Although blueberries can’t be found at the beach, hermit crabs can still gain many health benefits from eating them. These berries are full of antioxidants, immune system boosters, and vitamins. Since hermit crabs are omnivores, their digestion is well-suited to gleaning nutrients from the skin and berry itself.
Hermit crabs can safely eat blueberries. Blueberries contain antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin K, and other immune system boosters. The sweet flavor is enticing to most hermit crabs. Whether frozen or fresh, blueberries will prevent oxidative stress, keep your hermie’s brain healthy and give them a stronger exoskeleton.
You can feed your hermit crabs 2-3 blueberries each, 1-2 times a week. This will add variety to their diet and make them more eager to eat their regular food. Although you can feed more blueberries to your hermit crabs, avoid making it their only food. Hermit crabs need fats, proteins, and calcium, which aren’t found in blueberries.
Are Blueberries OK For Hermit Crabs?
There are no toxins found in these fruits that can harm your hermit crabs. In fact, you can sometimes find dried blueberries in commercial mixes that are intended specifically for hermit crab consumption.
High In Antioxidants
Antioxidants lessen the chances of developing illnesses due to aging. These include diseases such as:
- Heart problems
- Muscular degeneration
Oxidative stress, which can be the reason for these illnesses, is inevitable. However, antioxidants lessen oxidative stress, resulting in a healthier mind and body.
According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, blueberries have the highest levels of antioxidants of all common fruits. The main antioxidant in blueberries is anthocyanin, and it is what gives these fruits their blue color. The more anthocyanins there are in a fruit, the bluer the color will be.
Blueberries also give your hermit crab a stronger immune system due to their antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The most important of these is pterostilbene. A more robust immune system can improve your hermit crabs’ lifespan and day-to-day activity levels.
Keeps The Brain Sharp
Hermit crabs can identify certain colors, follow a complex checklist for picking shells, and navigate obstacle courses. To help keep your hermit crabs sharp mentally, blueberries are an excellent addition to their diets.
Oxidative stress causes the brain to age faster, so the brain functions inevitably become slower. This means slowed reflexes, a worse memory, and difficulty in problem-solving. According to the Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, blueberries positively affect learning and memory in animals. The researchers also determined that this positive effect is due to the polyphenol antioxidants found in the fruit.
All fruits are high in nutrients. However, blueberries are one of the most nutrient-dense berries you can find. Despite being rather low in calories, they provide a high level of vitamins and minerals.
Of all the vitamins found in blueberries, your hermit crabs will benefit most from vitamin C. In fact, one cup of blueberries can give you a quarter of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. When you scale that down for hermit crabs, even one or two berries will be an impressive health boost. Vitamin C is crucial in boosting the immune system of your hermit crabs and helping them process other nutrients.
Of course, some owners worry that it will harm their pets since the effects of vitamin C on crustaceans haven’t been properly studied. Rest assured that hermits glean plenty of vitamin C from tropical fruits in the wild.
A cup of blueberries contains enough manganese to fulfill 36% of the recommended daily intake for humans. Even one blueberry 1-2 times a week can help meet your hermit crabs’ manganese requirements.
Manganese is an important mineral that is needed to build bones. For hermit crabs, this will strengthen their exoskeleton and even help them regrow faster during their molting phase.
Hermit crabs only have a thick exoskeleton on the upper half of their body. They rely on their shell to protect the rest of them. By offering blueberries, you can ensure this protective shell remains robust.
Vitamin K is known for its role in blood clotting. For hermit crabs, it again contributes to their exoskeleton. That’s because vitamin K creates a protein in bones called osteocalcin. This protein stops the bones from weakening prematurely with age or strain. They will need this to live a healthy life that’s full of activity and several molting cycles.
Do Hermit Crabs Like Blueberries?
In the wild, hermit crabs won’t encounter blueberries naturally. The good news is that hermit crabs love tropical fruit, and it’s even given them a sweet tooth.
As a plus, blueberries are crunchy, with a large amount of juice. By placing a few blueberries in a tank, your hermit crabs will eagerly eat them. They’re tasty, nutritious, and brightly-colored. If the hermit crabs have never encountered blueberries before, they may hesitate for a few minutes, so you’ll need to take steps to help them adjust.
Hermit crabs only have two color receptors in their eyes. So, they’re only capable of seeing blue or yellow (or a mix of the two). For this reason, blueberries will come through in sharp color, but hermies are scared of blue.
According to the University of California, hermit crabs approach blue cautiously. When given enough time, your hermit crabs should overcome this to explore the enticing aroma. Since they have a strong sense of smell, that should confirm that the food is safe. Once they get a taste for blueberries, there will be no stopping them.
Can Hermit Crabs Eat Frozen Blueberries?
Frozen blueberries are just as safe as fresh blueberries. In fact, frozen fruits can be even healthier because they’re picked from the vine and frozen immediately, trapping all the nutrients inside the berry.
Meanwhile, ‘fresh’ blueberries on your supermarket shelf can be a few days old. They’re still perfectly safe but have lost a few key nutrients. That makes frozen better than fresh, depending on where you source them.
Let frozen blueberries thaw out before giving them to your hermit crabs. Otherwise, they would lose out on the added moisture. Just let the berries sit out until they’re soft, and then feed immediately.
Should You Feed Whole Blueberries To Hermit Crabs?
Hermit crabs have strong pinchers that can easily chop through soft blueberries. You can feed them as-is and let your hermies get some enrichment from picking them apart. However, if you’re introducing the berries for the first time, your hermit crabs may be hesitant. In this case:
- Chop Them: This makes the blueberries faster to eat, getting your hermit crabs hooked on the flavor.
- Skin Them: Skinning one or two will make the blueberry aroma even stronger. If the hermies are uncertain about this new food, that’s an easy way to entice them into trying it.
- Smash Them. Even small hermit crabs can eat through a blueberry. However, if they’re hesitant, smashing a few will encourage them to pick this new treat over their normal food.
How Often Should You Feed Your Hermit Crab Blueberries?
You can feed hermit crabs 2-3 blueberries (each) about 1-2 times a week. That’s a healthy balance that will give them a quick boost of vitamins and nutrients. It also won’t fill them up, causing them to refuse other food types.
If you feed nothing but blueberries to your crustaceans, this won’t cause immediate harm. To live a healthy life, hermit crabs also need proteins, calcium, and fats. That can’t be found exclusively in blueberries.
Hermit crabs can easily get bored of the same old food every day. Adding a few blueberries to the mix should work as a good form of enrichment. Your hermit crabs will eagerly taste and pick apart the new food, making their appetites stronger for other healthy foods.