Hamsters are endearing little creatures, making them a lovely choice for pets. However, we humans did not take them in till the last century. Still, hamsters live and breed in the wild. While rogue hamsters eat whatever they like or find on their own, nourishing a pet is your responsibility.
Usually, pet foods are readily available in the market and local stores. There are commercial foods packed especially for hamsters, too. However, you might want to feed your hamster something natural, healthy, and nutritious, perhaps, broccoli? But you don’t know whether hamsters can eat broccoli or not.
Well, if you are wondering whether you should give your hamster the cruciferous veggies or keep them away from your little bud, then you have come to the right place! Here is your short answer: Yes, hamsters can eat broccoli. However, you should know more about broccolis and how to serve them to your hamster.
We have got everything you need to know! So, relax and start reading below.
What do hamsters usually eat?
The furry rodents enjoy eating nuts, seeds, corn (it should be cracked), different fruits, and vegetables. Also, hamsters savor frogs, worms, lizards, insects, and other small animals. Usually, the wild hamsters devour the little animals. However, you can give dried insects to your pet as treat, and they will love it!
Here’s a little fun fact for you: the word hamster comes from the German word “hamsters.” The term roughly translates to “hoard.” Interestingly, hamsters stock the food in their pouches, which are present in their cheeks. Afterward, they take it somewhere they can eat peacefully.
What is a broccoli
Broccoli belongs to the family of cabbages, also people call them the cruciferous vegetables. Like other cabbages, they have a large flowering head atop the body. Honestly, it looks more like a tiny tree, although broccoli is edible. Kale, cauliflower, and cabbages are close relatives of broccoli.
Even in broccolis, you will find several varieties. There are as many as 27 different types of the plant. Some of the most common ones are:
- Calabrese broccoli: The calabrese one is the classic broccoli. Also, it is the most common broccoli. The name of this type comes from its origin, Calabria, a region in southern Italy. The Calabrese broccoli is dark green and firm. Although people usually consume the head, the stem is edible, too.
- Purple broccoli: The purple broccoli looks a lot like the common Calabrese, except that it is purple and slightly smaller than its usual counterpart. Moreover, the taste and nutritional quality are the same as the classic broccoli.
- Chinese broccoli: The Chinese broccoli has its origins in the Cantonese region. It is different from traditional broccoli as it is a bright blue-green flower with a wispy stem.
- Baby broccoli: The baby broccoli is the offspring of the traditional broccoli and the Chinese broccoli. It has a long and fine stem with a sweet taste. Also, the baby broccoli is super-rich in nutritional values.
Broccoli is an amazing plant!
What is in a broccoli
Broccoli is a natural depot full of energy, vitamins, fibers, minerals, and antioxidants. Although cooking might tamper with the values of the nutrients, nonetheless, broccoli is one hell of a nourisher. Here are the nutrients that you will find in a single serving of 100 grams:
- 2.6 grams protein; Proteins build the muscle mass and perform several metabolic functions. Broccoli contains a good number of it.
- 6 grams carbohydrates; Carbs are the instant source of energy. However, too much can cause an increase in blood glucose levels. Broccoli is a low-carb veggie that is healthier for your hamster. 0.3 grams fat; Broccoli contains almost no fat which is healthy for the hamster (and for you, as well).
- 2.4 grams fiber; Broccoli contains a decent amount of fibers. Hence, your little buddy should have no digestion problems.
- Potassium; is helpful in muscle movements and keeping the hamster healthy.
- Vitamin C; Vitamin C repairs the body tissues and accelerates the healing process.
- Vitamin A; Vitamin A keeps the skin and body tissues healthy.
- Vitamin K; Hamsters need vitamin K for bettering their reproductive systems.
- Folate; Folate helps other vitamins in their functions and prevents anemia.
- Phosphorous; Phosphorous is one of the main components of the bone. Therefore, it helps in keeping the bones healthy and strong.
- Selenium; Selenium is an antioxidant that keeps the body cells healthy and alive.
Can your hamster eat broccoli?
Yes, hamsters can eat broccoli, and unlike some spoiled kids, they will enjoy it too. Also, you know by now how greatly nutritious broccoli is for your hamster. However, like every other food on the planet, you must not go crazy feeding it to the little guy.
First, you might want to check whether the hamster likes eating broccoli or not. So, start with small portions. You can boil the broccoli, however, hamsters can eat it in the raw form, as well. Most likely, your hamster will like the broccoli, most of them love it.
How to serve broccoli to your hamster, raw or cooked?
So, you want your little guy to take a break from the pet foods. That’s great! Give them some broccoli. You can give raw broccoli to your hamster, thus, preserving all the essential vitamins and other nutrients. Nonetheless, make sure that you thoroughly wash the veggies to get rid of the insecticides and pesticides. However, with raw broccoli, there is a high risk of deadly bacteria residing in it.
