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Old 02-24-2015, 12:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Taking food away?

So we got our first hedgehog and one thing we weren't prepared for is how LOUD his eating is. He is 11 weeks old and still sleeps a lot, and when he wakes up on his own it's usually around 3 AM when he starts loudly munching on his kibbles (he doesn't eat anything else at this point) and wakes up me and my husband. He also eats when I wake him up for bonding time around 8-9 PM. Hedgehog nutrition guides usually recommend leaving cat food overnight, but I thought, would it be okay if we gave him some food during bonding time (he eats about 20 kibbles at a time), then wake him up around midnight, let him eat some more and then put the food away until morning? I actually tried doing it this night and he started running on his wheel instead of eating (he didn't do that before, which kinda bothered me). The overall amount of food he eats stays about the same, but I wonder if such schedule may be not very good for the hedgie?

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Old 02-24-2015, 04:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I wouldn't do it. Let them regulate their food intake on their own, mine don't eat a lot in one sitting but small portions through the entire night.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Try using earplugs?
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I definitely wouldn't take out his food. They have very fast metabolisms. I've heard of hedgehogs who develop pica (eating non food items) just to fill their tummies, in cases where food is not readily available.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I see! Well, using the earplugs is always an option, and I wouldn't say it's that bad. Just wanted to know if there is a way to minimize noise without harming the hedgie.

Today I finally managed to make him eat a cricket (I bought live ones and then had to freeze them since he didn't want to eat them at first) and it was significantly less noisy. Maybe it would help to replace his cat food with crickets for the night?
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That's not a good idea. Your hedgehog is a baby. Babies eat a lot, and need a balanced diet so they get everything they need. While you can do a homemade diet that is heavy in insects, it's not going to be healthy for your hedgehog if you just replace his kibble with crickets every night - it's not balanced, crickets aren't a particularly nutritious insect, and you can't guarantee that your hedgehog will eat enough kibble during the rest of the time (especially since they sleep during the day) to make up for any deficiencies.

I don't know if it would help, but kibble pieces can sometimes be rather large, especially for baby hedgies. You could try crushing the pieces a bit smaller and see if it makes it easier for him to eat them, and possibly makes it quieter. I wouldn't soften the kibble with water as it's not necessary for baby hedgies. Canned cat food could potentially be another option, but it tends to dry up & get gross by morning, and most of them are too high in fat for most hedgehogs.

Unfortunately, dealing with hedgie noise is part of owning them. If you really can't deal with the noise, it would be best to a) move hedgie into a different room b) get earplugs or c) switch to a homemade diet (done properly) which would be mostly soft foods and probably be quieter. But I'd suggest one of the first two unless you're really committed to doing all of the research and planning necessary for a raw/natural diet.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Fair enough. Crushing the kibbles sounds like a good idea - the one we use has smaller pieces, but I'm still worried if that's too much for him, and it would probably lessen the crunching. Are there any advantages to using uncrushed kibble, like being better for the teeth or something?
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Nope, not much difference, just makes it easier for little hedgie mouths. Kibble isn't really fantastic for the teeth either way, contrary to what's advertised (that it's better than wet food). I hope crushing it helps a little.
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Is he in your room? This is the only way I could think of a hedgehog's eating would be loud enough to wake someone up. Why not move him out of your room if that's the case?
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Because 1-room apartment.

I tried giving him crushed kibble, he eats it just fine and doesn't make as much noise. His crunching wasn't enough to wake up my sleeping husband, so I guess it's a success! Thank you for your advice, everyone.
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