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Old 03-07-2017, 02:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Miki's Raw Diet (Maybe)

Well, I finally picked up my first hedgehog last Saturday (March 4). He is adorable, and I am absolutely in love with him. I will be posting some pictures of him in a separate introduction thread.

My plan right now is to switch him over to a raw diet. If he cooperates...

He came with a small bag of "hedgehog food," which contained freeze dried bugs. I am switching him off of that and onto a high quality cat food as quickly as I feel I safely can. He still picks out the "hedgehog" kibbles and eats those first. He is iffy about the new food, and puts off eating it, although eventually he will.

The first night he was home I put a live superworm in his food dish along with his kibble. The next morning almost all of the kibble was gone, but the worm was still in the bowl. I left it in there all day, with no changes. When it was time to feed him again, I chopped up the worm and mixed it in with his kibble. The next morning... There were the pieces of worm. Untouched.

Last night I chopped up a new worm and mixed it with a bit of wet puppy food I happened to have in the house. This morning... there it is, worm and puppy food both untouched.

So, I will keep trying with some new food items and see what comes of it. I am not sure he has ever had a live insect in his life, and I know he is still in an adjustment period. I am going to go pick up some mealworms after work, in the hopes that those will be more familiar to him.

I have only tried superworms so far, but I also have live Dubias. I am wondering if the movement of the roaches would be more enticing to him? I might try them soon, but I'm worried that if he has no interest, I'll have a difficult time catching the roach again!

I'll be getting some maggots and hornworms on Thursday (ordered those before I knew I had a picky eater on my hands!), and I have canned snails and grasshoppers to try as well. I will keep this thread updated with what I've tried and what the little stinker has agreed to eat. Maybe we'll eventually work our way to a raw diet.
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If he stays fussy, you can consider buying him a food processor. Toss everything in, mush it up, and offer that. I add really stinky, wet, cubed cat food and Finn eats everything because it all smells like turducken.
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Old 03-08-2017, 03:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Good news!

I went to the pet store last night and picked up some mealworms, hoping that they would be more familiar to him. When I had him out for bonding last night, I set one down in front of him, and he sniffed it for a while. I didn't think he was going to eat it, but it must have moved in a way he liked, or he caught a different whiff of it, because all of the sudden he snapped it up and gobbled it down!

He ate two and a half, took a break, and then ate the remaining half left over. We were on a roll, so I thought I would offer him a Dubia, which he was immediately very interested in. He pulled a quick attack on the roach, and ate it very enthusiastically.

He is still refusing the Superworms, so the chickens may get a special treat. I am going to try them one more time. I am thinking that maybe if I offer him a mealworm, then a roach, then a superworm, we will be on a food roll and he will just eat what is offered... I can hope. At least they won't go to waste one way or the other.

He does not seem to like canned food items, he won't touch them if I leave any in his dish. I'll give him a little time though. He has warmed up to his new kibbles, though he does eat his old ones first.

He likes cilantro! Not as food, but he has a blast chewing it up and anointing himself with it.

I like the food processor idea. I have one at home, maybe I will give that a go in a bit here. I get so excited to give him all these new food items, but I have to remind myself to slow down so I don't give him an upset stomach!
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Old 03-10-2017, 04:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Up until today, Miki has been enthusiastically eating mealworms and roaches, and declining superworms.

I got my order of maggots and hornworms from Grubco today. I took my lunch break at home, and couldn't help waking him up and offering him some new bugs.

There was a moment's hesitation, but he ate the hornworm, and he loved the maggots. I offered him a superworm, since he was eating, and he ate it! He usually wakes up in the middle of the day to eat a little, so maybe I just caught him at the right time!

He is not having the canned grasshoppers or snails. I may try a few more times but I don't have high hopes. Eventually I will be making a fruit/veg chop, so I might add a few canned insects to that when the time comes.

We are starting to have a little variety in what he will eat. Hurray! I am going to begin experimenting with some fruits and vegetables.

The current list of what Miki will eat:
Cat kibble: I am currently feeding a mix of Acana and Orijen. The fat content is pretty high, so will be switching this up a little bit in the next few weeks (I hope that eventually kibbles will only be supplemental)
Mealworms: This was the first insect I could get him to eat
Dubia Roaches: These are tied with maggots as his favorite
Maggots: He has had maggots and pupae (there are a lot of pupae mixed in with the larvae, probably because the weather here is already 80 degrees), and loves them both.

I am going to be putting in an order for isopods, red worms, and phoenix worms next week. I've got a lot of other things I hope to be trying soon as well. For now, though, on to the vegetables!
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Old 03-10-2017, 10:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Maggots are so gross, but Bindi loves them too! Not as much as mealworms, but pretty close! If I remember right, they're decently high in both protein & fat, so I guess that would explain their appeal. I still need to try her with isopods, I haven't brought myself to put any of my little guys in the freezer yet. For some reason, they're so cute to me. She wasn't a fan of the redworms though, I have to get the bigger nightcrawler earthworms. Still not a favorite, but she'll eat them. I'm glad he's starting to eat things for you!
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm glad he's eating things as well! It took him a little while, but he has really warmed up to trying new foods!

Sunday night I gave him banana for the first time. I figured that was a good place to start with fruits and vegetables, since a lot of people seem to have luck with it. It was gone in the morning, so I guess that was a thumbs up!

Same thing with the grated carrot I left in his bowl Monday night. Completely gone in the morning. Last night I grated some raw yams into his bowl. I usually feed him immediately after bonding time, so he's up, and last night, he didn't even wait for the lights to go off before starting to eat the yam, so he must really like that.

I have been putting a few Blue Bottle Fly pupae on top of his veggies. I figure that while he's eating those (which he really loves!), he'll get a taste or two of what is underneath, and hopefully like it enough to keep going. I don't know if it's necessary, but one way or the other, he's eating his veggies.

I think I'm going to try peas tonight, and red pepper the night after. If we stay on a roll, I'll be making the first batch of chop this weekend!

I attached a picture below of last night's meal. I am still feeding a decent amount of kibble because he's so young. I want him to have all the food he needs. In a few months I'll be worrying less about him getting enough to eat.

EDIT: Almost forgot to mention. While I have him out for bonding I give him a lot of bugs to eat. Lately he's been getting one hornworm, one superworm, a few mealworms (~3), and a large cockroach. He will probably need more once I start scaling back the kibble.
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Last edited by MariEileen; 03-15-2017 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Miki has gone from flat out refusing bugs to a bug vacuum in just a few short weeks.

He will eat almost anything I put in front of him (the one exception is red pepper. That is a NO. He wouldn't even eat his hard boiled egg because the red pepper touched it). He has yet to turn down any insects. He even eats the red worms!

Here's a current list of what he will eat.

Blue Bottle Fly Maggots
Phoenix Worms
Red Worms

Broccoli (He does eat this, but it is also a toy, to be dragged to every corner of the cage)
Red Cabbage

He's been doing so well with the bugs and veggies that I am going to start phasing out the kibble as soon as I have a few whole prey items in his diet. He gained 40 grams in two weeks! He's certainly not hurting for food. I keep worrying that he is going to get chubby, but he looks like he is maintaining a healthy weight.

I hope to pick up some pinky mice tonight (gotta buy dog treats anyway), and will also be trying him on feeder lizards and quail eggs. In the next few weeks I want to buy some wholesale dehydrated ants to mix in with his chop.

I'll do an update in the next couple days with the sources I've been using for feeders.
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