Among the regular wild visitors in the backyard of your home, the hedgehog is among the most popular! It’s no surprise that some people even keep pet hedgehogs because they look adorable! If you want to learn more about what hedgehogs eat, this blog post is for you!
Hedgehogs are small, spiny mammals found in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Hedgehogs typically live in forests, hedges, and meadows. Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active at night.
Hedgehogs are severely lactose intolerant! In some cases, cowmilk has been shown to cause their deaths. If you want to help hedgehogs when food is scarce, like in the wintertime, it is better to offer them cat food, scrambled eggs, or unseasoned cooked chicken or beef.
The typical diet of wild hedgehogs
During the day, hedgehogs sleep in dens or nests made from leaves and grass. At night, hedgehogs forage for food. Hedgehogs primarily eat invertebrates (e.g., insects and their larvae and worms, earthworms, and leeches). But they also eat snails, frogs, and carrion. Occasionally they will also eat plant materials such as roots, and other fruit and vegetables.
What do pet hedgehogs eat?
There is a huge variety to choose from when it comes to feeding a pet hedgehog. Among the foods most suitable are; mealworms, waxworms, crickets, fruits (non-dried only!), vegetables that are not starchy, cooked meat and eggs, baby mice, hedgehog kibble, or cat dry food. Make sure to feed your pets a wide variety of food to prevent malnutrition or vitamin deficiency but stay within the recommended amount. Always refer to a veterinarian you trust to offer any pet the nutrition it needs to stay healthy and happy.
Hedgehog life cycle
Hedgehogs reproduce in the springtime. After a gestation period of around 35 days, the female hedgehog gives birth to a litter of anywhere from 1-8 hedgehog babies, called hoglets. Hoglets are born blind and without spines.
The hoglets ‘ eyes open within a few weeks, and their spines begin to grow. Hedgehogs reach sexual maturity at around six months old. They typically live for 2-5 years in the wild but can live up to 10 years in captivity.
Fun facts about hedgehogs:
– They can run up to 4 miles per hour!
– Not many people know that hedgehogs are excellent swimmers.
– Also, they are proficient climbers and can scale fences and walls.
– When hedgehogs are scared or threatened, they curl up into a tight ball, protecting their face and belly.
– Hedgehogs are not actually related to hogs! The name hedgehog comes from the Old English word hecg, meaning hedge, and hogg, meaning hog or pig.
– Hedgehogs are found in Shakespeare’s works more than any other animal!
To learn more facts about hedgehogs, also check out this post here by National Geographic.