If you visit any hedgehog forum, regular questions are often asked like what hedgehogs should safely eat. Knowing what food to feed is important to keep your hedgie healthy and to safeguard them from any food that’s toxic.
So, can hedgehogs eat corn? And is it safe for them to eat?
Hedgehogs cannot eat corn. Corn is hard which can make it challenging for a hedgehog to chew, swallow and digest.
Corn and Hedgehogs
These spiny mammals are omnivores in nature, so they can eat tons of vegetables. However, you need to make sure these veggies are properly cooked and easy to eat. It’s hard for hedgehogs to digest everything since they have a small metabolic system.
Corn is a hard vegetable, even when it’s cooked. Its toughness makes it hard for hedgies to chew and digest which could potentially lead to digestive problems (e.g. indigestion).
Corn also has a higher concentration of phosphorus, allowing calcium to leach the hedgehog’s body which results in bone damage. This is what happens when they consume corn on a regular basis.
Not only that, corn has a great concentration of carbohydrates. This can potentially cause an increase in blood sugar levels of your hedgehog and may lead to obesity. Since they are susceptible to diabetes, it’s best to avoid feeding your hedgehog corn or any food with a high carbohydrate content.
What Other Vegetables Can Hedgehogs Not Eat?
Yes, there are other veggies you shouldn’t feed to your hedgehog.
However, this list is not extensive enough to cover all veggies that are unsuitable for hedgehogs. So, always consult with your vet. The following vegetables, alongside corn, should not be given to your hedgie.
- Celery, Avocado, Garlic, Mushroom, Tomato, Potato, Onion
Indeed toxic foods are harmful to your hedgehog, and their body isn’t also used to the unique nutritional structure of vegetables. So, it would put their health at risk.
Why Can’t Hedgehogs Eat These Veggies?
One of the most consumed vegetables for humans consists of allium vegetables – onion and garlic. While they bring more tastiness to our foods, these types of vegetables may cause toxicity to your hedgie. A
Always make sure you’re not feeding them to your pet considering there are numerous members of the allium vegetable family.
As for avocados, experts agree that these are not good for hedgehogs. You might see information on the internet saying otherwise. It’s best to trust legitimate sources. Mushrooms are also off-limits to your hedgehog, especially those that are proven to be poisonous.
Wild hedgehogs may forage mushrooms, but there aren’t any numbers of mushrooms that are suitable for their small tummies.
And what about tomatoes and potatoes? The fundamental reasons vary. Hedgehogs can’t properly digest potatoes because they’re starchy. This could cause digestive problems which lead to gastrointestinal diseases later on.
Tomatoes, on the other hand, are not a natural source of energy for hedgehogs. Their small stomach is not ready for any nutritional composition of these vegetables. Tomatoes can be bad for these spiny mammals since their acidity is too much for them.
Are Vegetables an Essential Part of a Hedgehog’s Diet?
No, why? Because when it comes to hedgehogs’ food pyramid, vegetables are nowhere near the most important.
Hedgehogs are classified as insectivores and omnivores, but they aren’t vegetarians. So, veggies don’t hold the greatest importance in terms of their diet.
Rather, the most vital part of their nutrition is high-quality protein. It keeps your hedgehog free from diseases. Not getting a sufficient amount of protein and carbs could lead to health issues.
What Vegetables are Suitable?
These cute small spiny mammals consume various vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and carrots. Again, there are some vegetables that could potentially harm your hedgehog’s health – garlic and onion are prime examples.
Fruits and vegetables are not their main source of food since hedgehogs are omnivores. So, enough sources of protein are important, and these mainly come from the poultry.
When feeding with vegetables to your hedgie, these should be cooked and are diced properly. Doing so makes eating easier.
High Pesticide Vegetables
For added information, here’s a list of vegetables and fruits with the most pesticides.
- Kale, Lettuce, Spinach, Sweet Bell Peppers, Cucumbers, Green Beans
As much as possible, try to source organic varieties of these vegetables since the pesticide content is likely lower. Washing or peeling the vegetables might not get rid of all pesticides, but it greatly helps in reducing pesticide level.
Low Pesticide Vegetables
Here’s a list of vegetables and fruits with lower pesticide.
- Asparagus, Cabbages, Cauliflower, Broccoli
Again, it’s ideal to source organic varieties of these vegetables. Don’t forget to wash them completely before giving them to your hedgie.
When in doubt about feeding your hedgie with certain food, always consult your vet. You can also research what to or what not to feed to avoid putting your hedgie’s health at risk. Especially when feeding them corn.
When it comes to whether or not hedgehogs can eat corn, the answer is simple: No they cannot.