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Old 02-25-2015, 06:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgie food

I have two hedgies, Melon and Hiccup. They have completely opposite personalities, Hiccup loves running on her wheel. Unfortunately she was abused by her previous owners, I was told that I am her third or fourth home. She is underweight and is skiddish of almost everything and anyone. I need to find her new food that will help her put weight on as the food I have her on isn't adding weight to her. I have added the food brand I have her on and all the nutritional facts. I was recommended to use this food from my friend who had her hedgie for six years .

Iams ProActive Health Original with Chicken Adult Cat Food

Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Corn Grits, Dried Beet Pulp, Poultry By-Product Meal, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast, Sodium Bisulfate, Potassium Chloride, Fructooligosaccharides, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Rosemary Extract
Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude protein (min.) 32%, crude fat (min.) 15%, crude fiber (max.) 3%, moisture (max.) 10%, ash (max.) 7%, magnesium (max.) 0.1%, taurine (min.) 0.15%, omega 6 fatty acids* (min.) 2.3%, omega 3 fatty acids (min.) 0.23%.

The other hedgie, Melon, is super lazy and loves to cuddle on my shoulder, I think this food works well for her. She is a little chubby so i should probably cut back on her food.

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If she has had issues with keeping weight you would want to look into kitten food more than likely. Chicken Soup kitten would be a good one to add, as it is a higher fat food. I also think Halo brands have a higher fat level. Either would be a good choice to add. As For the food you have her on, the third and fourth ingredients are corn. Probably want to maybe not use it. Just because corn has been known to cause issues. So I personally would slowly wean both of them off, then maybe for your Melon use a higher end food with a lower fat content, or as close to the current food as you can get. Mixing is the best, that way if you can't get a hold of one, they still have another they will eat.

I would also look into wax worms. They are a very high fat insect, and feeding a few a day would probably help bring her weight up. They are softer, and don't have too much fight to them ha.

But also make sure it is not just an underweight issue, make sure she does not have any intestinal parasites, those will make it impossible to put on weight even with the highest fat diet you can find.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would suggest changing the food for both hedgies, honestly. Iams isn't a good brand, and this food isn't very great quality. If you'd like, I can go into why I say that and which ingredients are iffy and why. I love talking about foods & why some aren't good or some are.

For Melon, I would look for a food that's 12% or less in fat. Don't limit her food - that should be a last resort thing for hedgehogs. Try a lower fat food first, as well as low-fat treats (crickets, roaches, veggies, limit mealworms as they're fatty), and try to encourage her to exercise more.

For Hiccup, as said above, a kitten food would probably be a good idea. Something around 18-20% fat and see how she does with it.

As far as what food to use, here are a couple stickies that can help you learn what to look for in a food and some brands that are good quality - https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...nutrition.html and https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...oods-list.html
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you so much! I am looking into switching the foods for both girls, I was wondering what foods you would suggest combine for melon, I have also tried encouraging more exercising but when I put her in the ball or on the floor she just sleeps
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Old 02-26-2015, 04:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hedgehogs shouldn't ever be put in the hamster balls that roll around on the floor! They have those slits that can get tiny toes stuck.
I use a kiddie pool as a running pen and it works great!!
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had the same problem. I truley believe this could be a case of kibble being too hard to chew. Mine was on very stale chicken vittles from Walmart (not a premium food). I found many kibble quite hard for him to chew. He was very skinny. The only food I've found he's actually been able to chew is the blue chicken weight control. (36 % protine and 12% fat and a no grains formula) but be very careful the kibble isn't to hard though. My guy will even eat the lifetime bits if they're new. When they get hard I add water to them and serve on a plastic spoon, and just let them expand(20 minutes or so). Try to buy small bags of food at a time. I split half of the smallest bag you can get into two freezer ziplocks and it seems to keep fresh enough for him to eat for a month. It's a constant battle of crushing them with my thumb to check the hardness after that. My guy won't eat crushed kibble, but it might be with a try in your case. I hate to ''plug a certain food'' but it's the only food he can chew.

Last edited by Buttons; 02-26-2015 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm not sure it's the same problem here. The OP hasn't mentioned either of their hedgehogs having trouble eating or chewing their food. The problem is that they need a higher quality food, and each hedgehog needs to be on a different food from each other because they have different needs. Some hedgies are runners with high metabolism and need higher fat food to stay healthy. I don't think this is an issue of not being able to chew the food, though that is occasionally an issue.

Melon&Hiccup, what pet stores or other stores that sell pet food do you have access to? Or is buying online an option so that brands you have access too is less of an issue? Want to make sure you can get whatever foods before I try making any suggestions. Off the top of my head though, Solid Gold's Katz'n'Flocken is 12% fat, and I believe Chicken Soup has a formula that's either 9% or 11%. I think the Natural Balance food I gave Lily (Peas & Duck) was 12% fat as well.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This was just another point that hadn't been made. Not at all trying to over throw the others ideas. It's just another aspect to consider ☺
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It is a good point, and often one that newer owners don't think about. It's surprising what affects hedgies sometimes that we don't even consider before we figure out what's bothering them!
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sorry, it took me so long to reply! I have been so busy. For Hiccup she does have a problem chewing food, she had food that was stale by six months or so before I got her. I also quickly learned that she didn't know how to properly use a a water bottle and was just biting and "attacking" it. For the stores that I have available right now are Petco, and Petsmart are the two main ones. I am not opposed to buying online, I just cannot afford to spend 20 dollars for one bag of food, plus shipping and a different food for my other hedgie. Also I have always soaked their food anyways. And then they get semi-hard treats to help get rid of the tarter build up.
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