About animals

What to give hedgehogs


- Is it possible to feed a hedgehog with dry cat food? Can I give milk to hedgehogs?

Safe milk for young hedgehogs is sheep or goat. They don’t give milk to adult hedgehogs, especially cow (!), Because it is harmful to teeth, it causes severe diarrhea and serves as an excellent breeding ground for harmful bacteria (in the stomach and intestines). Any canned food for cats and dogs (but not with fish), as well as dry food, are eaten well by hedgehogs. You can feed hedgehogs white meat (chicken, turkey, rabbit).

“A hedgehog lives in my garden.” How to feed him?

Hedgehogs eagerly eat insects, food for cats and dogs. In the garden, do not forget to put a saucer with fresh water. Hedgehogs also like nuts (not salted) and fruits (in small quantities).

- How to introduce a new type of feed in the diet of a hedgehog?

Once a week, you can offer the hedgehog something new from food. During this time, it will be seen whether the hedgehog is allergic to a new product or not. If the hedgehog for the first time refused a new feed, then, most likely, will refuse it in the future.

- Why can hedgehogs not feed slugs and snails? In nature, they willingly eat them.

In nature, slugs and snails are almost always infected with internal and pulmonary parasites. Having eaten such a mollusk the hedgehog is most likely to become infected by itself.

- How much food can I feed a hedgehog at a time?

Hedgehog weighing 700-900 gr. per day you need about 100 grams. feed. Remember that overfeeding hedgehogs is very harmful to their health!

- I can’t overcome my disgust for insects that need to be fed to a hedgehog. What to do?

Instead of insects, the hedgehog can be fed with minced meat. For these purposes, use environmentally friendly meat (without pesticides and hormones). Grind the meat (make minced meat), scald it with boiling water, mix it with dry food for insectivorous birds or with cereals (wheat flakes).

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Do not drink hedgehogs with milk

In addition, normal human food products are included in the feed ration: milk, reverse, cottage cheese, eggs, etc., to which hedgehogs gradually get used to and eat with great pleasure. Hedgehog, at least occasionally, should be pampered with flour worms, which for him are a treat. Then they put flour worms here, which can be bought at the “bird” market, and put them in a warm place (air temperature 18–25 ° С). Soft feed. In addition to natural feed for feeding hedgehogs, you can successfully use foods that are produced by humans and are not found in nature.

Hedgehog menu in the forest dining room

About 1/3 of the animal feed is added to this mixture and everything is thoroughly mixed. Such a mixture contains many vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and is readily eaten by hedgehogs when they get used to it. Females in the period of activity are fed as well as males, but if you caught a pregnant woman, then the amount of feed should be increased and given to her depending on her appetite. A feed ration is a set of feeds required at a rate of one day. The diet is formed by the number of feed units, digested protein, calcium and phosphorus.

For this purpose, crushed chalk, egg shells or shell lime, and fresh herbs should be added to soft food. When stored in closed vessels, it becomes musty. It is not recommended to drastically change the diet. When giving new food, it must first be given little by little, gradually increasing the proportion in the diet.

How to make friends with prickly forest inhabitants, if they came to your summer cottage, and what to remember if a hedgehog lives at your place

Among the hedgehogs, few individuals come across who will stubbornly resist a change in their natural regime, but such a transition will allow an amateur to observe the animal when it is convenient. Insufficient vitamin and mineral nutrition leads to rickets in a hedgehog or the female does not have milk. Moreover, some believe that meat and bone products introduced into the diet completely replace mineral nutrition.

If this is found a few days after the appearance of the female in your house, then you need to pay special attention to her when caring and feeding. A hedgehog lives in my garden. How to feed him? About 20 years ago and there was nowhere to read, how to feed a hedgehog, because the Internet has not yet burst into our lives, and we have not found the necessary books ...

Hedgehogs are wonderful pets for those people who have enough patience and are willing to devote their time to caring for them. The home variety of hedgehogs, the African pygmy hedgehog, is a hybrid of two wild species of African hedgehogs and is famous for its quick wit, friendliness and willingness to communicate with a caring host. As with the choice of any other pet, you should first study the information about hedgehogs and the care they need to see if such a pet is suitable for your lifestyle. To prepare for the appearance of your hedgehog and provide him with the best care, it is imperative to understand what kind of housing the hedgehog needs, as well as how to properly feed it.

Choosing a hedgehog and transporting it home

Make sure that your area is not prohibited from keeping hedgehogs at home. A hedgehog is considered an exotic pet and its contents may be subject to certain laws of your region or country. In some places it is illegal to keep hedgehogs, and in some it will require special permission. For more information about possible restrictions on the content of exotic animals, you must familiarize yourself with the relevant legislation and regulations of your region, city or city.

