Oxbow Essentials Healthy Handfuls Gerbil & Hamster Food

By Oxbow
Rated 4.0391 out of 5 stars


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This Item – Oxbow Essentials Healthy Handfuls Gerbil & Hamster Food, 1-lb bag
Rated 4.0391 out of 5 stars
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About This Item


  • Specially formulated to mirror a hamster/gerbils diet. This will ensure that your pet lives a healthy lifestyle. Completely balanced and nutritious.
  • Fortified with stabilized Vitamin C, A and B12. This helps ensure that your pet's health and immunity system are in tip-top shape.
  • Includes high-fiber Timothy hay meal that promotes healthy gastrointestinal health. Keep your pet's health at optimal level.
  • Hamsters and gerbils are omnivores, which means they eat meat and plant material.
  • This product uses farm-fresh timothy hay to provide the fiber content necessary to maintain intestinal health and prevent digestive upset.

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Nutritional Information

Feeding Instructions

About Oxbow Essentials Food Treats

Oxbow's Flagship Line

Oxbow's Essentials line is the diet that set the bar for today's small pet nutrition. There's a unique food for a variety of small animals—chinchillas, guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, rats, hamsters and gerbils. These uniform pellets provide the right nutrients for each species with no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.

Treats for Enrichment

In addition to their foods, Oxbow's healthy treats are rewarding for small animals and their owners. Simple Rewards are made with wholesome, natural ingredients like freeze-dried fruits and veggies, Timothy hay, and aromatic herbs. They're great for training, bonding or simply adding a little variety.

The Gold Standard of Small Pet Nutrition

An ideal small animal diet includes 20% fortified foods for herbivores and 75% for omnivores for essential vitamins and micronutrients. Oxbow's three fortified food lines are recommended by veterinarians worldwide because they're specially formulated to meet the unique needs of small animals—a true gold standard of nutrition.

More Premium Diets From Oxbow


Adult guinea pigs and rabbits can benefit from individualized maintenance diets with novel ingredients for variety and long-strand fiber from three grass hays.


Gives rabbits and guinea pigs the nutrients they would find in their natural environment with ingredients that come from certified organic farmers.

About Oxbow

Family-owned and operated, Oxbow is passionately committed to helping small animals lead longer, healthier lives. Grown by experts on Oxbow's family of farms, their formulas and life-staged diets have defined the way small animals are fed today. From plant to pet, Oxbow products meet the highest standards time and time again.
Shop Oxbow Animal Health

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Top IngredientsTimothy Meal, Pearled Barley (Rolled), Oat Groats...Corn, Oats, Wheat...Oat Groats, White Proso Millet, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal...Wheat Middlings, Ground Timothy Hay, Dehulled Soybean Meal...Corn, Ground Corn, Wheat...
Food FormPelletsMix, Nuts, GrainsMix, Dried Fruits, Dried Veggies, SeedsPelletsMix, Grains, Seeds
Health FeatureDigestive Health, Vitamins & MineralsDental & Breath Care, Digestive HealthDigestive Health, Vitamins & MineralsDental & Breath Care, Digestive Health
Small Pet TypeGerbil, HamsterGerbil, HamsterGerbil, HamsterGerbil, HamsterGerbil, Hamster
Special DietHigh Fiber
Hay TypeTimothy

Questions & Answers

13 Customer Questions

How many servings per bag?
Answer by ChewyOct 20, 2022
The number of servings for your furry little one will depend on their size and age. For a complete list of feeding instructions, click the “Feeding Instructions” tab, next to the “Nutritional Information” tab, just under the product photos.

Is the Canola Meal and Canola Oil genetically modified?
Answer by ChewyOct 02, 2019
The canola meal and canola oil used in this hamster and gerbil food is non-GMO, however, not all of the ingredients in this recipe are certified non-GMO.

So I feed this to my hamster and every time i check his food bowl, the pellets are dust. Is that normal? I know he eats it but then after all I see is this bunch of green stuff
Answer by ChewyMay 18, 2018
Since this food is made with natural ingredients, the consistency of the pellets may vary. This food is made with ingredients such as oats, grains and hay making the pellets soft and easy to crumble. Hamsters are known to hoard and hide their food, particularly females or those housed with other hamsters. Be sure to check for stockpiles of food and adjust daily rations as required.

How many calories are in a serving for a hamster
Answer by ChewyNov 13, 2017
There are 210 calories per cup of this formula. Since it's recommended to give a hamster 1/8 cup, there would be 26.25 calories for a serving.

ReviewsWrite a Review

Rated 4.0391 out of 5 stars
128 Ratings
Would recommend to a friend

127 Customer Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 stars
By Momof25beasts on Aug 15, 2023

Nasty smell

The smell is too strong..my Billy hamster didn't like it.. didn't even try it

Rated 4 out of 5 stars
By CoCo on Feb 15, 2023

Little furry critters love them!

I ordered these for our hamsters. They love them. I like that the first ingredient is not soy.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By LunatheHamster on Oct 11, 2022

Great Food!

My hamster loves this food, she is always shoving it in her mouth and going to her favorite burrowing spot to eat it because she is so excited about this food. Though it might be made of hay, you can always add another mix. What I do is I give her small treats that provide her protein and small bits of fruit occasionally. I definitely recommend this food for any hamster.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By 2ManyPets on Feb 17, 2022

Good for toothless gerbil

I have a gerbil missing all four front teeth and only has molars left. I have had to feed my gerbil a special diet of raw beef and thawed vegetable to keep him alive while searching for a more nutrient rich alternative. I have tried other food with pellets in them and they either turned to mush or didn't absorb enough water to be edible for him. The Oxbow Essential kibbles have a perfect texture when wet to pick up but not fall apart or be too firm to chew which makes it possible for him to still eat and keep hydrated since using a traditional water bottle is also difficult for him. Being that this food is balanced makes me feel so much better since he get all his nutrients from one source now.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By Laura on Apr 18, 2022

Scientist Reviews Oxbow Heathy Handfuls

Best offered in addition to a seed or muesli mix. Some hamsters love it, some are not interested. Great way to provide variety & balanced diet.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By 3Bostons on Feb 7, 2022

Great Food

We always buy from another pet store but its extremely hard to get this food and when we cant get it we can see he doesn't enjoy it as much. Thank God we started getting it from Chewy they always have it for him.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By Medadog on Feb 8, 2022

Just the best brand

OXBOW is just the best brand. It's a little pricey and sort of boring. So we make sure we have some good snacks, but of over all health and main source of feed Oxbow is the way to go.

Rated 3 out of 5 stars
By Eyorebear on Sep 9, 2021

No so tastey

My Teddy bear hamster doesn't seem to like these. Oxbow is normally a great product ( we purchase for our bunny ) so we decided to try for Teddy he will nibble a bite here and there but these stay in the food bowl he won't even take and hide them like he does with his normal food . So I don't recommend as a staple food maybe more of a treat. That is if yoyr furry friend will even eat them .

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By MissK on Aug 2, 2021

Good Kibble

This food offers good nutrition for your hamster health. He loves it would recommend this to anyone

Rated 1 out of 5 stars
By Justanotherhamsterlady on Feb 20, 2021

Unsafe, do not use for hamsters

I love oxbow brand, it's the best choice for animals needing a hay based diet.... Which hamsters are not. They need a seed based diet with lab blocks. This is timothy hay which can starve your Hamster. Use something like Higgins Sunburst, Higgins Vita Garden, Versele Laga, with Mazuri Rat Blocks or Sunseed Critter Cubes. All available on chewy.