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Old 05-08-2019, 03:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Am I feeding to much?

Hi,

Holly is a little over weight and the vet advised last week that we try and get it down a little. This is something I have been trying to do for months but there is not much progress. Holly is quite a lazy hog which I don’t think helps progress.

Below is an idea of what I feed Holly, please could I have input on wether I’m giving to much/little or what other tweeks I can make.

I want her to have the most balanced and varied diet I possibly can.

Daily I give:

10g Kibble - she eats anything up to 10g, will eat more if available.
10-20g fruit or veg (cherries, watermelon, peas, sweet corn, broccoli, apple, kale)
30 insects - a combination of locusts, crickets, Dubai roach (I vary the combination)

Twice a week she has 10g of Turkey or Beef mince with 10g fruit or veg

She has 2 - 4 worms 3 x a week, i include these in daily insect allowance not in addition. She has Mealworms, wax worm, Mori o worms. I haven’t introduced others as I know they are fatty.

She won’t eat any wet cat food or eggs.

Is this to much? What changes do you suggest?

Thank you in advance
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey there! The dry kibble and insects sound like a good ratio. Are you feeding a mix of kibbles in her dry diet? What’s the total fat content? 20-30g of fruits/veggies every day isn’t the best. As insectivores, they have a fairly small digestive tract that isn’t equipped for processing large amounts of plant matter, especially every day. These are recommended as occasional snacks only. All together, everything does seem like a bit much to me. Try cutting down on the amount you give first rather than completely getting rid of something or switching something.
Hope this helps 🙂
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for the reply.

I am using a mix of two foods as it’s all I can find that she will eat. The total fat content is 12.5, Protein 32.5.

I will start to reduce fruit and veg. Other than that what would be the next thing to reduce?

Thanks
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Old 05-08-2019, 10:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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10g of kibble + 20g of veg/fruit + 30 insects is far too much food. Especially for a hedgehog who is already lazy.

As Aj.t mentioned, hedgehogs are not equipped to handle large volumes of fruit & veg. Most of the fruit & veg they consume is through feeder insects that have been gut loaded so not only is your hedgehog consuming up to 20g of fresh fruit and veg, but she's getting then some on top of that through the insects she's eating. You can feed a small amount (note; around a teaspoon) of fresh fruit & veggies 1-2 times a week if you wish - it does provide them with beneficial fibre and nutrients, vitamins, and minerals but it's important to keep it as an occasional add in vs a component of a daily diet. I tend to stick to cooked veggies, as it's easier for them to digest. Fruit should be fed sparingly, and I would keep it to a once a week snack.

The kibble is fine at 10g, but you need to cut down on the amount of insects you're feeding to 10-15. On days where she gets 10g of meat, feeder closer to 10 insects (or less).
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you, I will start reducing as suggested. I’m hoping she will get a little more active if she looses a bit of weight with the right balance in her diet.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My Holly is on a diet too.
She's given 14g of biscuit which she eats 7-9g of never more than 10g of it. And the fat is 11.2% and protein is 29.7%
For you I'd leave it at 10g as you said she'll eat more if offered. The fat and protein of yours seems to be good.

Holly gets 14 insects a day in two mixes that I alternate. She has locust, Dubai roaches, crickets, orange woodlice(isopods) and calci worms.
The only one of these thats really fatty is the calci worms but because they are good for calcium and and fibre she only gets 4 every other day too anyway.
So for you probably best to bring it down to 15 (slowly decrease by 1 or 2 a day)

I use insects that I gut loaded and froze, then thawed out and left hidden around her cage to make her that bit more active as she needs to actually find her insects.
Using live always makes them more active too but you cant really leave them in over night haha.

Holly also then gets 5g cooked meat once a week, 5g cooked meat and veg once a week, and 5g scrambled egg (no milk ect) once a week (always on a Saturday)
The meat actually helps Holly loose weight believe it or not.

You can leave it at 10g meat, i would do 1 day 10g cooked meat and 1 day 5g cooked meat with 5g cooked veg, to total 10g cooked meat and veg. And then another day of 5g fruit.

And then she gets a bit fruit once a week. Sometimes less depending on what fruit we have at the time.

Shes not what you'd class as lazy, but shes not the most active, she is active for an average of 4 hours a night.

Not sure if you know it but they can lose 20g a week healthily, but its preferred to loose 10g a week.

Last edited by Ria; 05-08-2019 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you Ria, that’s is really helpful. I will get started tonight with the reduction and see how we go. I weigh her weekly so will keep a eye to make sure she isn’t loosing weight to quickly.
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a spreadsheet too, so that I could play with different ratios of the to see different ways to make the fat or protein higher or lower if needed but without adding or changing any food.

I've also got a spreadsheet with the date, her weekly weight, how much food she was given and what she she was given, how much she ate of each and overall. How many insects given and what insects they were.
This helps for seeing exactly what is helping with loosing weight.

If once you've lowered everything else (not the biscuit) with the 10g of the meat and 10g meat and veg its not changing anything, take it down to 5g meat, and 5g meat and veg - I do 3g meat and 2g veg. And see if that makes a difference.

Last edited by Ria; 05-08-2019 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So for example this would be my plan:
For the reduction I would take 2g fruit and veg out and 2 insects out daily.
This way you can reduce faster, but not too fast, and its not a huge change to stress her out.
Once you got the insects to 14-15 insects then you stop decreasing the insects.
The fruit and veg should come down to 10g so 5g of each, then come down so its not fed daily.
Then bring it to 5g cooked veg with 5g cooke meat once a week, 10g cooked meat once a week and then 5g fruit once a week.

So that the diet is then 10g biscuit, 14/15 insects daily with 10g cooked meant once a week, 10g cooked meat and veg once a week and 5g fruit

I would leave the worms the same through all of this.

Then leave it like this for 2 weeks and check the weight loss. If it hasn't changed then take out the fattiest worm
Leave it another week or 2 and If it doesn't improve then do the reduction in the meat and veg as I mentioned before this.
Leave it again and see what happens in weight loss and take it from there.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just remember though to decrease her diet in intervals; taking away a large portion all at once can also have negative effects. Just as you would when introducing a new kibble, take bit by bit away over the next few days so they have time to adjust to less food!
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