Can Hedgehogs Eat Flour?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Flour?

Hedgehog

Grinding raw grains, roots, beans, nuts, or seeds produces a powder called flour. Numerous meals are prepared using flour. Bread, a common food in many cultures, is mostly made from cereal flour, notably wheat flour. Flour is used to make a wide variety of foods, including crackers, bread, pasta, and many kinds of cakes. Making a roux with wheat flour is another method for thickening sauces and gravies. Cornstarch is a primary ingredient used to thicken many puddings or desserts and is the main component in packaged custard. It can also be used as an element in a paper-mâché adhesive.

Refined flour is a key component of the majority of homemade food products, especially those that are heavily processed industrially. During the refinement process, the grain's germ and outer layer are removed, which results in the loss of numerous vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other elements. Even though many people are aware of how unhealthy white flour is, they nonetheless consume large amounts of it. Determining the consequences refined flour may have on a hedgehog’s health is crucial for this reason.

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT FLOUR?

No, hedgehogs cannot eat flour. The digestive system of a hedgehog could suffer significant harm from flour. Hedgehogs that are fed flour may develop diabetes and obesity, which would be harmful. If a hedgehog eats flour, it may also experience bloating. Hedgehogs should therefore be served more nutrient-dense meals that are high in protein and low in fat, as this is what their diet requires.

Flour

WHAT NUTRIENTS DOES FLOUR CONTAIN?

Although flour contains lots of nutrients, the quantities of these nutrients make it harmful for hedgehogs to consume. The table below shows the nutrients contained in 100 g of wheat flour, according to the USDA database:

NUTRIENTS

QUANTITY

Water

119 g

Energy

364 kcal

Protein

10.3 g

Fat

0.98 g

Carbohydrates

76.3 g

Fiber

2.7 g

Sugar

0.27 g

Calcium

15 mg

Iron

1.17 mg

Magnesium

22 mg

Phosphorus

108 mg

Potassium

107 mg

Sodium

2 mg

Zinc

0.7 mg

Copper

0.144 mg

Manganese

0.682 mg

Selenium

33.9 µg

Vitamin A

0 IU

Vitamin B6

0.044 mg

Vitamin B12

0 µg

Vitamin C

0 mg

Vitamin D

0 IU

Vitamin E

0.06 mg

Vitamin K

0.3 µg

Cholesterol

0 mg

Tryptophan 

0.127 g

Threonine

0.281  g

Isoleucine

0.357 g

Leucine

0.71 g

Lysine

0.228 g

Methionine

0.183 g

Cysteine

0.219 g

Phenylalanine

0.52 g

Tyrosine

0.312 g

Valine

0.415 g

Arginine

0.417 g

Histidine

0.23 g

Alanine

0.332 g

Glycine

0.371 g

Alcohol

0 g

Caffeine

0 mg


RISKS OF FEEDING FLOUR TO HEDGEHOGS.

  • Obesity: White flour contains very little roughage, thus it doesn't make hedgehogs feel full for very long. It causes the blood sugar levels of hedgehogs to spike and then rapidly fall. They may feel really hungry as a result and eat more food than usual, which contributes to obesity.
  • Diabetes: A hedgehog’s body produces more insulin in response to a rise in blood sugar levels. In the digestive system, starch is changed into sugar, which enters the circulation swiftly. Because of this, consuming flour regularly raises a hedgehog’s risk of acquiring diabetes by increasing its susceptibility to developing insulin resistance.
  • Acid-base or pH imbalance: Flour consumption carries potential concerns which induce acid-base imbalance. Maintaining proper acid-base balance is crucial for hedgehogs because of gastritis and acidity issues. For an extended period, an excessively acidic body can result in a variety of diseases and health problems for hedgehogs. Its immune system may deteriorate as a result of an acid-base imbalance, which may also prevent its bones from absorbing enough calcium. 
  • It contains gluten: Gluten, a protein found in white wheat, can harm a hedgehog’s digestive system. This is the reason gluten-free foods are now available, and should be fed to hedgehogs in place of white flour. Consuming gluten could result in leaky gut syndrome, which raises a hedgehog’s likelihood of having an over-reactive immune system, which manifests as food allergies or intolerance. Additionally, a hedgehog’s body could become more prone to illnesses.
  • Inflammations: A condition known as glycation can result from feeding flour to hedgehogs. Chronic problems like arthritis and cardiovascular diseases are frequently linked to this. Variations in blood sugar levels make it more difficult for a hedgehog’s body to use proteins as fuel, which increases inflammation.
  • Digestive issues: A hedgehog could frequently suffer constipation, as a result of consuming flour. Also, it is not advisable to feed flour to hedgehogs because approximately 80% of the grain's roughage is lost during the refining process. These food fibers are essential for a healthy digestive system but are absent in flour.
  • High blood pressure: Insulin resistance is one of the major causes of high blood pressure in hedgehogs. Refined carbs, which act like sugar in the body, can throw off the balance between glucose and insulin, which may eventually cause high blood pressure to develop, or aggravate preexisting hypertension. The initial step in treating high blood pressure in hedgehogs is to stop them from eating refined carbs, such as flour. This is because blood pressure is significantly lowered by diets that are low in carbs.
  • Consuming flour occasionally causes flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, and weight loss. A hedgehog may be considered gluten intolerant if any of these symptoms apply to it. If a hedgehog suffers from gluten intolerance, it should avoid items made with all types of flour including white flour, rye flour, wheat flour, and barley flour because they all contain gluten. Even if you are not gluten intolerant, cutting less on white flour in your diet makes sense for the reasons mentioned above.
Flour

CONCLUSION.

From the above, it is plausible to conclude that flour is bad for a hedgehog’s consumption because of all the risks that come with it. Feeding flour to hedgehogs dramatically raises the risk for a wide range of illnesses, such as weight gain, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, thus, they should be fed more nutritious meals that contain lots of protein but are low in fat.

 

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