As a lover of hamsters, you might have wondered at some point; what do wild hamsters eat?
Since they don’t get love and attention as domesticated hamsters do, it’s normal to be curious. So in this article, we will shed more light on the diet of wild hamsters. Keep reading to learn more.
What Do Wild Hamsters Eat?
Wild hamsters are just as omnivorous as domesticated ones, so they naturally eat a mixture of plants and insects. However, domesticated hamsters are a bit more refined in their diet than wild ones. This means that wild hamsters eat whatever they find in the wild however they like.
On that note, these are some foods that wild hamsters eat.
Wild hamsters eat different types of seeds, big and small. This is because seeds provide them with a variety of nutrients like minerals and vitamins and so, it is a vital part of their natural diet. Here are some seeds you would find wild hamsters collecting and eating:
- Pumpkin seeds.
- Sunflower seeds.
- Flax seeds.
- Corn kernels.
- Wheat seeds.
- Sesame seeds.
Other seeds like apple, pear, and grape seeds are dangerous to their health. Similarly, the pits of fruits like apricots and cherries are toxic, and as such, wild hamsters steer clear of them.
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Grains and Nuts
Like other rodents, wild hamsters need a considerable amount of protein in their diet and they can derive this nutrient from grains and nuts. Raisins, corn, as well as unsalted peanuts, walnuts, and cashews, are ideal grains and nuts that wild hamsters feed on. However, almonds and beans pose a health risk and so, they are not part of a wild hamster’s diet.
Fruits are rich in vitamins which make up their nutritional requirements. Hamsters love fruits and will never miss a chance to grab anyone they find in the wild. These are some fruits wild hamsters eat:
On the other hand, citrus fruits like oranges, limes, grapefruits, and lemons are harmful to them. This is because their stomachs cannot withstand acidic content. So hamsters, both wild and domesticated, don’t eat them.
Frogs and Lizards
Since wild hamsters are omnivorous animals, they eat both plants and fleshy meat. Animals that fall into their diet are frogs and lizards. Unlike pet hamsters, wild ones don’t feed on cooked meat. Once they catch their prey, they feed on them in their raw state.
You should note however, that wild hamster are wary of poisonous frogs and lizards. Most poisonous amphibians and reptiles are colorful and so, they tend to stay away from them once spotted.
Insects and Larvae
One major interesting feeding option for wild hamsters is insects. These creatures love invertebrates because they come in packs, are easy to hunt, and are very to munch on. In addition to that, insects, bugs, and larvae are loaded with nutritional benefits and so, wild hamsters can eat a lot of them without caution.
Wild hamsters eat insects like crickets, roaches, earthworms, caterpillars, mealworms, and anything they can dig up from soils and get beneath rocks.
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Vegetables make an excellent meal for wild hamsters. They are sources of vitamins and minerals which are essential for body and organ development. Wild hamsters feed on carrots, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, cauliflowers, broccolis, spinach, and other greens.
How Do Wild Hamsters Find Food?
According to animal experts at PubMed, hamsters eat at 2-hour intervals a day. Since they eat so regularly, wild hamsters gather and store food in their burrows to ensure that there is a steady supply of food.
Wild hamsters are active at night. They are skilled at running and digging and so can be perfect hunters for small prey. Also, they have pockets in their mouths where they store food like grains, nuts, and seeds until they hide them in their burrows for later consumption.
Wild hamsters are omnivores and as such, they eat both plants and insects. Like pet hamsters, they eat seeds, nuts, plants, insects, and typically anything in the wild that falls within their natural diet.
Unlike pet hamsters, wild ones don’t eat cooked or processed foods. So animals that they feed on are usually raw and the plants and fruits they eat are not always washed.