A hedgehog is a small predatory animal, a distinctive feature of which is known to thorns.
Often, these animals are tried to keep at home. Let’s try to understand what hedgehogs eat in the wild and what they can be fed in captivity.
In the cartoons we see a forest hedgehog dragging an apple or a mushroom to a mink, but in fact, in the nature hedgehogs eat animal food. Because in winter the hedgehog has to go into hibernation, during the period of awake, he needs to accumulate enough fat.
What do hedgehogs eat?
These are the inhabitants not only of forests, steppes, deserts but also of the spaces mastered by man. And it is omnivores that help them to survive in such diverse conditions. But most of all these animals prefer to be fed. The hedgehogs eat caterpillars, earthworms, amphibians, small reptiles. By the way, they perfectly spread with all kinds of poisonous insects. Also, hedgehogs eat beetles, grasshoppers, various invertebrates, slugs, snails.
These animals are immune to snake poison, their prey may be small snakes. In hungry times, hedgehogs can also eat scavengers. They eat eggs with pleasure, ruining the clutches of birds, which can reach the nests, because many species of hedgehogs climb quite well and, strangely enough, swim.
Contrary to popular belief – snakes, reptiles, mice, and frogs hedgehogs eat quite rarely, simply because it is difficult to catch these animals and they do not manage to eat such food often, only under happy circumstances. For example, if a lizard gets caught in a state of daze.
How to feed a domestic hedgehog?
If you want your pet to feel good at home for a long time, it is necessary to feed him about the food that he can find in the wild. It is necessary to understand that the food most often eaten by a person is not suitable for a hedgehog. The optimal option in today’s conditions is specialized feed, but we unfortunately with such feed may have difficulties. Food for dogs and cats hedgehog, for a permanent diet, is not suitable. Therefore, if you decide to have a pet, you will have to worry about a special menu.
Products that should be fed to the hedgehog at home:
- Boiled meat – chicken, beef, turkey.
- Chicken giblets.
- Berries and fruits – strawberries, raspberries, currants, pears, apples.
- Vegetables – carrots, cucumbers, sweet pepper, pumpkin.
- Raw eggs.
- Live insects or superworm.
Feed the animal should be strictly dosed, preventing the long accumulation of food, it will save you and your pet from possible digestive problems.
Food that should not be given to hedgehogs is what the hedgehog “does not see” in the wild:
- Baked bakery products, everything is excluded.
- A variety of sweets, including chocolate, absolutely everything.
- Preservation, both store, and home, everything is excluded.
- Exotic fruits and especially dried fruits, including grapes.
- Nuts, seeds.
- Different kinds of spices – onions, garlic.
- Dairy products, everything is excluded.
- Store meat delicacies – sausages, sausages, sausages, sausages, fat, everything is excluded.
It is a common opinion that hedgehogs love milk it is deeply wrong, milk, and like all dairy products, for hedgehogs is not useful, their body is unable to absorb lactose. However, it is also wrong to think that milk is harmful to hedgehogs and they can die from it, it’s a wild omnivorous animal, and if necessary, anything will go into food, just milk is not the food that should be given to hedgehogs.
With all, its supposedly good-natured appearance hedgehogs are predatory animals, and in his diet should be the food of animal origin. And of course, the animal must have freshwater in its cage.
What Do Hedgehogs Eat in Captivity?
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals and will eat a wide variety of foods. However, they will also occasionally eat frogs and slow worms, as well as live insects. As their diet is quite varied, it is not possible to provide a consistent diet for them. The best thing you can do is provide fresh water and a healthy balance of vegetables and fruits. If you give your hedgehog dry food, be sure to replace it with fresh fruit and vegetables in the morning.
If you want to make your own hedgehog food, you can use chicken and beef jerky, as these contain lots of protein. You can also add cooked vegetables to their diet, as they don’t contain much sugar. Fruit is also a great treat, but don’t overdo it, as too much fruit can cause a sugar overload and various health issues. If you want to give your hedgehog a more varied diet, you can use dog food instead.
You can also provide your pet with insects. Crickets, mealworms, wax worms, and super-worms are all suitable. You can also give your pet earthworms as long as you avoid fatty red meat. You should buy commercially produced insect food and avoid collecting them from the wild. These products are much safer for your hedgehog. You can also provide your pet with a small piece of meat every once in a while.
You can provide your pet with plenty of healthy treats. Generally, they like fruits and veggies. Just make sure to wash and peel them thoroughly. Don’t give them too much of them, as this could lead to obesity. Remember to give your hedgehog treats in moderation to keep their weight in check. You should also avoid consuming food containing a lot of fat as this can lead to health issues.
Although it is hard to find specific food for hedgehogs, you can provide your pet with a wide variety of healthy foods. Some common items include chicken and eggs, while others are more exotic. Try Exotic Nutrition’s Hedgehog Complete, which is a free-choice food with a high proportion of chicken protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Insect-based diets are good options too, but be sure to avoid fish and other animal meat.
Caterpillars are excellent sources of protein and fat. You can also give your pet freeze-dried caterpillars for treats. Snails are also beneficial sources of protein and fat. These foods are best given to your hedgehog live. If you’ve found one in your neighborhood, don’t feed it a frozen version. For a natural, healthy diet, stick to a diet of a variety of insects.
Generally, hedgehogs will eat most vertebrates, but they can also eat dead animals. They often eat bird eggs and carrion, as well as rabbits and mice. Occasionally, they will eat birds. In fact, the species is so similar to human pets that they have the same diet. This is a sign of their superior instincts. If you have one of these creatures, you’ll never have any trouble with them.
Insects are a good source of protein and fiber. Some species of hedgehogs also consume fruit and vegetable seeds. Depending on the climate, this can vary considerably. It’s important to remember that the diet of a hedgehog is largely determined by its location. The climate they live in will determine what they eat. It can be anything from a few insects to a whole meal.
Some species of hedgehogs are known to eat a variety of insects. Their diets include ground beetles and earwigs. In particular, they love beetles that lay eggs in the ground. This makes them an excellent source of protein. Despite their low-fat content, they are often found in areas with dense vegetation. Unlike other creatures, hedgehogs prefer a varied diet that includes a variety of different types of insects.
In addition to insects and worms, hedgehogs also eat small amounts of lean meat. While a small portion of a steak will be fine for your hedgehog, it is important to be sure to ensure that the meat is fully cooked before serving. Raw meat can cause sickness and may cause a hedgehog to become ill. It’s important to avoid pre-cooked meats because they contain additives and sodium. It’s fine to grill the meat if it’s already cooked, but be sure to remove any spices. The food should be cut into appropriate sizes.