The hamsters are loving today’s new treat – hamster popcorn!
You can buy pre-popped corn for small animals in pet shops though it tends to be rather pricey, and often with added flavourings. I find it easier to pop it myself at home using plain popping corn.
Never use flavoured popcorn intended for humans, as such salty or sugary treats aren’t good for hamsters. I also avoid the popcorn in microwavable bags due to the additives and oils that have been used.
How to Pop Corn for Hamsters
Put the plain popping corn in a microwavable non-metallic container and cover with a ventilated lid. Do not add oil, butter, flavourings, sugar or salt.
The popcorn does expand a lot, and will go all over the place if not covered! I used a travel soup bowl as this has a vent in the lid.
Microwave according to the directions on the packet. My packet had no directions, so I used the high setting and set the timer for 1 minute initially. When the popping noises slowed down, I stopped the cooking. 1 minute and 15 seconds worked best in my microwave, though less time may be needed in a more powerful machine.
Don’t cook for too long and burn the popcorn! If in doubt cook for short bursts and check. When your corn has popped, take out any unpopped corn kernels (hamsters shouldn’t eat these).
Allow to cool then feed in small amounts as a treat to your hamster! Two or three bits of popcorn will be enough in a day for a Syrian hamster, and one or two bits for a dwarf hamster.