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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need help.

I've had maple for about a month now, she's 4 months old and she won't eat her kibble, like at all. she will eat mealworms, and waxworms and other bugs, but nothing else. I've taken her to the vet and she didn't really have anything helpful to say.

Maple is active at night, but she only poops about once a night. I've tried syringe feeding her but she struggles against me a lot so I'm having a hard time actually getting any food in her

On her first night, she ate a little bit, but that was it as far as kibble goes. I gave her the food she was on before(it was a hedgehog food, and I know that they don't have a very good reputation, so I added a little of the food I planned to transfer her to) but she hasn't had any since.

she also isn't drinking very much. I'm freaking out here. I don't know what to do.

(sorry for the novel, I'm just very worried)
 

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I also had a lot of problems with my boy at first with eating kibble and transferring him to cat kibble.

So will she not even eat the hedgehog food by itself since coming home? Did you put the new food in straightaway?

Have you tried to offer the new kibble in different ways, like crushing the pieces, adding a little water so they swell up or mashing the soaked kibble up to make up a mushy mix? The only way I could get my boy to finally eat (and your advantage like me) was to add the insects into the kibble.

Do you notice whether she has a hard time eating the kibble? This is what I found and started mushing up my boy's food. I'd cut up an insect to give the mush an insect flavour and he'd devour it. After a few months he will even eat the kibble on its own but will never touch dry kibble, it's has to be mushed (he definitely eats more if it has insects in it still). So you could try this? Some hedgies don't like it but some seem to prefer it and I think they get used to over time as my boy is now a little piglet when it comes to eating! Which is such a nice thing to see after months of having so many issues and worrying about his weight etc.

Even if she doesn't seem interested when you offer it, leave it in her cage over night and see if any has gone by the morning. Weigh the bowl before and after so you are monitoring how much she eats too.

I'd still offer the dry kibble in a separate dish in her cage at all times just in case she won't touch the other dish (count out he pieces and check if any have been eaten by the following day) but let's hoping if it has insects mixed through it, it'll tempt her.

Also are you throwing out the uneaten kibble every night or leaving old food in the dish and just topping it up?

Good luck and keep us posted. Let me know if you have any other questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't tried letting the food get mushy with water and insects, ill try that today.

No, she won't even eat her hedgehog food by itself, I did want to transition her right away so I did add some of the new food, I feel like that is why she still won't eat.

I usually give her the kibble with the bugs mixed in and she just eats the bugs and leaves the kibble, I count them so I know none have been eaten.

I change the food nightly ( once or twice I didn't change it for a day)

Thank you so much for the advice, ill let you know how it goes tonight.
 

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I see, it could have been the new food too soon putting her off but when I removed it my boy would still eat his old food dry, he just wouldn't eat any cat kibble dry after trying the odd one. I didn't try adding new food until after a month of him coming home but I made the mistake of offering different new kibbles too close together ><

Adding a little water and just letting it soak, he still wouldn't touch it. It was only when I mixed and mashed it with a spoon so the different kibble flavours mixed together and added cut up insects would he eat it. I use boiled water (makes the kibble smell stronger) and premixed in a bowl before putting in his dish. Make sure it is cool before giving, you normally have to wait a little while for the kibble to soak before you can mush it altogether anyways. You can also try leaving a couple new kibble pieces scattered around the cage and see if they are eaten by the morning.

Let me know how it goes :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I mashed the food up with boiled water and added cut up mealworms and superworms, and she ate the bugs that were on top but that's it.

I was really hoping this would work :/
 

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Keep trying with the mushed up food and bugs. Try putting it in a shallow dish so she sees and smells the bug parts. She may end up eating some of the other food and realize she likes it. Sometimes we have to trick them. Chopping the bugs up smaller may help too.
 

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Make sure the bugs are really mashed in. If your using supers, since they're bigger and got more guts in them, using a spoon squeeze out the guts from the shell and mix that with the food too so the mush mixture taste more like insects.

You can also feed the live insects the cat kibble to help get your hog more used to the kibble flavour too. Don't feed Dubia roaches kibble though as they can't eat any protein based food. Supers and mealies are fine though. I did this at the beginning and occasionally still do.

I'd offer just some of the mixture on a small condiment dish whilst out on your lap or however you usually bond in the evening (when she will be more hungry) and if you have to, make that portion more insects based than kibble but I think with every bite she will be eating some of the mushy food even if they are on top, but try hide them so she has to sniff them out and eat more food to get to them.

Did she eat any more of it during the night? Leave it in her enclsoure overnight as she might be more willing in her own time and in the complete darkness but still offer old food so she eats something if really won't touch it. You might have to try with making it more watery or less watery, she might be tempted more with one than the other...

I hope it works!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Tonight I used less water and I cut the bugs up smaller.

I'll definitely start to feed the bugs some of her kibble, that sound like a great idea.

I've heard her eating a little bit tonight, I don't know if it was much but every time I hear her munching it's always very exciting.

I update you guys in the morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think she ate some of the bugs, its hard to tell but it looks like it.

but I really mashed the bugs and the kibble together so the bugs tasted somewhat like the kibble I'm sure, so ill keep it up
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tonight I squeezed the super worm guts (gross) into the kibble mix as well as cut up mealworms, and I caught her eating it a bit, I think this is the way it's gonna trick her lol

Thank you guys so much, your advice has helped loads.
 

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Oh that's great to hear! Haha welcome to my world of killing and squeezing guts out of worms! >< Every night I do this for my boy but it does pay off when you see them get excited to eat it after months of having issues. Once she gets used to eating like this, you'll probably be able to get away with just adding or atleast just cutting up the worms into the food. My boy doesn't mind now as long as it has some in it. I tested it one time after a few months with no insects at all and my boy wasn't anywhere near as interested in it in the evening, but the strange thing is that I started doing a small breakfast mix for him (when I had to give him antibiotics one time, so he had to eat twice a day) and he actually will now eat his kibble wet and mushed with no insects in the morning (like he's actually sitting and waiting for me to give it to him and chows it down straightaway) but won't eat it without insects in the evening?! :roll: I guess he's just in a routine and knows how it should taste haha :lol:

Good luck and hope her appetite keeps increasing :). You could always keep offering dry kibble in a separate bowl in her cage and see if she ever eats any. I did this with my boy but after about 5 months or so of him never touching it ive stopped offering dry kibble now.
 

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One trick I used to get my Heiji-San used to her new kibble was to find the lowest sodium chicken broth in the store and give a tiny splash of that. It worked for her. I don't know if it was the flavor or the texture of soggy kibble that she liked but it got her used to her highest fiber food.
Gracie on the other hand was reluctant to eat and the broth trick didn't work as well on her so we added a puppy food to her kibble mix since it's higher in fat and protein(also she liked it better) and we also tried some canned wet cat food to eat in the mean time. We had the best success with canned cat food that was in Pâté form. It's not a long term solution since canned cat food is kinda expensive to be the only thing for them to eat but if you're desperate to get some food(and water for that matter) in her face you could see if she'll try it. It's helpful to have an ice-cube tray to leave the extra food in since hedgehogs don't take a cat-sized portion.
 
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