Can Hedgehogs Eat Blackberries?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Blackberries?

Hedgehog

Blackberries can be added safely to any healthy diet because they contain essential antioxidants and nutrients. People often consume blackberries as a part of their breakfast. Blackberries can be eaten with cereals or used as an ingredient for a fruit salad; they can also serve as an ingredient to make fruit smoothies with other berries such as raspberries and blueberries. Blackberries can also serve as toppings for desserts such as blackberry or apple pie. However, eating blackberries with desserts might reduce its health benefits because desserts often contain high amounts of sugar. This article will highlight and discuss the benefits and risks of feeding blackberries to hedgehogs.

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT BLACKBERRIES?

Yes, hedgehogs can safely eat blackberries as treats. Blackberries have lots of nutritional benefits, but it is advisable for them to be seedless before serving them to a hedgehog. Blackberries contain a high amount of sugar, so they should be offered to hedgehogs in moderation to avoid health implications. As long as blackberries are deseeded and served in moderation, hedgehogs can consume them without developing health problems. 

BENEFITS OF FEEDING BLACKBERRIES TO HEDGEHOGS.

Blackberries are very nutritious. They contain a lot of nutrients that are beneficial to hedgehogs. The table below shows the nutritional value of 100 grams of blackberries according to the USDA nutrients database.

HEDGEHOG

NUTRIENTS

QUANTITY

Water

88.2 g

Energy

43 kcal

Protein

1.39 g

Fat

0.49 g

Carbohydrate

9.61 g

Fiber

5.3 g

Sugar

4.88 g

Calcium

29 mg

Iron

0.62 mg

Magnesium

20 mg

Phosphorus

22 mg

Potassium

162 mg

Sodium

1 mg

Zinc

0.53 mg

Copper

0.165 mg

Manganese

0.646 mg

Vitamin A

214 IU

Vitamin C

21 mg

Vitamin B-6

0.03 mg

Vitamin E

1.17 mg

Thiamin

0.02 mg

Riboflavin

0.026 mg

Niacin 

0.646 mg

The benefits of serving blackberries to hedgehogs include:

  • It contains high levels of vitamin C: Blackberries contain a high level of vitamin C, so it is essential to include it as part of a hedgehog’s diet. Vitamin C is necessary for the body to produce certain neurotransmitters and collagen, essential for many body activities like wound healing. Vitamin C also aids the proper functioning of the immune system.
  • Good source of fiber: There exist two types of fiber in food items; insoluble and soluble fiber. The insoluble does not dissolve in water but supports healthy digestion; however, the soluble type dissolves in water and is known to lower blood sugar levels and aid the maintenance of a healthy cholesterol level. Blackberries contain both insoluble and soluble fiber; this makes them safe for a hedgehog’s consumption.
BLACKBERRIES
  • It contains antioxidants: Blackberries contain a high level of antioxidants. These antioxidants help hedgehogs to fight against the existence of free radicals in the body, which can lead to damaged cells and other health conditions, such as heart disease and cancer; these make blackberries a very safe food for hedgehogs.
  • It contains a reasonable level of vitamin K: Blackberries are a good source of vitamin K, essential for blood clotting and proper wound healing. Vitamin K also helps hedgehogs to develop good bone health. 
  • It contains vitamin A: Blackberries contain vitamin A which helps to protect the immune system. Vitamin A gives hedgehogs the ability to combat illnesses and infections. It also aids the development and maintenance of strong teeth and bones. Vitamin A also aids the sight of hedgehogs, particularly in areas with dim lighting.
  • Brain functioning: Polyphenols are chemicals known to improve the proper functioning of the brain. The consumption of blackberries can help to sharpen a hedgehog’s brain because they contain polyphenols.

RISKS OF FEEDING BLACKBERRIES TO HEDGEHOGS.

Blackberries are not unsafe for hedgehogs if given to them in moderate quantities. Serving too many blackberries to hedgehogs can lead to various health problems. It is therefore essential to offer blackberries to hedgehogs in little quantities.

Blackberries have a high level of sugar. If hedgehogs eat them in tiny quantities, the sugar that blackberries contain will not overwhelm them; this will keep them safe. However, if they consume too many blackberries, the sugar becomes too much for them, leading to diabetes and diarrhea.

The presence of excess sugar in a hedgehog’s body can also lead to many digestive problems and dental issues such as gum diseases and cavities. Thus, hedgehogs can eat blackberries but not as a part of their daily diet. They could be served as treats instead.

HOW OFTEN CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT BLACKBERRIES?

BLACKBERRIES

Generally, fruits should only be offered to hedgehogs twice a week in small quantities. Although they can consume blackberries twice a week, it would be healthier for hedgehogs to eat them only once per week as a treat. It is essential to serve blackberries to hedgehogs not more than twice a week and in tiny quantities because, despite blackberries containing lots of nutrients, they have excess amounts of sugar, harmful to a hedgehog’s health.

It is commendable to create the feeding schedule of a hedgehog early enough to avoid future problems. It is also advisable to offer one small blackberry to a hedgehog at a time. Serving anything more than one blackberry to a hedgehog can lead to various health problems such as diabetes and diarrhea. 

CONCLUSION.

Blackberries are a superfood because they contain high amounts of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are also low in carbs, fat, and calories. Blackberries are simple to add to a hedgehog’s diet. The antioxidants they contain help to reduce the risk of cancer and prevent heart diseases in hedgehogs.

Blackberries are a safe treat for hedgehogs. Although domesticated hedgehogs can consume them, wild hedgehogs might also find blackberries in the wild, especially when it is blackberry season, and eat them. When feeding hedgehogs with blackberries, they should only be served as a treat. They should not consume blackberries more than twice a week because of their sugar content. Finally, it is commendable to discard the spoilt blackberries; hedgehogs should only eat fresh blackberries because feeding them spoilt ones can make them sick.

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