A little about the life of hedgehogs
Hedgehogs live not only in forests but also in the steppes. The back of the hedgehog is covered with six thousand of needles with a length of approximately 3 cm each. Needles have the original painting – at the top and bottom they are white, and in mid brown or black.
Hedgehog weight not exceeding pounds, but before hibernation he can "put on weight" by about a pound. Males usually larger than females. The eyes of this animal are black and round like buttons. Muzzle elongated, pointed toe. Teeth the hedgehog thirty-six.
The spines of the hedgehog are hollow. They are smooth to the touch and resemble hair. Also the needle is movable, because each of them is attached to the muscle. The "armor" of a hedgehog is constantly updated, and for a year it changes approximately a third of its barbed arms.
These cute little animals are loners by nature. In nature even a couple of hedgehogs do not get along in the same area. Each individual plot on which the hedgehog holds several nests that are well hidden, and to discover them quite difficult.
What sounds like these prickly animals? Probably the most characteristic – stamping. Also hedgehogs snuffle and snort.
The male never live with a female and cubs. The pups have a hedgehog appear mostly in the summer, once a year. Pregnancy lasts about 50 days. Newborn hedgehogs are usually completely defenseless, they are blind and naked. Primary needles appear in them after only a few hours after birth, dark spines break on the second day. Two weeks hoglets are already completely covered with needles.
Hedgehogs living in the wild, are fed, as a rule, high-calorie food with high protein content. Basically, it's the bugs, larvae, worms, and other insects.
Hedgehogs rarely attack vertebrates, but sometimes can eat a small snake. The violence is pretty simple – reptiles simply eat the spine. As for plant food, hedgehogs prefer mushrooms, fruits, berries and acorns.
If the hedgehog lives in captivity, its menu is much more varied and interesting. As a rule, he eats eggs, meat, and bread. You can also feed your hedgehog a special food or food for ferrets.
Experts advise not to feed a hedgehog home foods, designed for cats and dogs because they contain an insufficient amount of protein. By the way, milk to feed it too, because hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. But they are happy to eat oatmeal or even ice cream.
Even hedgehogs need to give boiled meat and vegetables. They will be very happy if the owner will occasionally pamper them with crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches and worms.
Advice 2: What to eat hedgehogs
The hedgehog is among the most common animals. It inhabits Europe, Siberia, Asia Minor, Kazakhstan and China. Hedgehogs eat a variety of foods. The diet of the animals depends on the location of their residence.
Diet hedgehog in the wild
Problems with finding food in the wild hedgehog does not occur. Pretty animal runs fast, has a very developed sense of smell and hearing. In addition, hedgehogs are not afraid of water and can travel large distances of water with the change of environment or looking for food. These mammals are primarily nocturnal and in the winter, usually hibernate. In spring, hedgehogs consume more feed than during wakefulness. This is due to the need to replenish vitamins and fats. Observations show that animals are able to eat per day is the amount of feed, which accounts for almost half of their weight.
Hedgehogs are omnivorous animals. In the wild they eat many types of plant and animal food. The main diet of hedgehogs are beetles, slugs, caterpillars and larvae. Quite often animals eat frogs, lizards and other representatives of the reptiles.
Mouse and eggs – a rare food in the diet of a hedgehog. However, if during the search for food, the animal finds a birds nest on the ground or in shrubs, then from such treats as eggs or newborn Chicks, a hedgehog will not give up. In addition, when meeting with the usual mice or voles barbed inhabitant of the forest, also do not eliminate them from your diet.
The hedgehog is able to win over any snake. He grabs her tail, rolled into a ball, and when it attempts to bite the snake runs into a protection in the form of needles. The hedgehog, however easily bites off the enemy's spine and eats it.
From plant foods hedgehogs prefer berries, fruits and mushrooms. In autumn, they collect fallen acorns. Leaves, grass and shoots of trees, hedgehogs do not eat, but in periods of lack of food, which happens very rarely, you may eat buds of trees or seeds.
What to feed a hedgehog at home
Hedgehogs need food that contains enough fat and enough protein. At home hedgehogs can feed any kind of cooked meat, eggs, bread, fruits and vegetables. The main diet of the animal should enter primarily the world of insects – grasshoppers, cockroaches, crickets. In a small number of hedgehogs can be given earthworms.
Scientists have proved that hedgehogs absolutely not susceptible to any kinds of poison. They are immune to the bites of poisonous insects and even arsenic.
You should pay particular attention to dairy products. Sour cream, milk, and yogurt to give hedgehogs is not recommended. This is due primarily to the lack in the animal body with special enzymes that metabolize lactose. Low-fat cottage cheese hedgehog, not only can be given, but necessary. There are some individuals who out of all the treats most prefer ice cream. In order for the needle was sturdy and didn't fall out, the animal needs sufficient amounts of calcium. It is also recommended to feed hedgehogs cereals.
Because of the variety of complex food animals are constantly in need of liquid. In the wild to find water isn't difficult, but at home we must take care that the hedgehog was drinking.