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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We just got our first hedgie on July 25 from Dani(LOL Hedgies) and he is SOOOO sweet! We're totally in love with him! :mrgreen:

He's a beautiful little cinnacot boy that we've named Neeko. :D

Here's a couple pics I've taken so far:

The day after we got him


"Is it safe to come out?"


Such a beautiful boy!


And here are some I took the other day

Poopy feet bath


Drying his tootsies


Sweet little boy(he was a wee upset cause I'd just had to dump him out of his wheel so I could clean it, lol)


I have him in a temporary set-up until I can either get a cage from my friend(she said she has a big one I can have) or I build him a better one. Here are some pics of his current set-up(it's got toys now and a PVC ramp instead of the one in the pic):







He's got a food mix of 50% Friskie's Indoor, 25% Royal canin Indoor Intese Hariball 34, and, temporarily(since he's still growing and, I assume, needs a little extra protein), Purina Kitten Chow, which will be changed to CSKLS(Senior) once he's a little older. He gets treats of mealies, darkling beetles(the mealie beetles), and superworms. He also gets some veggies every once in a while when I let him snack of the veggies from my sugar gliders' dinners, lol.

Hopefully I'm doing everything right. If not, please let me know!

I'll be saving up for the CCS wheel as well. ;) Hopefully I can get it some time in this millennium. :lol:

Oh yeah, I forgot to ask...do you guys have any tips on litterbox training?
 

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OMG he's so cute!
Nice setup too, I like how you added the second level to the bin, but your gonna want to add sides to the ramp so he doesn't fall off and hurt himself. And you should probably check out Reaper's dry cat food list under diet and nutrition it is very informative and was a huge help to me. Welcome to hedgehog Central! and to the world of hedgehogs, I've had mine for two weeks and I just love him :D
 

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Welcome to HHC! (even though I already know you :lol: )

Your hedgie is very cute.

If you are not already doing so, when you feed the superworms be sure to cut off their heads first because they can bite a hedgie from the inside :eek:

Also, like funkybee said, you will want to close off you ramp so little Neeko doesn't get hurt.

My two love both the mealies and the beetles! I just started a mealie farm and have my first mealies from the adult beetles that I've had for a few weeks. Now that they've had a taste of the good stuff, I don't think they will eat freeze dried meal worms anymore :lol:

Anyways, this is a great forum you've joined with the very best hedgehog advice that can be found. I found it immensely helpful as a new hedgie owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
lane_m said:
If you are not already doing so, when you feed the superworms be sure to cut off their heads first because they can bite a hedgie from the inside :eek:
Actually, that's only a problem with lizards and not with hedgies(or with sugar gliders, which I also have). Hedgies and gliders thoroughly chew and annihilate the worms, so there's no head left. :p Lizards, on the other hand, aren't very thorough and thus the worms is able to eat it's eat it's way out of the lizard. :?

I farm superworms and mealies, so I had to make sure I did my homework on them before spending $50 on worms and supplies to get my superworm farm started. :lol:

However, it IS a good idea to mention that superworms can and WILL bite and might be able to hurt a hedgie, so I would recommend the heads get cut off for that reason or that the worms are dipped into icy water to temporarily shock them. Personally, I just feed my critters the worms head-first so that the head is crushed before they get a chance to try and bite.

As for the ramp, no worries, I've already replaced it with a PVC pipe. ;)
 

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That's a great little cage and such a good idea for a second level. If I ever build my hedgehog a new cageI I will totally consider that set up.

As for the food. funkybee was right about reading Reapers food list, there are so many. The reason I say this is that Friskies and Purina are not the greatest foods. The % of protien and fat might be in accaptable ranges but it won't matter without quality ingredients. See even if they barely have any meat in them they can say they have protien because vegetables and grains have different types of protien (incomplete protiens) meats and dairy are the only things that have complete animal protien which is what your hedgehog should be eating. It is somewhat hard to find a low fat cat food but it can be done. Wellness healthy weight or indoor health works well when paired with a cat food lower in protien. Reapers food list have so many moor and you could even take the whole thing to a local pet store and ask them what is available from the list.