Try to get a hedgehog from a responsible breeder. A hedgehog purchased from responsible breeders is more likely to be well socialized, and due to the breeder’s excellent knowledge of the hedgehog’s pedigree, the chances of getting a healthy pet will be much greater. So to speak, it’s very important to find good the breeder. If this is not taken care of, you may have an irritable or sick hedgehog.

Check that the hedgehog is healthy. There are several signs of a healthy hedgehog that you should pay attention to before making your final choice.

Correctly approach the transportation of the hedgehog home. Before buying, you must make sure that everything at your place is ready for the appearance of the hedgehog. For at least the first month, give the hedgehog the opportunity to get used to you, new smells, new surroundings. He just suffered a huge change in his own life!

Be prepared for the hedgehog to self-lick. One of the most unusual types of behavior of the hedgehog is associated with excessive production of saliva in the presence of new food, smell or salt. The hedgehog S-shaped turns out, turning its head to the back, and begins to cover the needles with saliva. Despite the fact that no one knows exactly the reasons for this behavior, it is widely believed that in this way, due to the coating with an irritating substance, needles are the best weapon. Therefore, you may notice a slight irritation in yourself when you first take the hedgehog in your hands.

Provide the hedgehog with a suitable food bowl. It should be wide enough so that the hedgehog can climb into it, and heavy enough so that he cannot turn it over (and start playing with it).

Provide the hedgehog with water in a bowl or in a drinker. Fresh water should always be available.

Care for the well-being and health of the hedgehog

Keep your hedgehog in a quiet, peaceful place. Do not place the hedgehog under the stereo or TV. Being an animal that predators usually hunt in nature, the hedgehog relies heavily on its own hearing, and the presence of constant noise and great activity around it will put it under stress. Make sure that in the habitat of your hedgehog the levels of noise, lighting and activity are low, and if they increase for any reason, rearrange the cage to another place. Hedgehog can be accustomed to noise, if you do it gradually.

Provide the hedgehog with sufficient opportunity to receive physical activity. Hedgehogs are prone to fullness, so they need exercise. Therefore, in addition to the running wheel, a large number of toys should be provided to the hedgehog. Toys should be such that they can be nibbled safely without the possibility of tearing and swallowing pieces, pushing, sniffing and even turning over. Make sure that the claws of the hedgehog do not get entangled in any strings or get stuck in small holes.

Monitor the behavior of the hedgehog and its feed / water intake. Hedgehogs can hide their diseases very well, so it is extremely necessary to know the features of your hedgehog well. Watch for any changes and consult your veterinarian if necessary to see if they require more careful medical attention.

Take your hedgehog regularly. The calm attitude of the hedgehog to the fact that it is picked up is born from the regularity of this procedure. When you take a hedgehog, do it confidently, they are not as fragile as they seem. The general rule is daily 30-minute communication with a hedgehog on hand.

  • The loss of needles in a hedgehog is similar to the loss of milk teeth in children or the dropping of old skin by a snake. This process begins in hedgehogs from the age of 6-8 weeks and lasts the entire first year of their life as children's needles are replaced by adults. This is a normal phenomenon, which should not cause concern, unless the hedgehog has signs of disease or discomfort, or new needles do not refuse to grow. During this process, the hedgehog can be irritable and less patient to pick up. To ease the discomfort, you can arrange a hedgehog swimming with oat-based foam. This is only a temporary phase of his life.
    • Do not allow "half-hibernation", it is deadly for dwarf hedgehogs. Its most common sign is a very strong apathy and a stomach that is cool to the touch. If this happens, immediately take a hedgehog and put it under your shirt to warm your body. Continue to gradually warm the hedgehog with warm but not hot objects, such as heated towels, a covered heating pad on a minimum heating setting, or one or two bottles of warm water. DO NOT DIP the hedgehog into water to warm it. If after an hour nothing helps the hedgehog or it does not become more active, contact your veterinarian immediately.
    • Under no circumstances should you use wire or mesh running wheels. They are dangerous, since they can get stuck in the fingers and claws of a hedgehog, which is fraught with fractures of the limbs. Do not use silent running wheels, since the fingers of the hedgehogs easily get stuck in the gap on such wheels. Use exclusively monolithic running wheels, such as those made by Comfort Wheel, Flying Saucer Wheel or Bucket Wheels.
    • Attention: not use cedar sawdust, since when it comes in contact with the urine of a hedgehog, they can form fumes that are toxic to it. Incorrectly dried pine sawdust can also begin to exude a smell when it comes in contact with urine, so sniff the sawdust before buying them. If they smell strongly of pine, then they may be poorly dried. Try to find a pack of sawdust that smells more like wood than pine.
    • If you are not careful, the hedgehog may bite you. Any animal with teeth can bite, although it is rare for hedgehogs, since they rely more on their needles than on teeth for protection. If a hedgehog has bitten you, do not react, as often this can make it bite you even harder. Sometimes you can just Caution get rid of the teeth of the hedgehog. When the hedgehog lets you go, do not put it back in the cage, as this will serve as a reward for it for the bite.
    • Do not confuse changing needles with dropping them due to ticks, infection, or poor nutrition. If bald patches form on the hedgehog's body, consult your veterinarian.
    • Do not handle the hedgehog badly, do not drop it, do not roll it up, do not drop it. This will make the hedgehog incorrigibly irritable and uncommunicative.

