Hamsters are omnivores and not particularly fussy about what they’ll eat. However, while it’s true that hamsters are not picky eaters, not everything they can eat is good for them to eat. As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to ensure we give our hamsters the foods that are good for them.
So can hamsters eat chicory and endive?
Yes, hamsters can eat both chicory and endive, but it shouldn’t be a large part of their diet. The majority of your hamster’s food intake should come from pellets with a relatively small amount of fresh fruits and vegetables supplementing it.
There are also a few basic precautions you should take before feeding this veggie to your hamster.
To learn everything you need to know about feeding chicory and endive to your hamster, keep reading!
Is endive good for hamsters?
Endive, and by extension chicory (chicory is simply the curly version of endive), is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet. Both of these vegetables are nutritionally almost identical.
Half a cup of endive contains the following nutrients:
Now, take a look at the list above. Something that immediately stands out is that this vegetable is extremely low in calories and sugar and that it does not contain any fat at all! Add to that the fact that it contains a good amount of fiber and you’ve got a great treat for hamsters.
But that’s not all. Endives are also very rich in many essential vitamins and nutrients. For instance, the same portion of this leafy green is particularly rich in the following vitamins and minerals:
On the whole, endive and chicory are excellent treats for your hamster. Their high nutritional makeup and low calorie and fat content work together to make them the perfect treat!
Precautions when feeding endive or chicory to your hamster
Of course, while endive and chicory are good treats for your hamster there are a few precautions that you must take before feeding.
First, make sure that you wash the endive and chicory properly before feeding. This is especially important when buying non-organic because in our modern society many of the foods we buy are contaminated with pesticides. Endive and chicory are no exceptions to this, in fact, they’re among the most contaminated fruits and vegetables! Washing makes sure that you remove the bulk of these nasty chemicals and that you avoid your hamster ingesting them.
Secondly, make sure that you feed vegetables like chicory and endive only in small quantities. Hamsters are very small animals that do not need a whole lot of food. You might think that due to the fact that these veggies are low in calories, fat, and sugar it’s impossible to overfeed them, but that’s not the case. If they eat too much of it they can have nutritional imbalances because they don’t eat enough of their other food. On top of that, they’re high in water which can lead to diarrhea. Always feed in moderation!
Thirdly, you have to ensure that you introduce these vegetables to your hamster gradually. Hamsters are known for their sensitive digestive systems so new foods should always be introduced slowly to give them time to adapt to it. If you notice that the food gives them diarrhea, stop feeding it to them immediately
How much endive and chicory can hamsters have?
The amount to feed depends on what kind of hamster you have. Small dwarf hamsters can naturally eat less than bigger Syrian hamsters.
Syrian hamsters: A small piece of endive or chicory about the size of a teaspoon of endive two to three times a week.
Dwarf hamsters & Chinese hamsters: A small piece of endive or chicory about the size of a teaspoon of endive once a week.
Do hamsters like endive/chicory?
Most hamsters definitely do like endive and chicory and will eat it with pleasure.
However, no two hamsters are the same and they all have their own likes and dislikes when it comes to food. Figuring out which foods are your hammie’s favorite is one of the most fun things about owning one and it’s a great bonding experience.
Since endive is a healthy treat for your hamster, simply offer them a piece of it. If they enjoy it, you’ll know!
Alternative fruits and veggies
While hamsters are a great treat for your hamster they thrive when they have a diet that consists of a large variety of different fruits and veggies. Here are some hamster-approved fruits and vegetables:
There you have it, all the information you need to start including endive and chicory into your hammie’s diet. To recap: In moderation, fresh, well-washed endive is a great treat to include in your hamster’s diet. It’s chock-full of many essential vitamins and minerals while also being very low in fat, sugar, and calories.
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