Hermit Crab Food Diet – The Hermit Crab Food Pyramid

What Hermit Crabs Eat

So what do hermit crabs eat?  Hermit crabs are omnivores, meaning they eat both meat and plant matter.  This great, meaning that hermit crabs eat just about anything!

Many hermit crabs in captivity are protein-deficient as their owners wrongly believe that their hermit crab only eats meat or only eats plant matter, so please make sure your hermit crab has a well rounded diet if you want him or her to live as long as possible.

Hermit Crab Food Pyramid

In captivity, hermit crabs are not known to be allergic to any particular type of meat, but owners need to be careful when preparing the meat of their choice.  Canned pet foods (for fish, turtles etc.) that have been freeze-dried are generally safe (e.g. shrimp, blood worms), but “hermit crab food” products should be avoided.

Organic vegetables and fruit provide plenty of nutrients for your hermit crabs, mango and coconut flesh are two popular hermit crab food choices.

Here is a hermit crab food pyramid to help you decide what to feed your hermit crab.  The hermit crab diet should be well rounded in the 7 areas.

A Hermit Crab Food List

Here is a general list what hermit crabs eat.  This list is by no means comprehensive, and was put together according to the hermit crab food pyramid above.  Make sure your hermit crab diet is always well rounded with the following foods.

Hermit crab food of the animal protein group include: Egg whites, freeze-dried bloodworm, freeze-dried plankton, freeze-dried shrimp, game meat, lean beef, lean chicken, lean turkey, salmon, shrimp, tuna

Hermit crab food of the plant protein group include: alfalfa hay, broccoli, corn, flax seed, kale, lentil, millet, rice, snap peas, soy beans, spinach, wheat germ

Hermit crab food of the sea vegetables group include: algae, kelp, nori, spirulina, wakame, various algae, various seaweeds

Hermit crab food of the fruits and vegetables group include: apple, avocado, banana, blackberry, blueberry, carrot, celery, cherry, coconut, fig, grape, guava, kiwi, lettuce (dark varieties), mango, orange, peach, pear, pineapple, plum, pomegranate, potato, pumpkin, raspberry, squash, tomato, various other fruits, various other vegetables

Hermit crab food of the calcium group include: amaranth, beans, blackstrap molasses, broccoli, cuttlebone, dark greens (cooked), eggshell, exoskeleton, figs, microalgaes, nuts, okra, orange, oyster shell, quinoa, reptile calcium supplement, seaweeds, seeds

Hermit crab food of the fats group include: almonds, canola oil, coconut, coconut oil, egg yolks, meat fat, olive oil, palm oil, pumpkin seed oil, pumpkin seeds, salmon, sunflower seed oil, sunflower seeds, walnuts

Hermit crab food of the other group include: blackstrap molasses, cuttlebone, earthworm castings, eggshell, honey, mineral supplements, oyster shell, saltwater, vinegar (with mother)

Hermit Crab Treats

If you want to give tour hermit crab treats, some suggestions are organic blueberries, organic papaya, organic pineapple, organic mango, bloodworms, mealworms, or kill.

Commercial Hermit Crab Food

Like all animals and humans, hermit crabs need a varied diet that has a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and happy.

A hermit crab that lacks nutrients will be susceptible to health problems, have problems moulting, and can even diet.

Ecuadorian hermit crabs (C. compressus) owners note that these hermit crabs, prefer to eat something different every single meal.  If these crabs are fed the same hermit crab food everyday they become reluctant to eat, which can reduce their nutrient intake.

Commercial hermit crab food, much like most pet food, contains many substances that cause harm to your hermit crab’s health.  Ethoxyquin, for example, has long been banned in commercial dog, cat and bird food – however it is still found in commercial hermit crab food.

In a nutshell: Now that you know what do hermit crabs eat and what foods consist of the hermit crab diet, stick to fresh organic food products as much as possible.  Avoid feeding your hermit crab any commercially processed foods such as bread, cake, donuts etc.  And stay away from commercial hermit crab food products, because most of them contain toxic preservatives.


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