If you happen to have an empty tank at home with no experience in keeping exotic pets, go and get yourself a couple of hermit crabs. Not only are these crabs colorful and active, but they are also incredibly easy to care for. Being omnivores, these crabs would eat almost anything you feed them. Do you ever wonder which fruits can you safely feed them? What about blueberries?
Can hermit crabs eat blueberries? It’s safe to say that hermit crabs can eat blueberries. Blueberries are sweet, nutritious and also small enough to fit into their mouth at once and easy to chew and digest. Even the tiny seeds inside blueberries are completely harmless to your pets. Moreover, hermit crabs can eat these berries raw, cooked, as well as dried.
In fact, you will truly enjoy watching your cute pets devouring these blueberries.
Although it seems that the crabs have no choice but to live in shells, they still have plenty of opportunities for exciting adventures and taste sensations. Hermit crab diet is quite diverse, including not only small snails, fish eggs, and other marine inhabitants but also plants, berries, and leaves.
The article will cover all aspects of feeding blueberries to hermit crabs: their nutritional value, health benefits, and more.
Are blueberries healthy for hermit crabs?
If you’re thinking of introducing blueberries into your pet’s diet, the first question that might’ve come into your mind is: are these berries healthy for the hermit crabs?
To determine the health benefits of any food for your pets, you must first explore their nutritional value. To help you with it, we have curated a table of blueberry’s nutritional composition.
Take a look:
|Vitamin A||59 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.037 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.041 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.418 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||0.124 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.052 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||6 mcg|
|Vitamin C||9.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.57 mg|
|Vitamin K||19.3 mcg|
|Iron, Fe||0.28 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.24 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||8.88 mg|
|Selenium, Se||0.1 mcg|
|Magnesium, Mg||8.88 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.057 mg|
|Potassium, K||77 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.336 mg|
|Dietary fibers||4.2 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
As you can see in the table, blueberries are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Do you want to learn how these nutrients can be helpful to your pet crab? Let’s begin, then.
- Just like all the other brightly-colored fruits, blueberries contain beta-carotene as well. For those of you who haven’t heard of beta-carotene, it is an organic pigment responsible for the coloration of the fruits. Luckily, your hermit crabs need this pigment to maintain their bright appearance as well. If your pet’s body is starting to appear duller, it means that they’re not consuming enough beta-carotene-rich food.
- Blueberries contain fats in a moderate amount. Your pets need fats in their diet to be able to absorb fat-soluble vitamins from their food.
- These berries are also rich in carbohydrates, which serve two important functions in the hermit crabs. They’re the primary source of energy for the crabs and contribute to their chitin’s maintenance.
- Of all the minerals present in blueberries, calcium is the one that your pets need the most. Hermit crabs need a large amount of calcium in their diet to maintain their exoskeletal health.
Can hermit crabs eat raw blueberries?
Yes, hermit crabs can certainly eat raw blueberries. These crabs are habituated to eating fruits and vegetables in the rawest form in the wild and can, therefore, safely eat raw blueberries. These crabs even prefer raw and fresh blueberries to be cooked or dried ones.
Can hermit crabs eat cooked blueberries?
If your pet hermit crabs can eat raw blueberries, why would you want to cook these for them?
Some of you might not know this, but when you cook blueberries, the antioxidants (polyphenol) in them are released and can be absorbed by your pets more easily.
The higher antioxidant content of cooked blueberries makes them healthier for the hermit crabs than raw ones.
However, if you’re going to feed cooked blueberries to your pet crabs, there are some pointers you must keep in mind:
- Avoid cooking the blueberries for too long, as they can lose some of their nutrients in the process.
- Deep frying blueberries has the same effect on their nutritional value as over-cooking them. Therefore, you must avoid deep frying them as well.
- Once the blueberries are cooked, wait for a while to let them cool down properly so that they don’t burn the insides of your pet’s mouth.
Are blueberry seeds safe for hermit crabs to eat?
Have you ever seen the seeds inside a blueberry? Due to their minuscule size, many people are unaware that blueberries have seeds and eat the berries along with them.
Since humans have been eating seeded blueberries for decades without any trouble, it’s clear that these seeds are harmless to us. But what about our pet crabs? Are blueberry seeds equally harmless to them? Yes, absolutely.
Unlike the seeds of apples or oranges, blueberry seeds contain no toxic compound and are completely safe for your hermit crabs to eat. Besides, these seeds are also too small to present a choking hazard for them.
If you have been removing the seeds from the blueberries before feeding them to your pets, you needn’t do it anymore.
Is it okay for hermit crabs to eat dried blueberries?
All of you must already know that blueberries are seasonal fruits. To be able to enjoy these fruits all year round, they’re dried out in the sun for days (or in the oven) until they’re completely dehydrated and can be preserved for a long time. Most of the blueberry cheesecakes and tarts have dried blueberries in them.
Did you know that dried blueberries have more or less the same nutritional value as raw ones? Does this mean that your pet crabs can feed on dried blueberries as well? The answer to it depends on whether you dry blueberries by yourself at home or buy them from a store.
The dried blueberries available in the stores contain several chemicals and preservatives to increase their shelf life. And while these chemicals are basically harmless to us, there’s no telling what they could do to your little pets.
On the other hand, if you buy fresh blueberries from the market and dry them in the sun or your oven, your dried blueberries will be more natural and, thus, safer for the hermit crabs.
However, even if you’re feeding your pets self-dried blueberries, be careful about feeding them these treats in moderation. It is because, in the process of dehydration, the sugar in these berries becomes concentrated, resulting in a much higher sugar content of the blueberries than before.
Can blueberry juice be fed to hermit crabs?
Yes, hermit crabs can drink blueberry juice as safely as they can eat the berries. However, if you give your pet a choice among the two, they will most likely choose the raw fruits.
If you want to feed your crabs blueberry juice, buy blueberries and blend their juice at home. Feeding them store-bought juices is a bad idea because of refined sugar, artificial flavor or coloring, and preservatives in them.
Can baby hermit crabs eat blueberries as well?
If you have brought home hermit crabs that are too young, it is natural to be more concerned about their diet, nutrition, and safety.
Can the baby hermit crabs eat blueberries as well? Yes, they definitely can. Unlike other animals, the diet of a baby and an adult hermit crab is different.
If any particular food is safe for the adults, it would be safe for their younger ones. In fact, due to their tiny size and soft flesh, blueberries are much easier for the baby hermit crabs to eat and digest.
Conclusion: Can hermit crabs eat blueberries?
To sum it up, hermit crabs are fond of most berries, even more so of the blueberries, which are delicious and can easily fit into their mouth. These berries are even safe for their younger ones. However, as with every other fruit, you should only feed your crabs blueberries as an occasional treat.
The only danger of feeding blueberries to your hermit crabs is the possibility of overeating. Hermit crabs tend to be greedy when it comes to food. They may eat as much as they want, and when they get fed too much, they can end up with diarrhea or even worse–death.
So, if you are planning to treat your pet crab with a bowl of fresh blueberries or any other fruit for that matter, make sure that there are plenty of other food items to choose from.