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Old 01-21-2016, 12:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bindi's Raw Diet

I finally get to start a thread of my own to update on switching a hedgehog to a raw diet! Yay!

Now that Bindi is off her antibiotics & healthy again, I'm working on starting to introduce more foods into her diet. She was getting a kibble mix while with Soyala, and she got it for the first few weeks she was with me as well. While she was sick, I started offering her Wellness wet food pouches and she loves them. We've pretty much transitioned completely to the pouches now - she gets about half a pouch a night.

So far for other foods introduced, she's gotten cooked chicken, canned crickets, canned snails, and raw broccoli. She's eaten all of it!

Future immediate plans:

- We have our first Rainbow Mealworms order arriving Friday or Saturday. This will have mealworms (starting a colony), crickets, hornworms, phoenix worms, dubia cockroaches, and spikes (fly larvae). Everything's getting gut-loaded first. Crickets and possibly cockroaches are going into the freezer pretty quickly after. Hornworms, phoenix worms, and spikes will probably kept in the fridge door so they go into hibernation state & last longer. If we get to a point where too many are try to metamorphose or die, I'll freeze them as well.

- I'm going to stop by a pet store sometime this week and get a bag of commercial raw dog food. I'm going to see how she likes it & hopefully transition her from the Wellness pouches to commercial raw for the time being.

- I also have some sample bags of freeze-dried raw. I'll be rehydrating them & offering to see if she likes them. If she reliably eats any, I'll be buying a bag to add to my emergency supply kit.

- Eventual goal is to give her 80/10/10 raw grinds, whole prey once a week or every other week, a mix of finely chopped veggies (Chop), a variety of insects, and occasional fruit.

So yeah! I'm super excited to finally have a chance to feed a hedgehog a raw diet and to share how this goes. Considering how good she's been about trying things so far, I have high hopes for this. Hopefully Bindi continues to cooperate!
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Old 01-28-2016, 06:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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An update with the foods Bindi's tried recently & her opinions!

- Canned grasshoppers: omnom, all gone. She's gotten them a few times now and eats them every time.

- Grated carrot: only once so far, but ate the whole pile (weirdo hog)

- Phoenix worms: Was a bit annoyed at first that they weren't mealworms, but ate them up anyway. I've left them in the feeder bowl with mealworms in her cage two more nights & the bowl's been empty (and tossed around ) each morning.

- Raspberry: Our first clunker. Tried a small one last night & it looks like she ate a bit, but at least half of it is left dried on the bowl. She's so weird! I like broccoli & carrots, but give me raspberries over them any day.

Still debating what's next for tonight. I think I'm going to stick the roaches in the freezer tonight, so she can try them tomorrow. She's been offered them before, but they moved, so she hid. Hopefully she finds them more appetizing when they're not moving. I might see what she thinks of the hornworms tonight, a couple of them are starting to get quite big.

As far as main diet, she's still getting the Wellness pouches, and gets kibble as a "just in case". She usually doesn't touch it, but still eats it every couple nights. I need to weigh her and see if she's being a piggy or if she actually needs to eat that much. I'm off work this weekend & have free time, so will probably make a run to the good pet store & get a bag of frozen raw dog food so we can try that out & see if she eats it. If she likes it, that'll become the new main diet for now.
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Old 01-28-2016, 07:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think we can learn something here... If your hedgehog is afraid of live food, they will enjoy a trip to the salad bar.
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Omg either i forgot or it was in my absence that you finally have a new hedgie?! Haha!
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Old 01-29-2016, 06:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Two. Veggies don't crawl at you & try to grab your face, so I suppose it's a fair enough preference! I still think she's weird, but hey, no complaints.

Welcome back, Neil! I do have a new hedgie, I just got her a month & 10 days ago! Another forum member that I'm friends with (Soyala_Amaya) runs a hedgehog rescue in my area & her first rescue came in pregnant. Bindi is one of the babies, and she's a total sweetheart. I got super lucky!
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Old 01-31-2016, 10:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, Mama goofed & forgot to save back some sweet potato from dinner tonight for Bindi. So that'll have to wait for another time! So tonight's new treat is maggots, or as Rainbow Mealworms calls them, "spikes". I gave her something like 1/4 teaspoon of them, they're really tiny! And I'm pleased to discover that she did approve of frozen dubia roaches - I guess they're tasty as long as they're not moving. Ate all three I gave her last night!

We're doing really well with the insect/invertebrate portion of the diet. Now I just need to keep working on the veggie part & see what she'll accept. Once I have a few more that she likes, I want to try making a small Chop batch to see if she'll eat it decently all mixed together. Once we're set with inverts & veggies, and I have an actual menu calculated/planned out, then I'll order the complete grinds & switch her off from commercial food completely. Slow but steady progress!
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It seems more like find what she won't eat... Also my thinking says, what if you put a live bug in the fridge long enough to slow them and then give it to her.
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Old 01-31-2016, 11:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That's about what the game is by now. Should be more interesting once I start more veggies & fruit...I'm still surprised she was unimpressed with the raspberry. And that's a good idea! I'm not too fussy with her not wanting food that fights right now because it makes it easy to leave it in her cage for her. But eventually I want to try having her dig for insects, if I get her into it, so I may try teaching her to be a proper huntress at some point.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Tap into her inner tater tiger!
I wonder what it is about raspberries, maybe try different types. They have different tastes.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Okay, so I messed up last night, but it gave me interesting observations, so I don't mind too much. I didn't get into my room to change Bindi's food & say hi before her light went off, and she was already out & on her wheel when I did come in. I decided to leave her be for a bit so I wouldn't have to interrupt her again when I went to bed. She ended up eating some of the kibble that was in her cage since she didn't have any other food yet. So that meant she wasn't as hungry as usual & didn't finish her usual food when I did finally get it in there.

She didn't finish all of her Wellness, but I expected that as I'd given her her usual amount, just in case. The interesting part was what she picked & chose to eat from her bugs - mealworms were gone, but phoenix worms left in the bowl. Maggots gone (yay!!), but she didn't touch the canned snails. It's not the first time she's left those either, so I'm guessing they're not a huge favorite, though she will eat them. First time she's left phoenix worms though, and I'm amused that she picked around them to eat the mealworms. I kind of want to make a ranking scale for what she likes & doesn't like now. I might be getting a bit too interested in this whole hedgie diet thing!

I think tonight is going to be more dubias, maggots, and then the usual mealworms & phoenix worms. I want to freeze the hornworms because they could definitely climb out of the feeder bowl & I have no interest in one loose in the apartment, even if my roomie wouldn't murder me for it. so I'll stick them in tonight & she can try one out tomorrow. I really need to start coming up with some kind of schedule for her insects too. And I need to freeze the canned insects in the future...we're not going through them fast enough now that we have so many options to vary. Just babbling all of my reminders to myself here while I'm thinking of them.

Edit: Oh, I might try the raspberries again tonight! We still have some left and I don't think my roomie's planning on eating them at this point.
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Last edited by Lilysmommy; 02-01-2016 at 08:57 PM.
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