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Old 01-31-2012, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What else can I do to keep weight on?

Petunia is 5 months old. In December she weighed around 345 g. She has become much more active on her wheel, and has been steadily dropping grams... as low as 309 g. I've been trying to add more fat to her diet, but it seems like the more I add, the more she runs and still loses weight. This is what she's eating right now:

1 tbsp mix of NB Green Pea and Duck and Solid Gold Katz-n-Flocken
1 tbsp Fromm Chicken a la Veg
10 medium sized mealworms

A couple of nights a week, she gets a few chunks of Wellness Healthy Indulgence treats
Occasional veggies (broccoli and green peppers)

She usually eats 3/4 of her kibble (some nights more), all of the mealies, all of Wellness treats.

I would love suggestions. I'm surprised the Fromm's isn't helping, since it's 19% fat. Do I need to switch out the other kibble to higher fat? I hesitate to try kitten food, but I'm open to try anything to keep her from getting underweight.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What else can I do to keep weight on?

I feel your pain. Milly and I struggled with keeping her weight steady too, since she's a marathon runner and already a small framed hedgie to begin with. I tried up to 15 mealworms a night for a few weeks and didn't see much weight gain, plus that gets expensive pretty quickly and mealworms are kind of the french fries of the hedgehog world lol. I eventually just got RC babycat (22% fat I think?) and noticed weight gain almost immediately. I had to finagle the ratio of RC to her lower fat foods to find the right amount (about 1/4 RC and 3/4 12-14% fat) to keep her weight steady, but it worked and she has been steady at 395 for about 2 months now. She gets a couple mealworms 2-3 times a week now.

You can always up the Fromm to 1.5 Tbsps and lower the NB to .5 Tbsps for a week or so and see if that helps at all if you aren't sure about trying kitten food. If you're concerned about Petunia having problems being weaned off kitten food if you did start it and she gained too much weight, keep in mind you don't have to offer a LOT of it. With a high enough fat content, even a small amount could help.

I definitely suggest taking it in steps though. Continuing daily mealworms, upping the amount of Froom in the mix, AND adding a kitten food could all at once could obviously make her gain a lot of weight.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What else can I do to keep weight on?

Thanks for the support. I think I'll try what you suggested about upping the Fromm's amount, and if that doesn't work, we'll give the RC babycat a shot.

My poor little twinkie on stilts.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What else can I do to keep weight on?

All right. Enough fooling around with mealies. She was getting back up in the 320s, but this morning she was at 312 g. I'm going to pick up some RC after I get off work tonight.
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Old 02-04-2012, 10:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What else can I do to keep weight on?

The mealworms got old for me as well. I was like, really!? All I ever heard about here at HHC was to feed crickets instead of mealies since mealies are so high in fat, and Milly wasn't gaining ANY weight.


Just start off slow with the RC. With it being so high in fat, a little can go a long way.
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What else can I do to keep weight on?

I had a hard time keeping weight on Cholla. But when Zoey got sick, I would syringe her Hills A/D, mixed in with some of my homemade soft food mixture. Cholla got to eat any that was left over. He got a little pudgy. When I'd put him on his back, he had a little buddha - belly. I loved to kiss it. :P

I read a study on weight once & eating habits. Very interesting. Mentioned that people would eat certain % more candy if it had different colors. Would eat more if there was a variety of food. Got me to thinking, may work for hedgies too. I know that when I give mine a bowl of soft food, they will eat it & will still eat much of their kibble. Maybe offering a variety of things will make her eat more. I usually put the soft food in a completely separate area of the cage too. Don't know if it would help, but it's worth a try.



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Old 02-16-2012, 12:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What else can I do to keep weight on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PJM
I had a hard time keeping weight on Cholla. But when Zoey got sick, I would syringe her Hills A/D, mixed in with some of my homemade soft food mixture. Cholla got to eat any that was left over. He got a little pudgy. When I'd put him on his back, he had a little buddha - belly. I loved to kiss it. :P

I read a study on weight once & eating habits. Very interesting. Mentioned that people would eat certain % more candy if it had different colors. Would eat more if there was a variety of food. Got me to thinking, may work for hedgies too. I know that when I give mine a bowl of soft food, they will eat it & will still eat much of their kibble. Maybe offering a variety of things will make her eat more. I usually put the soft food in a completely separate area of the cage too. Don't know if it would help, but it's worth a try.
That's an idea. I think I'm going to start cooking her some plain chicken and beef, and maybe order some wax worms, as she is STILL losing weight I'm wondering if I should even bother putting the Solid Gold and the Natural Balance in her mix, since she tends to eat more Fromm's than anything now. She doesn't pay much attention to the Royal Canin, maybe because it's so much smaller?

She was doing well for a while, weighing in at 325 - 321 g for a couple of weeks, but today she was down to 317. Ugh, this is so frustrating
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What else can I do to keep weight on?

PJM, you're a genius!! I discovered that when I give Petunia the Wellness Healthy Indulgence treats, she eats more kibble too! Her weight was 329 g yesterday

I'm going to research more wet foods. Yaay!
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What else can I do to keep weight on?

Woot! I'm happy to hear you might have found something that works. Keep us updated
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What else can I do to keep weight on?

I poached some chicken last night and cut it up for Petunia. She gobbled it up, and still ate a decent amount of kibble. Today she weighed 339 g!

I'm not going to give her chicken every night, I don't want to fluff her up too much. She's pretty close to what her top weigh was in December, so I'm going to try chicken just a couple of nights a week and see how it goes.

She also got to try watermelon for the first time this week, and nommed it down. She even ate it BEFORE eating her mealies
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