To maintain a hedgehog’s health it’s makes sense to ensure they have a good diet that can give them the vitamins and minerals they need. I thoroughly researched eggs as one of the foods I was looking at giving to our hedgehog before deciding on it’s suitability.
So, can hedgehogs eat eggs? Hedgehogs can eat eggs in moderation as long as they have been cooked to reduce the risk of any salmonella poisoning. Eggs can be given to hedgehogs as plain omelets, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs and poached eggs but not as fried eggs and must be cooked without any oils, butters or seasoning.
I learned when giving hedgehogs plain omelets, only the egg itself should be the main ingredient as adding milk isn’t advised. Milk is difficult for hedgehogs to digest as they lack the enzymes to break down the lactose in the milk and this can end up giving them digestive problems.
I also make sure any omelets are cooked without any oils, butters or seasoning like salt and pepper, by putting the mixed egg mixture onto a microwaveable plate and cooking the omelets in the microwave.
Butters contain milk and cooking eggs using butter can be cause of hedgehog digestive problems as they are unable to digest the lactose in the milk part of the butter. This could be painful to them and must be avoided.
When eggs are cooked sunny side up, this usually means the eggs are fried and this is not a good idea for a hedgehog. Instead the eggs should be microwaved without any addition of oils, butters or seasoning.
Do hedgehogs eat chicken eggs?
Hedgehogs do eat chicken eggs as they find them enjoyable to eat. Chicken eggs provide valuable protein, vitamins and nutrients for hedgehogs and are not as fat rich as other types of eggs from different birds.
I only use chicken eggs as these are plentiful and reasonably priced but there are other options available like duck eggs, goose eggs to even quail eggs. Duck eggs have nearly twice as much fat as chicken eggs. Table 1 shows the amount of protein and fat in eggs per 100 grams.
It’s important to note, even though the quail eggs have more fat than chicken eggs per 100 grams, quail eggs are much smaller so a single quail egg will have much less fat than a chicken egg.
Any eggs given to a hedgehog must be cut into small enough pieces so as to avoid any choking risk, as large pieces could become lodged in a hedgehogs throat, which isn’t particularly wide.
Can hedgehogs eat scrambled eggs?
Hedgehogs can eat scrambled eggs that have been cooked without any additional ingredients especially milk, butter, oils or any seasoning. Plain scrambled eggs ensure the hedgehog can benefit from the nutritional value of the egg without suffering any digestive consequences of other ingredients, especially milk which hedgehogs find hard to digest.
Scrambled eggs are quick and easy to cook especially in a microwave. When I make scrambled eggs, we break the egg into a microwaveable bowl and then cook for about 1 minute 30 seconds on full power (this may vary for your microwave, as ours is 900 watts) and then mix the egg up, making it scrambled. Then we cook it again for another 1 minute and 30 seconds but this time at 50% power. So, within a total cooking time of about 3 minutes, we have perfect scrambled eggs.
We place a small amount of the scrambled egg near to the entrance of our hedgehogs igloo house around the time he wakes up. Making sure the scrambled egg has cooled down to room temperature first. We can hear him stirring in his sleep during the evening and this is a good indication he’s about to wake up.
When he does wake up, he’ll quickly catch the smell of the scrambled egg pieces outside his house’s entrance and will make his way towards these. He devours the scrambled eggs pieces in seconds and it’s easy to see it’s one of his favorite foods.
Can hedgehogs eat cooked egg yolk?
Hedgehogs can eat the cooked egg yolk but only in moderation as this part of the egg contains a lot of fat and cholesterol. If hedgehogs eat this yolk too often then they could put on weight and this could eventually lead to obesity and a whole host of health issues.
Giving a hedgehog the cooked egg yolk should be done infrequently, we tend to give our hedgehog some form of cooked egg every fortnight unless it’s the cooked white part of the egg, which sometimes give to our hedgehog once a week.
