What To Feed Hedgehogs & The Danger Of Too Many Mealworms!
18th November 2019 at 2:58 am #19809
Their diets are very simple really, but they can be a bit fussy – when I first starting feeding them I bought Webbox hedgehog food from Morrisons, and that’s when they all started arriving, it was a big hit, then Morrisons ran out so went to pets at home and got spikes crunchy biscuits, they went on strike for a couple of days, I thought I’d never see them again, then they came back – then I tried out spikes semi-moist, and then they’d just eat the semi-moist and not bother with the crunchy – and then Morrisons started to restock again, just lately, so I continued with the semi-moist mixed in with the webbox and they refuse to eat the Webbox.
With wet dog food, it hasn’t mattered what brand I’ve given them, they like that regardless, but boy are they fussy about the dried food.
So now, sticking to spikes semi-moist and Go Cat biscuits, lately I’ve had empty dishes – but recently, since nearly all of them are in hibernation now, they eat all the spikes and leave the Go Cat,
So your hedgehogs will like the Wilkinsons for now, switch it, they might go on strike, and then start eating, then after a while, if you go back to the original food, they might refuse it.
They are funny little things.
I think this is why mealworms is such a huge problem, as once they get the taste of them, when people find out that they are bad for them, they refuse to eat the good stuff, so people give up giving them the good stuff and continue with the mealworms.
I saw an article by one of the rescue centres, and they said, it takes about 4 days (after them being fed on mealworms) before they’ll start eating again, but they do start eating again, and probably forget about the mealworms.
If you do want to try other brands of dried hedgehog food or cat biscuits, I’ve learnt that it’s best to start feeding them the new stuff whilst you’ve still got some left of the old stuff, and mix it in together, so by the time you switch, they would have got used to the smell and be less suspicious of it.7th September 2020 at 2:33 pm #27062
I’ve recently been reading that calci-worms or black soldier fly larvae are better than mealworms. Can anyone confirm or repudiate this please?7th September 2020 at 10:58 pm #27078
Goodness you’ve dredged up an old post!
The problem with mealworms is that they have more phosphorous than calcium which can lead to calcium being leached from the bones.
Calci-worms are usually the opposite and have more calcium than phosphorous.
For me, the jury is still out as to how good they are for hedgehogs otherwise. Also there is a problem that when these things become more popular, people will try to produce them more cheaply and feed them bad diets. That apparently happened with mealworms and some of them (which had been fed on low quality diets) apparently had an even worse ratio of calcium to phosphorous than others did.
I have read part of a study of calci-worms which were fed on various qualities of food and those that were fed rubbish (literally) had lower calcium levels than those fed on better diets. So if you ever were going to feed calci-worms it might be worth checking what the levels were.
As things stood at the time of that report, the calci-worms had higher levels of calcium than mealworms did. However, I do not know whether it may be discovered at some time in the future if, for instance, that too much calcium may not be good, for some reason (or too much calcium in relation to phosphorous – as I understand it both are necesary, so that an imbalance in the other direction may not be good either – that is something I do not know enough about to be able to comment at the moment). Or that there may be something else about calci-worms which are not ideal for hogs. So, personally, until I have heard some more information from an expert on nutrition of hedgehogs, I wouldn’t recommend that they were fed in any more than small amounts – more of a garnish to other food.
I would, however, advise anyone against feedng mealworms to hedgehogs as it seems there is quite a lot of evidence that they are harmful to hogs.
The following is some advice from Vale Wildlife at the end of which is a table showing the calcium to phosphorous ratios of various foods. Unfortunately calci-worms are not yet mentioned.
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