Insects A La Carte

Jun 5, 2013 by

Benefits of Insects as Treats Insects are the most common treat for pet hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are insectivores by nature, and a large portion of their diet in the wild consists of insects. Hedgehogs of the wild and the captive bred hedgehogs have different nutritional requirements and needs due to the differences in their activity levels. Wild hedgehogs are often able to adjust to what they eat according to their needs. Pet hedgehogs eat what we give them because it is the only thing available to them. It isn’t a good idea to feed a straight insect diet, because chances are that it will not meet all of the hedgehogs’ nutritional requirements. We suggest using feeding tongs or tweezers when feeding insects. Hedgehogs have poor eyesight and may nibble on your finger trying to get its treat. After it has eaten its treat your fingers will still smell like insects. Store Bought Versus Wild Caught We strongly encourage you to feed your hedgehogs with insects that are raised as feeders. When you feed your pet with insects you are also feeding your hedgehog with whatever the insects have eaten. Wild caught bugs can carry parasites, toxins, and bacteria. Even if you do not use pesticides or herbicides, your neighbors or nearby farmers might use them. The toxins in the insects can build up in your hedgehog over a period of time. Parasites are found in...

Hedgehog Treats

May 27, 2013 by

Treats that provide nutrition are always more beneficial than food items that seem to be nothing more than empty calories. Establishing a regular routine when offering treats my help your hedgehog try new treats since they know treats are expected at that time. Perishable treats should be removed after one hour. Insects Insectivores by nature, hedgehogs typically love insects. It is a good idea to include insects as part of your hedgehog’s balanced diet. The most popular insects of hedgehogs and their owners are live mealworms, wax worms, silk worms and crickets. Canned crickets, mealworms (only one or two per day), wax worms or other insects can be used but they tend to smell bad and should ideally be used within a week of opening. Rancid canned insects can cause stomach upset to hedgehogs. Amy Hood of Hood Petz had a necropsy report that showed that one of her hedgehogs died from a freeze-dried mealworm impaction in the intestinal tract. This was due to the hedgehog’s inability to digest the freeze-dried mealworms. For this reason, many hedgehog breeders and enthusiasts do not recommend freeze-dried insects. We prefer to use pet-quality, farm raised insects to wild caught insects because of the risk of parasite infection, insecticide exposure, or other toxins in bugs caught in the wild. Even though hedgehogs are insectivores, a captive hedgehog diet of only insects would not be nutritionally balanced. When purchasing...

Insect Variety Comparison

May 25, 2013 by

Crickets Crickets can be purchased live from pet stores or online from insect suppliers. Live crickets should be “gut loaded.” The food the cricket has eaten (in its gut) is also beneficial to your hedgehog. Gut loaded crickets have more vitamins, minerals, calcium, and nutrition than a cricket that hasn’t been fed properly. Live crickets can be pre-killed or stunned by placing them in the freezer for hedgehogs that have not had the experience of hunting crickets or who are not adept at hunting crickets. Crickets left in the freezer for only a short amount of time will revive, so if you are intending to kill them they should be left in the freezer overnight. Crickets should be maintained in a large aquarium with a screen or mesh lid or other specialized container. Cardboard egg crates provide hiding places and keep the crickets from trampling each other. They should be fed a high-calcium cricket food and water should be provided via carrots, sweet potatoes, a moist sponge on a shallow dish, or specialized cricket gel. Freeze dried crickets are brittle and should be stored in plastic containers to prevent crumbling. Earthworms and Night Crawlers According to Becca at Daisy Meadows, “Night crawlers and earthworms are just about guaranteed to give your hedgehog foul smelly, liquidy poos, and cutting them into manageable portions is almost as icky as the poo that the hedgehog produces.” Earthworms...