Hermit crabs will quickly grow bored with eating the same foods. This means that you’ll need to become more creative in your feeding. Fresh fruits and vegetables, such as cucumber, can be beneficial. If your hermit crabs enjoy the taste of cucumber, it is a positive addition to their diet.
Cucumber is safe for hermit crabs. It contains beta-carotene in the skin, which is an essential vitamin. Cucumber is also high in calcium, which encourages the healthy growth of the exoskeleton.
Taste is the big caveat as hermit crabs prefer sweet flavors. This means that they may reject cucumber. If you are keen to introduce cucumber to the diet of hermit crabs, you’ll need to make it appealing.
Can Hermit Crabs Have Cucumber?
All hermit crabs should be fed a diet that consists of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Cucumber, while not necessarily a hermit crab favorite, is perfectly safe to feed your pets.
Cucumber should be fed sparingly, and you should shop organic to avoid pesticides and other contaminants. You’ll also need to vigilant about removing any spoiled or rotting cucumber to prevent sickness.
There is nothing toxic about this vegetable when fresh or dehydrated. If your hermit crabs will eat cucumber, it can offer refreshment and low-calorie nourishment. It is beneficial on a hot day.
Can Hermit Crabs Eat Pickles?
If hermit crabs can eat cucumber, can they also eat jarred pickles? After all, these ingredients start life as cucumbers before being fermented in brine.
The short answer is no – at least as far as shop-bought pickles are concerned. These foods will have been treated with a range of salt, sugars, and spices. This means they are potentially dangerous for hermit crabs.
If you wish to offer pickles, you could try making your own. Apple cider vinegar is safe for hermit crabs and a favored taste for some. Create your own by submerging a cucumber in apple cider vinegar and marine salt. These still need to be fed sparingly but are much safer.
Do Hermit Crabs Like Cucumber?
As per Proceedings of the Royal Society, hermit crabs decide whether to eat foodstuffs based on smell. Hermit crabs also have a notorious sweet tooth. Cucumber carries scent due to the presence of phytochemicals, but it may not be appealing.
You’re likely to have more joy feeding cucumber to marine hermit crabs. These animals sometimes graze on sea cucumbers in the ocean. Sea cucumbers are not the vegetables you’ll buy from a grocery store, though. They are living animals.
If you’re keen to convince your hermit crabs to eat cucumber, add a small additional scent to the vegetable. A hint of honey, applesauce, or peanut butter will pique the curiosity of your hermit crabs.
Is Cucumber Good for Hermit Crabs?
If hermit crabs are not automatically drawn to cucumber, you may wonder if it is worth encouraging them to tuck in.
The most critical components of any hermit crab diet are protein, calcium, and antioxidants. The presence of beta-carotene is significant. Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of a 100g cucumber to assess it’s worth as a hermit crab food:
|Vitamin A||105 IU|
|Vitamin C||2.8 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.03 mg|
|Vitamin K||16.4 IU|
|Thiamin (Vitamin B1)||0.027 mg|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||0.033 mg|
|Niacin (Vitamin B3)||0.098 mg|
|Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)||0.040 mg|
|Folates (Vitamin B9)||0.001 mg|
|Dietary fibers||0.5 g|
Cucumber is a low-calorie snack for hermit crabs. Whether this is good or bad will depend on your perspective. The low carbohydrate level means that cucumber provides hermit crabs with limited energy. It will prevent them from growing sluggish, though. There are advantages to feeding hermit crabs cucumber. These include:
- High amounts of water for hydration.
- Superior levels of calcium – critical for hermit crab exoskeletons.
- Low levels of copper, which is dangerous for hermit crabs.
- High levels of Vitamin A to aid vision.
- Just enough fiber to keep hermit crabs regular.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of cucumber for hermit crabs is the presence of beta-carotene in the skin. This is what provides hermit crabs with their lustrous color. Foods like carrots contain more, but occasional cucumber servings keep levels topped up.
Is Cucumber Bad for Hermit Crabs?
There are no outright dangers to feeding cucumber to hermit crabs. Indifference is the biggest issue you’re likely to face. You may need to work to make your hermit crabs eat cucumber.
The only other issue is how quickly cucumber rots in a hermit crabs enclosure. This vegetable does not cope well in a warm, humid environment. Never leave uneaten cucumber in a habitat. If your hermit crabs reject cucumber, remove it at once.
How to Feed Cucumber to Hermit Crabs
When feeding cucumber to your hermit crabs, do not skin or peel it. This removes most of the nutrients. Just give the cucumber a thorough wash in unchlorinated water. This will remove any soil or bacteria.
Once this is done, you have three ways that cucumber can be served to hermit crabs. Two are fine, and one is best avoided.
Slicing cumber is the easiest way to it to hermit crabs. Cut the cucumber into small, thin slices. You could even consider dicing the cucumber to make it easier to chew and swallow.
If you slice the cucumber too thin, your hermit crabs may lose interest. They do not feel they are consuming solid food. Equally though, anything too thick can become a choking hazard.
One potential solution for this is cutting the cucumber into long, thin strips instead of circular slices. This will be easier for hermit crabs to grip with the claws and provide an enjoyable chewy texture.
Experiment with different ways of serving fresh cucumber. Leave the vegetable in a dish and wait for a reaction from your hermit crabs.
If you own a dehydrator, you can create a tasty treat. Just slice the cucumber into chunks and dehydrate it. This creates a healthy snack that resembles potato chips. You’ll remove the water content, but this is a sacrifice worth making.
Your hermit crabs are likely to enjoy dehydrated cucumber a great deal. Leave the chips in a food dish and stand back. You’ll likely see a feeding frenzy unfold, especially if you added a favorable scent.
Dehydrating cucumber does not remove any of the nutrition or goodness from the vegetable. This makes it a great way to provide this food to hermit crabs and ensure they consume the goodness it offers.
Cucumber in Water
A slice of cucumber in water can feel cool and refreshing on a hot day. If your hermit crabs look too hot, you may consider this as a way of cooling them off. This is inadvisable, mainly because cucumber rots so quickly in hot, humid environments.
The cucumber may start to fall apart in the water. This will be dangerous to any hermit crabs use their water pools to hydrate. Even if you remove the cucumber before it fully disintegrates, the damage may be done.
Many hermit crabs store water from bathing pools in their shells. If pieces of cucumber end up in the shell, they will rot from within. This will become a bacterial hazard. Equally, hermit crabs often spill water to moisturize the substrate. Rotten cucumber may become entwined with sand or soil.
Even if the cucumber remains fresh, think about the smell. Hermit crabs rarely eat the same thing twice in succession. The scent of cucumber may deter your hermit crabs from bathing or drinking. This vegetable should be kept out of water.
How Often Should Hermit Crabs Eat Cucumber?
Hermit crabs need variety in their diet, even among favorite foods. As discussed in Animal Behavior, they rarely eat the same thing twice in 24 hours. Sometimes the deterrence of familiar food can last several days.
With this in mind, cucumber, like all fresh ingredients, should be held back and served sporadically. Once a week is ideal. If necessary, you can step up to twice a week. If you do so, try to vary the way cucumber is served.
Cucumber is not the first food we associate with hermit crabs, but it is safe to feed. Not all hermit crabs will react to cucumber, but you can make it more appealing with an additional scent or flavor. There are other vegetables with more health benefits that hermit crabs prefer.