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 in scant amounts only.
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)
We try to provide the best nutrition for our hedgehogs as possible. Adding a Raw Diet that is prepared and sold for the pet / reptile industry is a great way to add Whole Prey. Many are squeamish when it comes to feeding things like live bugs, pinkie mice, button quail, lizards or frogs. Those simulate what your hedgehog would be foraging and hunting for in the wild. Nothing can replace the natural balance of nutrition like whole prey. There are a few ways to incorporate this into your hedgehogs diet:
Pinkie Mice (live or frozen thawed)
Button quail, failed chicks or day olds
Frogs or lizards sold for feeders
Raw diets prepared for the pet industry:
Oma's pride www.omaspride.com
Reptile Links www.reptilelinks.com
Stella and Chewy's
It is important to provide your hedgehog with a well balanced species appropriate diet these can help you make that happen for the health and well being of your Hedgie Buddy!
Eggs - Scrambled or Hard Boiled
Baby Foods: Chicken/Turkey Dinner
Gerber Toddler Chicken and Meat Sticks
Wet Cat Foods Core 95 , Merrick's Duck, Evanger's Rabbit, Duck, Quail,
Essence Air and Game Fowl are among the favorites here at Morning Star Hedgehogs
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 week.
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
Dairy Products - Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant
Wellness Core 95, Merrick's Duck Cat, Evanger's Duck, Quail or Rabbit
Essence Air and Game Fowl
Reptile links gives us the opportunity to feed Whole Prey to our Herd. Whole Prey is much different than processed foods and allows your animal the benefits of balanced nutrition much as they would get in the wild.