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-   -   Cage Cleaning and enrichment (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16572)

bmaditz 06-13-2012 05:52 PM

Re: Cage Cleaning and enrichment
 
HedgieGirl519 are the insects you hide freeze dried????? The breeder I got my hedgie from said to hold off feeding him bugs or anything special until he is about 4 or 5 months. So his little digestive system can develope. Do you agree?????????????? And out of curiosity why are balls with holes bad???????????????

HedgieGirl519 06-13-2012 05:54 PM

Re: Cage Cleaning and enrichment
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bmaditz
I also put cat food in it through the holes in it. He has to push the ball around to get the food out.

Cat balls must be solid. He can get injured from sticking his nose into the ball, or a foot or leg.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmaditz
HedgieGirl519 are the insects you hide freeze dried????? The breeder I got my hedgie from said to hold off feeding him bugs or anything special until he is about 4 or 5 months. So his little digestive system can develope. Do you agree??????????????

Don't feed freeze-dried foods. They can cause a blockage. The insect that I hide are dead. I buy them live, then put them in the freezer to kill them. Before I feed them I put them in the fridge to thaw.

I disagree. Hedgehogs are insectivores, meaning they eat insects. There is no reason to hold off.

bmaditz 06-13-2012 06:00 PM

Re: Cage Cleaning and enrichment
 
HedgieGirl519 Wow thanks sooooooo much for the advice!!!!!!!!! I've tried to give him a piece of banana and a piece of apple he wasn't interested in either. I think tomorrow I'll buy some bugs from the pet store and freeze them. I'm curious to see if he'll eat them. :D I'm taking the cat ball with holes out right now!!! :oops:

HedgieGirl519 06-13-2012 06:02 PM

Re: Cage Cleaning and enrichment
 
Mealworms and crickets are the most popular :)

If he isn't interested one day, he may be the next day. They can hate something one day and love it a week later, so keep trying! :)

You can feed mealworms live, but crickets are hard to feed live.

Immortalia 06-13-2012 06:04 PM

Re: Cage Cleaning and enrichment
 
Personally I wouldn't let a cage go over 1 week without a full clean. No matter how clean it may look, there is still lots of bacteria. Especially since they get poopy feet, then run all over the cage, spreading bacteria. And bacteria grows fast. At school we grew bacterial unknowns to figure out what they were and within 24 hours, the dish was already loaded. So I always clean once a week, better than risking an overgrowth of bacteria that could upset their digestive system and causing more problems and needing meds for GI tract upset.

As for insects, if your breeder never fed insects before than it is best to wait. Once your hedgie is more adjusted to new home, then you can start slowly introducing new treats. Waiting until 4-5 months may be overkill, most usually wait about 2-4 weeks after arriving home, depending on how they have adjusted. However, if you are planning a kibble change, then yes, all "new" treats should be held off until kibble transition is complete.

Also, don't feed freeze dried insects. The process makes the chitin very hard to digest and has caused impactions before. But you can freeze your own. Buy some crickets, gut load them for a few days, then stick them in the freezer.

bmaditz 06-13-2012 06:05 PM

Re: Cage Cleaning and enrichment
 
HedgieGirl519 I've heard mealworms are a little fatty, and crickets are better. You think this sounds right????????? And I'll keep trying with the new foods :lol:

bmaditz 06-13-2012 06:09 PM

Re: Cage Cleaning and enrichment
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Immortalia
gut load them for a few days.

What exactly does that mean???? Do you use bedding in your cages or liners???????? Oh, and thanks for the info :D

HedgieGirl519 06-13-2012 06:10 PM

Re: Cage Cleaning and enrichment
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bmaditz
HedgieGirl519 I've heard mealworms are a little fatty, and crickets are better. You think this sounds right?????????

This is true. Mealworms are higher in fat than crickets. But for a baby, this is fine. Babies can have the extra fat. Adults can have them too, just not as often.

Every hedgehog is different in how much fat they can have in their diet. For babies I did 6-8 a day, for adults 2-4 mealworms.

Both are good options :)

HedgieGirl519 06-13-2012 06:12 PM

Re: Cage Cleaning and enrichment
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bmaditz
Quote:

Originally Posted by Immortalia
gut load them for a few days.

What exactly does that mean???? Do you use bedding in your cages or liners???????? Oh, and thanks for the info :D

Gutloading means feed the vegetables before you freeze them. So put a carrot or broccoli or something else in with them. The insects will eat it and gain the nutrients. Then when the hedgehog eats the insects, he's also getting the nutrients :).

I use liners. Liners are the most recommended and safest option.

bmaditz 06-13-2012 06:12 PM

Re: Cage Cleaning and enrichment
 
HedgieGirl519 okay sounds good. :D I fed mealworms to my leopard gecko and crickets too. Personally I preferred mealworms......they're slower :lol:


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