    Hedgehog, apple, mushroom - such a composition is found in many fabulous books and popular cartoons for kids. The prickly animal importantly carries a still life pinned up on needles, and up to school the children are sure that this is what the hedgehogs eat in nature. In fact, everything is much more prosaic: hedgehogs are omnivores and if the choice between an apple, a mushroom and a piece of rotten fish is presented, they will prefer the latter.

    Who are hedgehogs?

    Hedgehogs are mammals from the order of insectivores and the family of hedgehogs. Typical in our view, hedgehogs are ordinary and Eastern European species, the most common representatives of the genus Eurasian hedgehogs.

    The hedgehog is a small animal, ranging in size from 13 to 35 cm. The body weight of the animal depends on the time of year. In spring and summer, an adult hedgehog can weigh about 240 g, but before the onset of cold weather, animals eat intensely to walk in subcutaneous fat and survive hibernation. Therefore, in late autumn, individual specimens eat up weight up to 1.2 kg.

    Most of the body of the hedgehogs is densely dotted with needles - hair modified during evolution. In a healthy animal, 1 needle out of 3 falls out per year, the hedgehogs completely change their outfit once in a lifetime, when children's needles are replaced by adults. The needles are hollow inside, their length is about 3 cm, the total number of thorns in an adult hedgehog reaches 6 thousand. The abdomen is the most vulnerable spot of the hedgehog, therefore, in case of danger, the animal curls up in a ball due to the reduction of the continuous muscle layer located under the skin.

    But in the mouth of the hedgehog an impressive arsenal of small sharp teeth: 20 on the upper jaw and 16 on the lower. Therefore, it is not surprising that amphibians, reptiles and field mice are among what the hedgehogs eat on their vast area.

    Where do hedgehogs live

    For the inhabitants of Australia and America, the hedgehog is an exotic beast, because hedgehogs are not found on these continents. But in most of Europe, Asia and Africa, they are widespread and quite familiar.

    Hedgehogs are unpretentious and inhabit the most diverse biotopes, where there is something to feed. They avoid dense forests and heavily wetlands, preferring to settle in the open woodlands, on the edges of the river, in floodplains, on plains covered with dense grass.

    Often entire families of hedgehogs live all their lives in villages, villages and gardening, where they feed on garbage dumps and compost heaps. Where they are fed porridge, sausage and meat waste - they regularly come to dinner, because they are active at dusk and at night. During the day, hedgehogs sleep in empty burrows of rodents, in shrubbery and in other natural shelters, and nests are equipped only for hibernation.

    It is believed that hedgehogs choose a neighborhood with humans, not only because of the available garbage, but also for safety reasons. Indeed, in a place inhabited by people, the probability of becoming a victim of a badger, fox, ferret or owl is too insignificant. However, not all hedgehogs are lucky to settle next to kind-hearted people, and most have to get food in the wild.

    What do hedgehogs eat in nature?

    The favorite diet of hedgehogs is food of animal origin, hedgehogs do not disdain carrion. In the first place are all kinds of insects: caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets, numerous beetles, earwigs.It is interesting that hedgehogs eat poisonous bugs - boarders with pleasure without harm to health, as well as other animals whose poison is deadly for most mammals, for example, vipers.

    A significant proportion of the diet is made up of slugs, snails, caterpillars, woodlice, sometimes hedgehogs harvest earthworms, eat frogs and lizards. Mouse-like rodents are caught on the run, developing a speed of up to 3 m / s. A special treat for hedgehogs is chicks and eggs of birds nesting on the ground. With such an addiction to protein food, hedgehogs brought to the Hebrides Islands became a real threat to the population of lapwings, snipe and dunlin.

