What do hedgehogs eat


The hedgehog is a mammal that has been gradually becoming more and more known, and it is distinguished by the spikes that cover most of its body. In some countries it is legal to have them as pets. There are several species of hedgehog, the species that some people commonly have as a pet is the ground hedgehog. It is common to confuse hedgehogs with porcupine. If your country is allowed, and you want to have a pet hedgehog, you must know its characteristics and know what a hedgehog eats.

Things you should know

The hedgehog is a mammal that has been gradually becoming more and more known, and it is distinguished by the spikes that cover most of its body. In some countries it is legal to have them as pets.

There are several species of hedgehog, the species that some people commonly have as a pet is the ground hedgehog. It is common to confuse hedgehogs with porcupine. If your country allows, and you want have a pet hedgehog, you must know its characteristics and know what a hedgehog eats. The ground hedgehog is insectivorous, measures approximately 10 to 15 centimeters in length and can weigh up to 400 grams in adulthood.

Their spikes measure up to 2.5 centimeters, their legs and belly do not have spikes, but are covered with soft hair. They are territorial and lonely, they only meet in pairs during the breeding season. When a hedgehog faces a predator, he tries to avoid being eaten by snuggling in the form of a ball and protecting himself with his spikes pointing outward, while the hedgehog does not feel danger his hairs are soft, but when he feels threatened they get very hard, pricking to any animal that comes close. The animals that eat hedgehogs are birds of prey such as hawks and owls. Foxes, ferrets and weasels also kill and eat hedgehogs. However, a large number of animals are kept away from them because of those sharp spikes, which are similar to those of a porcupine.

How can we feed our hedgehog?

Hedgehogs eat a variety of foods including insects, fruits and other types of vegetation. They like to eat insects such as beetles, which offer fiber and chitin, a material found in insect exoskeletons. This little creature also likes snails a lot. A balanced diet of a hedgehog should provide you with lots of protein and fiber and low amounts of fat.

It is recommended to keep the hedgehog in the garden, since all the insects that are in it will be eaten, which can be good for the garden, apart from the insects they can also be given half daily fruit to complete their feeding, He likes it better than plants, so he will not eat the plants or the grass we have in the garden, the hedgehog collects all the dried leaves and the bits of loose twigs he finds, he will take them to a corner of the garden and there will be his place to sleep.

Another type of food that hedgehogs eat is dog and cat food, from time to time you can feed the hedgehog, pieces of chicken or turkey without skin, also a piece of fish, even a scrambled egg or an egg hard chopped One of the fruits that hedgehogs like most are watermelons and they also like to eat applesauce.

Hedgehog characteristics

Hedgehogs are considered omnivorous or insectivorous depending on the region where they live. To know what the hedgehogs eat It will allow you to have one of these copies as a pet. It is not a widespread practice and that is why you have to take good care of your diet.

They are mammalian animals, with a very peculiar and easily recognizable body, because they are covered with small spikes or spikes, very small pointed heads that hide when you sleep or feel harassed.

What do we feed a hedgehog raised in captivity?

The hedgehogs, we can buy them in specialized stores, online, or find them sloppy in the middle of the field. If we take it to our house, the first thing that comes to mind, instinctively, is look for insects to feed him, something that is not bad, because basically all we have to try to get is the food that the hedgehog would eat in its wild and natural state. We have to be careful with the bugs we get to feed the hedgehog, because some of them can be carriers of diseases that harm the animal and its stomach.

A very important aspect in the feeding of the hedgehog, is that it is rich in protids and low in fat, because they are very overweight animals, and it would not hurt if we can give them any kind of food for animals, even packaged, or cooked eggs or beaten eggs. There is a very high protein feed for cats, which is very acceptable by hedgehogs, and also There are foods specially prepared for hedgehogs, which can be found online.

If we feed them cats and they are adult specimens, it is better that I think light, and while they are young it is better to give them more fat-rich feed.

Another of the foods we can give them is unprepared meat, and in small quantities, which we can mix with oatmeal. The temperature should always be the ambient temperature, neither cold nor hot.

It is very important that we keep in mind that we can never give a hedgehog milk or any type of dairy, because their body does not assimilate them well, producing death in certain cases. Water is sufficient and fundamental for these animals, not trying to give it another type of thirst liquids.

To have a hedgehog as a pet you have to keep in mind that there are few commercial foods for hedgehogs, since it is not an animal that is usual to have as a pet. This implies that the food on the market is usually expensive.

The idea is to ensure the nutrition of the animal with a varied diet. We are going to show you a series of foods that hedgehogs can eat.

Hedgehogs need a source of clean water at their disposal. With which you must take care to keep a clean container with the right amount of water.

I think for premium quality cats

If you can't get feed for hedgehogs, it is best to buy high quality cat food, since they usually contain a large part of the nutrients that hedgehogs need. It has to be of premium quality, because low quality and therefore cheap foods do not usually have suitable components for hedgehogs.

To choose a quality feed, make sure that these figures appear on the label with nutritional information:

The recommended levels for hedgehogs are as follows and are usually present in feed intended for hedgehogs:

In summary, if you can get feed for hedgehogs, you should not worry too much about adding other foods, while, if you give it feed for cats, it is necessary to supplement with other foods. In both cases, it is always a good idea to vary.