About the super worms, most hedgehogs will chew up their worms but some just gobble them so fast they basically swallow them whole, personally I wouldn't take the risk of feading live super worms (with heads) because there is always a chance it didn't quite die.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, you see...that's what I thought too, that foods should be the best quality possible. I had put together a list of all very good, top-quality foods(I'd been looking at foods such as felidae, CSCLS, Innova, etc...), but when I asked about it on another forum(HHW) I was told that it was BAD to feed good-quality foods because a hedgehog NEEDED the crappy foods. Then I was told a story by a bigger breeder saying how she and another big breeder had changed to good-quality foods and ended up losing a bunch of hedgies and the vet told them to go back to the crappy stuff. :?

So, I planned a mix with 1 cheap food(friskies), 1 OK food(Wellness or Royal Canin), and 1 GOOD food(CSCLS). I only mixed in the Purina as a temporary food for extra protein. A already had it handy because it's 1 of the foods I add to my ferrets' mix(same idea as the hedgie food: 1 good food, 1 decent food, 1 crap food...the purina is the crap one, lol), so I figured it'd be okay since it's only temporary.

So what's the truth behind what I was told on the other forum? Who is right? :?: It's so confusing! ALMOST as confusing as sugar glider diets! :lol:
 

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I absolutely love your cage set up! That's a great way to do a loft with the plastic bins. When Quillbert gets a tad bigger I'll have to see about copying your design. :D I hope everything goes well; it looks like you got a real sweetie.
 

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Everyone on this site will tell you to go with a good quality food. Crappy foods do not provide much nutritional value at all. I would be wary of people saying they switched and then had hedgehogs die. Did they say now they switched, what kind of food they switched too, how long it took to switch over completely, what caused the deaths (as in medical diagnosis). Without more details it's just a horror story without a factual basis.

The other thing is you do have to be careful with cat food. The lower quality stuff has all sorts of chemicals and parts of food that aren't actually food, like corn husks (if you read the list and you wouldn't eat something on it it's probably a bad food). However the higher quality stuff can be too high in protein and fat. Lots of people on here are breeders (not me but others) and most of us have a hedgehog (some are getting ready to get their first). I don't think anyone has a lost a hedgehog from switching food unless it was an allergic reaction that went unnoticed.

Finally a barrage on vets, I haven't met many that actually know what they are talking about in terms of what makes a healthy diet and animals nutritional needs, nutrition is not a required course for vet students and many do not take it upon themselves to learn about it. And yet they still feel perfectly confident to give advice to others. Even though every indication is that they don't what they are talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All of my animals get top-quality food(don't make me whine about how much my dog's food costs! :lol: She gets the best of the best!) and I know all about the creepy thing that are in poor-quality foods, which is why it made no sense to me why a hedgie should be fed crappy foods, but the thing they said about thier hedgies dieing made me not want to risk it... I'll have to check my old posts on the other forum, but I'm pretty sure it was someone by the name of PogStar(or something like that...) that said their hedgies died from high-qulaity food. :\

Do you guys mind sharing what you feed your hedgies? I know there's no, single, "perfect" diet, but seeing what other people feed will help to to figure out what to feed my little guy based on what I can get locally(Pet Supplies Plus has just about everything, thank goodness!).
 

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General consensus is that a mix of several high quality cat foods supplemented with insects and other treats (chicken, scrambled eggs, fruits, veggies, etc.) is the best diet we can offer right now. We don't know a lot about what hedgehog nutrition requirements are, so it's best to feed a variety and hope to cover all the bases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks LizardGirl!

