In the lower abdominal cavity in most mammals is the cecum... It contains bacteria that aids in the digestion of plant matter and facilitate nutrient absorption. Certain small mammals (such as hedgehogs, moles, and shrews) lack a cecum. By giving our babies fruits and veggies (plant matter) we can cause them tummy upset and diarrhea, they are unable to absorb any nutrients from fruits or veggies. I do not recommend feeding fruits or vegetables, with a few minor exceptions, the following are beneficial and can aid in digestion (they can correct diarrhea and constipation) those are sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, baby applesauce or banana.
Another Fun Fact: Hedgehogs are Lactose Intolerant. Dairy Products should be given in very sparse amounts if ever....
Cook meats thoroughly, no seasoning - in olive oil
Meats (All Unseasoned):
Beef (only occasionally)
Pork (only occasionally)
**Disclaimer Ice Hog was only allowed a few nibbles of this chicken leg and was supervised
Black Soldier Fly Larvae, Roaches, Crickets, Grasshoppers, Wax Worms, Butter Worms, Super Worms, Meal Worms, Green Horned Worms, Silk Worms, Snails, Isopods are all acceptable. I do recommend using Rep-Cal Calcium to dust your bugs prior to feeding (and live bugs should be gut loaded prior to feeding as well)I do not recommend freeze dried whole bugs for babies under 9 months.
The Morning Star Hedgehog Herd enjoys bugs every day mixed into their food! I crush 5 different varieties. For the single owner I would purchase Fluker's Medley Treat and crush it (refrigerate for freshness) and feed 1/8 tsp over food every day. My herd is also offered live bugs once a week (when I clean their houses - - they look forward to time in a dig box hunting)
Eggs - Scrambled or Hard Boiled
Baby Foods: Chicken/Turkey Dinner
Gerber Toddler Chicken and Meat Sticks
Wet Cat Foods (Mine love Core and Merrick's)
Cheese/Cottage Cheese/Plain Yogurt - very small amounts occasionally (lactose intolerant)
Raw Diet Dog Food - Highly Recommend Stella and Chewy Duck Duck Goose (Frozen or freeze dried)
Pinky Mice (these can get quite messy...might not be for the squeemish)
In their natural habitat, hedgehogs are scavengers and foragers. They will eat a variety of insects and small vertebrates. It is important for good health to duplicate this as much as possible.
Most commercially produced Hedgehog Food lacks the basic nutrition for hedgehogs, and uses sub-par ingredients.
But we cannot rely on cat kibble alone. And while meal worms are readily available and the easiest of bugs they are actually the highest in Phosphorus which if fed with grain free food (again high in phosphorus - peas) you could be doing harm to your animals calcium levels. Hedgehogs should have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1 This cannot be achieved if feeding Mealworms and grain free foods.
Our herd is provided an additional calcium supplement once every two weeks.
We cannot simply say Cat Food 30 - 35 percent.... (Ingredients, carbohydrates, and even where the meats and supplements originate are looked at when we choose our food mix)
We are finding as a breeding community each of our animals needs are unique and we cannot "cookie cutter" their care.
Also as our hogs age their diet and exercise needs may have to change as well! Our oldest hogs range between 5 and 7 yrs of age we are happy to help guide you in your senior hogs care!
If you are uncertain or you are looking to give your hedgehog a treat not found on this list, my recommendation is always to error on the side of caution!
Dried fruits (Choking Hazard)
Chocolate or Caffeinated food/drink
Raw Meats (Not pet food products)
Processed Meats (ie: Hotdogs, Deli Meats)
Any Sugary, salty, fatty, stringy, chewy or seasoned foods
Milk (Hedgehogs are Lactose Intolerant)
Wild Caught Bugs
Cold Food - Feed at room temperature
Nuts & Seeds of any kind
Anything that is junk food for people