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Only vote AFTER reading and understanding the below post. Your hedgie ate:

  • I will not be participating but am interested in the results.

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  • In a random manner where I could not get a good idea.

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  • The same amount of food regardless of how it was presented.

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! I am doing a little unofficial study on how hedgie's food intake varies from how the kibble is presented. Please read below what I am looking for, and how you can help. Please only vote when you feel you have a good idea on how your hedgie reacted!

I am hoping for some of our hedgie owners to participate in this study. It should take 2-5 weeks, depending on how familiar you already are with your hedgie's habits. Try to avoid any diet changes or other things that may significantly affect how much your hedgie eats.

First, you must know what is "normal" intake for your hedgie, eating his normal food in the regular whole kibble. If you already count kibble, please keep the average of how many pieces and what food it is on hand. If you don't know how many kibble is normal, I would recommend starting counting each night for two weeks and take the average. I would like specific answers so our method of measuring will be by 'kibble'.

Whatever the average eaten is, get him/her used to having that amount plus 15 offered nightly. This makes it much easier to count than a whole bowl.

Once you know what your hedgie's average nightly intake is and it is fairly stable, you start "cutting" the food.

Cutting the food: I've found that crushing gives you more useless powder than edible bits, so I have started cutting each kibble in half/thirds/quarters depending on the size. I use regular scissors (somewhat nice ones, crappy kids scissors might not work as well because of the space between the blades) to cut each piece. Regular cat kibble usually gets cut once down the middle, larger cat kibble gets cut into thirds, and dog food usually gets fourths. This way they are all pretty much the same size.

That is what I would like you to do. Cut each piece in half or so and offer the food as normal. Then when you are counting, remember about how much of these crumbs made up each kibble to find out how many were eaten. I'd like people to record how much their hedgie is eating CUT food for 2 weeks, then WHOLE food for the last week again. If your hedgie seems to get stressed from this (I wouldn't expect it, but who knows) please don't continue whatever it is that is bothering them, and go back to normal.

Please do not vote on the poll until you have done all of the above. When you vote, also please reply with the kibble averages for whole and cut, as well as what the food is, the weight of your hedgie if you have it, average temperature if you have it, anything you can think of that might be useful for finding patterns. If you noticed anything in specific, please share. If you see that a food that seemed to not be popular whole is readily eaten in pieces, I'd like to hear what food it is and what shape the kibble is in.

I am seeing with Inky that when offered smaller pieces of the same kind of food, he will eat more.

Thank you for any responses! It's always fun to see what kind of results we can get from things like this. I am also curious if the large kibble sizes have anything to do with the frequent oral tumors pet hedgehogs get, but that would be more for vets to look into.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'd be great for people posting results to follow some sort of form. If those of you could stick to this it would be great. Thank you!

Hedgie's Name:
Age/Sex/Weight:
Average Room Temp:
Specific Food(s):
Notes:

Average whole kibble nightly intake:
Average cut kibble nightly intake:
How accurate you think this is and why:
Notes:
 

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I probably won't do this experiment but I just wanted to note that Harley does not eat his crumbs or small bits that have fallen on the floor or back into the food dish. From what I can see he only picks up whole kibble and is very selective about which type he eats when... sometimes rooting around for a specific flavour.
 

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Hmmm, I normally "whack" my Wellness kibbles in half anyways.... :lol:

Though last night, I kept them whole, and he ate 1 piece....Out of 30 So I am not doing that again... :?
I'll count tonight how many "halves" he eats, but he normally will eat about half of them.

his NB is not good to use, because he'll eat as many as I put in there, crushed or not :roll:
And last night, he ate 29/30

And his usual Solid Gold intake is 10/10

And I'll put it all neater for you later. I doubt this "experiment" will go on for long with him :lol:
 

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I'm looking forward to trying this now. Lily's food intake has been lower in the last several weeks than it was before, and I'm not sure if it's from difficulty eating the kibble or if she's just backed off on her appetite. I've been meaning to try cutting the kibble to see if she would eat more. I'll let you know when I get done with the experiment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone for the interest! I've already gotten several PMs about it.

Like I said, if it seems like your hedgie is not coping well PLEASE don't force them to eat their food any way but they're used to. I'm just curious if other hedgie are like Inky or if there is some sort of pattern. Not sure what to expect. :)
 

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leannem said:
I just wanted to note that Harley does not eat his crumbs or small bits that have fallen on the floor or back into the food dish. From what I can see he only picks up whole kibble and is very selective about which type he eats when... sometimes rooting around for a specific flavour.
Diva-hog says: whole kibbles only please!

Mine's like that too...
 

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Since I can't actually touch my hedgehogs for another 17 week, I can't do the actual experiment but I can tell what I have observed over the years.

