NUTRITION


PRIMARY DIET, aka STAPLE FOOD

FAST FACTS

There is much debate as to what constitutes proper hedgehog nutrition. But there are certain things that most people agree on. First, unless there is a medical reason to feed something else, your hedgehog should eat a diet low in fat, low in iron, and moderately high in protein. And remember, while babies are growing fast and may need more calories, an adult hedgehog’s needs are different.

Your breeder will give you a sample of the food your baby hedgehog is used to eating. If you chose to change this food, do it gradually, mixing a little more of the new food in every few days. For adult hedgehogs, most people choose a mixture of several low-fat, adult, or senior cat foods and some hedgehog foods. In general, look for a high-quality meat based protein source listed as the first ingredient and a lower percentage of fillers. For most adult hedgehogs, 1-2 tablespoons of this staple mix should will be eaten daily.


supplements

The staple food should be supplemented with a variety of other foods. Depending on your animal’s weight and the size of the insects, you can feed: 1-4 freeze-dried or live mealworms OR 1-4 wax worms; 2-4 crickets; 1-3 silkworms; two half-teaspoon servings of protein sources (lean cooked chicken, salmon, trout, turkey, tuna, boiled egg whites, etc.); and rice cooked in broth, sweet potatoes, watermelon, banana, kiwi, steamed broccoli, green beans, carrots, corn, etc. Make sure all food (except insects) is cut into small pieces, and all seeds are removed. Avoid treats or staple foods containing whole or large pieces of nuts or dried fruits as they can cause dental problems or choking, and NEVER feed VitaCraft brand Hedgehog food. It has been known to cause many problems with Hedgehogs.

DO NOT USE “Super Worms” because they do bite and can injure your Hedgehog if not chewed completely!

DO NOT FEED your Hedgehog fresh/yard-caught bugs as they can carry parasites, pesticides and other chemicals. Even if you don't spray in your yard, your neighbor might. Outdoor bugs can also carry parasites that can be difficult to kill with medication once infected.

Recommended Daily feeders

Live Insect Store (best in the business)

Click above link for Live Insect Store

Dubia Roaches

https://www.amazon.com/s?i=merchant-items&me=ABBIRIYF6N3TO&rh=p_4%3ADubia+Roaches&dc&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&qid=1557609957&ref=sr_nr_p_4_4

Live Meal Worms

https://www.amazon.com/s?i=merchant-items&me=ABBIRIYF6N3TO&rh=p_4%3APredator+Foods&dc&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&qid=1557609992&ref=sr_nr_p_4_1

https://www.exoticnutrition.com/Products/Mealworm-Breeder-Kit__96693.aspx

Live Black Soldier Fly Larvae

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Symton+Black+Soldier+Fly&ref=bl_dp_s_web_0

Wax Worms

https://www.amazon.com/stores/node/7934927011?_encoding=UTF8&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Gimminy%20Crickets%20%26%20Worms&ref_=bl_dp_s_web_7934927011

Dried Meal Worms

https://www.exoticnutrition.com/Products/Dried-Mealworms-10-lb__EN3688-2.aspx

Dried Black Soldier Fly

https://www.exoticnutrition.com/Products/Calci-Yum-Worms-1-lb-bag__333EN.aspx


TREAT GUIDE

RECOMMENDED

  • Unseasoned Cooked Meat (baked, boiled, steamed): Chicken, beef, pork, turkey, fish

  • Unseasoned Cooked Eggs (scrambled, hard-boiled)

  • Fruits (diced into small bits): Apple, banana, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, peach, nectarine, plum, pear, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries

  • Vegetables (diced into small bits or steamed): Carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, squash, bell pepper, asparagus, green beans, cucumber, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, peas, dandelion greens

  • Baby Food: Any made from fruits, vegetables, or meats. Avoid “meal” varieties that contain things like pasta or rice

  • Wet Cat Food: Because it’s typically high in fat, feed only in moderation. Be sure to select a brand with high quality ingredients

  • Select Dairy Products: Cottage cheese, plain yogurt. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, but these can be offered in small amounts

  • Insects (store-bought only): Mealworms, crickets, dubia roaches, waxforms. Be mindful of fat content

not recommended

  • Citrus: Orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, tomato, pomegranate. Acidic food can cause upset stomachs, ulcers, and mouth sores

  • Dried Fruits: Choking hazard

  • Nuts & Seeds: Choking hazard

  • Grapes & Raisins: Toxic

  • Avocado: Likely toxic

  • Onions & Garlic: Toxic

  • Chocolate & Candy

  • Human Junk Food: Chips, pretzels. Not dangerous in small quantities, but use with extreme moderation

  • Anything Seasoned: Deli meats, canned vegetables. Not dangerous in small quantities, but use with extreme moderation


Water and Food Dishes

We recommend heavy food and water dishes. Heavy dishes are less likely to get tipped over. Try to find dishes that measure 1.5”-2” in diameter. It is also okay to use a water bottle that attaches to the side of the cage like a gerbil would use.

DO NOT USE bowls that may contain lead-based paint.

Be sure to sterilize their dishes or water bottles weekly, and inspect them daily, to prevent bacteria from building up.