Hedgehog is a funny and smart animal, which in nature lives in a wooded area. However, today a large number of people contain these living creatures at home. The hedgehog is difficult to call unpretentious pet, because it needs not only comfortable living conditions but also in nutrition. What to feed a hedgehog, the animal was healthy?
What is the hedgehog in nature?
Despite the cute appearance, the hedgehog is a predator, so it eats not only plant food, but also various insects, worms, snakes, snails and even mice. Urchins can destroy ground bird nests to eat nestlings or eggs. Under natural conditions, the hedgehog also eats berries and fruits.
Hedgehogs are often called the forest techs as they clean the area from the fall, eating the corpses of small animals.
Hedgehog in the house
Before perform features of a food of the hedgehog, it is necessary to consider the General rules for the care of this animal at home:
- Hedgehog need the space, so to settle such an animal need in a spacious cage. Such a cell can be equipped with driftwood, decorative house and other shelters.
- On the bottom of the cage need to fill and evenly distribute cornmeal filler (usually get this for cats). On top of filling, you can put the pieces of moss, leaves and everything that may meet the hedgehog under natural conditions.
- Cleaning the cage should be done 1-2 times a week. The hedgehog is a clean animal, so it could experience severe stress if he had to live in a dirty home.
Diet hedgehog at home
A hedgehog can be called omnivorous family pet with an excellent appetite. At home prickly rodent eating meat, dairy products, cereals and plant foods. The hedgehog is not used to deny yourself the abundance of food, but it does not mean that the animal is necessary to overfeed. Abundant food may harm the health of the hedgehog, therefore, the owner of the animal of the forest must ensure that his pet ate is not only qualitatively, but also balanced.
What to feed a hedgehog at home (list of products):
- fresh meat;
- animal feed (bone, blood meal);
- live insects;
Also the rodent can be fed high quality dry food for cats, but in this case, you need to carefully study the composition of the food. The basic components of the food to be vegetables and meat, while starch, sugar and salt in the feed for a hedgehog must not be allowed.
How to feed a hedgehog at home:
- Meat: feeding forest rodent suitable raw, cooked or scalded meat lean varieties (Turkey, chicken, rabbit). Ezh also will not refuse from such a delicacy as the offal is spleen, kidneys, liver, chicken stomach, heart, etc. Meat to hedgehog can be combined with porridge. For example, minced meat with addition of buckwheat or rice will meet the daily needs of the animal organism in essential vitamins and minerals.
- Fish: your pet from the forest can be given raw and lightly cooked sea or river fish without salt.
- Insects: despite the fact that the hedgehog will live in the home, to deny him a live feed is not recommended. In the diet of a forest dweller as often as possible should be live caterpillars, beetles and frogs. Also hedgehog can be fed a live mouse, if you can catch one. But snails pet to give is not recommended, as they may be infected with lung parasites.
- Vegetables and fruits: the hedgehog you can give all plant foods except citrus. Fresh fruits and vegetables, you can replace the child mashed jars, but only if their composition is starch and sugar.
- Eggs: the diet of a wild animal can be raw or boiled eggs (chicken and quail).
It is believed that domesticated hedgehog is useful to feed dairy products, namely cow’s milk. This is actually a misconception, as modern veterinarians it has been proven that cow’s milk is too fatty and heavy food for the little animal. The same goes for yogurt, cream, cottage cheese.
Hedgehog is not recommended to feed food from the table, because the dishes that cooks for a man, contain seasonings, spices, and a large amount of salt and sugar.
Hedgehog cottage: what to feed
Often the dacha owners tell us that their plots were occasionally visited by hedgehogs. So people, the question arises about what to feed a hedgehog in the country. In this case, the animal can be given any food without sugar, salt and dyes. It is also recommended not to feed a hedgehog milk.
The rate of weight
The person who contains in the home of a hedgehog, remember that spring and summer rodent is gaining weight. Fat reserves helps the hedgehog to support the body during hibernation. But it is worth remembering that the extra weight can be harmful to the health of the hedgehog, therefore, the weight of his body must be controlled. Ideally, the hedgehog needs to weigh 800 grams (plus or minus 100 grams). For winter, the hedgehog goes into hibernation, and it happens in the middle or at the end of October.
The contents of a hedgehog at home does not require much effort and expenses. But if the pet became lethargic, and his behavior is not associated with the winter hibernation, then you must consult a veterinarian.