Most hedgehogs will not eat crumbs and many will not eat the small pieces that break off as they are crunching. This is the same if you break them up. Somehow they seem to know it is broken and won't touch it.

Given the choice between full sized dry kibble and full sized kibble that has been dampened slightly with water, most will choose softer damp food. Of course some will rush out and eat the dampened kibble as soon as it's given. I never could understand what is up with that as it hasn't even had a chance to soften. All it is is wet. :? Others lick the water out of the bowl first and then wait for the kibble to get soft.

For those that have chewing issues, given the choice between softened kibble and hard RC baby cat, baby cat wins hands down and it's amazing how they can still manage to eat it no problem. :lol:

Most of the hedgehogs that have lived here over the years will not touch a pellet shaped kibble. I used to have Royal Canin as part of the mix and when they switched shapes from Y to flat circle, my gang quit eating it. Breaking up pellets or flat circles accomplishes nothing. It's crumbs and pieces which are YUCKY!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for your input Nancy! And you too, leannem, Immortalia, and smhufflepuff! It is so funny to see what little quirks and habits our hedgies have. :lol:
 

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I finished the first week and attached the chart.

Tonight's the first night of cut food. The Wellness did not cut well but the NB cut great. When he went to get his dinner tonight he looked in his bowl and seemed a little confused. Then he dug around in it and walked over to his bag of food that was next to his dinner blanket and sat down staring at it. He looked so pathetic I took a picture. I think he was wondering why he had been given a bowl of crumbs. Crumbs are for lesser creatures. He always has his bowl washed and crumbs magically removed by fairies when he gets up for his dinner. After nobody upgraded his food, he went and sat on my daughters homework in protest. :?
 

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Herisson said:

Crumbs are for lesser creatures. He always has his bowl washed and crumbs magically removed by fairies when he gets up for his dinner. After nobody upgraded his food, he went and sat on my daughters homework in protest. :?
:lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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Nancy said:
Given the choice between full sized dry kibble and full sized kibble that has been dampened slightly with water, most will choose softer damp food. Of course some will rush out and eat the dampened kibble as soon as it's given. I never could understand what is up with that as it hasn't even had a chance to soften. All it is is wet. :? Others lick the water out of the bowl first and then wait for the kibble to get soft.

For those that have chewing issues, given the choice between softened kibble and hard RC baby cat, baby cat wins hands down and it's amazing how they can still manage to eat it no problem. :lol:
That's very interesting. Quigley will not touch wet food. If he spills his water dish on his food that's it he won't eat it. He also will not eat canned food or baby food or meal worms that are on top of canned food (apparently they are contaminated, or he knows it's a trick to make him try the canned stuff) However he might fall into the chewing issues category as he is missing his top front teeth (the reason I tried the softer food in the first place) but I don't think so somehow; as I understand it front teeth are for grabbing and killing and back teeth are for chewing.
 

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Peaches was one that would never eat anything other than hard kibble in full shape. She wouldn't even eat an X shape if one of the sides was broken off. Crumbs, forget it! Dampened food, not a chance. Canned food, YUCK! She would wrinkle her nose and back away if I held a mealworm in front of her.

When she developed her gum overgrowth we fought nightly trying to syringe feed her. In the beginning she would wiggle and squirm and fight for each mouthful that I'm sure she was using every bit of food value in her struggle not to eat it. She'd gum the hard kibble until her gums bled rather than eat the horrid soft stuff. Finally she decided that baby cat was ok and she'd eat it but I still had to syringe her and it was many months before she actually allowed me to syringe her. Stubborn girl.
 

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I tried two nights of giving Lily cut food and she ate very little both nights...it was hard to count it all, but it was at least half of her usual. So I've aborted the experiment...Sorry I can't help out, but not much I can do to convince the princess. :roll: Hopefully others have better luck with this!
 

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Herisson is done with the experiment. :(

He had green, stress cigars tonight and was visibly upset at the re-appearance of last nights "crumbs". I gave him his "whole" food and he dove right in. I think he has established that he is a Prince and is above eating crumbs.
 

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I was just randomly wondering...

LG, had you always cut up Inky's food?
I know I've crushed/cut Shinjy's food from the very beginning, at least his Wellness. Just cause he was still a little baby and I felt bad giving him whole Wellness kibbles. After the first night, I've always broken them up for him. So, maybe that also has something to do with it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nope, it was just recently that I decided to see if he liked it better in small pieces. Looks like he's the odd hedgie out! :lol:

Susan, got your email. Sorry your boy didn't cope well with that! I'm glad you are deciding to go back to normal, for his sake. It does help a lot to hear how he reacted. :)
 
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