    But the benefits of hedgehogs are invaluable: prickly animals destroy May beetles, silkworm caterpillars - nuns, unpaired silkworms and other agricultural pests. Knowing this, experienced gardeners and gardeners will never drive the hedgehogs from their plots.

    Plant foods, although to a lesser extent, are present in the diet of every hedgehog. These are mushrooms, acorns, mosses, seeds of cereal crops and sunflower. When the berries ripen, hedgehogs eat raspberries, strawberries and mulberries. In autumn, they pick fruits in the orchards - apples and pears, but they don’t carry them anywhere on their thorns, but eat on the spot.

    Hedgehogs do not stockpile for the winter at all, they fall into hibernation, similar to the state of suspended animation, and lose about 35% of their weight during this time. Therefore, it is so important for them to walk at least 500 g of weight over the summer, otherwise the hedgehog will not wake up in the spring.

    In nature, hedgehogs rarely live up to 5 years, in captivity they can live up to 10 years, but subject to proper care and feeding.

    How to feed a hedgehog at home

    A hedgehog is a rather specific pet that will hide during the day and stomp and puff loudly at night, exploring all angles in a house or apartment. But if brought, it is necessary to endure and competently feed.

    Hedgehogs have lactose intolerance, a pet should not be given milk and dairy products, even if he will eat them with pleasure. Food for cats and dogs, even premium - class is also not good, there is a lot of fat and not enough protein. Therefore, the best option is natural food.

    Among what the hedgehogs eat at home, there must be raw and boiled lean meat: beef, chicken, turkey, and rabbit. Offal is welcome - beef and chicken liver, stomachs, heart. From time to time you can give boiled, preferably river fish. As mineral additives - bone and fish meal.

    It is not recommended to deprive the hedgehog of the main components of its natural diet. Periodically, the hedgehog needs to eat insects: grasshoppers, cockroaches, flour worms, which can be purchased at the pet store. Sometimes you need to give raw chicken and quail eggs.

    Plant food for a home hedgehog is berries, fruits and vegetables. The animal will appreciate sliced ​​apple, pear, banana or watermelon. Any seedless berries can be offered. From vegetables, the hedgehog will like cucumber, carrot, peas, leaf lettuce.

    Like any animal, a hedgehog cannot be overfed. The norm per day for a hedgehog, weighing 800 g - 100 g of food, divided into 2 doses. It is desirable that each feeding be balanced: 2/3 of animal food, 1/3 of vegetable.

    Not everyone can boast of keeping a pet like a hedgehog in his house. It can be taken home from the grove or purchased in a nursery, where the animal’s health is checked and does not fall into doubt. When a person brings a cute, prickly creature to his house, he must provide the animal with a cozy corner from his usual materials and study in advance how to feed the hedgehog at home and how to properly care for it.

    The hedgehog prefers to build a dwelling of turf and grass in bushes, in secluded places, hidden from prying eyes. In the house, a dark corner with a hut assembled from newspapers, leaves and grass is suitable for him. Having got a forest dweller at home, you need to provide him with comfortable living, decent care and good nutrition. Then the animal will bring you joy, and his stay near you will not be too difficult for him.

    How to feed a hedgehog at home?

    The omnivorousness of cute prickles allows them to eat almost on a par with humans, but their food should be lightly salted or not salty at all. Hedgehogs do not refuse different types of cheese products, boiled pasta, cookies, raw, boiled and fried potatoes and even seeds. With pleasure I will take cat food, fresh fish, eggs, greens from your hands. You can cook different cereals, meat broths for a new pet, water it with milk, and even offer cottage cheese.

    However, a civilized diet should not completely displace habitual forest food. Sometimes, or maybe often you can pamper the animal with bugs and spiders, moths specially caught for it. To please the pet with his favorite dishes in the winter, you can catch insects in the summer, dry and store in a jar with a tightly closed lid.

    Raw meat remains the main delicacy for a hedgehog even at home. You can buy or catch mice, but the pleasure to cut the carcass is better left to the forest dweller. Raw meat can be alternated with boiled meat to avoid infection of the hedgehog with pathogenic bacteria from rodents. However, there is no need to digest it much. It is useful to feed your new companion with food additives - bone meal, but not more than once a day.

    Do hedgehogs eat apples?

    A hedgehog carrying a ruddy red-sided apple on its needles along forest paths is an image that we remember from cartoons and from the pages of children's books. However, apples are not the main components of the diet of a forest orderly: he will not be able to hold out for a long time as a vegetarian.

