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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so somehow one of my mealworms has turned into a larvae (there may be more than one, but I know there is at least one). I don't see how it could have happened, because the container is in the refrigerator 24/7 and the temperature is set to 34 degrees Farenheit. Anyways, my question is: Is it safe to feed this to my hedgehog, or is there a hard shell around the larvae? I'm guessing that it's not safe, but I want to ask because I know some people on here farm their own mealworms and may have had this same problem before.
 

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OOh that's pretty gross.

I don't think it would be a good idea to feed it to him, even if only because it's absolutely disgusting. :shock:
 

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Hedgies can eat mealies in all stages: larvae, pupae, and beetle. The question is, can you handle it? :lol:

Yes, they are perfectly safe and tasty. :D
 

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The pupae are perfectly fine. You will want to feed less of them though, as they contain more fat than the regular worm stage.

However, I recommend taking the pupae out of the cold and allow them to finish morphing. They will turn into a black beetle if allowed. And according to all hedgehogs that have lived with me, the beetles are the best tasting stage of a mealworm's life. If offered all three stages, mine typically go for the beetle first. Plus beetles are the lowest in fat stage!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Right, but dont beetles have a hard exoskeleton? nobody's worried about him choking on that? I mean you use caution with anything else that could be choked on, why not this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alright, thank you guys for the advice =] I don't think I've seen anything about this on the forums.
 

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Ohhh you gotta be kidding me! I'm so envious! I've had mine for at least a week, outside the fridge, feeding them and everything and I've still got worms. Oi. :lol: Except they're just bigger.
 

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I bought mealworms at a pet store in Virginia around the time I bought my hedgie and they took about 3 weeks to turn to pupae so don't be discouraged, Alicat.
I bought some after that at a pet store here in WV and they were supposed to be small mealies (marked that way on the package and everything) but it's been way over a month and those things just keep getting bigger. They must've put the mealies in the wrong package and given me the treated ones or something.
But yeah, the ones that did change over from before, I had close to 3 dozen and they laid so many eggs I am now overflowing with baby mealies in my mealie box. It's crazy. If you're raising them, be sure to get a huge box! :lol:
 

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Their exoskeletons are not that hard. Much softer than a hard piece of kibble. When they turn to beetles you'll find some that are a light brown color, some that are golden brown and some that are black. The lighter colors are newer and their exoskeletons haven't hardened up as much. Mine prefer the dark black ones, they crunch more :).
 

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i found a pupae in my tub of mealies and didnt know what it was. i picked it up and it wriggled in my fingers and i freaked out lol ! i just threw it in the garden, never even thought of feedin it to my hedgie, but now i know if i come across another one :)
 

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Pupae can be quite startling. They look, well dead, and when touched wiggle like made. Be careful touching them if you want beetles though. They are very fragile.
 

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r_k_chic47 said:
PixiesExoticHedgies, do you mean the skin that mealworms shed when they molt?
Yes, it's called CHITIN and it's a great natural source of fiber for hedgehogs.

Introducing Fiber to Your Hedgehog's Diet
Hedgehogs are small insect-eating mammals, native to England, Europe, Africa and Asia. The
ones available now as pets in North America are the African hedgehog from Central Africa. Although hedgehogs are generally classed as insectivores, their dietary habits are more omnivorous with the occasional ingestion of plant material. In the wild, hedgehogs will forage long distances (miles) to consume insects. Generally they seem to have a preference for soft-bodied insects but will eat beetles, ants, termites or grasshoppers whenever this prey is easier catch. But no matter what they catch, the hedgehog often consumes the entire insect including the exoskeleton. And this exoskeleton is a good source of fiber known as chitin. Unlike their wild cousins, our pet hedgies don't have as much opportunity to forage for their food. This causes a propensity towards obesity. Captive hedgehogs are inclined to become "couch potatoes" because they are offered high-calorie, high fat diets and little exercise. In other words, they have nothing to do but eat! If allowed, hedgehogs can eat up to 33% of their body weight (which would be comparable to a 150 lb human eating 50 lbs of food). Hedgehog obesity can lead to problems such as fatty liver disease and heart disease. Research done by the Nutrition Department of the Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo) has found that adding chitin to your hedgehog's diet can improve their health. Insects contain up to 15% neutral detergent fiber (NDF), which is comparable to the content of Bran Flakes or Fruit and Fiber cereals for people. And similar to humans, the hedgehog does benefit from good quality fiber in the diet. However, unlike human metabolism, the insect fiber (chitin) actually increases the hedgehogs' ability to digest fat, which in turn helps them utilize the fat soluble vitamins.
FULL ARTICLE:
http://www.buffalobirdnerd.com/Hedgehogbasiccare.pdf

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