Can Hedgehogs Eat Rice?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Rice

Do you have pet hedgehogs, or do you have hedgehogs regularly visiting your garden? If so you may want to know what you should feed your hedgehog. Can hedgehogs eat rice? Is it good for them, or is it harmful? Also does it provide any nutritional value to a hedgehogs diet?

Can hedgehogs eat rice? Yes hedgehogs can eat rice, as part of a balanced diet. A hedgehog needs a diet high in protein, so while they can eat rice, this does not provide much nutrition for a hedgehog. For this reason you should supplement rice with cat, dog or hedgehog food, cooked meats, some fruits and some vegetables.

So there you have it. A hedgehog can in fact eat rice. Now the above is just a short answer, and I’ve gone into some more detail around the question can hedgehogs eat rice, including what kinds of rice are best for a hedgehog, and exactly what you should mix with rice to supplement your hedgehogs diet. Read on to find out more.

Can Hedgehogs Eat Rice?

Like I said above, the quick answer to this question is yes a hedgehog can eat rice. It is perfectly safe for a hedgehog to do this. There are some foods that the different types of hedgehogs should not eat as it is not safe to do so.

For example, hedgehogs should not eat pumpkin, as it can leave them bloated and can give them diarrhoea. A hedgehog will use its sense of smell to find most food left out in the garden, so be careful what you do leave lying around. Feeding them the wrong food is one of the biggest threats to hedgehogs.

There are two possible reasons you could be asking can hedgehogs eat rice? Either you want to leave food out for hedgehogs as you know they are often in your garden, or you have a pet hedgehog and you want know if you can safely feed it rice.

These days lots of people opt for hedgehogs as pets, as they are quite timid and tame. If you know how to handle them correctly, they are perfectly safe to have as pets, although they are usually solitary creatures.

There are not many tales of hedgehogs attacking humans, although I did find one interesting story. Hedgehogs do have a number of ways to protect themselves from perceived threats though.

It is probably going to be for the second reason that you want to know the answer to the question can hedgehogs eat rice?

If you have or are looking for a pet hedgehog, it is more than likely going to be an African Pygmy Hedgehog. This is sometimes also called a white-bellied or four-toed hedgehog. These are relatively small, measuring around 5 to 8 inches in length.

Compare this to other hedgehogs such as the European Hedgehog which can measure up to a foot in length, and you can see why this type is more ideal as a pet.

The African Pygmy Hedgehog is domesticated, whereas others such as the European Hedgehog are not. There are other types of hedgehogs that are domesticated and make good pets, such as the Egyptian Long-Eared Hedgehog and the Indian Long-Eared Hedgehog.

It is perfectly fine to feed your pet hedgehog rice as part of their diet. Hedgehogs, especially those in the wild, require a diet that is high in protein and lower in fat.

Feeding them rice is not really adding anything to this, so it should only be fed to hedgehogs as a small part of their diet. Feeding a hedgehog rice is not going to add anything of nutritional value to their diets.

There are some rules you should follow if you are going to feed rice to your hedgehog.

Firstly, the rice you feed to your hedgehog needs to be cooked. This may seem obvious, but it is worth pointing out. The rice needs to be cooked until it is very soft in order for the hedgehog to chew and swallow it.

Secondly, you have to be very careful about how the rice is cooked. Hedgehogs have very sensitive stomachs, and you have to be careful not to upset them. Rice fed to a hedgehog should not be cooked in oil.

A hedgehog needs a diet that is low in fat, so oil should be avoided. You also don’t know how the ingredients in the oil will react when digested by the hedgehog.

You should also not add any salt or seasoning to the rice that is fed to a hedgehog. Again, this can be bad for their stomachs and their health in general.

What Kind Of Rice Should I Feed A Hedgehog?

So which types of rice can hedgehogs be fed? Now there are so many different types of rice available, and some of these will be better for hedgehogs than others. Rice that is flavored in any way should be avoided.

Brown Rice Is Good For Hedgehogs
Brown rice is good for feeding hedgehogs in small amounts.

Like I said earlier, hedgehogs have sensitive stomachs, and you need to be careful not to feed them something that could cause them to be upset. Avoiding rice that is flavored, or has any extra ingredients is the safest option here.

Sticking to either plain white or plain brown rice is the way to go when feeding a hedgehog rice. Brown rice and other wholegrain foods are in general good for the digestive system.

Plain White Rice Is Good For Hedgehogs
Plain white rice is good to feed hedgehogs too.

