Hamsters are known to have a rather varied diet, and pet owners have long been feeding them some interesting treats. But when trying to come up with a tasty snack for my pet, it suddenly dawned on me that I could offer something that is typically reserved for exotic pets – dried grasshoppers. But can hamsters eat dried grasshoppers?
Hamsters are omnivores, meaning that they eat both meat and plants. This means that dried grasshoppers would be an entirely viable treat for hamsters. However, you should be mindful of the size of the grasshopper and where it is sourced.
So, with that in mind, let’s delve a little deeper and find out everything we need to know when feeding our hamsters these unique snacks.
Can Hamsters Eat Dried Grasshoppers?
Dried grasshoppers and other insects or worms are a great food source for your hamster. We often picture these small pets eating specially designed hamster foods or fruits and veggies. However, in the wild, the diet of the hamster will also include a variety of meat and insect-based foods.
When kept in captivity, it is a good idea to mix up the foods that you offer to your pet, provided that they have been responsibly sourced and will not cause harm to your pet.
So, if you’ve decided to offer your hamster an alternative snack of dried grasshoppers, one of the first things that you will need to think about is where the grasshoppers have been sourced.
Many people may be tempted to collect insects from their gardens, and while they may be abundant, they may not be safe. Insects living in the wild may have fed on plants treated with pesticides and other chemicals; feeding these to your pet could cause illness and even death.
One of the great things about being a modern pet owner is that there are so many different snacks available in your local pet supply store.
Hamsters are fans of both live and dried insects, and both of these can be found in pet stores. However, it is worth considering that if you are offering live food, this might be best done in a glass enclosure; otherwise, there is a risk of the grasshopper escaping.
You should also think about the size of the grasshopper in comparison to the hamster. If you have a dwarf variety, you will want to avoid offering extremely large grasshoppers as these might be difficult for your pet to feast on.
What’s more, while grasshoppers and other insects are full of protein, they may not contain some of the other essential nutrients that your hammy needs. For this reason, it is a wise idea to keep these as an occasional treat as opposed to a staple part of your hamster’s diet.
What Other Insects Can Hamsters Eat?
As I have already mentioned, we are very lucky as modern pet owners to have such a considerable supply of food options for our furry friends. However, sometimes this choice can become a little overwhelming, and hamster parents might find themselves wondering what insects hamsters can eat.
The good news is that there isn’t very much in terms of insects and worms that your pet should avoid.
Mealworms are often a popular choice for hamsters as they are relatively small and easy for the hamster to eat. Plus, they are quite nutritious.
Mealworms are a great choice for dwarf hamsters due to their size, but all species of hamsters tend to enjoy these. There is also the option to purchase super worms, but most experts would recommend removing the head before offering these to your hamster – we never said this wouldn’t be an icky job!
Crickets are another great choice for hamsters and are similar in nature to grasshoppers. However, they can be found much more readily in pet stores owing to the popular demand among the community of reptile owners. They are also relatively inexpensive.
Since you are going to be offering these insects as a treat, it might be better to purchase dried crickets as opposed to live ones. Unless, of course, you are willing to care for them and keep them alive until you are ready to use them.
What Do Hamsters Eat In The Wild?
As pet owners, we are often guilty of falling into the trap of feeding our hamsters the prepared mixes that you can pick up at any pet store or even grocery store. And it’s true; these foods will have all of the correct nutrients for your hamster, they may become boring for your pet.
But knowing what hamsters eat in the wild can go a long way in helping you figure out what are suitable treats and snacks for your precious pet.
Hamsters are found throughout China, Greece, Syria, and Romania, although there is now a suggestion that they also live in Belgium.
It is easy to see that they would have a versatile choice of foods owing to the diverse ecosystems in these countries.
In the wild, hamsters are known to feast on a variety of nuts, seeds, and grains. However, they will also eat insects, frogs, lizards, and any other small animals that they can get their claws on. Alongside this varied diet, they are also known to chow down on a wide selection of fruits and vegetables.
Can hamsters eat grass?
Yes, hamsters can eat grass, but it isn’t a good idea to use this as a staple food. This is because, unlike other rodents like rabbits and guinea pigs, hamsters do not have a digestive system that can handle copious amounts of grass.
Can hamsters eat chicken?
Yes hamsters can eat chicken, but much like other foods, it is wise to give this in smaller quantities. Chicken is very high in protein, so a quarter of a tablespoon would be more than enough. You can do this up to twice a week but make sure that this is the only protein source that you are giving your hamster.
Can hamsters eat cockroaches?
Cockroaches will not cause your hamster any digestive upset, but since these insects have a lot of hard body parts, they could cause some irritation if the hamster tries to pouch them. For this reason, it is not advisable to offer these as a treat. You should also try to prevent wild cockroaches from entering the hamster’s cage as your pet will likely make a meal of them.