Hamsters can eat cooked eggs, especially the whites, in moderation. Boiled egg whites, or scrambled eggs made from the whites, will provide protein, Vitamin A, Omega-3, and choline.
Egg yolks carry more risk for hamsters and should be approached with caution. The yolk of an egg is high in fat and cholesterol, which can eventually compromise a hamster’s heart and kidneys.
When introducing eggs to a hamster’s diet, do so in moderation. So, slice and portion an egg accordingly, and offer it to a hamster no more than once a week.
Can I Feed My Hamster Eggs?
Hamsters need protein (amino acids) to build body tissues, generate energy, and support organ function. Alongside mealworms and pieces of white meat, eggs are a good source of this core nutrient.
Chicken eggs, duck eggs, and quail eggs can all be consumed by hamsters.
Eggs offered to a hamster must be properly cooked because a raw egg carries bacteria, such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, and E. coli. Raw and undercooked eggs can cause food poisoning.
Do Hamsters Like Eggs?
Hamsters enjoy novel taste sensations, and eggs fall into this category. Eggs offer much-needed dietary variety if a hamster’s core food revolves around dry foods like pellets.
Eggs also have a distinctive smell, attracting a hamster’s interest. The Journal of General Psychology explains how dwarf hamsters are attracted to foods their cage mates show interest in.
Pregnant hamsters will show the most interest in eggs, as they need more protein. So, adding some sliced egg whites will be beneficial if you intend to breed hamsters.
Is Egg Safe for Hamsters?
There are health benefits to bringing eggs into a hamster’s diet, including:
- High choline levels. According to Nutrition Reviews, choline is key to a healthy brain and liver.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol.
- Vitamin A (retinol) for eye health.
- Protein for building and replenishing muscle tissue.
- Omega-3 for heart health, visual acuity, and brain function.
Too much protein can damage a hamster’s internal organs, especially the kidneys. Too much protein overworks the kidneys, causing excess waste products in the bloodstream.
While egg yolk is high in cholesterol, egg white contains no cholesterol and are low in saturated fat.
How Much Egg Can a Hamster Eat?
Don’t feed a hamster more than a quarter of a chicken egg per week. Other smaller and larger eggs, like quail and duck eggs, should be offered pro rata.
The ideal quantity will be part of a single egg – either a slice of a boiled egg or under a quarter of a scrambled, fried, or poached egg.
How To Feed Eggs to Hamsters
Hamsters mustn’t eat raw eggs due to the risk of Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, and E. coli. You can cook eggs for a hamster, so here’s a summary of the suitability of each part of an egg:
|Eggshells||The shell contains calcium carbonate, which is needed for strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also essential for muscle, heart, and nerve function.|
|Egg Yolk||The yolk contains most of the flavor that appeals to hamsters. However, according to the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, egg yolk is high in fat and cholesterol.|
|Egg Whites||Cooked appropriately, egg whites are the safest part of the egg to feed a hamster. The white of an egg contains lots of protein and little saturated fat or cholesterol.|
Part of the appeal of eggs is their versatility in preparation, so taking this information onboard, decide how you would like to serve eggs to a hamster.
Scrambled eggs are the easiest means of preparation. You can hand-feed pieces of scrambled egg, but it’s easier to place the dish in a bowl for the hamster to consume at leisure.
Remove the yolk before you beat the egg to reduce the health risks. Under no circumstances should you add salt and pepper for flavor.
Sodium can lead to elevated blood pressure (hypertension), increasing the risk of dehydration, gastrointestinal problems, strokes, kidney failure, and heart disease.
Heat the egg on a stove without using oil to keep the fat content to a minimum. Stir and scramble the eggs as standard, and serve in a bowl. Offer 1-1.5 half teaspoons of scrambled eggs per serving.
Boiled egg yolk is no safer than raw, so this must be removed. Boiled egg white is easy to slice and serve.
Boil an egg for eight minutes so that the shell is hard, and ensure you remove this shell. As discussed, you can grind up the shells and sprinkle them over other foods for a calcium fix if necessary.
Don’t just put a boiled egg into the hamster’s cage and leave it to eat at leisure. The egg will not have a long shelf life. Cut it into slices and feed these one at a time, offering a large Syrian hamster a maximum of a quarter of an egg in a single day.
Frying an egg for a hamster should be avoided. It’s difficult to fry an egg without oil, and there are no ways to make this additional ingredient acceptable or safe for a hamster.
If you can fry an egg dry in a non-stick pan without burning the whites, removing the yolk before serving, you can potentially offer fried egg to a hamster, chopped into slices.
Avoid feeding poached eggs to a hamster. The nature of poached eggs means that the yolk will be left uncooked, so if you slice off the egg white, it’s likely that the yolk will run into the white.
Remove the yolk before cooking, and cut the omelet into small slices to feed the hamster.
The usual caveats apply when making an omelet for a hamster – no salt, pepper, spices, or oil can be involved in the food preparation process.
Add hamster-safe vegetables for taste and texture, making the dish more appealing.
Eggs are optional in a hamster’s diet. While there are health benefits associated with eggs, hamsters should only eat the egg white, not the yolk. Also, eggs given to hamsters must be cooked, not raw.