Can Hamsters Eat Corn?

Can Hamsters Eat Corn?

Corn

Corn is one of the most popular edible grains in the world. It is a member of the grass family, Poaceae with its roots originating from ancient Central America. It is also known as maize and mainly composed of water, fiber and fair amounts of salt and sugar. 

The question here is-can hamsters actually eat corn like we do? Is it safe for them to have even a moderate portion? Let’s find out!

Can Hamsters Safely Eat Corn?

If given moderately, then yes, hamsters can safely eat corn. Corn is mostly composed of water but it still contains important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Hamsters can enjoy every part of this grain which includes the leaf and husk. 

However, corn contains a large amount of sugar and also has an acidic substance that can give your hamster an upset stomach should they eat large quantities of it.

Hamster

Can Syrian Hamsters Safely Eat Corn?

It is not an ideal food but yes, Syrian hamsters can safely have small amounts of corn. Corn contains traces of sugar and because hamsters can't properly digest sugar, it is best to give it to them as occasional snacks.

Can Roborovski Hamsters Safely Eat Corn?

Corn can be safely fed to a Roborovski hamster. They are enriching and help with your pet's digestive health. However, it should not be given regularly due to its high calorie and sugar content. 

Can Dwarf Hamsters Safely Eat Corn?

The answer isn't quite simple. This breed, which includes the winter white, Chinese and Campbell dwarf hamsters, are more susceptible to obesity and diabetes than the Syrian and Robos.

Since corn contains substances like sugar that can trigger the aforementioned diseases, it is not recommended that they be given to your hamster.

Nutritional Components of Corn that are Beneficial to Hamsters

Corn

Although corn is richly composed of water, starch and sugar, it doesn't make it lacking in other nutrients. It has been found to contain certain nutrients your hamster friend can benefit from. Such nutrients like:

  • Vitamin C
  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin A  
  • Carotene   
  • Calcium    
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorous   
  • Potassium  
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Fiber

Corn is also high in carbs and calories but contains low amounts of protein and fat.

Nutritional Components of Corn that are Beneficial to Hamsters

Looking at the Nutritional Value of Corn we find that most of them, if not all, are very necessary for improving your hamster's overall health. It is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, which all confers the following health benefits.

  • Fiber is essential for the proper functioning of your pet's digestive system. It helps with digestion and lowers the risk of constipation in hamsters.
  • Calcium and phosphorus are both very beneficial as they help in bone formation and also in strengthening your hamster's bones respectively.
  • Magnesium is also an important nutrient that helps in maintaining blood sugar and blood pressure.
  • Magnesium also helps in regulating muscle and nerve function.
  • Iron and copper are both essential for keeping their blood healthy.
  • Antioxidants in the form of carotenoids and vitamin C boosts a hamster's immune system and lowers the risk of heart diseases and cancer.

How Much Corn Can A Hamster Eat?

It is best to give them corn as treats on occasion. It should in no way replace their main staple diet. This is because feeding corn to your hamster regularly can cause some health issues such as diarrhea, diabetes, and obesity. 

When it comes to hamsters, the quantity of corn you can give them depends on how strong their digestive system is,hence, their breed. 

Fortunately, the Syrian and Roborovski hamsters can safely have 2-4 kernels about 3 times weekly.

Can Hamsters Eat Boiled Corn?

Yes, your hamster can have a moderate serving of boiled corn as long as no seasoning or additive was included. Salty or seasoned foods are very harmful to hamsters so should be avoided.

Can Hamsters Eat Popcorn?

Yes, but only the unsalted, unbuttered and unsweetened popcorn can be given. This popped corn kernel should be made without oil and given to hamsters sparingly to lower the risk of obesity.

What Forms of Corn Should Not Be Fed To Hamsters?

Corn

Hamsters can eat both raw and cooked corn. Even baby corn, corn flakes and dried corn kernels can also be given to them sparingly. However, they should not be fed corn in the following forms:

  • Canned corn: They are usually filled with artificial sweeteners and preservatives which can cause obesity and perhaps, diabetes in hamsters.
  • Cornmeal: This cooked corn flour can make your hamster obese and may even cause diarrhea.
  • Sweetcorn: It is not recommended because it can be very hard for your hamster to digest.
  • Cracked corn: This corn kernel can cause a series of dental complications. It has a hard texture that can damage your pet's teeth should they try to tear through.

Other forms that should also be excluded are:

  • Creamed corn
  • Pickled corn 
  • Thawed frozen corn

This is because all of them have added sodium and other preservatives in high amounts which makes them unhealthy to feed your hamster.

Health Risks Linked to Corn

Corn is relatively high in water, calories and carbohydrates. When eaten in high quantities, your hamster is most likely to develop an upset stomach or some other health issues. These other health problems include:

Obesity

This can occur because corn is very high in calories and carbohydrates. Excessively eating this edible grain can make your hamster gain weight and if proper care isn't taken, can go further to become obese due to too much calorie intake.

    Diarrhea

     Corn contains sugar which can be difficult for a hamster Ato digest. If consumed in large amounts, it could cause stomach problems like diarrhea and diabetes.

    Dehydration

    Sodium is another component that is hard for your pet to digest. It increases water loss in their system, thereby, making your hamster dehydrated.

      Urinary Problems

       Such urinary problems like kidney stones could occur due to the presence of the minerals, calcium and phosphorus, in corn.

        Conclusion

        Corn is relatively high in calories, fiber and carbs. It is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals but has a lesser amount of fat and protein.

        Hamsters can eat corn sparingly. They can be served with all parts of a raw or cooked corn including the husk. It could be safe for the Syrian and Robos to eat but the dwarf hamsters are better off without it.

        Related Posts

        Can Hamsters Eat Ketchup?
        Can Hamsters Eat Ketchup?
          Hamsters love to eat, but that does not mean they can eat just anything.  When it comes to feeding your hamster, t...
        Read More
        Can Hamsters Eat Kidney Beans?
        Can Hamsters Eat Kidney Beans?
          Just because something is healthy for humans doesn't mean it's healthy for hamsters. Hamsters are small creatures ...
        Read More
        Can Hamsters Eat Kale?
        Can Hamsters Eat Kale?
        Kale is a popularly eaten leafy vegetable which comes from the family of cabbage. It is a superfood, meaning it's pac...
        Read More

        Back to blog

        Leave a comment