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Old 02-22-2009, 08:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default freeze dried treats

so i heard that freeze dried mealworms can be bad to feed your hedgie, but what about crickets?
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: freeze dried treats

Meal worms , crickets, cockroach, and other bugs are fine for hedgehogs in moderation. You don't want to over feed your hedgehog, and these bugs should probably be given only as a treat. But, no they are fine!
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: freeze dried treats

I am not certain about freeze dried crickets, but i know freeze dried meal worms are dangerous. I would even go so far as to "ASSUME" that freeze dried insects all together are lacking the appropriate enzymes to allow hedgehogs to digest them properly. Then again, i may be wrong in that assumption and they may be fine to eat.

Unless someone specifically says that freeze dried crickets are okay, i would not feed them to my pet knowing the dangers of freeze dried meal worms.
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: freeze dried treats

The thing is is that only one source (that'd I've found) has a legit reason to say that their hedgie had issues digesting the freeze dried mealworms, and I just can't help but wonder if possibly the hedgie didn't have the proper stomach acid to break it down?
Hedgies.com says that it's fine to feed them freeze dried meal worms, and I just can't but wonder, if there is only one hedgie that had issues, what if it was just something with that hedgie?
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: freeze dried treats

the report states that many hedgies have had constipation issues or bowel blockages caused by what could possibly be freeze dried meal worms.

The issue is when you freeze dry something you are effectively removing all the liquid from within the insect (duh) but in a lot of insects there are enzymes found in the liquid inside their bodies. Some hedgies can digest meal worm chitin just fine without these special enzymes, where as others cannot digest it without the enzymes. My Vex is one example of a hedgehog who cannot properly digest meal worm chitin, but he is more than able to digest the chitin or crickets or other insects. I don't know what it is about meal worms, and to me it shouldn't make a difference, but i guess chemically they require different enzymes to help break them down.

Anyways. If it happened to at least one hedgie, i don't think i would personally take the chance to have it happen to mine if he cannot digest live ones properly. (Vex's poop looked like the meal worm wasn't dissolved at all, went right through him).

If you wish to take the risk, by all means go ahead. Just know what might happen. If your hedgehog has even one day of constipation while feeding him the freeze dried items, go through the appropriate methods to get him to poop, and i suggest stop feeding it to him.

For more information on difference between live and freeze dried mealworms and the enzymes required to break them down i would talk to a hedgehog specialized vet. I am not a biology major, but i find this stuff interesting.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: freeze dried treats

I've seen that page about the hedgie who died with its gut blocked by freeze-dried mealworms. My main issue with it is that it gives no indication of just how many the hedgie had eaten. But given the description, I would suspect that the owner fed it nothing but freeze-dried mealies, which I don't think anyone here would ever suggest.

I think an occasional freeze-dried mealie is fine as a treat, but no more than one or two a day. I mean, everything in moderation, here. Too much of anything can kill.
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