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Commercial Hedgehog Foods

81074 Views 105 Replies 53 Participants Last post by  coopdavillage
I decided it might be a good idea to talk about commercially prepared Hedgehog foods. Why some are ok choices for African Hedgehogs and some are not.
If you walk into a pet store and ask for "bird food" you will probably be shown a lot of packages that say "Bird Food" on them. The problem then arises if your bird is a Minah, a Toucan, a falcon, etc.etc. Even a Robin Redbreast cannot live off of seeds. So just because it says "Hedgehog Food" on the package does not neccesarily mean it is appropriate for African Hedgehogs.
Here is a list of most of the commercially prepared "Hedgehog Foods":
1. Spike's Delight Hedgehog foods (all formulas)
2. Sunseed Hedgehog food
3. Brisky's Hedgehog foods
4. 8in1 Ultra Hedgehog food
5. L'Avian Hedgehog food
6. Hedgehog Complete by Exotic Nutrition

7. Pretty Pets hedgehog food
8. Zoofare insectavore
9. Mazuri insectavore
10. Brown's Zoo Vital
11. Vitakraft

Now the first six on the list are ok to feed an African Hedgehog. Most experts agree
to mix several types of high quality, high protein, low fat cat foods / Hedgehog foods. It is also recommended to feed a variety of treats such as live insects, lean cooked meat, fresh fruit, and vegetables. So let's discuss why the last five products on the list should be avoided in African Hedgehog diets. These products may be great for other types of hedgehog but for African Hedgehogs they are not a good choice. Pretty Pet's hedgehog food contains very little nutritional content. It may be ok as a treat but should be considered "junk food". Zoofare and Mazuri contain artificial preservatives and/or softening agents which have been linked to all kinds of health problems. Brown's Zoo Vital and Vitakraft actually may be very good for European Hedgehogs but contain ingredients which are extreme health
risks to African Hedgehogs. Things like seeds and raisins are choking hazards and have resulted in African Hedgehog deaths. The best way to insure you are choosing a healthy African Hedgehog diet is to learn the nutritional requirements of the African Hedgehog. And then READ THE LABEL of the food you are considering feeding your hedgie. Knowledge is the key when choosing a food to add to your
African Hedgehog's diet.
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The three best in my opinion for your hedgie are: Wellness Healthy weight, Chix soup lite and Blue Spa Select weight management. They are lower in fat than most, are extremely healthy, and contain the highest quality ingredients.
You are correct... At present there is no "one" food that seems to meet all hedgie nutritional needs so a mix of foods still seems to be the best. As I have discussed on other topics the average life span for a wild white bellied or Algerian hedgehog is about 2 years. The easiest way to increase the lifespan in captivity is diet. For a while many breeders and enthusiasts would feed the absolute "best" foods and it seems too good of food was "too rich". Once these breeders added a "junk" food to their hedgies diets they saw those hedgies living longer. Yes hedgies are insectivores but they are also opportunistic scavengers in the wild. So their diet should consist of several things. Gail Dick of Millermeade Farms describes it this way: "You don't want your children to eat nothing but french fries, but a few once in a while makes them happy and doesn't hurt them." So it is with hedgies as well. Many breeders add what I call a "junk" food in their mix. And many believe it has extended the lifespan of their hedgies. It makes sense and it may make our hedgies a little happier. So I add Spike's Delight Premium hedgehog food in my mix as my quilled ones were fed it at the breeders. They don't eat it all the time but will pick it out of the mix on occasion. So the consensus on diet still seems to be a mix of at least three(the more variety the better IMO) quality cat foods or African hedgie foods along with live bugs,cooked chicken, turkey, eggs, fresh fruit and veggies as treats will ensure the best possible diet to increase our quilled friends lives.
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Sure but the Nutro naturals are at least all natural where the Max varieties are not.
Sure but he may not eat it.
It is garbage but some hedgies like it. You are better off with a mix of several cat foods.
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