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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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is a little "special"
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4,131 Posts
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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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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.

xoxo
 

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is a little "special"
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4,131 Posts
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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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
no luck cilantro or parsley :(
 

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is a little "special"
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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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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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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Betta Bomb
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5,202 Posts
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 :p Have you ever found silkworms or the like?
 

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is a little "special"
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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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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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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is a little "special"
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4,131 Posts
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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Zoo Keeper
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1,367 Posts
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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Rodentologist
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No, hay isn't approprite for hedgehogs. They're omnivores, not grazing vegetarians.
 

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Zoo Keeper
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um hamsters are also omnivorous and it is fine for them not only grazing vegetarians eat hay not saying hedgehogs can have it but no need to attack me especially with a lack of facts


Here is a list of most of the commercially prepared "Hedgehog Foods":
1. Spike's Delight Hedgehog foods (all formulas)
2. Sunseed Hedgehog food
3. Brisky's Hedgehog foods
4. 8in1 Ultra Hedgehog food
5. L'Avian Hedgehog food
6. Hedgehog Complete by Exotic Nutrition

7. Pretty Pets hedgehog food
8. Zoofare insectavore
9. Mazuri insectavore
10. Brown's Zoo Vital
11. Vitakraft

Now the first six on the list are ok to feed an African Hedgehog. Most experts agree
to mix several types of high quality, high protein, low fat cat foods / Hedgehog foods. It is also recommended to feed a variety of treats such as live insects, lean cooked meat, fresh fruit, and vegetables. So let's discuss why the last five products on the list should be avoided in African Hedgehog diets. These products may be great for other types of hedgehog but for African Hedgehogs they are not a good choice. Pretty Pet's hedgehog food contains very little nutritional content. It may be ok as a treat but should be considered "junk food". Zoofare and Mazuri contain artificial preservatives and/or softening agents which have been linked to all kinds of health problems. Brown's Zoo Vital and Vitakraft actually may be very good for European Hedgehogs but contain ingredients which are extreme health
risks to African Hedgehogs. Things like seeds and raisins are choking hazards and have resulted in African Hedgehog deaths. The best way to insure you are choosing a healthy African Hedgehog diet is to learn the nutritional requirements of the African Hedgehog. And then READ THE LABEL of the food you are considering feeding your hedgie. Knowledge is the key when choosing a food to add to your
African Hedgehog's diet.

Our hedgehogs get hedgehog food for about 50% of their diet, insects for 20%, cat food for 20%, and fruits and veggies as treats for 10%. For fruits they like bananas, apples, mangos, etc. Veggies: carrots, squash, corn, etc

I'd try coating something with high fiber with something they like
 

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Rodentologist
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1,941 Posts
Actually our vet advises against it. Their digestive systems aren't designed to process effectivey (so they don't receive any real nutritional benefit from it) and it poses a risk to them in the form of injuring the cheek pouches when they try to hoard it. Unfortunately, just because an animal eats something or even likes it doesn't make it nutritionally appropriate or safe for them.
 

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is a little "special"
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4,131 Posts
I don't think Jennicat was attacking you, Elliriyanna. :) Hammies are built differently than hedgies though: Hamsters have rodent teeth, obviously, but hedgies have sharp more cat-like teeth, so hay wouldn't be very appropriate for them.

 

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Zoo Keeper
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1,367 Posts
No I was just saying hay is not only for vegetarians. Have you tried other cat foods or filler free small breed dog food? though the protein levels are different. Also apparently they make commercial chinchilla diets
 
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