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Hi! I'm new to hedgies. :)

2798 Views 16 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Shelbys Mom
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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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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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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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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