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Old 05-05-2012, 11:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default picky hedgehog help!

I have had my hedgehog silver for two weeks now. I have her on purina kitten chow mixed with sunseed vita exotics hedgehog food. I also have tried to give hedgehog treats and meal worms... She will not eat anything but the kitten chow. She is 10 weeks old and she is my first hedgehog ever. I would appreciate any help on what other cat food to mix or how to get her not to avoid the sunseed food. Also, how fast do they grow? In the two weeks I have had her she has gotten much larger. Being my first hedgie I don't know what's growth for a little girl like her and what's over eating and getting obese.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: picky hedgehog help!

My Sophie has very particular preferences. She LOVED her Purina ONE that the breeder had her on. Turns out she LOVES several foods - but in a non-negotiable order. I got her to eat each of the three 'good' foods that I had selected. But she will only eat them in the order of her preference.

The solution was to 'ration' her first choices to a percentage of the total that I expected her to eat. When choice #1 ran out, then she'd move on to choice #2 . . . . It didn't seem worth going through all that for three foods (when she eats so little anyway), so I have her on two foods. She gets ~50% of what I expect her to eat in total with choice #1 (Chicken Soup Lite) . And she gets free fed (more than she will eat in a night) choice #2 (Solid Gold). Natural Balance got dropped.

The rationing trick may only be a partial solution if your hedgie goes on strike after running out of her favorite, but that wasn't a problem with Sophie.

She'll take a finger off if you don't let go of a mealie quick enough - but no interest at all in any other treat so far.
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: picky hedgehog help!

Thought this would be better in a separate post. Sophie's metabolism seems to be dropping sharply. When I first got her, she was was eating about 6 grams a night and drinking about 3 teaspoons of water. I was certainly concerned about so little water, but the numbers trended up after the first week.

Consumption peaked at about 18 grams of food and 12 teaspoons (1/4 cup) of water per night. Growth rate flattened considerably about a month ago. Her consumption dropped to about 12 grams and 10 teaspoons in Weeks 13, 14, 15. For all of this last week, her consumption has taken another big drop; to only 6 grams and 9 teaspoons. (She's only getting a couple of medium mealies every two or three days right now, so minimal treats to factor in.)

Her weigh-in is Monday, and I'm very interested to see what we get. 6 grams is just under a 1/4 ounce and that seems awfully little to me. I'm concerned, but she seems okay and is running about 3 hours a night, so I'm holding off worrying about it too much.

Monday afternoon (post poop):

15 weeks: 330 grams (11.64 ounces) (+4) (+1.25%)
14 weeks: 326 grams (11.50 ounces) (+8) (+2.5%)
13 weeks: 318 grams (11.22 ounces) (+4) (+1.25%)
12 weeks: 314 grams (11.08 ounces) (+12) (+4%) (Night weigh-in. Oops.)
11 weeks: 302 grams (10.65 ounces) (+26) +(9.5%)
10 weeks: 276 grams (9.74 ounces) (+34) (+14%)
9 weeks: 242 grams (8.54 ounces) (+22) (+10%)
8 weeks: 220 grams (7.76 ounces) (+38) (+21%)
7 weeks: 182 grams (6.42 ounces) (+36) (+24.75%) (8 days. Missed the weigh-in.)
6 weeks: 146 grams (5.15 ounces)
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: picky hedgehog help!

check out recommended foods in the diet area of the forum, there is a sticky for it.

What other diets have you tried? It can take a full month or longer to slowly switch hedgehog foods. The idea is to add small portions of the new food you pick into the current food you are feeding, and hopefully stopping the old food if that is your goal.

So you would want 1/4 of the new food and 3/4 of the food the heagehogs food bowl for about a week..then increase it weekly if poo looks good. If poo starts to look weird, stay at the 1/4 new until the hedgies stomach adjusts.

Purina One Chicken and Rice is on the recommended food lists. I have it in my mix because it is easy for me to get. I also think there is another one that members said was okay to give..

