Chicken might not be the first food that comes to mind when thinking of snacks for your hungry hamster. But if you have some going spare, you might be wondering if it’s a safe option for a little treat. Good news! Hamsters are omnivores and the occasional piece of white meat such as chicken is perfectly okay for them. There are a few things to keep in mind however, and it’s a good idea to know all the facts before you decide to indulge your hamster with this particular food.
Is Chicken Good For Hamsters?
Protein is an important part of a hamster’s diet, with adult hamsters requiring it to make up between 15 – 20% of their overall food intake. For this reason, chicken can be a very good treat for your little furball, as it is an excellent source of protein.
Chicken comes with other nutritional benefits too. It contains Vitamin B, which is important for boosting immunity and fighting off disease, and also provides every essential amino acid. Despite this, chicken is quite high in fat and cholesterol, meaning too much of it will lead to your hamster gaining weight and potentially developing undesirable health issues.
How Much Chicken Can I Feed My Hamster?
It’s important to note that meat does not make up a large part of a hamster’s diet in the wild. Therefore, when providing it to your hamster, be sure to do so in moderation. As a treat once or twice a week, chicken will be a tasty snack that is unlikely to be introducing too many extra calories to your hamster’s diet. Any more regularly than this and it could lead to adverse effects, and a good rule of thumb is to give your hamster chicken pieces that are no bigger than a fingernail.
Do Hamsters Suffer Any Side Effects From Eating Chicken?
First of all, you should only be giving your hamster chicken that has been cooked. This is because uncooked chicken contains pathogens that can cause a range of diseases, both in humans and in hamsters. Seasoned or salted chicken should also be avoided, as these can be toxic or unsuitable for a hamster’s digestive system.
Furthermore, it’s a good idea to introduce chicken to your hamster gradually. That way you can gauge their reaction to it and increase their portion size if their stomach seems to be happy with the new food. Again, just make sure chicken doesn’t become a regular occurrence in your hamster’s diet, to avoid any weight gain.
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