Everybody must know an animal with basic characteristic is spines covering almost all their back. Yes, it’s nothing else but hedgehogs! It is been a long time since people call hedgehogs as “spiky pocket pet.” Regardless of anything, do you know what do hedgehogs eat?
Dietary as a Pet
As a super unique creature, you may have questions about does it bring many hassles if adopted as a pet? Is it hard to feed them? How do you avoid the horrible spikes? And so on. No need to worry, you are in the best place to discover all the answer of your questions.
First thing first, let us talk about what hedgehogs eat. It is quite easy to take hedgehogs as a pet since they are combinations between omnivore and insectivore.
The primary thing you need to know is, hedgehogs are intolerant with any lactose contents. Do not you ever give or leave milk or any food consists of food around hedgehogs. If you have a strong commitment to take hedgehogs as a pet, better for you to give it hedgehog food
If it is not a specially designed food for hedgehogs, then you have to check carefully the ingredient. Make sure you won’t hurt their digestive system with milk.
It is okay to make your experiment through buying ready to be mixed food from various garden or pet shops around you. Do you feel confused about how to formulate it? Here is the guideline.
First, you can choose meat-based for dog or cat food. For snacking time, you can pick cat biscuit with meat flavor. Remember; do not choose anything with fish flavor, smell, or ingredient. It’s just meat.
The other animal-based foods that also can be chosen are mealworms and leftover cooked meats. Most likely, hedgehogs will love the chicken flavor.
Second, hedgehogs are an omnivore. Therefore, they can digest food from plant-based. Your options vary from sunflower hearts, unsalted or plain nuts, sultanas, and raisins.
Mixed it up and do not forget to cut it into small bite-size. Remember that hedgehogs only have tiny teeth and it is barely possible to rip or tear the meal up.
Besides milk and fish, you are forbidden to feed hedgehogs with bread and salted food. Also, it is important to ensure the eating utensils are clean from previous uneaten meal to avoid any eggs from fly or worm.
Food List of Hedgehog’s Dietary
In complete explanations, this is the list of hedgehogs’ dietary. Especially if you take hedgehog as a pet, then I believe none of you wants to make them sick because of imbalance diet. In general, if hedgehogs live in wild habitat, they also tend to seek this food:
1. Mealworms: either freeze-dried or live worms are the perfect chitin for your lovely pet.
2. Waxworms: compared to mealworm, wax worm lower in chitin but contains high fat.
3. Crickets: beside chitin formula, hedgehog in wildlife will get mental stimulant because they have to catch this cricket before eating. On the other hand, if you want to give this to your pet, then you ensure gut loading is done before feeding them this.
4. Fruits: do not give those dried fruits, but fresh fruit still okay. Remember not to give them in too much amount. The fruit options are banana, apple, berry, and melon.
5. Vegetables: fresh green beans, tomatoes, and cooked squash are okay to be given to your hedgehogs. The key is, it has to be fresh. Something you have to avoid in term of veggies is starchy ones, like potatoes, corns, and carrots.
6. Cooked meat: canned dog, cat food, and chicken meat can be the options. Choose the highest protein and low-fat meat.
7. Cooked eggs: if you run out your stock of hedgehogs’ food, you can give them a hard-boiled or scrambled egg. It is a good meal due to its protein.
Eating Habit in General
In general, hedgehogs have wide range diet. The wild ones are commonly categorized as insectivores, which mean they eat insects as their prime diet. However, hedgehogs would love to eat everything available, as they are not fussy eaters.
Nevertheless, the majority is creepy crawlies or invertebrates. Based on scientific proof, those included as invertebrates are worms, slugs, beetles, earwigs, millipedes, and caterpillar.
Not only invertebrates but they also naturally like various insects. Even though it is rare, but the scientist has found proof on hedgehogs that turn out also eat small snakes, frogs, carrion, baby rodents, birds’ eggs, fallen fruit, and baby birds.
Due to their unique digestive system, hedgehogs can digest chitin from insects. The exoskeleton of insects is the primary source of chitin and protein that can support fiber.
Based on what is do and don’t lists, hopefully, you have a better understanding of your food that is given to the lovely hedgehogs. No more confusion about what do hedgehogs eat, right?