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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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Sara&Marshal said:
I'm wondering because I feed my cat Purina Cat Chow:Indoor formula and it does say that its low in fat and high in protien with natural grains and greens, but you can never be too sure.

It would be ideal if it would be okay to mix with my hedgies cat food because I only have her on one kind at the moment, and I buy the other food anyways for my cat to eat. Thanks!
It's not totally about the protein and fat, it's about the ingredients too. You should always analyze the different ingredients to be sure that you're feeding your hedgie something nutritious.

Purina Cat Chow Indoor Formula
Corn meal, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soy flour, beef tallow preserved with mixed tocopherols (source of vitamin E), cellulose, salmon meal, soybean hulls, malted barley flour, brewers dried yeast, natural flavors, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, tetra sodium pyrophosphate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, salt, taurine, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, l-alanine, vitamin supplements (E, A, B12, D3), niacin, added color (red 40, yellow 5, blue 2), manganese sulfate, parsley flakes, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid, folic acid, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein--min. 30.0%
Crude Fat------min. 9.5%
Crude Fiber----max. 9.0%
Moisture-------max. 12.0%

The protein and the fat are great, but the first ingredient is corn which hedgehogs don't get a lot of nutritional value out of and the second ingredient is by-products which aren't meat (they're basically the left overs from a chicken, like intestines, bones, and feathers, etc). Then there's a bunch of coloring in it, and it's still uncertain what effects dyes have on hedgehogs. Overall, I wouldn't recommend it as a food for a hedgie.

If you want to find another food to mix in with your hedgie's now, I would recommend taking a look at the foods from this list: http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15. All meet hedgie food requirements.
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If she was from a pet store, it's because they didn't know the right nutritional values and pretty pets said "hedgehog food" so "Oh it has to be suitable because it says hedgehog food!" ...which we know is not the case.
Mix it in slowly at first to try to avoid tummy upset (like 1/4 new food, 3/4 old)--but in most cases, the hedgehog starts totally ignoring the pretty pets after getting kibble. Try just doing one new kibble at a time so you know if one causes tummy problems. After a few days of mixing that one kibble in if she's totally ignoring the pretty pets (which is often the case, because most hedgies HATE it) and hasn't had any tummy problems from it, I would just totally give her the one new food--then after a week or two, mix in a second, etc.

Congratulations on the little girl, by the way. :)
Do you mean food mixes as in the commercial foods? Or food mixes as in the cat kibble mix?
Hedgehog food is usually terrible and has to be supplemented with high quality cat food to meet nutritional requirements. You're better off not getting the hedgehog food, and just going to a pet store to buy a bag or two of good cat food and mixing them together.
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