Can Hamsters Eat Acorns?

There are numerous animal species that eat acorns in the wild. For example, animals such as squirrels and small rodents are big fans of eating acorns. So, do you know whether you can feed those to your beloved hamsters as well? So, in this article, we will be explaining whether it is safer or not to feed acorns to your precious hamsters. The brief answer to this is no. Hamsters should not eat acorns. Having said that, keep in mind that acorns are not toxic for hamsters. However, it may pose some risks to the overall health of the hamsters. So, you should not give this as a treat to the hamsters.

There are so many other things that you can consider feeding the hamsters, but not acorns. Now that you know it is not safe to give acorns to the hamsters, we will be explaining further why acorns are not safe for the hamsters to consume, etc. So, continue reading this article; we have looked into the health related risks it may pose and everything else you need to be aware of.

What are acorns?

Acorns are a popular snack among pet owners. In other words, many pet owners tend to use them as a treat for their beloved pets. Acorns usually have an inner shell and a middle layer. It is known as the mesocarp. Finally, acorns would develop an outer layer that would protect the seeds from predators in particular.

The nutrient value of acorns

If we consider 100 g of acorns, in general, it would comprise about 45 kcal. Besides, it would have about 0.4 percent fat as well. Besides, it comprises a significant quantity of protein as well. Feeding these, on the other hand, would be harmful to the hamsters and could even make them sick. So, in a nutshell, the nutrient value of acorns is very insignificant for hamsters. As such, it is pointless to feed the hamsters with them. Instead, consider feeding other nutritious seeds to the hamsters.

Health benefits of nutrients which are found in acorns

If you wish to feed acorns to the hamsters, you can consider feeding them a very small quantity of acorns, as it would have some health benefits for the hamsters. The high protein levels of an acorn, for example, would help young hamsters grow well and vigorously. Further acorns would provide some calories, which would help them grow at a rapid rate. There is no doubt that hamsters need a significant amount of energy, so feeding them a small number of acorns would be useful for them. In addition to that, it would help raise the fat-to-carbohydrate ratio of the hamsters too.

Health risks (disadvantages) of acorns

If you had specifically collected acorns from outside, they would turn out to be harmful. Those outside acorns may contain harmful germs, bacteria, and parasites as well. The acorns you collect from the wild may carry fungal infestations. Further, they may also possess bacteria that are related to ticks and other insects. Besides, they may carry other germs, which you can especially find in the wild.

There is a possibility that the seeds will cause complications in the hamster’s gastrointestinal tract. In addition to that, they can damage the esophagus and the stomachs of the hamsters too. In a nutshell, since acorns don’t have a significant level of nutrients and carry so many health-related risks, you should avoid using them as treats. Instead, consider feeding them other snacks.

Few things to consider when you feed acorns

If you insist on trying to feed acorns to the hamsters, you need to first check the size of the acorns. Some hamster breeds, for example, would prefer to eat the larger acorns, while others would prefer to eat the smaller acorns. That said, most hamsters would like to eat medium-sized acorns. Hamsters love dark brown colored foods, so try giving them dark brown colored acorns.

Read also : Can Hamsters Eat Walnuts?

How should you serve acorns to your hamster?

Irrespective of our recommendation to avoid giving acorns to the hamsters, if you feel like giving them to the hamsters, you should first wash them thoroughly. Once you wash them, it will remove all the dirt and bacteria remaining on the acorns. Thereafter, you need to place them in water for about an hour.

Keep in mind that hamsters cannot eat acorns with shells, as it will be too hard for them to eat them. So, when you leave them in water for about an hour, it will soften them, making it easier for the hamsters to eat them. Don’t ever think of feeding acorns with their shells on, as they are very sharp. So they can cause intestinal and stomach complications in the hamsters.

How often can a hamster eat acorns?

As aforesaid, it is best to avoid feeding acorns to the hamsters.

If you give a small hamster an entire acorn, they won’t be able to finish it. Pet owners have reported finding that while their hamster may gladly munch on the acorn, it is unable to crack open.

If you must give your hamster acorns as a reward, buying them from a store is the best option. Acorns that are organic and great for pets are widely available.

How many acorns at a time?

If you really wish, you can feed them a very small amount of acorns for the hamsters. Do not overfeed it as it would create unnecessary problems. That said, our recommendation is to not give acorns to them at all.

Are acorns toxic to hamsters?

Acorns are toxic for hamsters. It is not the type of food item that suits the hamsters due to the reasons mentioned above. Furthermore, it is pointless to serve acorns to the hamsters as they don’t contain plenty of nutrients as well. As such, you should refrain from providing acorns to the hamsters all the time.

What are the alternate food you can give instead of acorns?

I recommend that you provide seeds such as pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, as these have numerous health benefits. Furthermore, they also comprise multiple vitamins and several other minerals, which would be quite useful for the hamster’s overall well-being.

From where can you collect acorns to feed the hamsters?

If you wish to serve acorns to hamsters, I recommend you purchase them from a pet store. You should ideally go for organic acorns, which would be ideal for the hamsters. If you want to use acorns that you collected from the outside, you can first bake them in an oven at a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Those temperatures will kill whatever bugs remain on them.

Bottom line

In conclusion, acorns are not the type of food that you should feed the hamsters. If you do so, hamsters would find it very difficult to digest those further; they may come up with bacteria, parasites, and other harmful compounds that would pose a threat to the overall health of the hamsters. However, if you still want to feed acorns to your hamsters, you must thoroughly wash them and remove the shell. After that, soak them in water for about an hour and only give them on rare occasions.

You need to always keep in mind to monitor the hamsters well whenever you provide something new for them. If you notice them being lethargic or sick after consuming something new, take them to the vet right away.

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