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Should I feed my hedgehogs mealworms?

Nutritionally, mealworms aren’t that good for hedgehogs, and they can become ‘addicted’ to them meaning they fill up on a food that’s doesn’t offer much goodness.

The calcium/phosphorus ratios (Ca:P) is another cause for concern.  For every milligram of phosphorus a hedgehog consumes, it must consume another milligram of calcium otherwise the calcium gets taken from the calcium stores in the body (teeth and bones) to balance the phosphorus out. Mealworms have a high amount of Phosphorus in them meaning if the hedgehog eats too many it causes calcium to be stripped from the body. Rehabilitators think this may cause bone problems in hedgehogs.

Mealworms (and very possibly other single ingredient foods like sunflower hearts and nuts) may cause problems when eaten in large quantities so should only ever be offered in moderation as a special treat.  To be on the safe side, it’s probably better to offer other foods, such as a good quality hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food and cat biscuits (chicken, rabbit and turkey being easiest for them to digest) and of course only ever water to drink.


Hedgehog and fox cub having a mealworm party