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Old 11-28-2012, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hates treats. Problem?

Malcolm seems to eat the right amount of food and is about the perfect weight... but he refuses to eat anything but his kitten kibble. I've tried everything I can think of and he won't even taste new things. I've even tried rubbing them on his lips and mixing them into her food. When I mixed them into his food he refused to eat until I took it out. I've tried both of these with a number of hedgie friendly foods, but he refuses to even try them.

Originally I just wanted SOMETHING that could be his reward food. I hear all about other peoples hedgies going crazy for treats or warming right up to someone because of a favorite food. Now I'm to the point of worrying about a rounded diet. Can he really get every bit of nutrition he needs from dry kitty kibble?

Recently I got some cans of extra fancy wet cat food and I'm going to see if he'll eat that. Its not very different, but Its worth a shot. He liked the taste of strawberries when I rubbed them on his lips, but wouldn't take a bite of the actual strawberry. I think the biggest hurdle I need to get him past is that he's convinced that his kitty kibble is the only edible food in the world. I've thought about getting him meal worms, but I don't want to buy any bugs until I'm certain he'll at least TRY them.

Anyone else have a food I haven't thought of? Is there a particular food that most/your hedgies go crazy for?

Current Rejects:
Liver flavor in any way
Hard cat treats
Veggies of most types
Lunch meat
Berries
Fruits
Crickets
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hates treats. Problem?

Some hedgies are just ridiculously picky and will not budge from their kibble! It sounds like that may be the case, unfortunately. However, it doesn't hurt to keep trying - sometimes after many times offering little tidbits of something, they eventually decide to give in and give it a shot. Some other things you might consider trying (if you haven't already) - melon, watermelon especially seems to be a big hit with a lot of hedgies, baby food (Lily, for example, wouldn't really touch fresh/whole cooked veggies or most fruits, but she would eat both peas and green bean baby foods on their own, and other ones mixed with meat baby foods). And if you do want to give mealies a shot, maybe you could stop by a pet store and see if you could just get a couple or something? Or if it'd be possible to return them if he won't touch them. If they're not cool with either of those options, if you do want to try them and he won't, you could just dump them outside for birds, so they're being eaten by something. Usually it's only a couple dollars for 50 mealies (if I'm remembering right), so it wouldn't be a ton of money, at least. And don't worry /too/ much if you can't get him to try anything else - it shouldn't hurt him to have just the cat food.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hates treats. Problem?

Awesome! Thank you! I haven't tried watermelon or baby food.... I guess I know whats going on next weeks shopping list! My boyfriend has sugar gliders, so I may snag some of the snacks he gets for them and try those... If they all fail, I'll bet sugar gliders can eat anything hedgie friendly. Thanks for the ideas!

He really is ridiculously picky... but I hope eventually he'll try something haha
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hates treats. Problem?

Watermelon, if you haven't tried it, is relatively popular. But, like Lilysmommy already said, a lot of hedgehogs are kibble-biased and will never eat anything else. It's not a problem as long as you're using a high quality cat food. You can try giving him more variety by adding another kibble or two to the mix (one at a time). A mix of at least two is recommended for hedgehogs anyway. Personally I like to include different protein sources, so if the current food is chicken-based, you can choose one with a different kind of meat. There are at least two good duck options (Fromm and Natural Balance Pea/Duck), a few turkey options (Innova, Simply Nourish, a few more), various fish options, and Solid Gold Katz-N-Flocken is a great lamb-based food.

What kind of kibble do you currently use? You called it "kitten kibble" - I know people sometimes use that just to refer to cat food, but just checking. If it's an actual kitten food you may want to reconsider the fat content, although you said he's a good size, so it depends on age, activity level, etc. Just wanted to mention it.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hates treats. Problem?

Well I'm new to this whole hedgie thing but up until today the only thing Rupert has actually taken was mealworms. Today I picked up a can of smooth baby food (chicken & veg).. he loves it!
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