mix Hazel and Carefresh and slowly making the mix more Carefresh and less Hazel and soon I will no longer be feeding them Hazel. For one none of them “love” Hazel. I find so much of it seems to not be eaten. Not just the little alfalfa blocks but the biscuits and pea flakes are left behind a lot.

They all seem to be into the Carefresh and Science Selective (I would never feed Selective alone – not only because it’s overpriced for a tiny bag but it’s not enough for a main diet in any nutritional way – it’s best as a treat to go with feeding time). And the Forti-diet Pro Health blocks seem to go well with at least the Syrians. I don’t think Gabriel (my Chinese hamster) eats hardly anything from the Hazel mix.

Once Carefresh Complete becomes the mainstay I am going to add to the mix. Carefresh doesn’t have enough fat and this is probably due to not having sunflower seeds. I bought a huge bag of sunflower seeds awhile back and will need to figure out what a decent amount is to add in. As well I have a bulk container of freeze dried mealworms. And a jumbo bag of pumpkin seeds. Carefresh complete does have Pumpkin seeds in it but I am not sure if adding a little bit more would be overkill.

The mealworms are added protein and fat. The sunflower seeds fat as well. I just fear knocking it majorly off kilter. Adding the Science Selective and the Forti-Diet blocks I hope will round things out even more.

When the day comes soon that they are completely off the Hazel I will be doing the major cage cleanings. Every inch of the cages are going to be scrubbed and wiped down so well that no iota of residue of peanuts will be left. And my son is going to start joining in on feeding them and helping with cage cleans.

Peanuts haven’t seemed to be a huge hit with the Syrians. Or the Roborovskis and Strawberry. But Gabriel is a huge fan of them. He also loves mealworms.

My son is NOT allergic to almonds. But I do not know what a “bitter almond” is and that I read is poison to hamsters. So I have avoided giving almonds to them not knowing what is safe and what isn’t.

Can anyone clear that up for me? Almonds and hamsters? What is the deal? I would love to be able to mix shaved almonds into their food mix.


3 thoughts on “Food Change and Why

  1. Darwin is the only hamster I’ve had that will eat the Hazel. Smudge picked out what she liked and Pippa barely eats any of it at all…practically leaves all of it in her bowl! I’ve been giving her the Harlan Teklad 2018 blocks that I ordered online & she much prefers those to the Hazel hamster.

    • The syrians are the only ones that will bother with the biscuits! If only I could get those separate without the nuts to add to their carefresh mix. I think the Harlan Teklad will be my next try as an addition to the Carefresh with extra sunflower seeds and mealworms. I am going to wait till I’ve used up all the forti-diet blocks first. They all seem okay with those except for Strawberry and Gabriel. Those two aren’t too keen on them. Gabriel is VERY finicky!

      I read somewhere about 6 seeds per hammy serving. So I can figure how many servings in a Carefresh bag and mix that amount in there I suppose. As well add about two mealworms per serving.

  2. I’ve been thinking about mixing the CareFresh Complete with the Hazel. GiGi likes the Hazel, she only leaves the alfalfa but Maddy and Chester basically don’t touch it. They primarily eat the Sun Seed critter cubes anyway but I like to offer them a mix as well so they don’t get bored. Fussy little creatures!

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