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Old 08-16-2012, 07:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Siblings and size difference

Hello, I have two female hedgehogs that are 9 weeks old. I got the first one at 5 weeks of age from a breeder, which is the bigger girl and then we decided to get another girl so we found one and come to find out they are siblings. When we went to the breeder they had two left, the bigger girl that is pictured and then they had the albino girl.
We took the Pinto girl well I found a ad in our area that someone had a albino for sale and we got to talking and she got her from the same breeder so they are siblings.... anyway, I have noticed that the albino is quite a bit smaller than the other girl and only weighs 2 oz @ 9 weeks of age.
They have separate cages and I watch the albino girl eat but she don't seem to be getting any bigger and not gaining weight. She drinks water and runs on her wheel fine. Any ideas why she wouldn't get any bigger and or gain weight?
I guess she could be the runt of the litter but still I would think she would be getting bigger..
I'm really clueless on what to think or do...
Thanks
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Siblings and size difference

There is a thread on the forum about hedgehogs size and wait. I guess in short that it proves hedgehogs come in a variety of sizes and weights. I have no idea if this from the same litter is normal, but I would think in general having hedgehogs that vary so much in size this is not uncommon.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Siblings and size difference

Hmm I will have to try and find that thread... Thanks
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Siblings and size difference

It's possible that the little one could have been the runt. Runts are often much smaller, but they apparently grow up to be about average size in the end as long as they get fed well.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Siblings and size difference

Ha I found it! Here is a link to the topic viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6901
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Siblings and size difference

It could be that the albino was the runt - they can be quite a bit smaller. Whether or not they'll catch up depends on the hedgehog. How dramatic the difference is might have something to do with how big the litter was. Our girl Anubis is from the same litter as Xeno (who's owned by my fiance's and lives with her at college; currently he's in our hedgehog room because it's summer). Anubis is around 390g and Xeno is almost 100g less. They're both around 4.5 months and have pretty much leveled out with their weight. Xeno is extremely active and kind of insane about his wheel, so he gets some extra babycat in his diet, but otherwise they've been fed the same thing since the beginning. Even without being wheel-obsessed Xeno would be on the small side - he just has a small build.

However, are you sure about the albino girl's weight? 2oz is about 55-60g, which is VERY small. (Our minimum weight for babies to be ready to go at 6ish weeks is 150g, and all of the babies we've gotten so far at that age have been closer to 180g - just to give you an idea.) Not just underweight-small but ridiculously small for that age, much too small to have left the breeder, if that's actually how much she weighs. What did you use to weigh her?

If you're not already feeding the albino girl a kitten food, you should switch her to one or at least add a good amount to her diet. The high fat content will help her put on weight. Royal Canin Babycat is a great choice.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Siblings and size difference

Yes, That is what my scale said..2 oz.. It's over a $100 digital postal scale and it's pretty accurate. Yes, She is very small for her age. Even though she is 9 weeks, you would look at her and think she is 6 weeks or so. She fits in the palm of my hand.
Yes, She has been on Nutro Max Kitten. I will have to pick up some of the food you suggested. I think she was the runt. Even her bone structure is very thin/small and she looks very fragile.
I agree, That the breeder should have not sold her to the girl I got her from. Not being how small she is and selling them at 5 weeks is a little early in my opinion.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Siblings and size difference

She absolutely shouldn't have been sold at that size. The average 6 week old is around 3x that weight. I would suggest getting a digital scale that measures grams, if the one you're using doesn't have that capability, and you should weigh her daily to monitor how she's doing. She may never be a normal size but she could do well at a small size. The main concern is whether she's gaining weight, even if it's just a very slow gain. She might be too small to chew kibble yet, even a small kitten kind, so it could help to crush it into very small pieces - almost a powder. You might want to supplement her with some kind of soft food like a meat baby food.

I'm going to PM you the email of a friend of mine - she's a breeder and is working with a very undersized baby (9-10 weeks old now). The baby wasn't fed properly by its mother because she wasn't producing enough milk. I don't know the exact size now, but the baby is slowly gaining weight. I'm sure she'd be happy to give you more specific advice and tell you what's worked for that baby.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Siblings and size difference

Yeah, I thought the same thing about her not being able to chew her food so I have been soaking her food. Thanks for the advice and i will contact your friend..
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Siblings and size difference

Well, My little Lilly passed away last night ... but thanks for all your advise..
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