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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just found an online shop here that sells 'Zoo Med can o' products so would like to order some in to give my boy some variety as he seems to love any insect I give him :D. He's tried live superworms (including pupae and beetles), live wax worms, live dubia roaches and canned mealworms.

I just wanted to check if the following insects are ok to feed:
- jumbo size grasshoppers (is the size ok?)
- snails (unshelled) ~ have low fat so would like to give these a go if safe?
- caterpillars

I've read the insect guide but it doesn't mention snails or caterpillars. Anyone tried these and their hedgie liked them/ safe to feed?

I wasn't sure if jumbo size is too big for them?
Last week I fed a live adult superworm beetle (about 1") and Yuki vomitted it back up. I'm not sure if this was because it was an adult so they're tougher and less tasty, it was during the day and sometimes he does vomit insects up if given in the day, or because it was maybe the beetle was sick / had some mold exposure?
I made a separate post looking for advice since his poos are quite thin and small and was worried he has constipation from it, the full post is here: (http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...yone-else-breed-superworms-advice-wanted.html). I didn't get any replies >< so if anyone can give me advice I'd be so grateful for the reassurance!

Last question, does feeding too many insects cause constipation? I'm confused as thought insects were a good source of fiber and fiber is what helps them poo, or is just too many have the opposite effect? Thanks for any help! :)
 

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I can't speak too much about this, because I am a little timid about trying new things, since there isn't exactly a "Hedgehog Section" in the petstore where I know everything is safe to eat!

But Sparkle really loved her canned mealworms and her canned crickets. The mealworms don't have too bad of a smell, but the crickets smell awful to me. I'm sure she thinks differently.

Just make sure to refrigerate them. I also tend to go through them fast... as the cans say to not keep for more than a week. And she doesn't eat a whole can in a week (She's a bit overweight, so I have to limit very fatty things like mealworms)... I end up throwing a lot out.
 

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The canned snails & caterpillars are mentioned in the insects guide, but it's only a very quick sentence at the end, so easy to miss!! Both are fine for hedgehogs though. :) I haven't offered the caterpillars, but Bindi liked both the grasshoppers & snails.

You can also freeze the canned insects to help them last longer! Spread them out on a piece of parchment paper on a plate & stick in the freezer, then you can transfer them to a baggy or storage container after they're frozen.

Size isn't an issue, they're usually pretty good about chewing them up properly - it's what their teeth were designed for. I'm not sure about the superworm beetle - I once had Lily spit a cricket back out in my hand because it was full of carrot & she didn't like carrots. :roll: Toddlers, I swear! It could've been something like that, he might've not chewed well enough & choked a bit on it, or the flavor was bad, etc. I wouldn't worry too much unless he continues to throw them up. I feel like I remember reading something about superworm/mealworm beetles tasting kind of bitter or something? So it depends on the animal as to how willing they are to eat them.

Feeding a lot of insects with a lot of exoskeleton all at once can cause issues if they don't fully digest the exo. That's really the biggest concern, but it'd have to be quite a lot at once. It's most likely to be a bigger issue with things like beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, etc. Have you checked to make sure he's drinking enough? Dehydration can be a big factor with constipation as well, so worth double checking. But yeah, you can give squash baby food to help with it as well. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The canned snails & caterpillars are mentioned in the insects guide, but it's only a very quick sentence at the end, so easy to miss!! Both are fine for hedgehogs though. :) I haven't offered the caterpillars, but Bindi liked both the grasshoppers & snails.

You can also freeze the canned insects to help them last longer! Spread them out on a piece of parchment paper on a plate & stick in the freezer, then you can transfer them to a baggy or storage container after they're frozen.

Size isn't an issue, they're usually pretty good about chewing them up properly - it's what their teeth were designed for. I'm not sure about the superworm beetle - I once had Lily spit a cricket back out in my hand because it was full of carrot & she didn't like carrots. :roll: Toddlers, I swear! It could've been something like that, he might've not chewed well enough & choked a bit on it, or the flavor was bad, etc. I wouldn't worry too much unless he continues to throw them up. I feel like I remember reading something about superworm/mealworm beetles tasting kind of bitter or something? So it depends on the animal as to how willing they are to eat them.

Feeding a lot of insects with a lot of exoskeleton all at once can cause issues if they don't fully digest the exo. That's really the biggest concern, but it'd have to be quite a lot at once. It's most likely to be a bigger issue with things like beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, etc. Have you checked to make sure he's drinking enough? Dehydration can be a big factor with constipation as well, so worth double checking. But yeah, you can give squash baby food to help with it as well. :)
Thank you for your reply! Ah sorry I did miss that sentence, just went back and re-read the post fully and saw it, my bad ><. Ok that's good to hear, I'll definitely order them in for him then and use your advice to freeze them so they last longer, thanks for the tip! :grin:

Ok I'll keep an eye on it. I've frozen the rest of my beetles to kill them off as I am overrun with baby worms now (they're contstantly at it! :lol:) and didn't think it was a good idea to feed him anymore of that line, either because they're old and not very tasty or in case of the mold that was in their container. I'll try again with fresh newly hatched ones as he was fine before with that.

