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Old 04-28-2019, 11:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey guys! New hedgehog owners tend to ask about what kind of dry diet is appropriate for hedgehogs, and no doubt the answers you receive can surely be a bit overwhelming. There’s a great thread that goes THOROUGHLY into detail about their diet needs in a very simple manner, so I’ll add the link if I can find it again. But, this post is just an *example*.

I just recently went to find Christina another dry diet option. The first thing I did was look at the flavor (just cause she has chicken now so it’d be nice to mix it up a bit) and then flip the bag over. Don’t look at the claims brands make on the front of the bag or the price of the bag. Go straight to the ingredient list. As you can see, the first SIX ingredients listed (which means the six most abundant ingredients) are named real meat ingredients. A general rule is to look for the first 3-5 as real meat ingredients, but I got a bonus sixth. Going down the list, you don’t see too many starchy ingredients, and once you get to the first oil ingredient, the lower ingredients are so small in the bulk of the kibble that they’re irrelevant in my mind. Note I still run down the entire list just in case a bad ingredient is hidden somewhere 😉

Going to the analysis, protein levels should be between 30-35% and fat no more than 15%. But, you ask, why is this kibble showing 20% fat? Great question! Since I’m creating a mix of different kibbles and the first kibble has quite a low fat level of 8%, it balances each other out to roughly 14% fat (20+8/2=14). You should also look for a fair amount of fiber (between 3-6% is what I’ve seen) and a phosphorus to calcium that’s pretty even. Lastly, in purple, I look for taurine listed in the analysis. If it’s listed in the ingredients but not analysis then there tends to be an insignificant amount. Taurine is a great “multivitamin” amino acid for humans and animals alike. With that being said, you see it’s only a 0.1% because, as with many things, taurine is only good in moderation, and you do NOT need a lot of taurine to reap the benefits.

I hope this example is enough to give you a start when looking for a quality kibble!
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Useful thread!

I think it’s also important to add that calculating the GA of a combined mix isnt always as easy as just dividing each analysis by two and adding the numbers together. That method (of simply dividing by two) is only accurate if one is using the exact same weight of each food. I.e 500g of Food A and 500g of Food B.

For example if a full bag of Food A is 20% fat and weighs 350g, and a full bag of Food B is 10% fat and weighs 150g, the combined GA isnt 20 + 10/2 = 15% fat. It’s 20 x 70% = 14%, + 10 x 30% = 3%, for a total fat content of 17%.

It probably seems like common sense, but it's an all too common mistake. I see it all the time in other communities too where folk just add one full bag of each and call it a day, seemingly forgetting that different foods have different weights. In this case, the difference isnt too extreme. But it’s important to calculate an accurate GA nonetheless, which is why I just wanted to mention it.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aj.t View Post
Hey guys! New hedgehog owners tend to ask about what kind of dry diet is appropriate for hedgehogs, and no doubt the answers you receive can surely be a bit overwhelming. There’s a great thread that goes THOROUGHLY into detail about their diet needs in a very simple manner, so I’ll add the link if I can find it again. But, this post is just an *example*.

I just recently went to find Christina another dry diet option. The first thing I did was look at the flavor (just cause she has chicken now so it’d be nice to mix it up a bit) and then flip the bag over. Don’t look at the claims brands make on the front of the bag or the price of the bag. Go straight to the ingredient list. As you can see, the first SIX ingredients listed (which means the six most abundant ingredients) are named real meat ingredients. A general rule is to look for the first 3-5 as real meat ingredients, but I got a bonus sixth. Going down the list, you don’t see too many starchy ingredients, and once you get to the first oil ingredient, the lower ingredients are so small in the bulk of the kibble that they’re irrelevant in my mind. Note I still run down the entire list just in case a bad ingredient is hidden somewhere 😉

Going to the analysis, protein levels should be between 30-35% and fat no more than 15%. But, you ask, why is this kibble showing 20% fat? Great question! Since I’m creating a mix of different kibbles and the first kibble has quite a low fat level of 8%, it balances each other out to roughly 14% fat (20+8/2=14). You should also look for a fair amount of fiber (between 3-6% is what I’ve seen) and a phosphorus to calcium that’s pretty even. Lastly, in purple, I look for taurine listed in the analysis. If it’s listed in the ingredients but not analysis then there tends to be an insignificant amount. Taurine is a great “multivitamin” amino acid for humans and animals alike. With that being said, you see it’s only a 0.1% because, as with many things, taurine is only good in moderation, and you do NOT need a lot of taurine to reap the benefits.

I hope this example is enough to give you a start when looking for a quality kibble!
Wow, those are great numbers! I looked today but couldn’t find a good quality one. What brand is that?
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Aj.t is this the link you want ??
Its a beginners guid to hedgehog nutrition.

https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...#/topics/23034

Even if its not its not one your thinking of its still great for beginners for understand the basics of nutrition, to help look for foods.
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow, those are great numbers! I looked today but couldn’t find a good quality one. What brand is that?
That's Acana; the meadowland variety. Looks like their cat food version to me!
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Old 04-29-2019, 06:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Buddysmom, yes it’s the Acana Meadowland cat diet! I really liked it because of the variety of meats they used
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Buddysmom, yes it’s the Acana Meadowland cat diet! I really liked it because of the variety of meats they used
I don’t think I’ll be able to find that here in the states though.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Buddysmom, yes it’s the Acana Meadowland cat diet! I really liked it because of the variety of meats they used
I don’t think I’ll be able to find that here in the states though.
What state? I’m in Ohio and I found it at Pet Supplies Plus! They have a FANTASTIC variety of quality foods- stay away from commercial brands (brands you can buy at a chain grocery store are usually low quality because of the demand) so look for smaller, family owned even, brands!
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Aj.t View Post
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Originally Posted by Buddysmom View Post
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Originally Posted by Aj.t View Post
Buddysmom, yes it’s the Acana Meadowland cat diet! I really liked it because of the variety of meats they used
I don’t think I’ll be able to find that here in the states though.
What state? I’m in Ohio and I found it at Pet Supplies Plus! They have a FANTASTIC variety of quality foods- stay away from commercial brands (brands you can buy at a chain grocery store are usually low quality because of the demand) so look for smaller, family owned even, brands!
Oh ok! For some reason I thought Canada or somewhere else. Oops. I’m in New Mexico. I’ll go look for that brand tomorrow. Although no Pet Supplies Plus here. Do you use that kibble with mill worms? Anything else?
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I use a mix of that and a Pet Supplies Plus exclusive brand called Redford Naturals + insects (I’ve pretty much stuck to mealies and supers as they’re most accessible and she’s a real skinny lady anyway). I’ll occasionally supplement with a small bit of some fruits or freeze dried chicken. I prefer a heavier portion of her diet to be the kibble but I’ve started adding more insects to a regular basis! That’s up to you for sure.
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