I enjoy raising our own feeder insects because then I know what my hedgehogs food is eating and I know they are clean and disease free. It also provides my customers and hog parents a place to get feeder insects for their hedgies.
Have you ever wondered what goes into raising your own feeder insects? I want to show you how easy it is to start up a mealworm farm of your own! We also have dubia roaches here at Green Mountain Quillibusters, and I am happy to write a separate post on them another time.
A job planned out is a job half done. Don't skimp on making sure you have all your supplies gathered before you get started. Setting up a mealworm farm is super easy if you have everything ready. Our farm is minimal work and yields plenty of mealworms to support our herd as well as our customers.
Now that you have your container and bedding, you are ready to add in your mealworms.
When you are starting a mealworm farm you will need a good supply of mealworms to get it going. I would recommend no less than 1000 to start. Buying bulk mealworms online can be risky depending on the time of year. Winter months can be too cold for shipping, while alternatively summer months can be too warm. Check around your area to see if there are any local suppliers before going online.
If there is not a local, trusted business to purchase mealworms from in bulk, I suggest the following three suppliers.
I have listed their location as well so you can choose the vendor that is closest to you.
www.reptiledeli.com (New York)
Once your have an established colony, your farm will require minimal maintenance and will provide your insectivores plenty of yummy, protein filled treats!
Thanks for reading and please leave any comments or questions you have below!
Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome (WHS) is a RARE disease that can occur in African Pygmy Hedgehogs. It is believed to be genetic, but the cause is unknown. WHS is progressive, degenerative and neurological. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for WHS.
The disease is similar to multiple sclerosis (MS) in humans. Most cases occur in hedgehogs between the ages 18-24 months but is known to happen at earlier and later ages as well. Hedgehogs will experience weight loss and eventually become completely paralyzed. Paralysis usually starts in the hind legs.
Hedgehogs must have a necropsy (animal autopsy), to look for lesions on the brain for an accurate diagnosis of WHS.
No breeder is immune from WHS. The hedgehog gene pool is very small, so its important to track linage to help reduce cases of WHS.
Symptoms of WHS:
WHS does not come on suddenly, it’s a slowly progressing disease. If your hedgehog has a sudden wobble, it’s likely from another illness or environmental factor.
Other ailments that can mimic symptoms of WHS:
Necropsy: How to
In the event that your hedgehog dies, and you suspect WHS or another genetic issue, it's important to have your hedgehog prepared and shipped for a proper necropsy. Your hedgehog should be shipped out the day it dies.
Step 1: Put your hedgehog in a large Ziploc bag and put in the refrigerator. DO NOT freeze. Freezing will kill cells. Write your name and number on the Ziploc.
Step 2: Ideally, you’ll want to get an insulated shipping box. If you don’t have an insulated shipping box on hand, line a small box with puppy pads. Use one puppy pad to wrap an ice pack. The absorbent side should be directly on the ice pack to absorb any condensation.
Step 3: Place your hedgehog on top of the wrapped ice pack. Cover with a few more training pads and tuck them in. Add packing material if needed to avoid shifting in the box.
Step 4: On the OSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory website you will need to print and fill out these forms:
On the biopsy/necropsy submission form, make sure you mark “necropsy & diagnostic work up”.
After forms are filled out, place them in a Ziploc and put them in the box with your hedgehog.
Step 5: Seal up the box and send overnight mail to the shipping address at the top of the necropsy submission form. OSU will email the results to you in about a week.
The OSU charges $82 for a full necropsy.
There is so much information to learn when it comes to owning and breeding hedgehogs! It is far more than a care page can hold!