Ok that's what I thought but since he only gets one superworm a night and one other insect as a treat I didn't think that would be enough to cause the constipation? I gave him a dubia roach last night again and he did do more poops but they are still small. I never see him drinking from his water dish anymore (he's never been a big drinker since I've had him, always looks barely touched) but I add water to his dry cat food, with a reasonable amount so it's between mushy and soupy consistency, is this enough? Sometimes his urine does smell quite strongly but I don't know how else to get him to drink on his own? If I make his cat food too watery, it makes his poops really soft so didn't think that was good for him or is it ok every once in a while to get his bowel moving a bit? I'll try giving him some baby squash tonight too, hopefully it helps :)

Can I also ask your opinion on the baby worms. I have two batches going with possibly 200 in each ><. When they were in the beetles' containers they were exposed to mold (quite a lot by the time I could transfer the babies out). Are they still ok to feed to my hedgie once they are fully grown? Or once they've had exposure to mold are they then contaminated and should be killed off? There's no mold in their new containers but it does smell a little, (probably from all the frass they produce!) and fruit goes moldy very quickly. Sorry it's my first time farming, so I'm a little paranoid whether I'm doing it right and don't want to cause harm to my boy ><

Sorry also for the long posts and all the questions! :oops:
 

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Oh that's right, I forgot you do add water to his food already. I would stick with what you're doing then, and see if the squash helps.

Honestly, I'm not totally sure re: the worms & mold. I would think they would be okay once away from the containers, as they molt their exo repeatedly before pupating. But I don't have any experience with that, or with superworms. Have you tried changing the food you're offering them? Maybe try sweet potato or carrots? Those should be slower to get moldy or anything like that, but I don't know if there's any specific rules about feeding superworms that are different than mealworms. I'm too creeped out by superworms to even keep them alive to feed, much less raise them! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Update on constipation issue

Sorry for late reply, I'd thought I'd give the squash etc a try and see if it helped at all before updating... So I gave him 1tsp of baby food squash for 4 days straight (mixed with his cat food wet mix). I didn't really notice that much of a change with his poop sizes (were still pretty small and thinner than they used to be). Sometimes when I give him an extra insect like a dubia roach he does a bit more poop but then the following time it will be a small amount again, so not sure if this helps or makes it worse? ><

I then tried fresh pumpkin (boiled). I think I must have given him too much (about the size of a teaspoon, also mushed a bit of the pumpkin green skin into it but not much ~ thought maybe this would be more nutritious?) ~ anyways the following morning it was like a poo typhoon hit his cage, literally every part of his fleece blanket was covered in poopy paw prints! Didn't see any piles of diarrhea, and the solid poops in his litter tray were still quite small and normal colour. We had to give him a full bath as he was covered in it ><. The bath also made him go, and it was a long healthy looking poo which was good to see! :)

It was his birthday 2 days later so that night I gave him banana pancakes (hedgie safe ones), topped with canned mealies (about x8) and the next day there were slightly more bigger poos. But since it's gone down to less again.

Last night we gave him his first live silkworm (I read there really nutritious and because of their soft skin as well as low fat, thought it would be better to give him these regularly? His poop was the same but he also had some green poop smears on his wheel so I guess I'll space them out and introduce them slowly for now...

Also last night he did a pee on me and I saw he was trying to poo too (he was kind of panting and I could see the poop trying to come out but then he stopped and tried to run off me so I put him back in his cage so he could finish off doing his business.

I'm a bit stumped what to do next?? I'm thinking to introduce wet cat food so there is more moisture in his food or is what I currently do (adding water to his dry cat food) better? I'm thinking of trying to offer him filtered water, maybe he doesn't like our tap water? Or any other suggestions? Thanks! :)

[I should probably mention, his poop size has reduced probably since he's come off Mazuri which has 13% fibre(!). His poops always looked healthy brown and long log shapes (occasionally some green since adding the cat foods). They're definitely darker in colour now and smaller since reducing Mazuri and adding more insects].
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the reply Nikki :)
Ok, I had read their poop can decrease/get smaller and less with a better diet so maybe the 'bigger' poops out of the ones he currently does are normal for him now then but he only does one like this and the rest are just tiny thin bullets (sorry I can't think how else to describe them haha). I noticed last night when I had him out and he had his bottom sticking out of his sleeping sack that he had a bit of dried poo stuck to the under side of his tail (he also had this a couple nights ago but I'm sure I got it off in a footbath so not sure if it keeps happening?).

Also is the straining/panting whilst doing his first poo of the night no need for concern then? Should I try adding wet cat food or try changing his water to get him more hydrated? Thanks!
 
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