Here we can see, “Hedgehogs: What Do They Eat?”
Hedgehogs, as insectivores, require nutrients not present in many other pet meals. Traditionally, cat food was used to feed these spiky pocket pets, but there are now high-quality hedgehog meals available that contain all of the essential components that a hedgehog needs. Hedgehogs prefer eating fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to pet food. You can make better feeding choices for your hedgehog if you know what it should consume.
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General Pet Hedgehog Food Guidelines
Depending on the source, hedgehogs are classified as either omnivores or insectivores. When you look at a hedgehog’s actual diet, you’ll notice that the omnivore label is probably more true, as hedgehogs in the wild eat a variety of items, not simply insects. Different hedgehog species have slightly different diets depending on where they come from in the world, but most pet hedgehogs are African Pygmy hedgehogs, so their diet isn’t the same as a wild hedgehog’s.
Hedgehogs have the unusual ability to digest insect chitin. Chitin is a protein-rich substance found in the hard exoskeleton of insects. It also contains some fibre. Hedgehogs require chitin in their diet, but it isn’t the sole nutrient they require. Therefore, a variety of foods should be provided in addition to insects.
- Mealworms: Hedgehogs can get their chitin from live or freeze-dried mealworms. Live worms are great for stimulating the brain because they move around and make a hedgehog work a little harder to get their food.
- Waxworms: Hedgehogs should be given live waxworms as treats since they are higher in fat but lower in chitin than mealworms.
- Crickets: Crickets provide chitin as well as cerebral stimulation for hedgehogs and are either live or freeze-dried. To ensure that they are nutrient-dense, gut-loading should be done before giving crickets to your hedgehog, just as it should be done with other insects.
- Fruits: Although dried fruit should be avoided, fresh fruit can be given to your hedgehog as a treat. Apples, bananas, berries, and melons are among the hedgehog’s favourite fruits.
- Vegetables: Hedgehogs may appreciate fresh tomatoes, fresh green beans, and roasted squash, among other things. Starchy vegetables, including corn, potatoes, and carrots, as well as dry vegetables, should be avoided.
- Cooked meat: A pet hedgehog can be fed high-protein, low-fat canned dog or cat food, as well as cooked chicken, in tiny amounts.
- Cooked eggs: For a hedgehog, a scrambled or hard-boiled egg is a tasty treat that’s also high in protein.
- Pinky mice: You can give your hedgehog a pre-killed pinky mouse as a treat if you aren’t grossed out by him eating a baby mouse.
- Hedgehog or cat kibble: This should account for the majority of your hedgehog’s food. A high-quality cat or hedgehog kibble should have a protein content of at least 30% and a fat content of less than 20%. Hedgehog food is the optimum diet if it fits these nutritional requirements, but there are a few manufactured diets that don’t include things like raisins and seeds, which aren’t suggested for feeding.
How Much and When to Feed Your Hedgehog
Because hedgehogs are prone to obesity, it’s critical to keep track of how much you’re feeding them. Hedgehog or cat kibble should make up the majority of the daily meal, and despite the fact that hedgehogs are quite active at night and burn a lot of energy, you’ll want to limit the amount of kibble they consume.
An adult hedgehog should be fed one to two teaspoons of kibble every day, along with a teaspoon of fruit and vegetables and some insects. Hedgehogs that are larger and more active may require more food, but the weight of your hedgehog should be maintained with a baby scale. If there is a weight gain of more than 10%, you should reduce the amount of food available.
Hedgehogs eat more at night when they are most active and running around on their wheels, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see them eating much during the day. To avoid rotting, any uneaten food should be disposed of the next day, and fresh water should always be available.
What can you give a hedgehog to eat?
Hedgehogs will consume any mix of meat-based wet or dry dog or cat food or dry cat or kitten food that is high in the protein they require. Remember that the majority of their diet will come from insects and worms in the wild, and this food will just be supplemental.
Is it OK for hedgehogs to eat bird seed?
Hedgehogs are frequently first noticed in gardens, devouring bird food that has spilled under feeders. They’ll eat the seeds, as well as any insects or invertebrates that happen to be present. Hedgehogs are not poisoned by little amounts of seeds and nuts, but if consumed in large quantities, they can cause problems.
Do hedgehogs attract rats?
Making your garden hedgehog-friendly by offering food to the hedgehogs is a surefire way to attract rats. Many of the things you can do to keep rats away can make life difficult for hedgehogs, if not impossible.
Can hedgehogs eat broccoli?
While broccoli is OK for them to consume, it’s recommended to break it up into small pieces before offering it to your little hedgehog. Broccoli should be cooked without spice or steamed for your hedgehog, and raw broccoli should be avoided. They can also chew the stems.
Can hedgehogs eat chicken?
Hedgehogs can consume chicken, and they can eat a range of lean meats as a supplement to their commercial food. Chicken is rich in the vital proteins that hedgehogs require; you just have to make sure you cook it properly and only serve lean pieces.
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