Hedgehogs are very unique animals, as we all know that they are no more uncommon pets. Due to their unique appearance and noticeable quills, they are now very popular pets among people. But we must ponder; What do hedgehogs eat? As they are insectivores their diet mainly consists of animal proteins.
However, it’s not enough, by animal protein it does not mean that you can give them anything that is protein. Initially, cat and dog foods were considered an appropriate diet for the hedgehogs. But now several organizations are working which are producing high-quality hedgehog foods.
Having complete in-depth knowledge about the food list and proper diet for your hedgehog can make you capable of making good decisions about your hedgehogs as pet.
hedgehogs Food General guidelines:
Different sources have different observations but crux hedgehogs are both known as insectivores and omnivores. But if you observe you will learn that omnivores are a much better description for hedgehogs.
The reason is obvious as hedgehog’s diet cannot only involve insects rather they are a very diversified diet which also includes plants. Most people love to have African pygmy which is a hybrid form of the hedgehog so its diet varies from wild hedgehogs.
Hedgehogs have the amazing capability to digest the chitin. Chitin is an animal protein that is found in the exoskeletons of most of the insects. China does not only provide protein but also supplies some amounts of fiber as well. But it does not mean that hedgehog only needs the chitin that explains insects only are not enough to make the whole diet of the hedgehog.
Other items that should be on the list of the hedgehog’s diet list are:
Either you give them as dried or frozen or alive, they are excellent sources of protein and chitin. Also, they are living creatures they also make your hedgehogs physically move a bit since worms are hard to catch.
These worms contain high amounts of fats so they should only be given as treats rather than as a routine diet.
They are excellent sources of chitin. Before feeding to them crickets should be gut loaded so that they provide the maximum nutrition to the hedgehogs.
Fruits for hedgehogs:
Sometimes small amounts of fresh fruits can be given to your hedgehog. You should avoid dry fruits because it contains high amounts of fat. Apples, bananas, melons, and berries are excellent choices of fruits for the hedgehog.
Vegetables for hedgehogs:
Dried up vegetables and those vegetables that contain high amounts of starch should not be given to the hedgehog. Tomatoes, beans, and cooked vegetables are good options but they should also be given in average quantities, not in ample quantities.
Meat for hedgehogs:
Meat that contains high protein content and low fats are the best for the hedgehogs. Canned food for dogs and cats can also be given. Small amounts of cooked chicken can also be offered.
Eggs: Eggs that are well cooked can be given to your pet hedgehog, but they should only be given as treats.
This is so amazing as a complete regular diet for the hedgehog. It contains almost 30% protein and less than 20% fats. Some companies make hedgehog kibbles but most of them do not contain essential nutrients like seeds and resins.
What do hedgehogs eat? when why?
Hedgehogs are most prone to get obese therefore it is very essential to monitor their diets otherwise they can develop obesity disease. Cat or hedgehog kibble should make up the most of a hedgehog’s diet however no matter how much active your hedgehogs you still must have to monitor how much they are eating the kibble.
It is necessary to keep them in shape and to save them from obesity. Once in a day, one or two tablespoons of the hedgehog’s or cat kibble is enough along with some smaller quantities of fruits and vegetables and insects as well.
However, some large hedgehogs may require more amounts of food. Anyhow, hedgehogs should be monitored on a baby scale to see if they are not gaining much weight. If for example, they are gaining weight at the rate of more than 10% then you have to reduce the amounts of food and cut the high fat treats.
As the hedgehog is most active at night and runs frequently on its wheel. Therefore they eat most at night because of the continuous burning of calories.
So, if you see that your hedgehog is not eating enough in the day it is perfectly fine because they have eaten that at night. The left food should be discarded to the trash so that there is no risk of bacterial or fungal infestation.
What do wild hedgehogs eat?
Hedgehogs are mainly known as the gardener’s friend or allies. But we always think about what these unique creatures eat in the wild to survive. So to answer this frequently asked question: What do hedgehogs eat? We are also having a glance at their diet in the wild.
They love cringe and gross:
Hedgehogs are omnivorous therefore their diet consists of a large number of plants and insects. However, insects made up the major portion of their diet and they love to eat them.
Studies have shown that major components of the diet of a wild hedgehog contain caterpillars, worms, crickets, centipedes, millipedes, cockroaches, and several plants like berries, etc.
They munch upon little frogs, baby rodents, baby birds and eggs, and some fallen fruits.
You can easily provide hedgehog’s wild diet at your home by giving them a canned cat or hedgehog food. They often eke out and eat in your garden this is because of their instinct to fulfill their diet
What should you feed your hedgehogs?
It is very important to know the general guidelines and basics about the hedgehog’s diet. That means if you don’t have any food list still you can give high-quality food to your hedgehog which is up to mark their nutritional requirement.
The most basic thing to remember is that: “High-protein, low-fat”. This is the key to your hedgehog’s diet. This is the basic principle through which you can replicate almost any kind of food that can keep them healthy and happy for the long term.
Most of their diet includes insects, some fruits, vegetables and the major thing that should be in the diet is a cat or hedgehog canned food that is just according to their requirement.
However, they may like some treats as well. Treats are essential because they keep the hedgehogs happy and sound. They also help to fulfill the necessary nutrients that are required by them now and then.
Foods that should not be given to hedgehogs:
The following are some foods that may prove fatal to your hedgehog or can upset their stomach. So keep them far away from the reach of your hedgehog. These are:
- Dairy products except for yogurt that have low sugars, cooked eggs, and cottage cheese.
- Food that contains high amounts of fats
- Red meat
- Raw meat
- Dry fruits and nuts
- Citrus fruits
- Insects from your yard
10 best hedgehog food list
The following are the best foods that should be on the list of the diet of the hedgehogs.
- Cat or hedgehog’s kibble
- Cooked eggs
- Boiled chicken
- Egg whites
- Cottage cheese
- Meat ( chicken, salmon, and tuna)
Questions and Answers
What do hedgehogs eat?
Hedgehogs are omnivorous animals and munch upon a very diversified diet. In the wild, they love to eat insects like crickets, cockroaches, millipedes, worms, caterpillars, and others. They also eat some of the baby mice or birds and their eggs as well. Fruits and vegetables are also included in their diet.
What do hedgehogs eat in the wild?
In the wild their diet is not just confined to insects because they are not readily available to them all the time, therefore, to survive in the harsh environments they have to eat different things including fruits, vegetables, and baby mice or birds as well. However, they love insects.
What do hedgehogs eat and drink?
In the solid diet of the hedgehog, the main components are insects, rodents, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. However, as far as the liquid is concerned do not give them any other thing other than water. It is the safest. Others may upset their stomach and can be fatal as well.
What fruits do hedgehogs eat?
Fruits that can be safely given to the hedgehogs are watermelons, papayas, pears, cantaloupes, plums and peaches, squash and pumpkins, bananas, cherries, berries, and honey drews and many more.