By mixing the white part and yellow part of the egg, we usually provide our hedgehog with either small pieces of scrambled egg or a plain omelet. By doing so, we are not overly feeding him fat as would be the case if we just gave him the cooked egg yolk, instead we are also providing him with protein from the white part of egg as well.
This means we don’t need to worry too much about giving him more fat in his diet, as there’s some protein in the egg we’ve served and as we only give our hedgehog eggs, every fortnight or if it’s just the white part, once a week. This isn’t going to lead to our hedgehog gaining loads of weight and becoming obese.
How do you cook eggs for hedgehogs?
As a general rule to cook eggs for hedgehogs, it’s important to ensure the eggs are cooked as plainly as possible without using any oils, butters, seasoning or adding any milk. It’s easier to either boil or poach eggs as well microwave eggs without additional ingredients when making plain omelets, scrambled eggs and sunny side up eggs.
Make sure any cooked eggs served have cooled down sufficiently so the hedgehog doesn’t get hurt. With boiled eggs, we normally wait an hour or so for the egg to cool down to room temperature before we serve small pieces to our hedgehog.
Using the microwave method allows us to cook eggs without requiring any oils or butters, as cooking eggs using a frying pan would need some form of lubrication to stop the egg from sticking even with non-stick frying pans.
Depending on the wattage of the microwave, the cooking times would first need to assessed, I’ve included a table below with a rough guide (estimated times, please check your microwave instructions for accurate cooking times). You may need to experiment a little to get the right time setting for your microwave.
|Wattage||Total Time (mm:ss)||Full Power (mm:ss)||50% Power (mm:ss)|
The above cooking times in table 2 can be used for plain omelets, scrambled eggs and even poached eggs, where the egg is first cracked into a bowl of water and then place in the microwave.
Eggs can also be boiled in the microwave, again by putting the eggs in a bowl with water. Eggs can explode in the microwave and adding some salt to the water when microwaving could prevent the egg from exploding in the microwave. This is not something we have tried as we prefer to just boil them on our stove as this is easier for us to manage.
Eggs should not be fried as this ends up soaking the egg in oil and this isn’t necessarily good for the hedgehog. Instead of frying the eggs, the eggs can be microwaved quickly and easily.
Boiling eggs to make hard boiled eggs is also a good way of cooking eggs, as there’s no additional ingredients required. Likewise poaching eggs in hot water is also just as good. Do make sure there’s no seasoning used when the egg is cooked, as this could be troubling to a hedgehog’s digestion.
Can hedgehogs eat raw eggs?
Hedgehogs should not be given raw eggs to eat as there is a risk of salmonella being present in the eggs which could make the hedgehog ill. Eggs should be cooked without the use of any butters, oils and seasoning to make them suitable for hedgehogs to eat.
In the wild hedgehogs may eat raw eggs but it’s still not known whether this is detrimental to their health, as there is no research data available. Therefore it makes sense not to take any chances with raw eggs and only give eggs to hedgehogs that have been cooked.
Raw eggs would also be messy to serve and the hedgehog will most likely get the remnants of the raw eggs caught in their fur and around their face, leading to it matting. This would mean the hedgehog would need to cleaned to remove the egg residue on their body.
Hedgehogs can eat eggs and eggs provide a good source of protein, but care needs to be taken when it comes to the egg yolk. As this yellow part of the egg contains a lot of fat and giving this to a hedgehog frequently will undoubtedly lead to the hedgehog gaining weight and ending up on the road to obesity.
How the egg is cooked is very important as some methods will require oils and butters, especially when eggs are fried. Methods involving using oils and butters should be avoided as these will introduce additional fat into the hedgehogs diet. With butters containing milk which is a digestive issue with hedgehogs as they don’t have the enzymes to digest the lactose part of the milk.
Seasoning the eggs is not recommended, as hedgehogs may find this intolerable and keeping eggs plain is just tasty enough for hedgehogs. They’re not like us, we’re seasoning helps with the taste of the eggs being eaten.