Can Hedgehogs Eat Asparagus?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Asparagus?

Asparagus is a vegetable generally known for its grassy flavor and the low number of calories it contains. Asparagus exists in different colors- green, purple, and white. It is recommendable as an ingredient for making numerous dishes such as stir-fries, salads, and pasta. Asparagus contains some essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Asparagus is said to have cancer-fighting properties. It is a healthy choice to include asparagus in your diet, whether you eat it raw or cook it. You can decide to experiment with both raw and cooked asparagus.

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT ASPARAGUS?

Yes, hedgehogs can eat asparagus; but it is advisable to cook it without seasoning, butter, or oil. Compared to many vegetables, asparagus contains over 25% protein; and a reasonable amount of vitamin C and A. It is also rich in essential minerals like copper and iron. Asparagus also contains lots of calcium which might be vital for the well-being of a hedgehog. It tastes great and is easy to chew. Hedgehogs are often fond of eating asparagus, but the best way to feed hedgehogs asparagus is to steam it and serve it to them moderately. Just a tiny portion of asparagus once every week is perfect for them.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FEEDING ASPARAGUS TO HEDGEHOGS?

Asparagus is one of the many vegetables that may be very healthy for a hedgehog. However, to feed a hedgehog an appropriate diet, it is advisable to study the nutrients contained in each food item and the benefits a hedgehog would enjoy from consuming it. According to the UDSA national nutrients database, 100 grams of asparagus contains the following nutrients:


NUTRIENTS

QUANTITY

Energy

27 Kcal

Protein

4.3 g

Carbohydrate

4.3 g

Fiber

2.2 g

Sugar

2.15 g

Calcium

22 mg

Iron

0.39 mg

Sodium

3 mg

Vitamin C

6.5 IU

Vitamin A

538 IU 

Fat

0 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

  • Asparagus contains many nutrients but also has few calories; this means that although hedgehogs are prone to obesity, asparagus could aid weight loss in them.
  • It is a source of antioxidants that can help to protect the cells of a hedgehog from chronic inflammation and diseases such as cancer.
  • Asparagus contains fiber which aids in improving the digestive health of a hedgehog and strengthening its immune system.
  • Its low sugar content can help to reduce the blood pressure of hedgehogs and reduces the risk of heart diseases and diabetes.
  • It is easy to add to a hedgehog’s diet because there are so many ways to feed asparagus to hedgehogs. It is possible to add asparagus to their meals as long as it is free of oil, butter, and seasoning. 
  • It contains anti-aging properties that may serve as brain boosters and help the brain to fight cognitive. 
  • Asparagus increases urination, thus helping hedgehogs to take out excess salts from their body.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF FEEDING ASPARAGUS TO HEDGEHOGS?

Feeding asparagus to hedgehogs could cause their urine to have an unpleasant odor; this is because they contain asparagusic acid, and when it metabolizes, it could cause their urine to have an offensive odor. In some hedgehogs, the change in the smell of their urine might be noticeable after only two hours of eating the vegetable, while others might not have any difference in the odor of their urine. 

The asparagusic acid that releases the sulfur compounds when it is digested and is responsible for giving the urine its offensive scent; is not digested the same way by different hedgehogs. Not every hedgehog digests the acid in a way that would release the sulfur, so not every hedgehog’s urine will have an awful odor. The change in the smell of the urine does not mean a hedgehog’s health is compromised.         

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT RAW ASPARAGUS?

Asparagus is the perfect treat when giving vegetables to hedgehogs; it is both nutritious and delicious. It is recommendable to cook it before serving hedgehogs, so it is normal to question their ability to eat raw asparagus and if it is equally as healthy as cooked asparagus. For humans, asparagus can be a healthy addition to a diet without being cooked because, with the proper preparation, raw asparagus can taste as good as cooked asparagus. 

However, it is not advisable to feed hedgehogs with raw asparagus because it might be too hard for them to chew and may possibly get stuck in their teeth. Cooking asparagus makes it very soft and easy to chew, which aids its easy digestion. Also, cooking asparagus might be a way to boost its content of antioxidants; thus, serving cooked asparagus to hedgehogs may help to reduce inflammation, stress, and the risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE ASPARAGUS 

When purchasing green asparagus at any market or grocery store, it is advisable to look for spears that have compact tips. The spears should also have very smooth stalks that have a rich green color for almost their length. They should also be firm but either thick or thin. The thickness of its stem does not determine if the vegetable will be tender; instead, the tenderness of the asparagus can sometimes be determinable by its maturity level and freshness. Many asparagus spears will be woody and white at the edge, which is fine because it is possible to trim that part off, but it is commendable to watch out for the spears that look woody and pale throughout. 

It is advisable to store the asparagus as a whole in a refrigerator. In order to keep its freshness, the ends should be wrapped in a moist paper towel, put in a plastic bag, then placed upright in a jar of water, and stored in a refrigerator. It is more recommendable to feed the asparagus to hedgehogs no more than three days after purchase and not wash them until you are about or cook or eat them; this is because they might get contaminated by bacteria, even when kept in the refrigerator.

CONCLUSION

Asparagus is always available at every time of the year but is more available in the spring. It is recommendable for asparagus to be served to hedgehogs as soon as it is purchased fresh from the grocery store or the market. Asparagus may be consumable alongside other spring vegetables such as garlic, peas, or potatoes. The spears of asparagus contain nutrients and serve as a good source of fiber and vitamin C. It is also an excellent source of calcium, essential for developing healthy bones in hedgehogs. Asparagus also contains minerals that aid the reduction of the blood sugar levels of hedgehogs.

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