Feeding the hedgehogs
With some animals it’s easy – they only eat one thing (snakes only eat mice / rats, except rough veggies that eat insects!). With other animals it can be much more difficult!
Hedgehogs eat almost anything or so they tell us. There are many tips from other hedgehog keepers on what to feed your hedgehog. They will eat cat food, tuna, dry cat food, scrambled eggs, raw minced meat, strawberries, kiwis, apple, banana, yams, carrots, sweet corn, mushrooms; They are omnivorous. As treats you can give mealworms, morion worms, pinkies (baby mouse), but these are full of fat so they only need to be given occasionally or you will end up with an obese hedgehog 🙂
Well, we have found different ones, and I suppose that just like humans and other animals, all creatures have their preferences. Pink (our albino African pygmy hedgehog) is not a fan of greenery or greens! He loves his meat – wet and dry cat food, fish, chicken, beef, pinkies, worms, ham – he even likes pasta! With veggies, it’s a bit more choosy – all veggies need to be cooked, as hedgies can choke on the stringy chunks they contain. She will eat cooked coli and broccoli, sweet corn inside (leave the skin on), some leafy greens (not iceberg lettuce!) Potato (cooked). You don’t like salads (like tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, etc.). She loves scrambled eggs and kiwis, but you soon find out when your hedgehog doesn’t like food! Yuck! Scrambled eggs and kiwi gave him a messy tummy! As a gift you will receive a pinch of mealworms or 1 or 2 morians or a pinkie, or a very special crumble cake 🙂 You MUST NOT feed your hedgehog milk or cheese; hedgies are lactose intolerant and these foods can make them VERY sick.
The trick is trial and error. Test your hedgehog with everything suggested, and find his preferences. Be on the lookout for your hedgehog’s bodily reactions and you will soon discover what it can and cannot feed. Keep an eye out for what they leave on your food plate and that will tell you what not to re-feed. They are omnivores, so be sure to find some fruits and vegetables that they like so that you can feed a balanced diet. Don’t forget also that hedgehogs are nocturnal so don’t feed your hedgehog until midnight (around 730/8 pm), if you leave the food earlier it will dry out and spoil and your hedgehog won’t want to eat it: so soon as your pet picks up the smell of food, he will go out looking for it, and it’s a pleasure to watch as he chooses his favorite parts first …
One last word of warning if you’re thinking of a hedgehog, they are pretty smelly animals – they’re clean and Pink is even litter-trained, but they give off a pretty strong smell. 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.