Is turkey safe for hamsters to eat? Let’s find out about turkey, it’s benefits and any negatives it may have for feeding to your hamster.
What Is Turkey?
Turkey is a large, flightless bird in the pheasant family. It is native to the forests and woodlands of Eurasia and North America.
It is widely known for its role as both livestock and game in human societies. Turkey is also popular as a hunting target. Its breast meat is often considered by humans to be more flavourful than the flesh of chicken, the next most commonly consumed poultry species.
One of the benefits of eating turkey is that it is a good source of protein. Turkey also contains high levels of selenium, which is beneficial for the health of the immune system. Additionally, turkey is a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, and phosphorous.
Can Hamsters Eat Turkey?
So can hamsters eat turkey? Yes, hamsters can eat turkey, but it must be cooked thoroughly before feeding and only fed in small amounts occasionally.
Turkey is low in fat and high in protein so feeding your hamster turkey occasionally will be beneficial for their diet and health. A few times a month should be fine.
Benefits Of Turkey For Hamsters
As stated, turkey is high in protein, selenium and niacin. It also contains vitamin B6 and phosphorous. These nutrients are important for your hamster’s health as they keep their skin and coat healthy as well as preventing obesity.
Turkey is also low in fat, which makes it the perfect treat for your hamster.
Risks Of Turkey For Hamsters
Like most poultry, one of the biggest risks is food poisoning from undercooking the turkey. Make sure the turkey is fully cooked before feeding it to your hamster.
too much turkey could make your hamster sick and it is not a suitable staple food for your hamster.
Turkeys are very high in protein, which is why it’s fine to feed your hamster turkey occasionally. However, too much turkey promotes obesity and could cause intestinal issues for your hamster. As such, you should feed your hamster no more than a couple times a month.
Hamsters are known for storing their food, and this can cause problems for a couple of reasons.
If any turkey are left uneaten in your hamsters cage, they could rot, start to smell and attract insects.
Your hamster may also store uneaten turkey in their cheek pouches, and it’s not uncommon for hamsters to develop abscesses, which can be sore for your pet.
That’s why it’s advisable to monitor your hamster when giving them turkey and immediately remove and discard any uneaten turkey from their cage.
How To Feed Turkey To Your Hamster
Before you feed your hamster turkey, make sure the turkey is cooked thoroughly.
You can give your hamster a few pieces of cooked turkey, but make sure it’s a small amount.
Do not give your hamster the bones of the turkey, as this could be a chocking hazard for your hamster.
If your hamster doesn’t eat all the turkey straight away, remove it from their cage so it doesn’t rot and smell up their home.
It’s important for you to monitor how much your hamster eats when feeding them with this treat.
As with the introduction of any new food to your hamsters diet, if you are going to try feeding your hamster turkey, you need to monitor your hamster closely whilst eating them.
How Much Turkey Can A Hamster Eat?
The amount of turkey you can feed your hamster will vary by breed and size.
Syrians for example can likely stomach more than a robo or dwarf hamster.
When feeding your hamster new foods, you should always start with a tiny amount to ensure that they like it, and that they don’t encounter an allergic reaction. So if you want to try feeding your hamster turkey then we would recommend giving a very small portion size, about the size of a teaspoon.
Another good way to work out what is the right amount of turkey to feed your hamster is to give them a portion they can comfortably hold within their hands.
Other Than Turkey What Else Can Your Hamster Eat?
We have looked at if your hamster can eat turkey.
Other than good quality hamster food, what else could you be feeding your hamster?
Grains are a staple food for hamsters. You should give about a tablespoonful each day. Grains can be found in commercially prepared hamster mixes, providing protein and carbohydrates. Avoid overfeeding fatty nuts (peanuts and sunflower seeds), as they can cause obesity.
Fresh, organic vegetables are the best choice for your hamster.
If you’re not using organic produce, be sure to clean it properly to get rid of any pesticides.
Whilst most vegetables are generally safe for hamsters, dark green vegetables are the best choice, so things like;
- Broccoli spears
- Carrot tops
- Dandelion greens
- Romaine lettuce
Avoid iceberg lettuce and other high-water veggies or fruits (such as watermelon) to avoid stomach problems.
Like vegetables, most fruit is OK for hamsters in small portions, as a supplement to the usual diet.
Some good choices are;
- Apples (with pips removed)
Remember always remove any uneaten veggies or fruits from your hamster’s cage within 24 hours to avoid them going off.
Often overlooked for hamsters, hay is a wonderful gnawing food that can keep your hamster’s teeth clean.
Your hamster should always have access to fresh water, changed daily.
What’s The Best Diet For Hamsters?
If you have a hamster, you need to make sure that you are feeding them the best food possible.
We’ve discussed if hamsters can eat turkey, and whilst hamsters can eat a wide variety of things, their primary diet should consist of good quality hamster food.
There are a lot of options available for your hamster, but not all of them are good! If you want to learn more about the best hamster food, you can read our full review of the best hamster foods here.
If you just want to know what we recommend, it’s Kaytee Pro Health Hamster food.
The Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Food was created by animal nutritionists to ensure that your hamster gets the correct nutrition within their diet.
To support digestive health, Forti-Diet Pro Health includes probiotics and prebiotics. This food is high in natural antioxidants for general health and immunity protection, as well as some bigger, crunchier pieces to promote dental health through natural chewing action.
- Larger, crunchy pieces supports dental health through natural chewing activity
- Prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health
- Naturally preserved for ideal freshness
- A nutritionally complete diet for hamsters and gerbils
- All natural
So, Can hamsters eat turkey? Yes, but they can also eat a wide variety of other foods too. The best option for your hamster is to feed them a varied diet that includes good quality hamster food.
Remember any new foods should be introduced slowly into your hamster’s diet.
Now you know if it is safe to feed your hamster turkey. Just remember, always start by introducing a very small portion of turkey to your hamster, and look out for any signs of discomfort or unusual behaviour.
If your hamster has an adverse reaction after eating turkey, contact your local veterinarian immediately.