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Home > Hedgehogs > Can Hedgehogs Eat Chicken? What You Need to Know!

Can Hedgehogs Eat Chicken? What You Need to Know!

Can Hedgehogs Eat_chicken

Native across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia, the hedgehog is an interesting exotic pet that will have different dietary requirements than your typical domesticated animals like dogs and cats.

Hedgehogs have very diverse diets in the wild and captive specimens will need to be fed the proper diet for their overall health and longevity. You will likely be left wondering what kind of foods are acceptable to offer a pet hedgehog.

So, can your pet hedgehog eat chicken? The answer is yes. We will cover some more information about feeding chicken to your hedgehog and some other information about their dietary requirements.

divider-hedgehogOffering Chicken To Your Hedgehog

While the main staple in a hedgehog’s eating regime should be high-quality hedgehog food, you can offer them chicken if you offer lean cuts of meat that are properly cooked. Hedgehogs should only be offered nutritionally acceptable foods such as chicken as supplementation to their main diet.

These spiny little cuties are prone to obesity, so you want to do what you can to reduce the amount of fat they consume. Avoiding fattier cuts such as thighs and drumsticks is highly recommended. Properly cooking the leaner portions of chicken will also help reduce the amount of fat within the meat.

You should never offer your hedgehog chicken that has been fried or seasoned. Chicken breast is typically the go-to for hedgehogs since it’s lean and healthy. You do not have to limit your hedgehog to just chicken, they can also be supplemented with other lean meats.

Hedgehog Dietary Needs

Hedgehog Eating
Image By: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

Understanding the nutritional needs of exotic pets such as hedgehogs starts with understanding their natural diets in the wild.

Wild Hedgehog Diet

Hedgehogs are natural omnivores that eat a very diverse wild diet. They typically eat at night by rooting underneath hedges and vegetation and feast on a variety of fruit, fungi, roots, insects, centipedes, snails, worms, rodents, eggs, birds, frogs, and even small reptiles.

Pet Hedgehog Diet

It is important to discuss your pet hedgehog’s dietary needs directly with your veterinarian. A licensed veterinarian that specializes in exotic pets will help you come up with a great diet plan to ensure your hedgehog is getting all its needed nutrients and is offered appropriate supplemental foods.

Hedgehogs should be fed a proper protein to fat ratio. They do require a diet high in lean protein and their diet should consist of 30%–50% protein and only 10%–20% fat. Commercial hedgehog food is formulated specifically to meet these needs and should be the main component of their diet.

Fresh, clean water should be always available for your hedgehog. Most owners opt to use sipper bottles by hanging them in the cage. The water should be changed out at least once per day, and you should ensure that your hedgehog is comfortable using the sipper and that it does not become clogged.

Supplemental Foods

hedgehog eating
Image By: Couleur, Pixabay

As mentioned, hedgehogs can be offered supplemental foods that are safe and nutritionally acceptable. We have included a list of acceptable foods below but be sure to always speak to your veterinarian before offering anything additional to the hedgehog’s diet.

  • Properly cooked lean meats
  • High-quality canned cat or dog food
  • High-quality cat treats
  • Cooked eggs
  • Crickets
  • Mealworms
  • Earthworms
  • Waxworms
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Beans (cooked or uncooked)
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Grapes
  • Leafy greens
  • Peas
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes

Obesity In Hedgehogs

Obesity is a common issue in hedgehogs, as these little critters sure do love to eat. That’s why it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure they are being fed a proper diet that is not too high in calories or fat.

Hedgehogs can suffer from the same negative health issues as other pets and humans such as diabetes, heart problems, digestive issues, liver problems, mobility issues, cancer, and shortened longevity.

The best way to combat obesity is to prevent it by coming up with a proper dietary plan with your veterinarian. Always feed the recommended amounts and avoid overfeeding and excessive treats.



Hedgehogs can eat chicken, in fact, they can eat a variety of lean meats since they are a great supplement to their regular commercial food.  Chicken is high in healthy proteins that hedgehogs need, you just must ensure you are properly cooking the chicken and only offering lean cuts. These little guys are prone to obesity so avoiding additional fats is necessary to ensure their overall health and well-being.

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