Picky hedgehog needs more fiber! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
Hedgehog Discussion Huffing & puffing, curious noses, balls of quills, and all else hedgie.

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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-21-2011, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Picky hedgehog needs more fiber!

Hey hedgehog experts! I have had 3 hedgehogs in my life, the current one is a plump african pygmy pinto hedgehog girl. Her name is Izzie

I fear that I have conditioned her to be a picky eater. Thus, the vet has asked me to cut down on the fat and protein and offer fruits, veggies and leaner insects.

The problem is, she doesn't touch anything I have given her. I have tried:
bananas
mushroom
peas
corn
berries (blue, rasp, black)
pear
lettuce
cabbage
broccoli

She will only eat:
Iams kitten chow
Blue Kitten chow
mealworms from the can.

I have tried putting nothing out except these fruits and veggies, but even this has not gotten her to try them. I worry about making her ill if I continued this method for a longer period of time.

She is not that overweight, she weighs a pound and quarter-ounce, however Vet makes an excellent point: she is an omnivore, and in the wild, she would gladly munch on mushrooms and berries. Therefore, I must provide these options in her diet.

Does anyone have any suggestions for either finding an interesting tasting/smelling food she might try, or a method for forcing her to try them?

Your hog expertise is appreciated!

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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 05:06 PM
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Hi!


I don't know all that much about hedgie diets (I've done some research though!), but I can help you out with the buggies a little. Mealworms are one of the fattiest insects out there, and they have next to no nutrition so replacing them with another insect might help. I'm not entirely sure what bugs hedgies will eat, but dubia roaches, Phoenix worms, hornworms, and silk worms are LOT less fatty than mealies. Superworms are still a bit on the fatty side, but they are much more nutritious and meatier than mealies. Crickets aren't very fattening either, but they have a lot of exoskeleton once they are adults so they don't have as much nutrition.


Live food is also a lot better and more nutritious than pre-killed bugs, because pre-killed and freeze dried bugs aren't usually gut loaded before they are killed.


Hope my bug expertise helps a little, LOL!



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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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hey thank you! I forgot about having different bug options. I am slightly confused as to the difference between mealworms and superworms..
you said I should get them live, which could be a possibility, but when I buy them in a can, the only difference I see between mealworms and superworms is the size... you know better than I do, is there a definite difference?

Interesting that the bigger ones have less fat
she halfway likes the little crickets, and doesn't really go for the grasshoppers unless I pull off the abdomen and give her that only.

I did try parsley and cilantro tonight, and so far it looks like she checked them out, we shall see tomorrow morning if she eats them.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 07:15 PM
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They are a different species- Superworms actually have a lot less exoskeleton than mealworms, and they turn into bigger beetles too. There are also giant mealworms, but those are actually mealworms that are pumped with growth hormones so that they grow unnaturally large. Superworms get big without any "help".
All crickets have the same amount of fat, but the larger crix have a lower meat:shell ratio, cause of their wings and stuff. I hope that makes sense, LOL.



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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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no luck cilantro or parsley

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 06:27 PM
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Hmm. Maybe she has more of a sweet tooth? My lizard and rabbit will go nuts for anything sugary. Can they have squash?



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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 02:08 PM
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quit spoiling her, she will eat what you give her when she is hungry. You are the parent, and you shouldn't let her dictate her diet.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeagleGuyScott View Post
quit spoiling her, she will eat what you give her when she is hungry. You are the parent, and you shouldn't let her dictate her diet.
I dont think it's that simple, it may be for your hedgehog, but some hedgehogs like mine are just picky eaters and will refuse new food, even trying it. Nothing to date has worked, so, i'm not spoiling her, i am feeding her.

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 05:34 PM
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Has anything worked yet? What about luck on other bugs? I had no idea hedgies ate live things!! lol, guess I'll never have one Have you ever found silkworms or the like?
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 08:05 PM
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With some animals, "tough love" isn't as easy as it sounds.
From what I'm aware of, hedgies don't need much veggies in their diet anyways.



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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-14-2011, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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SHe def. loves little crickets and all kinds of worms (thanks purple hops), but no plants, no fruits, nothing with fiber. I am giving her a small amount in her dish in the evening (as opposed to how I used to do it, leaving lots of food and filling up when it runs low), so I am restricting how much she eats.. eh.
I dont think she's very fat anymore.. I'll have to weigh her to see but she looks healthier to me now.

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-15-2011, 04:07 PM
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I know people coat crickets in calcium dust before feeding, can you do that with a pysllium fibre powder to up her fibre?
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-15-2011, 05:13 PM
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I know I mentioned this in the chat box, but throwing her veggies and her regular food in a food processer might help, because she won't be able to pick out her "favorites" if it's all blended together. I used to do that for Wink, and I know a ton of other people do that for their beardies, because they will pick out the squash/carrot/other fave food out of their salads and leave the greens otherwise. I wouldn't recommend throwing buggies in the blender though, that won't be fun to clean up after.



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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-15-2011, 08:48 PM
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gotta love the immaturity

Timothy hay is a popular choice with most small animals I have never had a hedgehog but would this be an option? Or alfalfa pellets?

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-15-2011, 09:11 PM
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No, hay isn't approprite for hedgehogs. They're omnivores, not grazing vegetarians.

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