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Old 02-11-2013, 06:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi All, I recently got a hedgehog (~8 weeks old) so I came across here to learn. My baby Roll seems to be doing well and I'm playing with him for ~30 mins everyday and I think he's gotten used to the environment now. Right now I just have a quick question regarding feeding it mealworms. I got Roll from a pet store and they told me to feed him 5-7 worms a day but it seems too much from what I've been reading online, plus I left 2 worms in a lil' bowl for Roll to feed on overnight but he did not eat them..I tried having the worms on my palm and kept my palm in front of Roll but he didn't show any interest. Is that normal??

And also, are there anything that can replace bugs/insects permanently or I should keep trying to feed him worms every now and then?

Thanks so much!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: new hedgehog owner

I had a hedgie once that would not touch live mealworms for love or money - but offer him the dried ones and he couldn't get enough of the dry ones
Also my little one at the moment wont eat mealie's but she adores chicken in their place.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: new hedgehog owner

Some hedgehogs just don't like treats, including mealworms. Are you trying the live or freeze-dried ones? Live are better in a lot of ways, and some hedgehogs will go for the live ones because they're squirming.

What cat food are you using? If it's what the pet store recommended, it's likely crap, to be honest. As long as the food you're feeding is high quality and has correct fat and protein ranges, treats like insects aren't strictly required. It's great to include insects in the diet, since they have a strong insectivore leaning in the wild, but he's not going to suffer from a lack of them, and some hedgehogs just want nothing to do with anything that's not kibble.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: new hedgehog owner

Harper doesn't eat mealworms if they're in her bowl. I have to hide them for her to "find" and then she's all over it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: new hedgehog owner

I'm using live worms right now, I'll try to look for the freeze-dried ones and see if they will work. As for the food he's on hedgehog diet food right now which I know is not the best for him but the pet store lady kept saying cat food is not good since they are too fat or something..but yah I will go out tomorrow to look for cat food, I think I read on this forum Wellness Healthy Weight cat food and Purina are good brands..any suggestions?

Thanks for everyone's help by the way!
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: new hedgehog owner

freeze dried worms are not good for them. They can get stuck-either in their mouths or intestines - I can't remember which. Bugs are not necessary. Also don't use purina cat food - its junky. There is a list already researched for you under the food section. Good luck/
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: new hedgehog owner

Purina isn't a high quality brand. Cat food CAN be too high if you don't know the correct fat percentage (under 15% for the average adult). Most normal "adult" versions of vat foods are 18-20% fat, and the majority of cat foods that are recommended for hedgehogs are indoor/weight management/senior formulas. This should help: http://www.volcanoviewhedgehogs.com/kib ... oduce.html

If he's willing to eat freeze-dried mealworms, only use them in moderation. The freeze-drying process makes them tough and difficult to digest, which can cause constipation. You're better off with trying the mealworms more. One thing that has worked for me is to get a small container of live crickets, and set them loose with the hedgehog in a medium-sized bin. (As long as the walls are 12" or so, the medium or small sized crickets can't jump high enough to escape.) More than once the crickets hopping around has triggered a hunting instinct in one of my hedgehogs that has otherwise shown no interest in insects, and about 2/3 of the ones it was successful with then were willing to eat mealworms as well. If your hedgehog continues to refuse any insects at all, and you really want to add them to his diet, you can pick up some freeze dried mealworms/crickets/whatever - there are some freeze-dried medleys that contain a few different kinds. Then put them in a small food processor or a spice grinder so they turn into sort of a flaky powder. You can sprinkle it over the top of his food to sneak it into his diet, without worrying about the constipation issue.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: new hedgehog owner

Thanks for the pointer! I think I will go through both lists and pick something out to let Roll try. I'm not particularly eager to add insects to his diet if he refuses to eat them so if the freeze-dried ones are not recommended I will probably stay away from that and just try again later with the mealworms. Speaking of mealworms, I was told by the pet store to keep them in the fridge so that they don't turn into beetles (they do so if left for a month at room temperature)...could that be a reason why Roll is not eating the mealworms?

I'm also reading up on the african hedgehog book that I came across an admin recommending while going through the forum, hopefully that can help me out!
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