Are Raisins Good for Hamsters?

Introduction

Raisins are dried grapes. They first occurred in the Middle East but were later introduced to Europe. Earlier, raisins were used as food poisoning antidote and as a form of money for exchange of goods and services. That is, as a form of money. Raisins were also presented as awards to athletes for sporting activities and other purposes. Other dried products that result from grape fruits, and which are to raisins include currants and sultanas. Raisins come in different colors, depending on the treatment applied in the production process. These include red, brown, and golden yellow. Today, raisins are available for sale in many supermarket around the world.

Nutritional Benefits of Raisins for Hamsters

Raisins like orangesreference being a derivative of grape fruit contain sugar. Thus, feeding higher quantity to hamsters implies diabetes. Drying process that results in the production of raisins converts sugars in the grape to fructans, which are soluble fibers that aid food digestion in hamsters. Raisins contain essential minerals, including potassium and magnesium which help in regulating blood pressure and cholesterol. This is vital for metabolism in hamsters, and so, improves heart and kidney health in hamsters. Raisins act as anti-bacteria in hamsters, and so help in maintaining teeth in hamsters. In other words, raisins help prevent dental challenges in hamsters. Raisins also help improve blood production in hamsters because they contain iron. Raisins contain vitamin C which helps improve eyesight in hamsters. Raisins contain a high proportion of carbohydrate which yields energy in hamsters. In addition, raisins contain protein, although in relatively smaller quantity to other nutrients. Proteins are essential for cell and tissue formation in hamsters. Interestingly, fats are absent from raisins. Antioxidants, are another nutrients in raisins, which helps in protecting body cells in hamsters from harmful damages. Another essential nutrient in raisins is boron which promotes healthy joints and bones in hamsters. Boron also aids healing of wounds in hamsters. Presence of potassium and magnesium in raisins help prevent acidity in hamsters. In other words, raisins help in maintaining acid-base balance in hamsters. This also helps to prevent health diseases, including kidney stones, arthritis, and gout. There are vitamins A and E in raisins which stimulate the formation of new cells in hamsters. Lastly, black raisins, when fed to hamsters help accelerate liver function, and in detoxifying toxic substances in hamsters. Animal doctors recommend feeding reasonable quantities of raisins to Syrian and Roborovski hamsters, once or twice per week. Due to their small bodies, it is not advisable to feed raisins to Dwarf hamsters.

Side Effects of Raisins to Hamsters

All the benefits of raisins to hamsters notwithstanding, raisins, like grapesreference can have adverse effects on hamsters when fed to them beyond the dosage stipulated by veterinarian or when hamsters are fed with raisins too often. First, too much raisins in hamsters’ diet can result in diabetes. This tends to result from too much sugar in hamsters’ bodies. Secondly, hamsters are likely to become overweight when fed too much raisins. Raisins are likely to be unsafe for hamsters when additives and preservatives have been added. Preservatives and additives are known to have similar effects on hamsters as salt which include diarrhea, loss of appetite, and stomach upset. Also too much raisins can damage hamsters’ kidneys.

How to Produce Raisins

Raisins, simply put are dried grape fruits. They are produced commercially by harvesting a huge quantity of grapes from the farm and spreading them in an open space to sun-dry, shade dry, or oven-dry them. This should only be preceded by washing in a clean water to remove parasites from their skins. Preferably, also, the fruits may be blanched. Blanching softens the fruits and get them ready for drying or dehydration. For local or family consumption, the fruits may be dried with a drier or oven. Subsequently, the fruits are allowed to remain in the drying state for at least three weeks, depending on the intensity of heat. As the fruits are continually exposed to heat, they change color from green to yellow, from yellow to brown, and finally to black or dark-brown. However, it is vital to get rid of water in the fruits completely or reduced to only about 15 percent from around 80 percent. Commercial production of raisins is more elaborate and involves three phases: pre-drying treatment, drying, and post-drying processes.

To produce raisins at home, blanch bunches of grape fruits with stalks in boiling water for about half a minute. When this time lapses, remove fruits from boiling water and separate the stalks from the fruits. Pat towel the fruits, and spread the fruits as a single layer onto a baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and set the oven at a temperature of about 180 degree centigrade for at least 18 hours or preferably 24 hours. However, it is vital to turn over the fruits in the oven every 12 hours to prevent sticking. Be sure that the fruits turn brown or dark-brown and wrinkled before removing them from the oven. Once removed from the oven, allow the fruits to cool down before storing in an air-tight container. Preservatives may be added to store the fruits for a long duration. Because different varieties of grape fruits can be used to make raisins, the taste, color, and size, varies depending on the type of grape fruits used. Thompson seedless grape is the most commonly used variety of grapes for raisin production.

What Hamsters Enjoy

Hamsters enjoy to be given care; they enjoy to be shown love. It is a welcome idea to cuddle hamsters. Hamsters also enjoy to be near to them when giving them food. So, rather than throwing food or treat to hamsters, getting near them facilitates intimacy between hamsters and their owners. Hamsters also show excitement when their beds are made for them. It is also good to scrub their shelter or cage. It is a nice idea to provide hamsters with enough toys so they always have something to chew.

Conclusion

Raisins provide good nutrients for hamsters. Because of the special way raisins are prepared, they tend to provide more nutrients to hamsters than grape fruits. It is therefore good not to deny hamsters what they enjoy. Despite this, moderation is vital in feeding raisins to hamsters to avoid possible adverse effects.

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