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Old 06-23-2019, 10:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Feeder insects

I have spent the last few days reading threads and researching feeder insects prior to my hedgie joining us next week. I am still very confused. I have a couple of questions I could use help with. 1) where are good places to buy them online and have them shipped to Indiana? I looked at josh’s frogs but they can’t guarantee they are still alive when they arrive and I saw he also sells on Amazon. Are there good sellers that use prime so shipping is free? 2) my hedgie will be almost 4 months old. He is currently being fed poor food so I will transition him probably to I and Love and You food. How many insects will he need daily? 3) How many different varieties of insects should I start with and how many of each? Locally we have a Petco. Do they have a variety of feeder bugs to try out? 4) we will probably freeze whatever we buy. Can someone give me specific instructions on how to gut load them? 5) if we decide to start with the canned route, what are some good brands? Thank you!
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Old 06-23-2019, 01:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Petco carries a variety of insects. Some, like the live mealworms are kept refrigerated so you may need to ask them for them
here with my Mecki-- born 2/12/19

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Old 06-23-2019, 02:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would leave the hog on the food he is currently on for at least the first week before swapping to the better food slowly, this is only to prevent any extra stress or upset stomachs.

Insects I would start with a few a night like 2-3 and work up, assuming the breeder hasnt fed any insects I would start with crickets or calci worms or mealworms. Personally I started with canned grasshoppers cut in half and worked up from there.
I would start with one type of insect and build up the verity weekly or every 2 weeks from that.

Good canned insects brands are herp and zoomed, though I would only use it as a starting point or add more verity as they arent as big on nutrition as live or freezing them yourself.

Okay so gut loading I put in carrot ends or broccoli stems, parsnip ends basically the "waste" of any hedgehog safe veg that I used for food the day the insects come.
Then I just throw it into the tubs - I cheat and put them in the freezer for 15 mins to stun them to prevent any escapes when throwing in the food. I then just leave them in a warm place to eat the veg for 24-48 hours before just putting the container into the freezer. After being in the freezer for 48 hours I change them to a clean container and then just defrost for 10-15 mins before feeding.
I always move the ones in soil such as calci worms out to a clean container before freezing because the soil is a pain after freezing.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I know Rainbow Mealworms & Dubia Roaches (both sell a variety of feeder insects, despite their name) ship throughout the US. I don't know if they have live guarantees but honestly regardless of if they do or don't, feeder insects are pretty hardy. I order mine from a reptile supply store across the country, and one time they got 'lost' in the post and where in transit for like a week - and they were all totally fine (and alive!) when they showed up. As far as shipping cost; Generally there is a fee of around €5-10, which is very reasonable considering the cost and quality of the feeders you will be getting if through a reputable source like those I linked above.

As for quantity of insects; As he adjusts to them being a part of his diet, I would aim for anywhere from 10-15 for an average hedgehog. You can switch it up every night. Like; 4 crickets, 6-8 mealworms, and maybe a morioworm one night and the next swap the crickets for dubia or something - the possibilities are endless.

I'm not familiar with freezing insects because i feed exclusively live, so I can't help in that regard - but I do recommend not freezing everything, if you can. Live insects are a great stimulant for them. If you have an enclosed cage (like a terrarium) you can toss some crickets or locusts in for them to hunt or if you dont, you can use an empty storage tote and let your hog chase crickets in there. Their food moving in general is such an easy source of stimulation and enrichment; even if its just mealworms in a bowl.

I dont recommend exclusively canned insects, either. Little is known about how the cooking process affects them (if at all, but we dont know) and you also have no idea what those insects were gut loaded with prior to being fed either. Potatoes are a crap form of nutrition, as are cucumbers and iceberg lettuce- but theyre a common food tossed to feeders to 'gut load' them. The whole point of gut loading is to maximise nutrition of the insects. All my feeders are not only fed veggie scraps (like a variety of greens, carrots, and whatever other veg is left over from that day) but I also feed them insect fuel by arcadia to absolutely maximise their nutritional worth for my hedgehog. So not only are canned expensive and last like a week, max, in your fridge - but you're not getting your moneys worth at all.

If keeping the feeders alive is not at all an option for you (again, i still recommend trying if with at least some if you can), the next best thing is buying them live, gutloading yourself, and then freezing them - but I would only use those canned insects as alternatives to options you can't get live; basically view them as a treat.
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