Brussel sprouts look like miniature cabbages and they are in the same category as cruciferous vegetables. Others include kales, broccoli, collard greens, cauliflower, and bok choy.
Sprouts are popular in the kitchen. They can be prepared in many ways from steaming, stir-frying, and baking to boiling, roasting, and sauteing.
They are delicious and because they look like cabbages, which hamsters enjoy, you may be curious to find out if it would be okay to feed some to your pet. Well, stick along to find out.
Can hamsters eat sprouts?
Hamsters can eat sprouts because they are healthy and nutritious veggies. Sprouts contain a number of nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate, potassium, Vitamin A, and not to mention, a good amount of fiber. They are also low in calories making them a good addition to your hamster’s diet.
Why sprouts are good for hamsters
Sprouts are healthy foods for your pet’s diet because they contain good nutrients. Sprouts have:
Fiber is good as it promotes the functioning of the digestive system making it work better.
Vitamin K in a hamster’s diet will enhance their reproductive health and aid in the clotting of blood hence preventing bleeding problems. Lack of Vitamin K can lead to abnormal growth in your pet.
Vitamin A is good for hamsters and a deficiency will lead to a rough coat with sparse hair. If males lack Vitamin A they also risk developing stomach ulcers.
Hamster bodies cannot keep Vitamin C yet it’s very important especially when they become ill. Vitamin C promotes healing and prevents scurvy.
Scurvy is a condition brought about by the deficiency of Vitamin C. Signs will be loss of fur, lethargy, loss of weight, pain when touched, and walking in a hunched posture.
Potassium works in reducing blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
Sprouts are low in calories with half a cup having about 28 calories. Low-calorie foods are great additions to your pet’s diet to prevent obesity.
Obesity raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even a shorter life span. An obese pet will be inactive and lethargic.
Regulate blood sugar
Sprouts are good at regulating blood sugar levels. High blood sugar causes diabetes which is a condition that is quite common in hamsters.
Some hamster breeds though are more prone to diabetes compared to others. The Syrian hamsters and the Roborovski hamster breeds are not likely to get diabetes.
The Chinese hamsters, Russian Campbell dwarfs, and the Winter White dwarf hamsters on the other hand are more susceptible to diabetes.
Can sprouts be bad for hamsters?
Just as with everything else, in large quantities sprouts can be bad for your pet. This is because they can bring about gas in hamsters.
Excess gas leads to abdominal pains, uneasiness, bloating, and may even cause a lack of appetite. Although they are not able to burp out gas from their small bodies, hamsters will usually have silent farts to get rid of too much gas.
You should avoid feeding many Brussel sprouts at once to prevent gas in your pet.
Do hamsters like Brussel sprouts?
Hamsters are different and they have different tastes and preferences. Some will like Brussel sprouts but others will not.
Some may find the taste good while others will find it quite strong for them. Try offering a few leaves to your pet to see if they like them or not.
Can hamsters eat cooked Brussel sprouts?
Hamsters are omnivores and they eat a wide range of foods from grains to basil to tuna and in different forms. They can eat their foods either cooked or uncooked.
Brussels can be cooked in various ways but hamsters should never eat them when cooked. This is because they are not good for their stomachs while in their cooked form.
How to feed Brussel sprouts to hamsters
Before feeding Brussel sprouts to your pet, make sure that they are fresh and not going bad. Old Brussel sprouts will have a taste that can be sour.
If they have a strong harsh smell like an old cabbage or black spots on their leaves, then they are bad and not healthy for your hammy. Opt for bright green ones whose leaves are tightly packed.
Wash them properly to ensure that the veggies are safe to eat and not contaminated with pesticides.
Slice the sprouts into smaller pieces. The piece you offer your pet should be small enough for them to hold in their tiny paws as they eat it.
If you are feeding sprouts for the first time, start with smaller pieces. This will help you to know if they are good for your pet or not.
Observe any unusual behaviors in your hamster. If they seem uncomfortable or develop diarrhea in the first 12 hours, then avoid the veggie altogether.
If they are okay and everything seems fine, then you can safely keep feeding them Brussel sprouts. Due to the amount of gas in them, you should not feed Brussel sprouts on the same day as other gassy vegetables like cauliflower and cabbage.
It could lead to excess gas in your hamster’s sensitive stomach. Brussel sprouts should only be fed 2-3 times per week.
Sprout alternatives for your hamster
If your hamster does not enjoy the taste of Brussel sprouts, you can offer them alternative veggies like green bell peppers, celery, spinach, red lettuce, green beans, cucumbers, and peas.
Hamsters can eat sprouts as they are highly nutritious and they contain good nutrients like Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate, potassium, fiber, and they are also low in calories.
Sprouts should be fed moderately because they can give hamsters gas which is uncomfortable and painful for them to have. They should be given a quarter slice of sprouts only 2 -3 times per week.
The veggie should be fresh before being fed and washed thoroughly to get rid of any chemical residues on the leaves.
Healthy sprout alternatives are green beans, red lettuce, spinach, celery, and cucumber.
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