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Old 12-22-2011, 12:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Eating/drinking enough?

Hi, I'm new to these boards! May I say, you all seem to be the nicest, least snarky boards on the internet. It's almost as if you are *gasp* considerate, or something!

I have a 9-10 week old male APH, Vlad The Impaler. He's been home with me in Kansas about 1 week. The very first thing he did when I introduced him to his setup was eat the kibble I had offered. ( I'm blanking on the name, its an organic adult cat food, primary ingredients chicken, tukey,barley). His poops were a little green for 12 hours, but have been healthy looking since. He's still sleeping for much of the day and night, but wakes up easily and eats a few times a day/night, plays and snuggles with us. He's certainly growing, though I haven't weighed him, and he seems healthy and energetic. He hasn't taken any of the treats I've offered (cooked vegs, boiled chicken, organic babyfood- still haven't tried fruit or insects).

But I have read that some counting kibble on the boards have their youngsters eating 80-100 kibble per day. Vlad is only eating about 20 or so individual kibble in 24 hours/about a table spoon and a half in volume. With no treats. Is this normal? Should I switch/add a softer, "kitten" formula, to make it easier for him to eat? I'm wondering if the individual kibbles are too big/hard. They are shaped like an x, but with 3 "legs", almost finger nail size (then again i have little hands) and he take s a pretty long time to eat one, dissasembling it in to 4 pieces and then eating them? He seems "healthy", but 80 to 20 kibble is a pretty big difference.

He's also on a dish of water, not a bottle, he's great about keeping it clean, but his pee is yellow and smelly. He drinks a tablespoon-ish a day. Is the pee indicative of not being hydrated enough, like it would be in humans? His skin is still elastic when pinched.
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Eating/drinking enough?

Well if he seems healthy and energetic than it should be fine. Also some hedgehogs do not prefer that amount of food and water so I think he should be ok. But check regularly if your hedgie lokks like he is too skinny or if he is dehydrated.
Hope this helps!
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Eating/drinking enough?

First off, welcome to the boards!

I'm sure you know this, but all hogs are different and they all have different behaviors. It is common for a younger hedgie to eat that much in 24 hours, but not all do, and sometimes, they have a night where they just don't eat as much for no discernible reason. I know it's easy to freak out when that happens, but try not to.

Counting kibble is a good idea for those of us with 1 or 2 hogs. Significantly decreased food intake can be the first warning sign that something is wrong. As time goes by and he gets older, he will eat less. I think the "average" intake for hogs eating "average" sized kibble is about 40 a night. It's hard to say, because it all depends on how much they run, how much they are awake throughout the night, what size they are, etc, but 40 seems to be a common number for fully grown hogs.

If I were you, I would start off by cutting the kibbles in half. The fact that he is breaking them into fourths and then eating them sounds like they are a bit too large for him. Also, it's not "necessary" or anything, but a lot of us here at HHC like to offer a mix of 2, 3, 4, even 5 different kinds of kibble for variety and to help cover all of our little one's nutritional needs. I definitely suggest getting 1 new type of food and slowly incorporating it into his nightly kibble. Do it slowly, as it can cause stomach upset, resulting in green poops. A good brand with smaller kibble sizes is Blue Buffalo. Get the smallest bag, as your hog probably won't eat enough daily to go through 2 bags of food before it expires.

Hedgehogs have stinky pee, plain and simple. As long as it isn't an off color (type in "Am I hydrated urine color chart" into google images and it'll give you a nice chart to compare) and you know he's drinking, he should be just fine.
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Eating/drinking enough?

Thanks!

Over the past week I went ahead and introduced a new kibble, which he took to like a champ! I've also noticed that over the past week and a half his teeth have really "come in". He went from breaking up the original kibble to gobbling it up with no trouble. He's also for the past week been eating "with us" . When we start eating supper, he starts eating in his cage.

He does seem to be otherwise healthy, active, and gaining weight, so as long as that continues I'll just trust that he's eating/drinking what he needs. We're still working on getting him to take treats to round out his nutrition. I thought we'd won him over with cilantro, but he chewed it up and anointed over it (while he was sitting in my hand) *sigh*.
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