However, too much of this could cause a hedgehog to have diarrhoea, so only feeding small amounts to your hedgehog is best.

What Else Can I Give A Hedgehog With Rice?

Like all animals, a hedgehog has a particular diet that is going to include a variety of foods. If you are going to feed your hedgehog rice, you should only do this as part of a balanced diet.

I would suggest mixing the rice with other foods to give your hedgehog the nutrients it needs as part of a balanced diet. Below are some ideas of foods you can mix rice with to feed to a hedgehog.

Cat Food

Hedgehogs Can Eat Cat Food
The right kind of cat food is good for hedgehogs to eat.

Lots of owners feed their hedgehogs cat food. This is a great idea if you are looking for something to mix with rice to feed your hedgehog.

If you are going to feed your hedgehog cat food then it should be a high quality, dry variety. Make sure the cat food is high in protein to match the kind of diet a hedgehog would have when feeding in the wild.

Leaving out cat food is also a great way of feeding hedgehogs without attracting rats. Apparently they do not seem to like this as much as hedgehogs do!

Dog Food

Just like the above, it is acceptable to feed a hedgehog dog food. With both cat and dog food, you can feed this to your pet hedgehog, and leave it out for any  garden visiting hedgehogs you may have.

Again stick to a dog food that is both dry and high in protein. This will give the most nutrition to your pet hedgehog when mixing it with rice.

Hedgehog Food

Believe it or not there is such a thing as hedgehog food. Just like it is possible to buy ready made and prepared cat and dog food, you can also buy this for hedgehogs.

Again this can be fed to your pet hedgehog, or left out for wild hedgehogs visiting your garden.

Cooked Meats

Cooked meats can be an excellent source of protein for hedgehogs. You can mix this in with rice to feed to either a wild hedgehog or your pet hedgehog.

You should stay away from red meats, and the meat should be cooked. Small amounts of chicken are an ideal choice.

Fruits

Hedgehog Can Eat Some Fruits

Hedgehogs in the wild will naturally snack on a wide variety of fruits that they find on their travels. Mixing these with rice can also be a healthy snack for hedgehogs, as long as you mix it with the right type of fruit.

Not all fruits can be eaten by hedgehogs. Be sure to remove seeds before you feed. Below are some suggestions for fruits to mix with rice when feeding your hedgehog.

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cherries
  • Pears

Vegetables

Hedgehogs will also find a variety of vegetables to eat whilst they are out foraging. Again these can be an excellent choice to mix with rice as part of a healthy diet.  Below are some vegetables that you can mix with rice to feed your hedgehog:

  • Carrots
  • Beetroot
  • Sweet Potato
  • Turnip
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweetcorn

How Much Rice Should I Feed A Hedgehog?

You should really only feed a hedgehog a small amount of rice. Foods like rice can leave a hedgehogs stomach quit bloated if you feed it too much of this.

It is also worth nothing the differences in lifestyle between a wild hedgehog, and the type you keep as a pet. A hedgehog living in the wild can roam up to 2 miles in any given night searching for food.

A hedgehog kept in captivity is not going to have anywhere near as much exercise. For this reason they are prone to obesity. African Pygmy Hedgehogs, the most common type to be kept as a pet, can be greedy creatures.

As a hedgehog owner you should find ways to give your hedgehog exercise. Encouraging a hedgehog to swim can be a safe and fun activity to help keep obesity levels down.

They will pretty much eat whatever you put in front of them. You should carefully monitor how much and what type of food you give your pet hedgehog in order to keep obesity levels down.

What Kind Of Diet Does A Hedgehog Need?

Hedgehogs need a diet that is high in protein, and lower in fat. Can hedgehogs eat rice as part of this diet? Sure they can. But they need to have more variety than just this in their diet.

They should have roughly a 30% protein based diet, with fats much lower at 15%. They also need something called chitin.

This is a substance high in fibre that consists of polysaccharides. Hedgehogs get this from eating insects in the wild such as caterpillars, worms, snails and millipedes.

Summing Up

So can hedgehogs eat rice? Yes they can. It is perfectly acceptable to feed a wild or pet hedgehog rice. This should absolutely only be done as part of a balanced diet. Hedgehogs should only be fed small amounts.

The rice should not be seasoned or cooked in oil, or have any salt added to it. You can mix other foods with the rice to provide nutrition to your hedgehog such as cat food, dog food, special hedgehog feed, cooked meat, some fruits and some vegetables.

I hope you found this post useful in answering the question can hedgehogs eat rice? If you want to add to the discussion or have any questions, please feel free to post a comment below.

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