Hedgehogs already have a fairly limited list of foods that they can eat healthily. When it comes to babies, things don’t get any easier. So what do baby hedgehogs eat and what should be avoided?
Baby hedgehogs can eat various foods, including tinned cat food, special hedgehog food, and biscuits.
The important thing to consider when deciding what to feed your hedgehog is their age. Baby hedgehogs that are young and weigh less than 300 grams should not be fed dry food. With baby hedgehogs, soft foods are more preferred, especially for weaning hedgehogs.
What Do Baby Hedgehogs Drink?
If you come across a hoglet with no mother or the mother hedgehog has abandoned her babies, you will have to hand feed it. You can give hoglets sheep’s milk instead of the mother’s milk. However, it would be best if you refrained from giving cow’s milk to your hoglet as it can lead to diarrhoea.
Hedgehogs can also be fed milk substitutes like Esbilac. This milk will contain all the necessary nutrients and vitamins that your baby hedgehog will need to grow. As young hedgehogs, proper nutrition is essential for growth.
You will have to feed the hoglets using a small syringe. Most hedgehogs will recognize the food and feed right away, while some will take time. Give the hoglets time to adjust to the milk and do not feed them a lot of milk.
Also, hoglets should never be fed milk on their backs as they might inhale it and choke. After you are done feeding your hoglets, one important thing is to stimulate them so they can pee and poop.
What Do Baby Hedgehogs NOT Eat?
There is a list of things that baby hedgehogs should not eat. While some foods are good for baby hedgehogs, some can harm them. If you are confused about giving a certain food to your hedgehog, you should refrain from giving it altogether unless you have consulted your vet.
Vegetables such as onion and garlic are known as allium vegetables. While these foods make great contributions to our cooking, they are harmful to hedgehogs. Consuming garlic and onions can be harmful to hoglets.
These small hedgies are already sensitive, and feeding strong foods can be toxic for them.
Contrary to popular belief, avocados are toxic to hedgehogs. Many sources on the internet claim that hedgehogs can have avocados. Hence, baby hedgehogs should also not be given avocados.
Chocolates are not only toxic to cats and dogs but also hedgehogs. Chocolate has caffeine and theobromine that can pose a danger for hedgehogs. Even if some chocolate does not have these compounds, they are filled with sugar and fat.
Baby hedgehogs are prone to gaining weight since they are of small size.
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes may be summer fruits but are harmful to hedgehogs. This is because these citrus fruits are acidic, which can upset a hedgehog’s stomach.
Stomach problems can put your baby hedgehogs in quite a lot of pain, and hence, you should avoid citrus fruits.
You should completely avoid giving nuts and seeds to your baby hedgehog as they are not easy to digest. Baby hedgehogs have small mouths and cannot easily chew nuts and seeds. To avoid this choking hazard and any stomach problems, avoid giving nuts and seeds to your baby hedgehog.
Pineapple is a great fruit that we as humans enjoy. Unfortunately, baby hedgehogs should not be given pineapples as they are acidic. Apart from this, pineapples have a high sugar content which can cause baby hedgehogs to gain weight rapidly and become obese.
What Do Baby Hedgehogs NOT Drink?
There is much chatter about what baby hedgehogs should eat and not enough about what they should drink.
While food is important, it is also vital to keep track of what your baby hedgehog is drinking. As a newborn baby, you should refrain from giving your hedgehog cow’s milk as it can cause diarrhoea. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, and diarrhoea can be especially harmful to hoglets.
You should avoid giving other dairy products such as yoghurt due to their lactose intolerant nature.
Give your baby hedgehog plenty of water, especially during the summer months. However, you should avoid any flavoured water or vitamin water as it can lead to weight gain.
Tap water should be fine for baby hedgehogs.
You must ensure that the water and the water source are clean so your baby hedgehog is safe from any diseases.
While you may enjoy juices, you should avoid giving them to your hedgehog. Juices contain preservatives and a lot of sugar that is harmful to baby hedgehogs. In addition, their small size makes them prone to gaining weight and becoming diabetic.
Apart from juices, do not give baby hedgehog soft drinks or sodas. These drinks are bad for humans, let alone baby hedgehogs. For baby hedgehogs and even mature hedgehogs, plain water is the best option.
Baby hedgehogs can eat various things, but there are some foods and drink that they should not be given.
For example, as hoglets, you must ensure that you do not give them cow’s milk to lead to diarrhoea. Instead, you must stick to sheep’s milk or formula milk. Formula milk consists of nutrients and minerals that are essential for the growth of baby hedgehogs.
There are some foods that you should completely be avoiding. These foods include vegetables such as onions and garlic as they can cause stomach problems. Moreover, acidic fruits like oranges and lemons should also not be given.
Chocolates, grapes, and avocadoes are toxic to baby hedgehogs. Baby hedgehogs should not have milk, dairy products, juices, and soft drinks. For baby and mature hedgehogs, plain water is fine.