If you have a little hedgie, you must be aware of its love for insects and bugs. They can literally eat an array of bugs, worms, and insects. Hedgehogs themselves are big-time hunters in their natural habitat!
So, what insects do hedgehogs eat? The list includes crickets, mealworms, live mealworms, Dubia roaches, hornworms, grasshoppers, wax worms, snails, and pinkies.
Additionally, they may also consume maggots, darkling beetles, isopods, calci worms, slugs, and the list goes on. Now, you might want to tone down the hunting a little bit but regulating what your hedgehog essentially eats is important.
We shall trace the insects eaten by your hedgie and how you should regulate that through this article!
Why Are Insects The Happy Meal Of Hedgehogs?
Now, the first question arises, why do hedgehogs even eat insects. For starters, a study by the University of Helinski highlights the benefits of eating insects.
Insects provide chitin to their consumers. Now, what is Chitin? Chitin is a polysaccharide that stores energy obtained from food. It also enables a healthy body and mind along with great digestion! Your hedgie would love that!
Secondly, hedgehogs can get a wide variety of nutrients from consuming various insects. Some insects might have a heavy exoskeleton while others won’t. Chitin gives your hedgie a balance of fiber.
Some insects provide the essential calcium, protein, and amino acids such as taurine. This taurine is very important for the metabolic and neurological activities of the body. Eye health also largely depends on the taurine levels.
Lastly, as mentioned earlier, your little friend is born to hunt. Hunting is their natural functioning, and investing in such behaviors is psychologically good for your pet! So, the next time you see them ingesting a good insect, bring it on!
Insects That A Hedgehog Eats
We shall now be looking at some specific insects as foods for hedgehogs.
Superworms and Hedgehogs
Superworms are nutritionally rich foods for your hedgehogs. These insects contain really high amounts of chitin (6.8% fiber) and protein (17%).
The only visible downside is that super worms are caveats. They bite your hedgehog, which could be really painful for your pet. Superworms cannot be refrigerated for a long time, so that might be a problem as well.
Crickets and Hedgehogs
One of the most famous duos, crickets and hedgehogs are a great combination. In fact, you can provide hedgehogs with crickets daily. Yes, they are that good!
Crickets give your hedgie high amounts of chitin along with the necessary protein. While talking about nutrients, fats should also be taken into consideration. Crickets don’t have high quantities of fats like Waxworms.
Additionally, they can be eaten in both dry and alive form by your hedgehog.
Mealworms and Hedgehogs
Mealworms are also a great bet, just like crickets! You can be stress-free when your hedgehog feeds on them. They are a great meal for hedgehogs.
The best part of mealworms is that they are very high in proteins. At least over 50%. Woah! Also, along with protein, they have some levels of chitin too! They can be consumed both live and in refrigerated forms.
We assure you; your hedgehog pet is going to love mealworms!
Grasshoppers and Hedgehogs
Grasshoppers are essentially a part of the wild diet of Hedgehogs. The biggest high of eating grasshoppers is that you get the best of both worlds! These tiny little creatures are extremely high in proteins and low in fats at the same time!
You can also keep grasshoppers frozen for about 10 to 15 days and then feed your hedgie. They can be easily bought in canned forms as well! Go to the nearest store and find it for yourself!
Waxworms and Hedgehogs
This combination of wax worms and hedgehogs is also a common one! The thing is that wax worms are high in fats. This is the logic why you should be extremely mindful of the number of wax worms that you feed your little one!
Waxworms could be used as a treat for skinny hedgehogs and runners. Although, the quantity should always be kept in check!
You can find wax worms in most pet stores and can freeze them for long periods.
Snails and Hedgehogs
Well, this is a meal your hedgehog is going to love deeply! The only thing to make sure of is that you purchase these snails from a good store. Unreliable breeders can give you snails that wouldn’t be good for your hedgie.
The best part is that some markets even have freeze-dried forms of snails. These snails don’t have shells and can be easily consumed. You can also buy safe-for-human snails.
Pinkies and Hedgehogs
Pinkies refer to pinky mice here. These mice are great treats for hedgehogs. Yes, we are serious! They are not completely developed, which actually makes these mice easily edible.
On the nutrient side, these pinky mice are high in calcium and have very low fats. Doesn’t this make them the best fit for hedgehogs?
The only thing to remember is to pre-kill the mice before feeding them to your hedgie.
Darkling Beetles and Hedgehogs
Hedgehogs naturally feed on beetles in the woods. Thus, beetles become a safe option to feed your hedgie.
The larvae of darkling beetle larvae can also be given to hedgehogs with no worry. The only thing to ensure is that these darkling beetles should be cultivated and not wild.
Woodlice and Hedgehogs
Woodlice or isopods are a great fit for the hedgehog diet. As a hedgehog parent, ensure that you find these woodlice from a reputable source. There is a probability of parasites if bought from a low-quality place.
Calci Worms and Hedgehogs
So, hedgehogs do tend to eat calci worms very well! These worms are high in proteins and amino acids. Rest assured, they can also be easily bought from online websites and pet stores.
The best thing is that calci worms will not bite your hedgehog. So, practically they are harmless to your pet!
Slugs and Hedgehogs
Wild hedgehogs regularly feed over slugs! They love it. As a pet parent, you must check the source of these slugs. Try not to buy them off some random bait farm. Such bait farms provide low-quality insects that are used in fish catching instead.
Pheonix Worms and Hedgehogs
You can conveniently provide Pheonix worms to your hedgehogs. They have low-fat content when comparing with wax worms and mealworms. The calcium content is high, which is a plus.
Your hedgie is bound to love phoenix worms; we assure you that!
Blackworms and Hedgehogs
Black worms that are properly bred can also be given to your hedgie. These blackworms also have high protein content (47%) and are substantially low in fats.
What Should You Not Feed Your Hedgie?
Some foods are just best avoided for your hedgehog. It is not a long list, but do keep them in mind.
- June Bugs
- Morio Worms
So, these are some key insects that can serve as a great meal for your hedgie. At the same time, the source matters a lot! So make sure to only purchase these insects after proper research of the vendors.