Vegetables and fruit

Hedgehogs have a simple stomach and intestinal system that is not built for a varied diet. Which contains so much that they mainly eat meat and insect nits and little vegetable food. Hedgehogs also lack an appendix, which means that food passes through their digestive system very quickly: the total process takes 12-16 hours for hedgehogs. Yet hedgehogs do have a large stomach and hedgehogs have been found with a lot of vegetable food in their stomach, which quickly causes confusion among many keepers. Hedgehogs are now no longer classified as omnivores, but as insectivores that feed mainly on insects, small prey, carcasses and fruit. In addition, many scientific studies support the fact that plant foods are relatively unimportant in a hedgehog’s diet.

How often and how much

How often and how much fruit and vegetables hedgehogs can have in captivity is therefore a frequently asked question and one that is not very easy to answer. Hedgehogs in captivity can be very picky and many hedgehogs completely ignore fruit and vegetables and only want to eat insects and meat. That's totally fine! You don't have to force a hedgehog to eat fruit and vegetables. That is very different with insects and meat, but hedgehogs do not necessarily need fruit and vegetables in their diet. But they can. How much is an easier question: keep it at about 20 grams at a time. Although a hedgehog's stomach is quite large for their body, they cannot eat without limits. There must be room for the kibble and the meat and the insects.

In addition, it is important to remember that hedgehogs mainly eat fruits and therefore hardly any green vegetables. This is partly because their digestive system is not designed to digest cellulose: the main component of plant cell walls that occurs in leaves, but not in fruits. It is therefore better to avoid green vegetables. Hard vegetables can be cooked in advance to make them softer and easier to eat.

The list of fruits and vegetables is part of the fruits and vegetables that can be given. There are of course more, but these are the most commonly used and most accepted types that hedgehogs generally like.

Suitable vegetables

  • Carrot (cooked)
  • Asparagus (cooked)
  • Broccoli (cooked)
  • Sweet potato (boiled)
  • Spinach
  • Green bean
  • Green pea
  • Turnip (cooked)
  • Celery
  • Cultivated mushrooms

Suitable fruits

  • Pumpkin
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Sweet apple
  • Pear
  • Banana
  • Cherry
  • Watermelon
  • Honeydew melon
  • Strawberry
  • Blueberry
  • Bell pepper
  • Mango
  • Peach
  • Nectarine
  • Blackberry
  • Raspberry
  • Cranberry
  • Papaya