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Old 01-17-2013, 11:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
simply_claire's Avatar
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Default Picky Hedgehog. Please Help.

I got my hedgehog Damien when he 2 about months old. His previous breeder fed him only Purina Kitten Chow. I've had Damien for about 2 years already and ever since I've had him I've been feeding him a mix of Purina Kitten Chow and Natural Balance Green Pea & Duck. He is barely eating the Natural Balance food so I decided to start counting his kibbles every night to record how much he's eating of both brands. He's eating nothing of the Natural Balance. I really hate wasting it.
Is it simply that he doesn't like the Natural Balance? Should I mix in another brand of cat food? I think the Purina Kitten Chow is so unhealthy for him but I can't get him off of it. He just picks out the Natural Balance kibbles and only eats the Purina Kitten Chow. This has been going on for almost two years now.

I'd really really really appreciate some suggestions please so that I could change his eating habits
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picky Hedgehog. Please Help.

I currently use natural balance green pea and duck in my hedgehogs mix. However, I feed it with two other brands. Innova reduced fat cat, as well a chicken soup for the cat lovers soul light. Here is a link to several recommended foods: hedgehogcentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15

The reason you may be having such a tough time switching foods is because kitten food has a much larger fat content then natural balance. So, just because the natural balance is better for your hog, that doesn't mean they will immediately take to it. You could try crushing up the kibbles so that he is unable to pick around the natural balance. Also, this may help to mask the scent as well.

However, I would recommended trying to use the natural balance you already purchased in an entire new mix without the kitten chow as it isn't in your hedgehogs best interests. That particular brand of food is inadequate for a hedgehogs dietary needs. Hopefully the list linked above will provide you with some brands that would work well in a new mix.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picky Hedgehog. Please Help.

There seem to be quite a few hedgehogs out there that simply will NOT eat Natural Balance. Mine won't.

Keosha is right, it's the high fat content in the Kitten Chow that he likes.

Go to the link and you can see the other reccommended foods and brands. Just about everyone makes a mix and most use the Chicken Soup for the Cat lovers soul light formula. I break the kibbles in half.
Check the diet and nutrition section for lots of food choices. Also remember to introduce a new food gradually.
There are many good ideas including making your own food and treats too.

I think a variety of foods is best, that way your hedgie will get the nutrition they need. What one food is missing hopefully is in another food.

Good luck!
My newest girl AnRa born 12-10-19, came home 2-13-20

RIP dearest Rana 4-19-15 --12-12-19, I will miss you forever

RIP my dear Nara 7/2/10---1/6/15. Mommy will always love you.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picky Hedgehog. Please Help.

have to chuckle... I first read the title of this thread as "prickly hedgehog" and I thought "der.. they're supposed to be!"
<3 Proud hedgie momma to Mr. Archibald Q. Prickles <3
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picky Hedgehog. Please Help.

Thank you for the responces! I knew Purina Kitten Chow was unhealthy for him. I never thought of it as a "junk food". I guess I thought maybe the healthy Natural Balance would appeal to him more just because it was healthy! But I guess just like how humans are, not everything healthy is the tastiest! lol

Right now I've been going to my local pet stores asking for available cat food samples and comparing them to find which one he likes best. Instead of buying a $15 bag of food that he refuses to eat! Hopefully soon I'll find the food he likes and slowly remove the Purina Kitten Chow from his diet.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picky Hedgehog. Please Help.

I know from experience on buying a bag of food that my hedgie doesnt like. at first he ate a little them within a 2 week period he didnt eat it at all and he would only eat the other 2 kibbles in his mix and he lost weight which i did not want him to. Sonic doesnt like blue longevity mature cat food. I am lucky that my cat likes it so I gave it to him.good luck on getting him a better kibble. Sonic is on simply nourish turkey & oatmeal indoor cat and innova senior cat he likes them alot.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picky Hedgehog. Please Help.

My girl is a 'preference eater'. She eats her first choice first, and only her first choice, at which point her second choice becomes her first choice. I've been able to use this to advantage by 'rationing' her first choice so that it will run out and she will have to move on. Every hedgie has its quirks, but a rationing system might do the trick. Give her some or what she likes most, but ensure that it won't be enough to fill her up.


Right now I am trying to help my girl keep weight on and feeding a high-protein / high-fat kibble (EVO). It is not her first choice, but I don't want to ration her other kibble and free feed this one. So I've taken to grinding 1 1/2 grams with a mortar and pestle and mixing it into 7 grams (1/4 ounce dollop) of baby food that she LOVES (thinned with a few drops of water). That's usually a treat and I don't really want to it be part of the everyday diet, but I keep it to a minimum and it is healthy so no harm in it. She eats the baby-food / EVO mixture first and then has to move on to her other kibble, which I free feed. For now her weight is back up and appears to have leveled off.

I don't mind her losing the 'tear drop' shape and being sleek. But when sleek eases into 'a bit bony'; I can't have that.

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