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Old 06-21-2019, 10:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Freeze dried meal worms

I am getting my first hedgehog next week and I am trying to get everything I need to get started. I am still deciding on a kibble and would love input on what’s good for a 3 month old. I am familiar with what brands are better quality because of my dogs, but still can’t decide on a car kibble for our hedgie. However, if I understand correctly, it’s good for us to feed some insects and/or mealworms a few times a week too. Are freeze dried meal worms okay?
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you look at the stickies theres a beginners guide to hedgehog nutrition of your familiar with the better brands of food I would just go to a pet shop and look at the fat protein and ingredients of the food, while they are younger and still growing a lot of people say they need a bit of a higher fat diet but this still shouldn't go over 15% in biscuit because you still have the fat from the insects that is really hard to work out properly.
I would go with a mix of 2 foods one higher in fat than the other, while the hog is younger use a bit more of the higher fat than the lower fat so somethng like 60 or 70% higher fat and 40 or 30% lower fat. I would also recomend finding out the food they are already on and seeing what this is like, and if you agree with it, either way I would suggest leaving them on the food they have been eating for the first few weeks while settling then slowly change over.

Insects should make up a fair bit of their diet, they should have a wide variety and are best fed as live. The problem with dried and freeze dried is that they can cause blockages and have zero nutrition left in them. Canned insects are a little better, they don't cause blockages and depending on the brand depends on the nutrition you get but because of the process they use to kill them they also loose a fair bit of nutrition. Canned insects once opened need to go in your fridge and only last a week or remove them from the can and freeze them to have them last longer.

Or the best option is to buy them live, though you don't have to keep them live, now you should gut load the insects for 24-48 hours before doing anything really because this just makes them healthier for your hedgehog.
Once gut loading you can feed them live. Or you can leave them in the containers (unless in soil I recomend taking the insects out of the soil into a different clean container before) and just put them into your freezer for 24-48 hours so they die, this is by far not the same as freeze drying, its purely just freezing them to kill them, then just defrost for 10-15 mins at room temp before feeding.
By freezing them it makes jumpy insects such as locust and crickets a lot easier to feed and you can hide them around the cage or use a forage tray to still give the enrichment of hunting their own food. I would once frozen move them to another container that's clean and then throw out all the original containers.

Gut loading just incase you dont know already is basically giving them loads of hedgehog friendly veg and sometimes fruit to feed them up.

Good insects to feed are dubai roaches, locusts, black and brown crickets, calci worms, meal worms (the amount of mealworms should be done by the weight of the hog as they are very fatty !!) Silk worms, morio worms (these are known to bit though so when feeding live most people tend to cut off the heads to give the hog a better chance) pretty much any feeder insect for reptiles is safe but if unsure always ask.
Don't be scare of the size that maybe your hog won't be able to eat it and because its too big, they can eat day old mice !!
I would go for medium locusts and medium crickets. And medium dubai roaches.

Insects can be found online at any online reptile shop. Or you can go into a reptile shop and have a look but you can generally find a much wider range online.

Last edited by Ria; 06-22-2019 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 06-22-2019, 11:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Is there a brand of canned insects that is best to start with? I will also look into live. Do I need to give live bugs daily or just a few times a week? Same question for fruit and veggies. I haven’t found much info on how much kibble and bugs to give, just that I shouldn’t overfeed.
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Old 06-22-2019, 11:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I give Holly a total of 14 insects a night but she gets a different mix of insects each night, and 12g of biscuit. People generally say about doing it table spoons but this can differ hugely between foods like if I gave Holly the recommended 2 tablespoons of food I would be giving 20g of biscuit which is a lot.
Most people say to free feed but this is widely debated over too.
In a way I do, I give Holly 12g of food knowing she eats roughly 6g per night but theres more there if she so wished to eat a bit more, she always has food but its controlled in as much as she wont ever get more than 12g of biscuit

I wouldn't offer more than 16g of food especially as some hedgehogs will just eat because its there.
You can feed a wide verity of insects every other dat if you wanted, but I think its better to get a different mix of a wide variety of insects each day.

Herp and zoomed are the best brands for canned insects. I used them to get Holly started on insects and get myself used to the idea of feeding insects before moving over to live insects that I then gut load and freeze because that's the only way my mum allows me to have them in her house, that and I'm not a big fan of them myself, and Holly isnt keen on the jumpy ones haha.

Fruit and veg is only really recommended to be given in small amounts about twice a week or less. They can't digest huge amounts of plant matter and any veg should be cooked.
They can also have cooked meats or pet grade raw meat that you buy frozen for dogs, they can have this a few times a week, maybe 3-4 days a week in small amounts.
Theres a list of safe and unsafe foods in the sticki section, if you cant find one you want to know about just ask and someone will be able to tell you.
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Old 06-22-2019, 02:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Is there a brand of canned insects that is best to start with? I will also look into live. .
For those new to feeding insects, it can be a bit intimidating. It seems canned would be easiest but I don't think that's true. The canned, I understand, can be quite smelly!

Live mealworms are truly simple to deal with -- no touching necessary! You can buy them at any pet store and keep in your refrig.

When you first take them out of the refrig, they are dormant and don't move. After they've been placed in a dish (see photo) and start to warm up, they will begin to wiggle a bit. (No odor, btw.)

As you can see from the photo, I just use a plastic spoon for dishing them out of the sawdust-looking stuff.
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