Homemade food for hummingbirds, guinea pigs and hamsters

July 27, 2015

Whether you're caring for a hummingbird, guinea pig or hamster, every pet deserves the same treatment: delicious, nutritious homemade food — that's easy on your wallet.

Homemade food for hummingbirds, guinea pigs and hamsters

Healthy hummingbird nectar

Why buy expensive hummingbird nectar when you can make your own for pennies? This nectar will attract both hummingbirds and orioles.

Choose a feeder with a red base to attract the birds, so there's no need to use potentially harmful red food colouring. To prevent fermentation in hot weather, empty your feeder every three days and sterilize it by rinsing it out with boiling water.

Makes 600 millilitres (2 1/2 cups)

  • 500 ml (2 c) water
  • 125 ml (1/2 c) granulated sugar

    1. In a small pot over medium heat, bring water to a boil and then stir in sugar until it dissolves. Return solution to a boil. Remove from heat and cool, uncovered.

    2. Store the nectar in a clean tightly capped jar in the refrigerator for up to one month.

    3. Sterilize feeder by rinsing it with boiling water. Fill with fresh nectar and hang in the shade, at eye level.

Guinea pig salad

Fresh vegetables and fruits should be essential parts of a guinea pig's diet. The dried treats sold in pet shops are good in a pinch, but they're expensive and a poor substitute for fresh treats.

This is a vitamin-rich fresh salad that's easy to make and good enough to share with your guinea pig.

Makes two servings

  • 125 g (1/2 c) fresh spinach
  • 50 g (1/4 c) shredded carrot
  • 125 g (1/2 c) chopped strawberries
  • 50 ml (1/4 c) orange juice

    1. Toss spinach, carrots and strawberries in a bowl with juice.

    2. Serve in a feeding bowl. Remove and discard uneaten salad after four hours. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for one day.

Hamster fruit cup

Experts agree that dried hamster pellets and treats do not provide a complete diet, and pet shops don't include a salad bar, but your hamster can scurry to its bowl for this budget-friendly sweet treat that you can whip up in no time, using fresh fruits and vegetables.

Makes two servings

  • 1/2 banana
  • 50 g (1/4 c) carrot, grated
  • Lemon juice
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) dark raisins
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) honey

    1. Slice banana and toss with grated carrot in a bowl, adding a sprinkling of lemon juice to keep them from discolouring. Drain juice from bowl; add raisins and honey and mash with a fork.

    2. Serve half in a treat bowl, and store the remainder in a covered container in the refrigerator for one day. Remove and discard uneaten treats after four hours.

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