Okay...I know ya'll are going to kill me for overloading the systerm, but tonight I went a bit crazy with the camera and took 1 too many pics... :roll:

To start, here's my favorite of all the pics... :lol:


The poor little guys is moody because he's quilling.


"Leave me alone! Huff!"


Doesn't he know that when he puffs up like that it only makes him look CUTER?! :mrgreen:

Having a new toy seemed to cheer him up though, lol


Such a handsome boy!


Neeko loves his mommy! :D


Trying to make a run for it(right off the edge of the bed! :eek:




Okay, all done. Sorry for so many pics. :oops:
 

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Mommyofmany, those pictures are so cute, I love the first one I can see why it is your favourite. Out of curiosity does your dog eat orijen? (assuming you are in canada). I work in a healthy dog and cat food store so I know all about pet food too. Quigley is on Wellness and Fellidae, I'm thinking of adding another and I know lots of people feed chicken soup for the soul but I can't find it. He gets 1 tbls (about 10grams) of felidae, and 1/2 tbls of wellness. He also eats crickets and meal worms and cooked meat on the rare occasion that it is in the house.

The only health problems I can fore see with good quality cat food is that much of it is very high in protein and fat. Fat causes fatty liver disease and a rich diet could cause liver and kidney problems. So if these people didn't pick the food carefully and didn't feed a mix then it is possible that they hedgehog became very sick with liver and kidney disease. When Quigley had his first vet check up the vet told me that I'd done a good job with getting him switched onto healthier foods. This vet is also an expert in animal nutrition according to his web site. He also seemed in pressed with Quigley's general health.
 

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Awwww, you have very cute hedgie!

Right now, my boy is on a variety of Wellness Healthy Weight, Natural Balance Green Pea and Duck, and Solid Gold Katz-n-Flocken.

My reasoning to chose these 3, is because all their main ingredient is different, so that gives me chicken, duck, and lamb, which to me is a nice variety of different foods. If I ever do plan to add in another food(yay for owning a cat too, who will share in the food lol) I'd probably try something fish based, though would keep that at a minimal. But for right now, I like my current mix.

Of course, my guy also gets mealies, cooked meats(chicken, seafood), and some fruits. He's more enticed by the natural sweetness of fruits, so he'd rather eat that than veggies. So I also add GrapeNuts cereal to his kibble, but I'll be switching to infant rice cereal when he's done with that, as he doesn't like to eat the grapenuts
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
hedgielover said:
Out of curiosity does your dog eat orijen? (assuming you are in canada).
I'm in Ohio(US), lol. I used to feed our dog Merrick, but she was having some food allergy problems, so I switched her to Canidae(Lamb and Rice). It's not quite as expensive as the Merrick food, but it still stings when we have to buy a new bag. :lol:

Immortalia said:
Natural Balance Green Pea and Duck
I've heard great things about that food and that hedgies LOVE it! I'll have to check my local pet store and see if they have any! :mrgreen:

What fruits/veggies do you guys feed? I have sugar gliders so I've always got a plentiful supply of fruits and veggies in the fridge, but I'm not sure which ones to offer Neeko.
 

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Once Neeko is settled in, you can start trying a small bit of one fruit at a time. Things like apple, banana, berries, etc. are all fine to offer. Don't feed citrus, grapes, or any dried fruits (can get caught in the roof of their mouth). If you do a search in Diet and Nutrition there are a few threads that have lists of suitable fruits & veggies.

It's important to try one food at a time, to avoid stomach upsets (which are common with new foods) and to narrow down what it was if Neeko has any problems with something offered.
 

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Neeko is adorable!!

My hedgies eat By Nature Organics Chicken, Blue Buffalo Spa Lite (I think thats what it is), and I just started them on Nature Balance Green Pea and Duck yesterday.
Not sure of their thoughts on the green pea and duck yet. I'm hoping they will like it.
I'm planning on taking them off the blue buffalo stuff, they don't seem to care for it and my little Wicca can't eat some of it. seems to be to hard for her.
 
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