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Can Hamsters Eat Turkey? Vet Approved Facts & Nutrition Guide

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

Turkey-meat-fillet

Vet approved

Dr. Ashley Darby Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Ashley Darby

Veterinarian, BVSc

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Turkey is a favorite for Thanksgiving and on sandwiches throughout the year, and one common occurrence during these times is having a little extra you can share. But can you give any of that turkey to your hamster? The truth is turkey can be a fine treat for your hamster, but only if it has no additional seasonings or flavors and is fed in moderation. But even then, how much can you give your hamster, and what benefits does it have for them?

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Benefits of Turkey for Your Hamster

While turkey isn’t a common food that you would think of feeding a hamster, a very small piece on occasion won’t hurt them, and it could have a couple of benefits. Turkey is high in protein with minimal fat. It also has a surprising amount of fiber and plenty of vitamins and minerals.

These vitamins and minerals include:
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Potassium

How Much Turkey Should You Feed Your Hamster?

While it’s perfectly fine to give your hamster a small amount of turkey, it’s pretty easy to overdo it. Don’t feed baby hamsters any turkey, and adult hamsters should only have a bite-sized piece of turkey once a week.

We recommend cooking the turkey to remove any harmful pathogens such as bacteria, before offering it to your hamster. Boiling or baking in the oven is ok but don’t give any turkey cooked in extra fats to your hamster. Let the meat cool down before serving too.

Finally, keep in mind that you should only give them unsalted and unseasoned turkey without any added flavors. It might seem bland to you, but your hamster should love it, and all that extra stuff isn’t always safe for your pocket pal.

chopped turkey on a wood cutting board with a knife
Image Credit: BW Folsom, Shutterstock

What Other Meats Can Hamsters Eat?

Hamsters do require protein in their diets, but that doesn’t mean that all meats are safe for them. In fact, you should really keep their diet simple. Occasional treats of hard-boiled or scrambled eggs, plain and cooked chicken or turkey, and dried mealworms and crickets are the best protein sources for them.

The Ideal Hamster Diet

While some meats are safe for hamsters, you should really be focusing on the ideal hamster diet on a daily basis.

This includes:
hamster eating
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Now that you know a little more about what you can and can’t feed your hamster, you can take the time to mix things up a bit and spoil them with an occasional treat! Just ensure they’re still eating their daily requirement of pellets. That way, they’re still getting all the nutrients they need. Again, the turkey should always be cooked and plain. Plus, it shouldn’t make up a large portion of their diet. In fact, treats should be somewhat limited. Instead, focus on giving them plenty of pellets, hay, and fresh fruits and veggies.


Featured Image Credit: Andmonk, Shutterstock

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