Can Hermit Crabs Eat Oranges?

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Oranges

Hermit crabs are not picky eaters and anything that resembles food will be gladly eaten by them. These amazing crustaceans are capable of eating a wide variety of food, including fruits. In fact, some owners think it’s hilarious when their pet sits on orange with the citrus fruit making his bottom look even rounder than it already is. Yet, this is not all there is to know about feeding your pet oranges.

Can Hermit Crabs eat oranges? Oranges are one of the most desirable fruits to feed to your hermit crabs. They can be used as a treat for your crab since these fruits are high in vitamins and minerals, which can add to their health. And they taste really good! 

Hermit crabs enjoy eating oranges. They are full of vitamins, antioxidants, and other minerals and nutrients that can improve your pet’s health and give it the strength to grow and play. Make sure to feed them small amounts of oranges only, though, because large amounts can cause indigestion. The only caution is to remove the seeds and peel before feeding your hermit crab as they might choke on them.

If you have Hermit Crabs as pets, you might have by now found so many reasons to love them. They are small and take up a tiny place in a tank, caring for them is easy and inexpensive. They’re also very social, so if you want to add more pets to their tank, they’ll gladly welcome them.

For those who are new at keeping Hermit Crabs as pets, it is only natural for you to have questions about their diets and treats. But you needn’t worry, for, in this article, we will clarify all your doubts about feeding them oranges.


Oranges for Hermit Crabs: Health Benefits

As we’ve mentioned before, Hermit Crabs have a diverse and flexible diet. However, wouldn’t it be better if their treats could also make them healthy?

We heard you, and we present to you oranges, which can be both tasty and healthy for your little pets. How? Let’s find out. We’ll begin with a glance at the nutritional composition of oranges:

Vitamin A225 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)0.114 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.052 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.369 mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.328 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)0.079 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folates)39 mcg
Vitamin C69.7 mg
Vitamin E0.24 mg
Choline11 mg
Iron0.1 mg
Calcium40 mg
Sodium0 mg
Potassium169 mg
Copper39 mcg
Magnesium10 mg
Zinc0.08 mg
Manganese0.024 mg
Carbohydrates11.8 g
Protein1.23 g
Dietary fibers3.1 g
Sugar12.25 g
Fat0.16 g
Calories62 kcal

Serving size: 100 grams

The chart above is itself evidence of the nutritional richness of oranges. And now, we’ll talk about how these nutrients will benefit your pets:

  • Oranges contain two main classes of antioxidants: phenolics and carotenoids. These boost the immune system of Hermit Crabs, strengthening them to fight against various diseases.
  • Hermit Crabs need fats in their diet to absorb vitamins from the food they eat. Oranges have fats in a moderate amount.
  • Oranges are rich in carbohydrates, which are not only the primary source of your pets’ energy but also contribute to their chitin, which is a major constituent of their exoskeleton.
  • Calcium is essential in a Hermit Crab’s diet, as it plays a key role in their cell functioning and the maintenance of their exoskeleton. About 100 grams of Oranges contain 40 milligrams of calcium, which is more than enough for these little beings.
  • All the brightly-colored fruits and vegetables, including oranges, contain beta-carotene, a plant pigment. Fortunately, beta-carotene is also responsible for the bright appearance of the Hermit Crabs.

Keeping all the above pointers in mind, it would be justified to state that oranges are indeed a healthy treat for your Hermit Crabs.


The citrus myth: debunked

Have you ever heard of the popular rumor that citrus fruits can kill Hermit Crabs? If you haven’t, it might come as a surprise to you that many Hermit Crab owners avoid feeding their pets any of these fruits because of this rumor. But is there any truth behind it? Let’s find out.

The rumors about oranges, and all the other citrus fruits, being fatal to Hermit Crabs are untrue. These rumors find their roots because the barks and leaves of the citrus trees are toxic to Hermit Crabs. However, the fruits themselves are completely safe for them when fed in moderation.

Now that you know the truth, you can rest assured and inform other pet parents about it.


Are orange seeds safe for Hermit Crabs to eat?

As we’ve discussed earlier, Hermit Crabs can eat almost everything that we can. When we eat oranges ourselves, do we eat them along with their seeds? Other than a few accidental incidents, we don’t. So, can these seeds be fed to our pets?

No, Hermit Crabs should not be fed orange seeds. This is because they contain a small amount of amygdalin. If the crabs break down the seeds, the amygdalin within them will turn into cyanide, which can cause cyanide poisoning in their body. Therefore, whenever you’re serving your pet orange, be careful about removing all the seeds from it.


What about orange peels? Can Hermit Crabs eat them?

While the orange peels are rich in citrus oils and have other nutritional benefits as well, feeding them to your pet Hermit Crabs is not a good idea. Many fruit-sellers spray these fruits with pesticides and insecticides to keep them safe from all insects. Some even coat the fruits with wax to make them look fresher and brighter.

If the wax, pesticides, or any other chemicals find their way into your pet’s body, it could lead to several health problems. Moreover, Hermit Crabs would have difficulty in chewing and digesting the peels anyway. So, it’s best not to feed them the peels.


Is it safe to feed orange jam to Hermit Crabs? What about orange juice?

Since we’ve stated that oranges are safe for Hermit Crabs in moderation, it is obvious to wonder if you can feed the jams or juices of these fruits to them as well.

Let’s talk about orange jams first.

If you buy orange jams from a store, you shouldn’t be feeding them to your pets. Several chemical additives and preservatives were added to jam to give it longer shelf life, not to mention the added refined sugar. While the jam is safe for your consumption, it isn’t manufactured keeping in mind Hermit Crabs’ health and can be lethal to them. Even if you’re making your own jam, you’ll have to be careful about the ingredients if you plan to share them with your pet crabs.

Coming to the juice, the same rule applies. If you’ve blended it at home, it is okay for the Hermit Crabs. The store-bought ones, however, are unsafe.

We would recommend you feed your pets slices of oranges instead of going through all the trouble of making jams and juices for them. Raw oranges are the healthiest for them at the end of the day.


Can baby Hermit Crabs eat oranges safely?

Have you brought home a baby Hermit Crab and are wondering if oranges are safe for them? In that case, you have nothing to worry about.

Unlike the babies of most animals that are born with fragile health, the baby Hermit Crabs are as sturdy as their parents and can, therefore, eat oranges in moderation safely. Just peel the oranges off and remove the seeds, and you’re good to go.


Conclusion: Can Hermit Crabs eat oranges?

If you’re a pet-parent who is scared of feeding their Hermit Crabs oranges because of all the rumors you’ve heard about citrus being lethal to them, then you have nothing to worry about.

The truth is, only the barks and leaves of the citrus plants are toxic to these crabs, not the fruits. In fact, oranges are quite healthy for them when fed in moderation. They’re a storehouse of vitamins and minerals and can add important nutrients to your pet’s diet.

Remember you must not over-feed them these fruits, for too much sugar can be detrimental to their health.

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