feeding hedgehogs

With some animals it’s easy – they only eat one thing (snakes only eat mice/rats, except the rough green ones that eat bugs!). With other animals it can be much more difficult!

Hedgehogs will eat almost anything or so we’re told. There are plenty of tips from other hedgehog keepers on what to feed your hedgie. They will eat cat food, tuna, dry cat food, scrambled eggs, unseasoned ground beef, strawberries, kiwi, apple, banana, yams, carrots, sweet corn, mushrooms – they are omnivorous. As treats you can give mealworms, morio worms, pinkies (baby mouse) but these are full of fat so should only be given occasionally or you’ll end up with an obese hedgie πŸ™‚

Well, we’ve found different ones, and I guess just like humans and other animals, all creatures have their preferences. Pink (our albino African pygmy hedgehog) doesn’t like vegetables or greens! She loves meat: wet and dry cat food, fish, chicken, beef, pinkies, worms, ham, she even likes pasta! With vegetables, she’s a bit more picky: all vegetables should be cooked, as hedgies can choke on the stringy bits they contain. She’ll have cooked cauliflower and broccoli, the insides of sweet corn (she leaves the husk on), some leafy greens (not iceberg lettuce!) potato (cooked). He does not like salads (such as tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, etc.). He loves scrambled eggs and kiwi, but you soon find out when your hedgie doesn’t like foods! Yuck! The scrambled eggs and kiwi gave her an upset tummy! As a gift you will receive a pinch of mealworms or 1-2 morios or a little finger, or a very special crumble cake πŸ™‚ You MUST NOT feed your hedgehog milk or cheese – hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and these foods can make them VERY sick.

The trick is all about trial and error. Try your hedgehog with everything suggested and find your preferences. Keep an eye on your hedgie’s bodily reactions and you’ll soon find out what you can and can’t feed. Keep an eye on what they leave in their food dish and that will tell you what not to feed again. They are omnivores, so make sure you find some fruits and vegetables that they like to feed a balanced diet. Don’t forget also that hedgehogs are nocturnal so don’t feed your hedgehog until midnight (around 730/8pm), if you leave the food out earlier it will dry out and spoil and your hedgehog won’t want to eat it. EAT IT: As soon as your pet catches a whiff of the food, he’ll go looking for it, and it’s a joy to watch as he picks out his favorite parts of it first…

One last word of warning if you’re thinking of a hedgie, they’re pretty stinky animals: they’re clean, and Pink is even trained to litter, but they do give off a pretty strong odor. We have a plug in air freshener in the room and it masks the smell. Other than that, hedgies make a beautiful and rewarding pet.