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Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum as I'm getting my hedgie in about a week! I wanted to buy mealworms to feed my hedgehog as a daily treat and I have read that alive ones are the healthiest for them. However, they are gross both for me to grab and for my family to keep on the fridge. In my country I can't get canned ones but they sell dried ones for birds as well. I know they can cause impaction but on the package it says that you can rehydrate the dried mealworms by placing them on hot water for 5 minutes. So my question is, if I rehydratate the mealworms, will they be healthy for my hedgehog? If alive ones are so much better I guess I can convince my parents... :-?
 

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Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
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No it wont make them healthy because all the neutrients havw been lost.
Dried insects are really bad for causing constipation epsecially if you pan on giving them daily, I think its the same even after re hydration but not 100% sure.

Some companys do pre gut loaed and frozen insects try looking around for those, you can use tweezers so you dont have to touch the worms.

To be honest mealworms are super high in fat anyway, so should still be carful with them, and some hogs dont like them anyway.

You could get insects like crickets, grasshoppers, locust, roaches orange woodlice, they would be better, if you buy then online most places gut load them before sendin then just stick them in the freezer for 24-48 hours to kill them, and defrost when needed - most people that dont like dealing with insects do this, and it keeps all nutrients.
 

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Hey there! The problem with freeze dried insects, aside from the nutrient loss, is indeed that they HAVE in extremely rare instances caused impaction. With that being said, I treated Christina with dried mealies for the first year and a half I had her before I ever even came across that article. I have stopped now though, as it’s not worth the possible risk. It probably won’t happen, but better to be safe than sorry!
Rehydration will only make the worms easier and safer to eat, but still won’t provide some of the nutrients you could get from live worms.
They can definitely be gross at first to handle, but if you handle them often enough, you’ll get used to it. You could definitely try freezing them (not the same as freeze DRYING them), like Ria mentioned, and pull them on an as needed basis. But if you do get live ones, you can just keep them in the fridge up to a month or two and not have to worry about frozen insects.
Hope this helps 🙂
 

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What about canned mealworms or crickets? I’m new so I can’t say if they’re better or not I’m more asking. They may not be guy loaded so maybe they won’t be as good but I’m curious if that would prevent impaction.
 

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I’ve never had personal experience with canned insects, but from my understanding they provide a compareable nutritional value vs live, and they don’t pose the risk of impaction!
 

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I was curious especially because pet stores around here only sell freeze dried. I saw you can order them online but since I live in the middle of nowhere I only have a P.O. Box and don’t know if they can or will hold them or if they’d survive the trip. Because of this I was thinking about using canned.
 

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Yeah, it’s a bummer that a lot of pet stores don’t sell quality care products. I completely understand your hesitation with ordering them, though I don’t think the post office can refuse to hold a box. Canned worms is a fine alternative.
 

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But you said crickets or grasshoppers are better anyway right? I think one of the stores here might have crickets. I’d have to freeze them though because I can’t stand the sound they make
 

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Canned insects have been gut loaded and then killed and a lot have added calcium, they have the same nutrients as live/been put in the freezer after gut loading. They are a lot better than dried. But they only last a week - a week and half in the fridge once opened. Most people will open the can empty it to a small container of freezer bag, and then put then in the frezzer to make them last longer, as most hedgehogs dont get through one can a week.

The zoomed ones are better, as If I remember right they dont add calcium to every can, where the herp ones do. (Only two I know)

Also dried and freeze dried are fairly likely to cause problems causeing a blockage leading to constipation if they are fed daily, its better to stay well clear, I am sure that some hedgehogs wont get it, the more fibre they get I'm sure that may help a little, but its better to just not use them. If your going to use dried or freeze dried you may as well just shouldnt use insects as your not providing the benefits of them either way.

Other insects such as crickets, locusts, roaches, grasshoppers, orange woodlice, calci worms, earth worms, are all a lot less fatty than meal worms, and are better on an every day basis.

This picture is the fat and protein percents of the most commonly fed insects whicb will help you find which ones are better to give more of and which should be given less off.
 

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Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum as I'm getting my hedgie in about a week! I wanted to buy mealworms to feed my hedgehog as a daily treat and I have read that alive ones are the healthiest for them. However, they are gross both for me to grab and for my family to keep on the fridge.
The thought of live mealworms may seem gross - especially if it is unfamiliar to you. It is not as "gross" as you may think. In fact, I think the slimy-looking canned ones would be more gross, can be smelly, and still need to be put in your refrig.

Live mealworms are in a snug little plastic container (as in photo). You don't need to ever touch them!

As you can see in the attached photo, I just use a disposable plastic spoon to scoop them out. When you first take the container out of the refrig, the worms are dormant. They don't even start moving until they've been placed in the dish and have begun to warm up.
 

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