Many species of garden birds as well as small mammals such as hedgehogs and shrews are natural insect eaters. While the technical definition ‘insectivore’ has been retired as a term, it does not lessen the preference of such creatures’ dietary choices.
Birds and animals with a preference for insects in their diet also consume other protein rich food stuffs and therefore fall into the omnivore category.
Sunflower seeds and peanuts are packed with healthy proteins, oils and amino acids and are even considered super foods for humans. They therefore can make a great addition in many animal feeds, particularly when balanced for the species dietary requirements.
Ark Insectivore Food is one such speciality, formulated with a balance of accessible animal and plant proteins, fortified with pro-biotics for digestibility and calcium supplement for healthy bone growth. This latter ingredient is especially relevant as many birds will use this feed to support growing fledglings that need high quality soluble calcium for bone and feather development. Similarly, hedgehogs require a food intake with a balance of calcium to phosphorus (Ca:P) with a ratio of at least 1:1, to avoid risk of a crippling disease called Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)*.
Chopped sunflower hearts with chopped peanuts, black soldier fly larvae with added chitin, pro-biotics, and calcium makes an excellent food supplement to every insect eating bird and mammal. This food is particularly beneficial during spring when insects may be in short supply. Equally throughout summer months, when dry weather makes worms and insects retreat underground and become inaccessible.
*Ark Wildlife has always carefully balanced the ingredients of all our food blends to ensure that the combined ingredients make a positive contribution to health and wellbeing. In fact, we are the preferred choice of many animal rescue centres for the quality and suitability of the specialist foods we produce.
Vale Wildlife Hospital the UK`s largest hedgehog rescue centre have written a helpful guide on feeding hedgehogs in the garden