Well, you can boil the broccoli with water to remove the bacteria. However, do not boil it for more than 10 minutes. Doing so can evaporate most of the good and healthy stuff in the broccoli. First, boil the broccoli in a closed pot. Then, remove the lid and boil it for an extra 8 minutes. By doing this, the broccoli will get soft and the hamster will relish the squidgy plant. Cut the plant into tiny pieces for your hamster to enjoy. Also, don’t forget to let it cool before serving your pal
Why you should feed broccoli to your hamster
If you are not planning to serve broccoli to your hamster, then you should think again. Broccoli is a rich and excellent source of vitamins, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K, minerals, and other bioactive compounds that are essential and beneficial for the little fellows.
Other than helping with normal body functions and keeping the hamster healthy, broccoli contains compounds that fight against cancer. Moreover, broccoli contains a good number of antioxidants. These are the compounds that neutralize the cell-damaging radicals.
Therefore, broccoli makes up for a healthy and nutritious diet that your hamster will enjoy, too. It is a good break for your pet from the chew commercial hamster foods. Also, broccoli will keep your pet healthy, energetic, and living for a long time.
Things to keep in mind while serving broccoli to your hamster
Broccoli can be great food for your pet if you are careful about certain things while offering it. Keep the following in mind while you prepare broccoli for your rodent.
- Do not add salt, pepper, or other spices to the broccoli. These add-ons can lead to an upset tummy, diarrhea, or other health problems.
- Do not season the broccoli with cream or butter. Although a couple of times of flavoring will not hurt, you should not make a habit of doing it. Butter and cream contain fats, and thus, lead to obesity and other cardiovascular diseases.
- Feed the broccoli as is, although, you should wash it thoroughly and boil it as I instructed above to remove the harmful pesticides, insecticides, and bacteria.
How much broccoli is enough for your hamster
Although broccoli is great for your hamster, there is a certain limit to how much the rodent should be eating it. An excessive amount of broccoli can lead to an upset stomach for the little hamster. So, how much is a lot of broccoli?
Well, one floret of broccoli per day should be enough for the little guy. Also, I recommend giving your hamster a mixed and balanced diet. So, along with broccoli, give your hamster some protein in the form of a hard-boiled egg and dried insects.
Tip: Initially, your hamster might not take well to the broccoli. So, to introduce it as a part of the pet’s diet, you should start slowly with little amounts, not more than twice a week. By doing so, the hamster will develop a taste for broccoli.
What to if your hamster does not want to eat broccoli
If your hamster does not eat broccoli, no matter how much you try, then you don’t have to fret over it. It is normal for hamsters to reject broccoli. Nonetheless, you can still provide healthy nutrients to your pet.
Alternatively, you can get them specialized hamster pellets. These include different mixes of foods including seeds, nuts, maize, barley, dried fruits, and veggies. These specialized pellets can suffice the nutritional needs of a hamster.
Other healthy foods for your hamster
Broccolis are not the only nutritious food. There are plenty of other items that are good for your pet, and the hamster will love them, as well.
- Fruits: Whatever fruits hamsters eat in the wild, they love them as pets, too. However, make sure that you rinse them well and cut them into tiny fragments. These include apples, bananas, pears, grapes, and strawberries. However, give moderate amounts of fruits as they contain a lot of sugar.
Note: Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapes, and lemons, are acidic, and hence, can cause stomach problems for the hamster. So, be cautious to never give them that.
- Veggies: The list of vegetables includes the leafy ones, lettuce, spinach, carrots, and cucumber (technically it is a fruit, but people treat it as a vegetable). Be sure to wash the vegetables and cut them well.
- Whole grain bread: Hamsters love whole grain bread. Moreover, it provides them fibers. Nonetheless, make sure that they don’t eat too much of it.
- Cereals: Cereals can satisfy hunger without adding any calories. However, make sure that you give it to your hamster only on occasions.
- Eggs: Hamsters need proteins, and a hard-boiled egg can fulfill the need.
- Insects: Since hamsters are omnivores, they can eat both meat and plants. Insects are a part of a wild hamster’s diet, and you can introduce dried or live worms to your pets, too.
Risks of feeding broccoli to your hamster
Under normal circumstances, broccoli is safe to eat for your hamster, albeit, in moderate amounts. Serving too much and too frequently can cause tummy problems. Make sure that you do not give more than a floret a day to your little buddy.
Fun facts about broccoli
Broccoli is great food! Here are some interesting and fun facts for you to read.
- Broccoli contains anti-cancer compounds, and no, you cannot concentrate them into a pill. So, your best fight against cancer is to eat up the broccoli.
- Although people casually put broccoli in the vegetable category, technically, it is a group of innumerable flowers attached to the stem.
- People eat broccoli flowers, too, and find them delicious.
- Broccoli contains more Vitamin C than an orange.
Let’s sum up what you have learned today, and I hope it was helpful. Broccoli is a superfood rife with nutrients, antioxidants, and anticancer compounds, and the plant is great for your hamster’s health and well-being. So, yes, your pet hamster can eat broccoli, and you should serve them some.
However, like all the other healthy foods, moderation is the key to get the most out of broccoli. So, do not serve more than a floret to your pet hamster. Also, make sure that you rinse it well. You can feed either raw or boiled broccoli to your hamster, however, when boiling, do as instructed to make sure that it does not lose vital nutrients. Also, while your little buddy is at it, you should start eating broccoli, too!