Hedgehogs are small cute animals that make great pets for an individual or a family. Considering, one of your responsibilities as a pet owner is to provide your hedgehog the correct diet to keep it healthy, you need to know that there are some types of foods that are good for your hedgehog while others need to be avoided.
So, can hedgehogs eat fat balls? Hedgehogs can eat fat balls made of insects. Fat balls are meant for birds and consist of fat and either seeds or insects. Therefore, hedgehogs will eat fat balls made of insects. However, you cannot feed your hedgehog fat balls daily as they can lead to obesity.
Hedgehogs need a diet rich in proteins and low in fats. Fat balls made with insects have low protein and a high-fat content, which, if consumed daily, can lead to your hedgehog developing serious health complications.
During the dry seasons, hedgehogs feed on insects as they prepare for hibernation during the winter; therefore, when you decide to keep a hedgehog in your home, you have the responsibility of feeding it. There are numerous suggestions on what kind of food you should give your hedgehog. Read on to find out more about the types of food you can or cannot feed to your hedgehog.
Will Hedgehogs Eat Fat Balls?
Fat balls are nutritional supplements meant for birds. People will buy or make fat balls and hang them in their gardens for birds to eat. Fat balls are nutritious and delicious for birds, but should your hedgehog eat them.
Hedgehogs will eat fat balls if the ingredients include insects. In the wild, hedgehogs prefer hunting and eating insects such as crickets, millipedes, grasshoppers, mealworms, and waxworms. Crickets and mealworms are some of the popular insects used to make fat balls.
Therefore, your hedgehog will enjoy nibbling on the fat balls if they include mealworms, their favorite insects. You can place the fat balls in the hedgehog’s feeding bowl inside the cage. Do not use a hanging net to feed your hedgehog fat balls, as the net can injure your hedgehog’s delicate feet and mouth.
You have to limit your hedgehog’s access to fat balls. Most insect fat balls sold in pet stores have mealworms as the primary ingredient. Hedgehogs love to eat mealworms; however, mealworms have a low protein content and a high-fat content.
If you let your hedgehog eat the fat balls, it will stop eating other beneficial food. Eating fat balls only for a long time can lead to malnutrition and severe health complications. Fat balls also contain suet, fatty beef, or mutton product; therefore, if you feed you hedgehog too much fat balls, it will become obese.
You should also remove the fat balls from the hedgehog’s cage after it is done eating. The high level of saturated fat is a breeding ground for bacteria. If your hedgehog is quilling, it will have several openings in the skin on its back.
If the bacteria reach those openings, they could cause skin infections, which can cause the quilling process to be extremely painful. Therefore, clean the feeding bowl and provide your hedgehog with fresh and clean drinking water daily.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Suet Pellets?
Suet pellets are yet another type of snack made for birds. There is a wide range of suet pellets, mostly made of fruit or insect. When buying snacks for your hedgehog, you might be wondering if your pet will enjoy suet pellets.
Hedgehogs can eat suet pellets made of insects. Suet pellets consist mainly of suet, a raw and hard fat from beef or mutton mixed with fruit such as berries and apples, or insects such as mealworms. It is not advisable to feed hedgehogs suet pellets regularly, as the beef fat can lead to obesity.
Hedgehogs can eat meat, and when it is mixed with their favorite insects, they will eat a lot of it. One benefit of suet pellets to hedgehogs is that they offer an instant energy boost and contain important nutrients such as vitamins and proteins.
However, you should watch the quantity of suet pellets your hedgehog eats. Suet pellets do not contain enough nutrients to keep your hedgehog healthy and strong. Therefore, suet pellets should not be your hedgehog’s main meal. You should also avoid feeding your hedgehog suet pellets before giving it its main meal.
Suet pellets with insects contain mealworms, which are like chocolate to them. If you give your child chocolate before dinner, it is highly unlikely that they will be interested in eating vegetables. Suet pellets should be an after-meal snack for your hedgehog.
