Can Hedgehogs Eat Alfafa?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Alfafa?

Hedgehogs

Alfalfa is an herb that serves as a source of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, and vitamins A, K, C, and E. Alfalfa can is grown or purchased as food for livestock. People see it as one of the best types of feed for livestock because of its superior content of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Humans often eat alfalfa because it helps to prevent cholesterol absorption in the stomach. People use it as a medicinal herb that cures diabetes, indigestion, high cholesterol, and other health conditions. Its seeds or dried leaves may serve as a supplement, or the seeds can be sprouted and eaten in the form of alfalfa sprouts.

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT ALFALFA?

Alfafa

There are many herbs that a hedgehog can eat, but NO! It is not advisable to feed hedgehogs with alfalfa. Calcium is essential for hedgehogs, but alfalfa contains a large amount of calcium which can often result in the formation of tiny stones in a hedgehog’s bladder; these stones can also identify as bladder stones. When hedgehog develops bladder-stones, their health can decline rapidly.

One of the best ways to prevent hedgehogs from developing bladder stones or other health conditions that might occur due to untreated bladder stones; is to not feed them with food items like alfalfa that are too high in calcium. Also, it is not recommendable to use alfalfa as bedding for hedgehogs because it might poke their eyes. 

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT ALFALFA SPROUTS?

Alfafa

When the seeds of alfalfa germinate, they create shoots. These shoots are harvested before the plant fully matures. These shoots, also known as sprouts, are filled with lots of nutrients present in the seeds but are healthier because the process of sprouting unlocks lots of other nutrients. They can serve as a nutritious addition to various meals such as tacos, sandwiches, salads, and soups.

Although hedgehogs should advisably not be fed alfalfa, yes, they can eat alfalfa sprouts. Alfalfa sprouts are very nutritious and can serve as little toppings to a hedgehog’s diet; however, it is possibly better not to make them the most part of their meal plan. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants yet low in calories, and their mild flavor makes them easy to use in recipes.

BENEFITS OF FEEDING ALFALFA SPROUTS TO HEDGEHOGS.

Approximately 100 grams of alfalfa sprouts contain the following nutrients:

NUTRIENTS

QUANTITY

Energy

23 Kcal

Carbohydrate

2.1 g

Protein

3.99 g

Fat

0.69 g

Fiber

1.9 g

Vitamin A

155 IU

Vitamin C

8.2 mg

Vitamin K

30.5 mg

Copper

0.2 mg

Phosphorous

70 mg

Magnesium

27 mg

Manganese

0.2 mg

Riboflavin

0.1 mg

Thiamine

0.1 mg

Zinc

0.9 mg

Iron

1 mg

Alfalfa could be beneficial to hedgehogs in the following ways;

  • May help reduce the risk of cancer: Generally, sprouts have free scavenging effects, which help protect hedgehogs against cancer. Alfalfa sprouts are a great source of phytoestrogens which are plant compounds similar to human estrogen; they help reduce the risk of cancers in hedgehogs. 
  • Helps to prevent osteoporosis:Vitamin K helps to build strong and healthy bones, which is why it is essential in preventing and helping treat osteoporosis. Hedgehogs need vitamin K to utilize calcium adequately; this helps to fortify the bones and prevent fractures. 
  • It contains antioxidants:Alfalfa sprouts contain large quantities of antioxidants that can help protect the cells of hedgehogs from getting damaged. The antioxidants that alfalfa sprouts contain help to keep hedgehogs in good health; and prevent illnesses such as heart disease, artery hardening, and bone loss.
  • Helps to lower blood glucose levels and help treat diabetes:Alfalfa sprouts are anti-diabetic because of their ability to reduce blood glucose levels. Regulating the blood sugar levels of hedgehogs is essential in treating diabetes. Also, feeding hedgehogs with food items like alfalfa sprouts help to decrease their dependency on insulin.
  • May help fight against cholesterol: Alfalfa sprouts aid the reduction of the level of lipids in the blood; this can help to reduce the symptoms of heart disease caused by high cholesterol levels in hedgehogs.
  • Good source of vitamin C:Alfalfa sprouts can give about 14% of a hedgehog’s recommended daily required dose of vitamin C. Vitamin C benefits the functioning of a hedgehog’s immune system, the health of their skin, and much more. 
  • May help with digestion:Alfalfa sprouts also contain manganese; this helps to reduce inflammation. Overall, alfalfa sprouts offer many nutrients such as protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins that help to promote the healthy body composition and aging of a hedgehog.

RISKS OF FEEDING ALFALFA SPROUT TO HEDGEHOGS.

Although they are easy and nutritious to grow yourself, it is commendable to consider some precautions when feeding alfalfa sprouts to hedgehogs since they are sometimes prone to bacteria. They are often cooked lightly or consumed raw, so they are sometimes at risk of carrying harmful bacteria that can cause illnesses; however, the chances of this risk are low.

Alfalfa sprouts need a humid and warm environment to grow, which is the same environment that aids bacterial growth. The problem of alfalfa sprouts containing bacteria begins most times with the seed. Few techniques exist to kill harmful elements on alfalfa sprouts, but nothing has yet been able to get rid of all bacteria. Growing alfalfa sprouts at home also do not guarantee they are safer because the problem is in the seed.

TIPS ON HOW TO PURCHASE FRESH ALFALFA SPROUTS.

Alfafa

Alfalfa sprouts are available for purchase in most food markets and grocery stores. When choosing them, it is advisable to look for freshness in the stems and roots. Buying only the sprouts that look bright green, smell fresh and clean, and are without dark gown spots, is recommended. It is equally advisable to wash them thoroughly at home and keep them refrigerated. If they lose their fresh smell, it is not recommendable to serve them to hedgehogs.

CONCLUSION.

Hedgehogs enjoy lots of health benefits from consuming alfalfa sprouts, such as the reduced risks of cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and high cholesterol. Alfalfa sprouts also serve as a source of essential vitamins and minerals needed for the total well-being of hedgehogs. They can be grown at home, but it is advisable to keep in mind that there are precautions to be taken because they can accumulate bacteria sometimes.

It is commendable to first check the immune system of hedgehogs before feeding them alfalfas. A hedgehog with a weak immune system or those already treating diabetes advisably not be fed alfalfa sprouts too often. As long as the precautions for giving alfalfa sprouts to hedgehogs are adhered to, they make a healthy addition to a hedgehog’s diet.

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