Do you have an elderly hamster? Have your little ones lost weight recently and you are wondering what you can do to help? Does the current diet of your hamster need more protein? Then, it’s important to learn how to make porridge for hamsters.
What is Porridge for Hamsters?
Hamster porridge or porridge for hamsters is super easy to make with ingredients that might already be available at home. This is basically their usual seed mix with a protein source and vegetables, all combined into an appetizing homogenous mash.
This delish nutritious treat is a great meal option you can give picky eaters most of the nutrients they require from their food mix. This is also a very welcome easy-to-eat meal for the elderly hamsters that might already have some difficulties with eating their dry food.
Porridge for hamsters is also a very useful recipe to increase the weight of your hamster. Hamsters chomp on wet food right on the site rather than hoarding it to be consumed later. This way, you can be sure that your hamster is really eating well and getting all the nutrients they need whenever you serve this porridge to them.
What Ingredients and Tools Do You Need for Porridge for Hamsters?
Porridge for hamsters is a very flexible and forgiving recipe. You can easily tweak the amount of meat and vegetables you use depending on the preference of your hamster. It is perfectly fine if you have more available chicken than what is listed here. You can add as much as you want.
It is also recommended that you freeze all the portions and only defrost as needed so that the porridge stays as fresh as possible when it is time to serve it to your little pets.
Here are the ingredients you need to make porridge for hamsters:
- 1 cup spinach.
- You can also use other hamster-safe vegetables as substitutes such as broccoli, kalian, pumpkin, or bok choy, just to mention a few. You have endless options here.
- 5 heaped tablespoons of a healthy seed mix
- 2 cups of water
- ¾ cup fresh minced chicken
- You can also replace chicken with high-protein legumes like tofu or edamame, also known as boiled soybeans.
- Aside from the ingredients, you also need to prepare some tools, including the following:
- A food processor/blender/hand blender
- A saucepan with a lid
- A freezer
- Aluminum foil or an ice cube tray (optional)
Steps to Make Porridge for Hamsters
The total cooking time for porridge for hamsters is only 1.5 hours. Follow these steps to make a delicious porridge for your little pets:
- Boil the water in the saucepan.
- Wait for the water to boil and add the seed mix.
- Stir the mix continuously for 8 to 10 minutes until the seeds turn mushy and the water is reduced by half.
- Use a spoon to add chicken in smaller portions and mix.
- Add the spinach once the chicken pieces are already cooked enough.
- Stir again until the spinach is evenly mixed in.
- Allow the mixture to boil for 2 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat source and cover the saucepan with the lid. Leave it for 20 minutes to allow the porridge to continue cooking in the residual heat.
- Let the mixture cool down for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Once the mixture cooled down, transfer it to the food processor or blender. Blend the mixture until you achieve a smooth consistency. You might want to add more water if you prefer a looser porridge until you reach the desired consistency as needed.
- Separate the finished porridge into several individual portions. Here, you can wrap the portions in aluminum foil or use the ice cube tray.
- Freeze the porridge portions.
When it is finally time to feed your hamsters, just defrost a portion. Transfer it to the fridge the night before or heat it in the microwave or hot water bath.
Alternatives If You Run Out of Hamster Food
Just like other animals, hamsters will be healthier and thrive more if you let them eat a balanced and healthy diet that contains the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins.
However, if you run out of the base diet for your hamster, you can always try feeding him some of the foods that you can already find in your kitchen. You can do it for one to two days until you have restocked your pet’s base diet.
Stay away from fruits if you have dwarf hamsters because this breed is very prone to diabetes and any additional sugars might hurt them.
On the other hand, Syrian hamsters can handle their sugars better, but you still need to feed them carefully. Syrian hamsters love bananas, apples, melons, grapes, and blueberries, among other fruits. Just don’t forget to remove seeds from the fruits before you serve them to your pets.
Grains and Proteins
Certain proteins and grains in small quantities are also ideal treats and at the same time, they can also support your hamster’s nutrition if you run out of kibble. Pumpkin or flax seeds, tofu, and cooked eggs will also be welcomed sources of protein.
Whole oats, millet sprays, and whole-wheat toast are also good diet replacements for one to two days. Timothy and alfalfa hay are also acceptable treats and are great substitutes for kibble for a day or so.
Veggies can offer your hamsters the minerals and vitamins they need, making them welcomed treats to complement their regular kibble. Fresh veggies such as cucumber, broccoli, peas, squash, spinach, and green bell peppers are ideal.
Just like other small animals, hamsters are also big fans of crunchy foods. Fresh vegetables can also satiate their need to chew while serving as healthy snacks at the same time.
What Foods Should Hamsters Avoid?
Make sure you avoid anything salty, sugary, or processed. The good rule of thumb here is to stick to whole foods. Stay away from feeding your hamsters garlic, green potatoes, chocolate, and the green portions of tomato plants because these may be toxic for them.
You should also avoid mineral or salt wheels because these are bleached or made with plastics and glues that might be dangerous to your hamster’s health.