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Old 09-06-2018, 07:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb please help with food! overwhelmed :/

Dear all,

I'm having a bit of a panic and I would really appreciate some advice!

A few years ago I had an albino pygmy hedgehog who very sadly passed away from a heart condition when he was a year old. Broke my heart.

I've finally decided i'm ready to have another (yay!) and I'm due to pick her up on sunday (2 days time). I'm going to call her Marjorie and she is gorgeous! I have her home all ready, and I've bought her from a breeder with a good rep. However I am really panicking about her food! I did a lot of research with my first hedgehog, and know they need a high protein low fat diet. I know i need to supplement with variety - insects, veg etc but that she needs a basic diet of a kibble. The pet shop i bought my first hedgie from had him on 'spikes' and a mix of iams and he had wet cat food and mealworms to supplement. he refused to eat any fruit/veg and was a really picky eater, and towards his end he would only eat whiskers, which made me feel like a crap owner.

I've done a lot of reading about what to feed my new hedgie and its making me panic. I just don't know what to pick

She will be 13 weeks when i pick her up. I've read that commercial hedgehog diets are to be avoided, and I see that lots of people make a mix of foods.

I'm in the UK and i'm finding it really hard to decide what to go with because i'm so panicky about what happened with my previous boy. I know he didn't eat the 'best diet' but he wouldn't eat anything i tried to change him over to from pet shop.

Please could someone tell me some good brands to start her own as a youngster? Do i really need to mix foods - Don't get me wrong I'm happy to buy as many as needed I just wanted to know if it is the best thing to do? Do i need to add a vitamin supplement - I've found so much mixed advice. Is there a specific age i should change her food, or add insects? Is wet food needed - I know that it would add variety and may feel more 'natural' but I'm confused!

Please don't think I haven't been doing lots of research - I have for several months. I suffer with OCD and i'm sorry if thats TMI but its making me panic and feel 'perfectionist' about figuring this out I want to do the best for her. I asked Breeder what she is eating and he told me she is on high protein cat food.

I would really really appreciate if someone could help answer my questions and give me a starting point, or name some UK brands that are good. I pick her up on sunday and I thought i had plan but have panicked thats its 'not right" after some more googling tonight!

Thanks so much for reading my waffle! and thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi there,

I don't know if this helps but my Vet recommended that I feed my baby with specialized Hedgehog food, since he got a terrible skin infection from eating cat food (he turned out to be allergic to chicken-based kibble).
He recommended specially Mazuri, since it simulates the high-protein, high-fiber diet of insect-eating animals, and it actually isn't needed to add supplements when using this hedgehog food.
Hope this was helpful and that you can find it easily where you live.
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Old 09-06-2018, 11:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The foods this forum lists that are high quality and available in the UK are:
Addiction
Bravo
Hound and Gatos
Soulistic
Weruva

Here is the link to the full list of recommended foods:

https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...food-list.html

Nothing you pick will be "perfect". No such thing exists, in my opinion. You do need to keep feeding her the same thing that the breeder has been feeding her for a while. She will be stressed from moving into your home and you don't want to add more stress by switching foods. I believe it is recommended to wait 3 weeks, at least, before transitioning. When you do go to transition her food it should be done slowly so that her little tummy doesn't get upset.

Here is a link to some good info on picking a food as well as guidelines for transitioning (in case you haven't read it yet)

https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...nutrition.html

Personally, I give my girl a 50/50 mix of Iams Indoor Hairball and Weight Control and Halo Holistic Chicken and Chicken Liver. Some nights she eats more of one than the other. She also gets mealworms, crickets, sweet corn, and cat treats. My girl is pretty picky and won't eat alot of veg or fruits. I'm gonna keep trying to find ones she likes though

Hope this helps,

Jill
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Old 09-07-2018, 03:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So being in the uk and I saw that same list, but when looking to chaning my hedgehogs food I couldnt find any of those brands listed in my nearest pet shop.

So I then spent a whole morning looking at all differnt cat foods to find the best one for her, and finally decided that Iamas indoor with fresh chicken was the best to start switching her to.

Theres also a brand Ava that seemed like a good option as well its a grain free cat food and if I remember right theres a chicken on a and a fish one but I’d go with the chicken, that was my second option for if she decdied she didnt like the Iams.

Iams has 36% protine and 12% fat
And If I remeber right the Ava chicken one has 34 or 35% protine and 15 or 14% fat. Ik that it wasnt too high and it might even actually be less than those.

Those where the best two that I found from near me. So if you cant find any on those lists try see if can see these. Or maybe just spend time trying to find one you feel is best.

Hope that helps a bit.
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Old 09-07-2018, 06:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just to mention I got the food from pets at home, so if you can get to a pets home fairly easy then go there its the best place to look.

And the imas indoor is Iams for vitality with fresh chicken. This should help you find it better if you decide you want to try this.

I forgot to say this earlier so I just thought I’d say it now to help you out.
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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UK people, did you try ordering online like Amazon.co.uk? I'm from UK but based in Japan and I can even get hold of some recommended foreign brands that would be better than Iams on places like Amazon.jp and other similar sites... Like Acana, blue buffalo, halo, now fresh, natural balance, nutro, orijen etc.

Veebs84, I'm sorry to hear about your first hedgehog, it's never easy losing a pet especially when they're so young ♡ that's exciting you're picking up your new baby this weekend ^^
I felt really stressed also picking and deciding what food to give my boy. But first, let her settle in her new home before you switch her foods like luckfupus458 already mentioned.

I waited about 6-8 weeks before I started switching but I think after a month is ok, if they are settled, no green poop etc. my boy started off on mazzuri but I honeslty wouldn't recommend it and it was really hard to wean him off it. It is full of fillers, byproducts and unnamed poultry, no one which are good for your hedgie.

The reason why people feed a mix of 2-3 kibble brands, is so if one gets discontinued or ingredients change (which puts your hog off eatin it) then at least your hedgehog has 1 or 2 other foods it is already used to and you don't have to abruptly change their food to a replacement one, which can cause green poops and even food strikes, and they can go downhill pretty quickly from there... Also using different brands and meat formulas your hedgehog will benefit from more nutrients and vitamins. Live or canned insects are also an important part of their diet too ^^

I like using volcanoview hedgehogs recommended food list as they list the first 5 ingredients and nutritional values. I could then pick out which ones were suitable and try and find them available online here. Im sure you'd have more options in the UK than I do here for foreign brands... Good luck!
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Old 09-07-2018, 10:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I saw this recommended and I think it’s in UK. Looks pretty good bc low fat, Oven Baked Tradition Cat Food. Hope this helps. I live in US and use Chicken Soup for Soul food and mix with Blue Basics Limited Ingredients Grain Free.
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Old 09-07-2018, 12:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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These may work for some people. But it can depend on where in the uk you live.
So maybe veebs84 will be able to get them and maybe a lot of people might be able to.
Ordering it might not always work for everyone if the delivery of things isnt that great.
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Old 09-07-2018, 03:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you so so much everyone for taking the time to respond and help - i appreciate it so much. I will def keep her on her current food while she settles - i'm thinking even if it isn't great its better to stick to it? I'v messaged the breeder and asked what she is eating so i can get more of the same.

I'm very excited to get her!
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