Here's how to make healthy, inexpensive food for your hermit crab!
If you own a hermit crab, you know that there are a wide variety of commercial hermit crab foods available for a reasonable price. These foods aren't always the best for our pets, and there are plenty of DIY recipes made from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
A healthy hermit crab food will have a mix of these as a base:
- Animal Protein
The healthy grains are probably already in your pantry! Depending on the number of hermit crabs you have, you won't even notice any ingredients missing.
Start with the base and gather up all grains, seeds and nuts to cover the basic grains and fat categories:
- Grains: Oats, wheat bran, wild rice, yeast flakes, granola mixes
- Seeds: Flax, chia, pumpkin, sesame
- Unsalted Nuts: Walnuts, pistachios, almonds
In the wild, hermit crabs are foragers, so they also need a good source of animal protein. This can be incorporated into their diet a variety of ways. Dried insects are the easiest way to make sure they're getting protein. You can also feed them a few pieces of a high-quality, high-protein dog kibble.
Protein additions include:
- Dried Insects: Crickets, mealworms, river shrimp, blood worms
- Dry Dog Food: A few pieces of high protein kibble, crushed.
Another important part of their balanced diet is calcium. I mix calcium powder into the mix, or you can give them egg shells to munch as another added source of calcium.
Hermit crabs have been known to have a sweet tooth, and while it is important to keep them happy, it is important to feed anything sugary in moderation. This includes fresh and dried fruits or any sugary cereals.
- Dried/Fresh Fruits: Goji berries, mango, pineapple, raisins, coconut.
You can also feed your hermit crabs fresh veggies. I make a habit of saving a little portion of whatever vegetables I have around to feed to the hermies. It is important to remove any fresh fruit or veggies within 24 hours.
My hermit crabs also particularly love popcorn. It is very important that they get the air-popped kind, and not the microwavable kind with butter and flavoring on it. You can make a small portion of popcorn by mixing kernels with coconut oil in a brown paper lunch bag, and microwaving until kernels pop!
In general, foods to avoid are garlic, onions, and citrus. Other than that, feel free to try different variations of your own! You may find out a few of your crab's favorite foods in the process!
You can find specific recipes here.