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Old 12-29-2013, 11:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Am I doing this right?

I recently got my baby, Colin, named after a favorite book character of mine, and I've been racking my brain trying to find a good combination of food for him. The breeder only gave me one kind, so I ordered a bag of Newman's Own Organic Cat Food, because it was in the "Recommended Foods List" here on the forum, and when I checked the ingredients everything seemed fine, and the protein is at 32%, but the fat is 16%, and the fiber is also really low.

Ingredients and analysis I found here: http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/produc...od/144009.aspx

But he runs on his wheel for like, four hours at a time after I've turned all the lights off, and sometimes for a few minutes when I put him back in after playtime (and he's very crawly), so is that 16% alright?

I also read somewhere else on here that I can add some sort of cereal into the mix to make up for the fiber.

Another thing, he doesn't seem to eat much. His poop is fine, he runs a lot and drinks a lot of water, so I'm assuming that's good...

Basically in short I just want to know and make sure I'm doing this right
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm rather new at it as well.

I think the fat% is less important than tracking weight gain/growth. If it is a baby under 12 weeks you want to see weight gain associated with general growth. If your Hedgie is older than that you want to see it remaining fairly steady. My baby is getting 15% fat, is very active, and I worry that she needs more fat because she looks a bit on the slim side to me.

She eats between 1.5 and 2.5 Tablespoons of food a day and drinks 1-3 oz of water daily.

If your Hedgie starts to look a bit too rounded you can try weight control or indoor cat foods. Those also tend to be higher in fiber.

One way to increase fiber is to feed bugs. If you are worried about fat you can get meal worms and wait for them to become beetles, then feed those, they are highest in fiber and lowest in fat at the beetle stage.
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This is why it's great to have a mix of foods - you can add another one or two with varying fat and fiber contents to even out the Newman's Own. Natural Balance and Blue Buffalo are also good brands that have a lot of flavors you could try mixing in (slowly, of course).
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for the replies!

What should a hedgie normally weigh? He's still really young, around 7 weeks old today, actually. Do they typically stop growing after 12 weeks?
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Old 12-29-2013, 11:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Oh! Total baby, he can have lots of fat to help him grow big and strong.

Hedgehogs reach full size somewhere around 6 months, with a noticeable drop in eating and pooping. Even after reaching full size, they keep filling out their form (like a teenager going from gangly to proportional). They're considered adults at 12 months.
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Okay, great! So it'll be fine to have a higher-ish fat content, then(?)

Again, thank you so much for the replies! I've been stressing out about this. It's my first hedgie and I love him to death already and want everything to be right.
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, the 16% is just fine for such a wee baby growing so much. If he looks too skinny, you could even go higher while he's still having crazy growth spurts.

Keep an eye on his weight as he gets to the 4-6 month range, make sure he runs enough to burn off the fat. I was a bit slow at catching on that my guy had stopped growing, and he started getting a bit pudgy (nothing extreme, just softer around his sides and legs) before I caught on and reduced fat again.

We're not really responding with typical size-weight-ages because there's so much variability. You really just need to judge by body shape. You can always post us photos if you need help deciding if he's a healthy shape, but with such a young hoglet, he should be pretty much constantly growing, sleeping, and pooping -- if he's also running, you really shouldn't have to worry about too much fat yet!
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That's perfect, thank you so much!
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just keep an eye on him, you'll see it if he starts to get pudgy. He's a baby but that doesn't mean 16% fat won't be too high - for some it is.
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