Can Hedgehogs Eat Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is a food product meant for consumption by human beings, but some household pets such as dogs enjoy eating peanut butter. When buying a hedgehog, you probably have numerous questions about its preferred meals, including peanut butter.
You should not feed your hedgehog peanut butter. Hedgehogs mainly eat insects in the wild. Peanuts are sticky and heavy and usually have a few pieces of peanuts. If you feed your hedgehog peanuts, it will have difficulty swallowing it, and your hedgehog’s small mouth will not break down the pieces of peanuts. Peanut butter also has added preservatives such as salt, which are bad for your hedgehog.
Peanut butter can also lead to gum infection. Your hedgehog may not swallow all the peanut butter since some will get stuck in its gums or on the roof of its mouth. If the peanut butter stays inside your hedgehog’s mouth for a long time, it will create a breeding ground for bacteria and other dangerous pathogens.
The bacteria will cause gum infection, and your hedgehog will have difficulty eating its food. If your hedgehog eats some peanut butter, check its mouth to ensure it has swallowed all of the peanut butter.
Do hedgehogs Eat Bacon Fat?
The snacks and food you feed your hedgehog, falls into three categories, good foods, okay foods, and foods to avoid. As a hedgehog owner, you are probably wondering where bacon fat falls under those three categories.
Whilst hedgehogs can eat bacon fat, there is no good reason why you should serve your hedgehog bacon fat. Hedgehogs need food that’s low in fat content, and bacon fat has a high content. Your hedgehog will not benefit from eating bacon fat, but it might develop some health complications such as kidney and liver disease. Bacon fat also has high sodium content, which is not good for your hedgehog.
Hedgehogs can easily gain weight and become obese if their diet consists of too much fat. In the wild, hedgehogs get a lot of exercises when they forage for food in gardens. In captivity, your hedgehog’s movement is limited to the size of its cage.
If you notice that your hedgehog is gaining weight at an alarming rate, you need to cut back on food with high-fat content and increase exercise. You can install a wheel inside your hedgehog’s cage for exercise and keep your hedgehog active.
Do Hedgehogs Eat Pork?
Unfortunately, you might run out of insects to feed your hedgehog and not be in a position to buy more. In such situations, you may choose not to let your hedgehog spend the night without food. Therefore, as you prepare pork for dinner, you may wonder if it is okay to feed your hedgehog some pork.
Hedgehogs can eat pork but in moderation because of the high fat content. Pork can be your hedgehog’s supplemental food as long as it is prepared well and does not have a lot of artificial additives. As a supplement food, you can feed it to your hedgehog once or twice a week.
Since pork is a fatty food, you should check your hedgehog’s weight regularly. Do not feed your hedgehog raw pork. It does not have strong teeth and jaws to tear and chew raw pork.
To check if your hedgehog is fat, observe it when it rolls into a ball. Thin and fit hedgehogs roll into a perfect ball. A fat hedgehog cannot ball fully, and part of its belly will be visible. You can also see fat deposits under its chin and under the armpits.
You can also weigh your hedgehog, and if its weight exceeds 800 grams, you have to find ways to reduce its weight. You can cut back on feeding it pork and other fatty foods and increase its exercise routine. Obesity in hedgehogs is very dangerous and could lead to severe health complications such as diabetes, liver disease, and even cancer.
Hedgehogs Can Eat Fat Balls Composing Insects
When taking care of your hedgehog, you have to ensure that you serve it food that’s close to its natural diet. In the wild, hedgehogs enjoy eating mealworms, waxworms, crickets, grasshoppers, and other insects. You can feed your hedgehogs these insects in your home and add cooked meat, cooked eggs, cat food, and fruits into their diet.
Considering hedgehogs are prone to obesity, you have to be careful not to overfeed them. You should avoid fatty foods such as bacon fat or peanuts. For cooked meat such as beef or pork, serve them to your hedgehog sparingly. Use the information here to guide you on serving healthy food to your hedgehog. You should also consult your veterinarian on tips for raising a healthy hedgehog.