Insects should preferably be from a hatcheryAlthough you can give it a garden insect, you should take into account if these insects were exposed to chemicals, as these can harm the health of the hedgehog.

The interesting thing about adding insects to the animal's diet is that it stimulates them, since it allows them to practice their hunting and of course they provide fiber and chitin, an essential carbohydrate for them.

Meats and fish

LAs meats contain proteins that are useful for hedgehog nutrition. However, this should not be the main source of power, but rather should occur occasionally.

Among the meats that hedgehogs can eat:

They don't usually eat a lot of vegetables, hedgehogs like fruits more, they can eat some vegetables, but in a small amountIn addition, they provide useful nutrients for them.

Among the vegetables that hedgehogs can eat:

  • Cooked potatoes
  • Cooked carrot
  • Radishes
  • Cucumber
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Cooked peas
  • Turnip
  • Alfalfa
  • Chamomile
  • Mint

Important to note that hard foods must be cooked beforehand so that hedgehogs can consume it.

Fruits are foods that hedgehogs usually like and quite and can be given as a kind of prize for them. Avoid citrus fruits such as lemon and derivatives because it can cause diarrhea and other kidney problems.

They can eat all kinds of fruits apart from citrus fruits as we have said, such as bananas, melon or apple pear and watermelons that are two of the fruits that hedgehogs like the most. Perhaps the apple is preferable to give it in the form of mash to facilitate digestion.

Recommendations for feeding hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are animals do not eat large cant

As for the amount of food, age must be taken into account.

  • Young hedgehogs of up to 4 months and pregnant, should have a container containing always full feed.
  • Adult hedgehogs of more than 4 months must be given ½ tablespoon of feed in the morning and another ½ at night. The serving size is a soup spoon. Other foods such as vegetables, fruits are best given at night and in a maximum serving of ½ tablespoon of dessert. In the case of insects you can give 3 or 4 copies per week.

Foods that hedgehogs can't eat

Not all foods are beneficial for hedgehogs and we should avoid some,especially those that containacidor too much sugarBecause they can cause health problems, like other small animals, hedgehogs are lactose intolerant.

Absolutely prohibited foods:

  • Citrus in general
  • Dairy products (they can only consume dairy products suitable for lactose intolerant)
  • Chili pepper
  • Garlic
  • Peppers
  • Corn
  • Onion
  • Nuts
  • Candies, sweets
  • Snacks, com> Can I prepare some special food?

Of course, there are multiple varieties and foods that can be combined, and seasoned as a menu, to feed a hedgehog daily. It must be taken into account that, like all animals, and even humans, the amounts to be eaten vary depending on the height, and the mass, indicating that for an hedgehog the ideal amount is about 100 grams.

Important aspects to consider in feeding a hedgehog

As important as the food is, are the liquids, and as we mentioned before the hedgehog feeds on water, so we must always have enough available for the animal so that I took it on demand.
We don't have to heat the food, because they eat it at atmospheric temperature, and they only eat once a day and this is at night or at sunset, never during the day.

What is the ideal weight of a hedgehog

Hedgehogs, like many other animals, are a species that hibernates, therefore they have to accumulate enough energy, food fats, to pass and endure the winter in a healthy way. We want to say for example that a hedgehog in the growth phase, not an adult, whose weight ranges from around 500 to 700 grams, must weigh around the kilo in the pre-hibernation phase, because the variety of daily weight, both In profits with losses are about 10 to 15 gr daily, but as always it depends on each and its complexion.

Wild hedgehogs

If we have met some hedgehog in the field, in nature, and we have taken him to our house to feed him, we must be aware that at some point he must return to his natural habitat, which is where the best one is, which is where the most comfortable is, and that is where you should live. Thus, always return it to the same place where you found it and it will not be lost.

The moment in which we must return the hedgehog to its natural habitat is very important, because if winter has started and it is already cold, it is very likely that it will be difficult to find a suitable and prepared place to hibernate, in which case we should consider the fact, that we return to where we had it in our house, preferably fresh places.
If we raise this animal in captivity, and see that it is healthy, that it feeds on a daily basis and that it makes you fat, we should gradually reduce its feeding, that is when he is aware that winter is approaching and therefore proceeds to take refuge and hibernate

Vitamins and supplements

If your hedgehog is being fed a good, high quality diet, you should not need additional vitamins or supplements. But there are some that are usually used because they are beneficial as omega 3 -6.

Vitamins or minerals are indicated in breastfeeding and pregnancy. It is advisable to buy calcium in a bar, scrape it with a knife and sprinkle your food and water.

Insects are the staple of a wild hedgehog diet, but having a quality diet can prosper properly without these as a supplement. Insects must be from a hatchery and should never be collected from the garden, since they may have parasites or fumigation or fertilization chemicals that harm the health of the Hedgehog.

Benefits: Insects are nutritious and provide additional fiber to the diet of a hedgehog, as well as stimulate them mentally as it allows them to "hunt" the prey.

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What to feed them and what not?

Many times due to ignorance and trying to give them those things that they think they might like, many hedgehog owners feed them with things that are not healthy for them, which is why it is good to be clear about what foods are allowed and which are not.