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Dried insects with good Ca:P ratio

Home Forums Champions’ chat Dried insects with good Ca:P ratio

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    Ok, so I have those sort of fussy hedgehogs who pretty much only want to eat mealworms. I scatter a few mealworms and put hedgehog and dog biscuits over the top. The hogs root about for the mealworms and leave most of the healthy food. Thing is, I’m losing my hedgehogs… I think the person spray painting them white is probably feeding them something ‘nicer’. (If they are irresponsible enough to paint them, then they are irresponsible enough to feed them the wrong things, right?)

    Anyway, I found this handy table –

    and a place you can buy earthworms –

    and a few for phoenix worms –

    you can also get crickets here but I dont know if they are high Ca –

    Good idea/bad idea ??

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    Hi WildCaz

    Wow! You’ve been doing a lot of homework! It is a problem if someone nearby is feeding mealworms, although to be completely fair to them, not everyone realises they are not good for the hogs, especially if they are not on Hedgehog Street Forum. I have thought of putting up some sort of poster here, because I suspect that some of my visitors may have access to them somewhere, and are sometimes choosing to go there rather than here. I wish there was an official poster. Poster making is not something I am much good at! The trouble is mealworms, as well as sunflower hearts and peanuts are still included in the list of foods on Hedgehog Street. I did email suggesting that maybe they might consider changing the advice and, to be fair, ‘in moderation’ was added to the mealworm bit. But it doesn’t even mention hedgehog food at all. BHPS, on their site, say: ‘ The best things to offer are Hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or complete cat biscuits. The only drink that should be offered is water (especially in dry weather and when offering dry food).’ But it must be confusing for people, getting mixed messages. My feeling is the advice needs to be consistent. I think it probably needs more people to suggest it!

    I’m not sure about the dried earthworms, etc. – whether they are a good idea or not – not being an expert, but I wonder whether the hogs would actually like them. I often find dead dried up earthworms near where the hogs have been feeding which they haven’t eaten. I wonder whether it would be a good idea to try one of the other hog foods, such as the one lots of rescue places mention – from Ark Wildlife, or ‘I love hedgehogs’ the ingredients of which looks to be very similar. They might be more inviting to some hogs than the hog or cat biscuits.

    I hope you manage to entice the hogs back.


    You’re absolutely right, there are mixed messages. I’ll admit I used to feed a lot of mealworms, until I learned otherwise. It makes sense, they eat worms.. so mealworms must be good. When you google ‘feeding hedgehogs’ (or similar) some of the sites say mealworms and peanuts, some don’t, but they specifically say don’t feed bread and milk, and I think they should also explain briefly there why not to feed mealworms.

    You might be right, I’ll try different hedgehog food as a first step. They eat some of ‘Spikes’ food, but not enough to call it a success.

    I hope so too! We have a new visiting badger which I don’t think helps. God knows where he’s coming from, I’m in a busy urban area.


    They sell mealworms and mixed insects on the Ark Wildlife website! I knew I got it from somewhere when I first started feeding them. I think some emails are in order…


    Calci worms have been on the market a little while now. They are dry maggots of a fly.
    Protein 38%
    Fat 37%
    Calcium 0.55%
    Phosphorus 0.78%

    They are quite expensive.

    Oh by the way, I was willpar before they changed the site, but could not get on after. Still have problems now logging in. I have to change my password all the time. So now I just look at the forums To post a message takes forever and a day. Not impressed, so probably wont contribute much.


    Hi William,

    I thought it was quiet on the forum, sounds like you’re not the only one having problems logging in.

    Hi WildCaz,

    I always worry, like you, that someone down the street is feeding them bucket loads of mealworms, but thankfully they still can’t get enough of the Purina One kitten biscuits.

    Wilko now do a ‘Wildly Tasty’ Insect Medley, a mixture of beetles other insects and mealworms (Yum!) Could this be a healthier option …Any thoughts anyone? To try and deter a particularly annoying cat that can now remove the saucer lids, I soaked the disgusting looking mixture in water and poured the resulting stew over the biscuits…The darned cat still ate the lot including beetles the size of bees!!!

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    Hi William/willpar

    Perhaps it would be a good idea if you got in touch with PTES about problems getting in to the Forum. I see, from the Home Page, that there is now a new Hedgehog Officer. You shouldn’t have to keep changing passwords. (although there have been times, although not so much recently, when I am sure I have typed in the right password and it has turned it down – but it has always worked if I tried again). It would be a shame if you aren’t able to contribute easily – and you are not the first person to say they have had problems. It might explain why it has gone so quiet on Hedgehog Street recently.

    Re. the calci worms. It sounds as if that is a better ratio than mealworms, but still not ideal. I might be wrong, but I think the ideal ratio is 1 to 1, otherwise the Calcium could still be leached from the bones. It seems to me, the best thing to do is keep it simple and feed Hedgehog Food, which, as it is made specially for hedgehogs, should have the right ingredients. The problem is getting the word around, so everyone knows not to feed mealworms. Especially important now when there are hoglets beginning to appear.

    Hope you manage to sort out the password problem and are able to contribute more again.