Personally my hedgehogs have taken well to the blue buffalo cat food from the list, you can buy it at pet stores like pet supplies plus, petsmart, and petco. Those pet shops also sale many other recommended cat foods .

Treats my hedgehogs like dubia roaches more than mealies.
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: picky hedgehog help!

I honestly would get rid of the Sunseed altogether. Though it is not the worst commercial hedgehog food out there, a good high quality cat food would probably be a better choice. The reason she's avoiding the Sunseed might be because in comparison to the kitten food, it has nothing to offer in terms of nutrition.
Some hedgies also never liken to anything but kibble, and that's ok too (:
There is a great thread here with all kinds of information on different cat foods that are good to feed: https://hedgehogcentral.com/forums/vi...c.php?f=6&t=15
- Cori (:

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Old 05-06-2012, 02:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: picky hedgehog help!

Most foods made specifically for hedgehogs are crap... some are actually dangerous to feed.
Sunseed = ok, but nutritionally sparce, but not deadly.
Cat/kitten chow = crap, full of by-products(leftover parts, like beaks, intestines, hooves etc etc) and fillers(like corn... animals can't digest corn)
What kind of hedgehog treat did you try to give? It was probably a good idea that she didn't eat it. Most hedgehog treats are actually dangerous to feed. Many contain nuts and seeds, which can easily get caught in their mouths or cause choke, and many contain raisins, which can cause renal failure.

Do you have a proper wheel for her?

Also, where did you buy her? If from a petshop, was she kept with other hedgehogs? Either way, if she was from a pet shop, be on the lookout for babies. Until you reach day 55 starting from the day you brought her home, be aware that she may be pregnant, which could also explain the large amount of growth.
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Old 05-06-2012, 11:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: picky hedgehog help!

Thank you for all the great responses!!!! I got her from a private breeder who only had three or four hedgehogs. I work at a pet supplies plus in Toledo so trying foods out is easy. I was thinking about wellness cat food. I have heard great things about it. thanks for the suggestion about the treats! They do have sunflower seeds in it. Why would they make a treat that is dangerous?? What about a wet food? I gave had her on a 50/50 ratio of the sunseed and chow. I even store them in the same container so they smell simalar. as far as a wheel I got her a sort of smaller one and now I have to go buy another one because she is growing out of it already. She drinks a lot of water at night and I don't have a scale for grams yet so I have no idea what her growth really is. How many tblsp is good for a serving of food? Besides a few beagles this is my first small animal. And all the research is telling me different amounts. Thank you so much for all the input
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: picky hedgehog help!

I just tried some vegetables and she licked them, and then pushed around them to get to her kitten chow. I just want her to have a balanced diet! Lol and I know one Dood is not balanced....

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Old 05-06-2012, 05:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: picky hedgehog help!

As far as growth, every hedgie is different. A hedgehog is considered full grown around 6 months. With my hedgie, she grew really quickly until about 3/3.5 months and then it slowed down considerably until the 7 month mark, when her weight remained steady and her body shape seemed to change lol.

Wellness IS a good brand on paper. They have good percentages and good ingredients, especially in the Indoor Health formula... but there have been at least a few cases that I know of of Wellness causing tummy upset and loose stools (diarrhea or just extremely soft, wet poos). I experienced this with my Mildred and literally within a day or two of not eating the Wellness, her poops were formed and a good consistency. Your hedgie's system might tolerate it just fine, but it's kind of a pain in the butt to start your hog on a new food, only to have to wean them right back off of it after a week or two. That's why a lot of us here encourage others to just start with something else that hasn't been known to cause issues.

Blue Buffalo has some great choices for hedgehogs as well as Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, Solid Gold, and Innova. Just keep an eye out for good percentages (fat content depends on your individual hedgie, but protein should be 28-33%) and good ingredients (first two ingredients are a meat or meat meal).

Make sure to save your receipts, as most places will let you return a bag of food as long as there is more than half a bag left and you have your receipt.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

This message was brought to you by Mildred the Hedgehog's slave, Hannah! ^.^
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: picky hedgehog help!

Thank you so much! I'll try the blue buffalo soon and see how it goes

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