    Various fruits and juices from them will serve only as a fortified supplement to the main diet.

    Hunting is what nature inherent in nature of these animals, and they are collectors of fruits and berries insofar as. They can carry berries and mushrooms impaled on needles with the aim of stocking up food for the winter. However, pinning something on the needles of a small inhabitant of the forests is extremely difficult and almost impossible. And in addition to everything, it is not unknown that hedgehogs sleep in winter and do not need much supplies. Although they can drag apples into their home out of prudence: they suddenly happen to wake up in the middle of winter and feel hunger.

    How to drink a hedgehog?

    Fluid is needed by cute prickly creatures as well as by humans. It is an invariable part of the diet. In the dining room of the animal, there should always be a bowl of ordinary drinking water. Before inviting him to drink, the bowl must be thoroughly washed and rinsed with boiling water - this way you will ensure that the animal has proper care and protect it from unwanted diseases.

    It is believed that the hedgehog's favorite drink is milk. Yes, he will not refuse such an offer, but do not forget: do not offer milk too often. This threatens the animal with some sores and even serious ailments. Cow's milk should be excluded from his diet: it is too fat for a small creature and can provoke intestinal upsets and have a devastating effect on the teeth. It is better to choose goat or sheep’s milk.

    How to feed a prickly pet?

    The standard diet for a hedgehog is twice a day. However, if this is not enough for your pet, he will behave uneasily while looking for food. This will give you a signal that it is worth once again to feed the baby a little. The nutritional norm for an adult animal in the spring and autumn is approximately 220-230 grams.

    In the summer, 200 grams of food will be enough for a hedgehog. Females in an “interesting position” are able to eat twice as much as usual.

    The main part of the menu should remain in the evening and at night: do not forget, because your four-legged friend is set up by nature for night life. If food is not prudently left, he will sherud, dig, make noise all night long.

    Nowadays, a hedgehog living in a house with a man is no longer a curiosity. Therefore, your beloved animal can freely become your permanent household. And its simplicity and unpretentiousness relieves the owner of great trouble associated with the questions of how to feed a hedgehog at home and how to properly care for it.

    Animal Nutrition Video

    Hedgehogs are cute, kind animals, and people have long kept hedgehogs as pets.

    If you decide to have a hedgehog in an apartment, then it is better to buy it at a pet store with a veterinary health opinion. Hedgehogs may have rabies, so it’s better not to take a wild resident. They can also be infected with helminths and other diseases that are dangerous to humans.

    ✔ Set the hedgehog in a spacious cage so that it has space for a tray and bowl.

    ✔ Hang a special drinker in the corner. Over time, he will get used to drinking from it, and the cage will not be wet from an overturned bowl of water.

    ✔ The odor will relieve the ordinary. Pour it into the bottom of the cage and into the tray. Some hedgehogs even learn to go there! Straw or dry grass can be placed on top of the filler.

    ✔ Cleaning the cage is enough once or twice a week, as it can experience stress due to frequent interference in its personal space.

    ✔ If he is scared, do not try to play with him. He may bite you, children, and other pets.

    ✔ These little spiky pranksters love to run when released from the cage. True, then it takes a long time to look for a night resident. During the day he will hide, and at night he will wake you with a loud thunder. By the way, the hedgehogs have very sharp claws! It is advisable to cut them, otherwise the hedgehog may spoil the flooring of the apartment.

    But in fact, hedgehogs are predators. They feed on bugs, midges, worms and even rodents. At home, their diet consists of chicken, beef and fish in raw and boiled form.

    It is better to scald the meat by making minced meat, and then mix with boiled rice or buckwheat.

    They also love dairy products: milk, cottage cheese, fermented baked milk, kefir.

    Insects for hedgehogs are a real delicacy. They adore crickets, Madagascar cockroaches, and flour worms. Also suitable for them, mixed with a raw egg - such a mixture is useful for a prickly pet, in addition, it will appeal to him to his taste.

    Even in the diet of the hedgehog, vegetables and fruits are added in small quantities, you can give freshly squeezed juice or a vitamin mixture of fresh carrots with the addition of egg powder and crushed crackers. An adult hedgehog is fed twice a day.

    At home, hedgehogs live 8-10 years.

    There are various types of hedgehogs: ordinary (European), African (white-bellied), eared, long-needle and even bald.

    If you create a hedgehog with comfortable living conditions, healthy and tasty food, as well as pay attention, then a prickly and cute little friend will settle in your apartment, which will delight you and bring a lot of positive emotions.