    Phoenix worms/calci worms (same thing) are Ca:P 1.5:1, mealworms are 1:7, according to the table on the first link I posted at the top (scroll down to the table).

    Re: Wilko ‘Wildly Tasty’ Insect Medley, do the beetles look like this – ??
    I only suggest that as mealworm beetles seem to be the cheapest to produce. If so, the Ca:P ratio is 1:11, which wouldn’t be good at all.

    I’ll give Purina One kitten biscuits a go… although I live in the middle of a plague of cats :\. I’ll try anything!

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    Hi WildCaz

    Strange, if Phoenix worms are the same as calci worms. William’s percentages seem to indicate the ratio would be nearer to the opposite. Which makes me wonder how accurate all these figures really are.
    I think Ark Life probably were originally involved with bird food, and mealworms are used for bird food, which is probably why they sell them too.

    If you try the hog food from Ark Life mentioned by the Rescue places, or ‘I love hedgehogs’, most cats aren’t interested in them. The hogs here seem to prefer that sort of thing to kitten biscuits, anyway. Just as well with all the cats I see in the garden!

    William/willpar. Apparently if you, or any one else who has problems with passwords and logging in, emails:
    they will be able to fix the issue immediately for you.


    Hi WildCaz,

    Having got up close to the insect medley (urghhh!) it appears that the beetles are silk worm pupae along with some kind of shrimp.

    As Nic says, if you have a problem with cats Ark Wildlife biscuits might be a good option; most hedgehogs love it, but ours wouldn’t touch it, so best to try a small amount first.

    Just a thought…most of us would like to think that food marketed specifically for hedgehogs would be the healthiest and most tailored to their needs, but in my quest to find something more irresistible than mealworms I have come across some shockers! The first hedgehog food I purchased was from the RSPB and was full of sweetened cranberries, which we now know rots their teeth and another one that I purchased was full of dried bananas. Thankfully the RSPB no longer sell the cranberry crunch, but it does make you wonder doesn’t it!


    Not on topic I know, but I managed to resolve my password problems. But I cant change my handle back to Willpar. It just gives a list from information that one gives when signing up. But I still don’t like I’m not a robot thingy. Will try and go with the changes.

    Hedgehog wise I am just down to around two per night. No sign of any hoglets yet.

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    Hi again

    I was meaning the Ark Wildlife Hedgehog Mix rather than the biscuits. I suspect cats are more likely to go for the biscuits than the mix and possibly the hogs like the mix better than the biscuits?

    I know what you mean, Penny about some of the hedgehog mixes. I remember someone else on here mentioning hedgehog food with dried bananas. What were the people who invented that thinking? (By the way, changing the subject completely, for a moment, Boss Hog is back – so he’s ok). I think what we all need to remember is that it is only supposed to be supplementary feeding. Ideally, habitat improvement and expansion (via linking gardens) is the thing to aim for, then the hogs can find natural food and we wouldn’t all have to worry about what was best to feed them.

    William. Glad to hear you are back in business on the Forum. I agree, that robot thing can be very irritating sometimes. It doesn’t help that it seems to speak in American (I think) and I don’t always understand what it is talking about! I suppose, at least it might reduce the numbers of the nonsense posts that sometimes appear on here. Re. the hoglets – it is still quite early yet. The two here appeared a month earlier than I saw any last year.


    Hi Nic,

    Glad to hear that the ‘Boss’ hog is back and that you have hoglets; still none here as yet only the one found out in the day by a neighbour.

    Changing the subject again, we put a new hedgehog hole in the gate that backs onto the footpath at the end of May. I set up a camera for several nights after, but the hogs didn’t use it, they just had a good look around, walked through it and then came straight back again. I set up a camera again last night to try and capture a hog that has been using that route whilst still light for several days. Yet again I was outsmarted by not one, but two hogs that arrived within 15 minutes of each other whilst still light, but took a different route up the garden to avoid the camera! It did however, capture four other hogs leaving the garden by the new hole in the gate, so it just shows what a difference one hole can make.

    As I am sat here typing there is a frog sat outside the feeding station in the rain, I wonder if the frogs are now making use of the leftovers too… 🙂


    Ark Wildlife sell banana chips on their own for hedgehogs :\

    ‘I Love Hedgehogs’ food:
    ‘Our delicious blend includes: nuts, fruit, sunflower hearts and cereals, laced with sweet energy-rich honey and for good measure we’ve added dried insects, hedgehog’s natural protein preference’. The insects definitely include mealworms… and nuts/sunflower seeds are high in potassium too. Plus fruit which is bad for their teeth. And I cant imagine honey is wise? Its sugar after all.

    Ark Wildlife:
    ‘sunflower hearts, peanut granules, pinhead oats, micronised flaked oats, dried mealworms, brewer’s yeast & honey’

    I don’t know, its a minefield. I suppose it depends how much of the ‘bad’ stuff is in these mixes.


    Also, I emailed Ark Wildlife to suggest taking mealworms off sale in the hedgehog food section and this is what they said:

    ‘Hi Caroline

    We at Ark Wildlife have been warning about these dangers for many years and are so happy to see public awareness catching up.

    Thank you for your correspondence.’


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