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Rodentologist
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1,941 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
I know it's only only "for" vegetarians. As I clarified, a wide variety of animals can eat it, but hay is primarily roughage fiber -- that is, grazing animals have been evolved to break it down effectively and get the few nutrients in it that are available (which is why rabbits and guinea pigs are cecotropes -- they literally have to digest it twice to manage any nutrients from it).

For animals that aren't evolved to digest this nutrient poor roughage, it basically goes in one end and out the other. In terms of nutrition, you might as well be feeding them styrofoam.

I'm not sure why you're offended that people are contradicting your advice when you first admit you know nothing about hedgehogs. The chinchilla food you suggest is also primarily hay and not appropriate for hedgehogs.

Look at it this way, guinea pigs also need protein. You would never suggest feeding them cat food because it's full of meat -- which they aren't designed to digest. All protein, fiber, etc, is not created equal. People need fiber too but nobody is suggesting you chow down on hay. :p
 

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Zoo Keeper
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1,367 Posts
I put a list of hedgehog foods not chinchilla foods

I meant to say commercial hedgehog foods I made a typo. I was prob reading something about Chinchilla sand we've all done that.
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Thanks everyone but I FOUND A HAPPY BALANCE for little (or should I say semi-chubby) Izzie!!!

Most cat foods (which is what I feed her) have about 3% or 5% max crude fiber, which is healthy and normal for healthy and normal cats.

There are however weight loss foods and HAIRBALL help foods out there for cats too, which have more fiber to help do what they claim to do!

Interestingly, the highest fiber content came from a hairball help cat food instead of a weight control food... it had 10% crude fiber. This was the highest percentage I could find within the appropriate foods for Izzie (no kitty food with seafood, etc).

So I spent a pretty penny and got Izzie Science Diet Indoor with extra fiber for hairballs.. It's not for kittens so the food is a little bit bigger, But I watched her crunch away at it and now she prefers this food to the other foods! I also feed her Blue Buffalo and Iams Kitten. She has a great variety, which now includes FIBER!!!!!!

I hate to discuss poops, but her system has already adjusted and she is pooping like a champion. She used to have slightly mushy poops due to lack of fiber, but now they are nice big brown and not mushy at all...Makes cleanup easier too!!

Now, How do I get my hedgehog to stop pooping and peeing in her wheel?? hahaha
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
FOr some reason, I did not see all the posts about other foods.

I keep reading that commercial hedgehog foods are not good.. for whatever reason, I want to err on the side of caution and not accidentally feed her something that will make her fatter, make her tummy upset, or that might get stuck in the roof of her mouth. As per the internet experts, no one agrees on an okay hhog food for african pygmies (that I can see) So I'm staying with bugs and cat food.

I really really really want her to eat fruits and veggies. But honestly it's getting annoying cutting up something for her, and it just goes to waste. Many people say, some hedgehogs are just so picky that they refuse anything but what they are used to. Despite the fact that she probably would love bananas or berries or cilantro, she just refuses to try them.

I hope the Science Diet is appropriate.. It was very high fiber, but also has chicken byproduct meal.. can't seem to win. ugh!
 

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Zoo Keeper
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1,367 Posts
For my kitten I am going to be using Blue buffalo it has a great ingredient list you may want to take a look at it.
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
For my kitten I am going to be using Blue buffalo it has a great ingredient list you may want to take a look at it.
Yes, I chose Blue to be part of Izzie's diet because of the completeness of the nutrients. If it's that good for cats, then ****, must be good for hhogs too.
 

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Zoo Keeper
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I thought you said you were using science diet.
 

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is a little "special"
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4,131 Posts
I also feed her Blue Buffalo and Iams Kitten. She has a great variety, which now includes FIBER!!!!!!


She said she was feeding Iams and Blue Buffalo earlier. ;)
 

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Resident Zoologist
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262 Posts
Although Erinaceids are omnivorous, they are mainly insectivorous, so higher protein, very low fat, as well as some fruits, etc (try to be as locality-specific as possible). Earthworms and grubs are an excellent choice for the former part of the diet.
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Although Erinaceids are omnivorous, they are mainly insectivorous, so higher protein, very low fat, as well as some fruits, etc (try to be as locality-specific as possible). Earthworms and grubs are an excellent choice for the former part of the diet.
Is it okay to dig up worms? I keep hearing that we are not supposed to go out and catch bugs and worms from the wild because there are pesticides and whatnot that could harm her.
 

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is a little "special"
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Yeah, I wouldn't catch wild bugs. They can have nasty parasites too.
 

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Resident Zoologist
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262 Posts
Is it okay to dig up worms? I keep hearing that we are not supposed to go out and catch bugs and worms from the wild because there are pesticides and whatnot that could harm her.
Yes and no....it really depends on where you are harvesting. For years, I harvested earthworms for my fish and reptiles, but it was from land that I knew to be pesticide-free for decades.

That being said, you can start a vermicomposter....a great way to compost and rear your own, safe worms year-round.
 

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she-mayor of Whoville
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289 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Yes and no....it really depends on where you are harvesting. For years, I harvested earthworms for my fish and reptiles, but it was from land that I knew to be pesticide-free for decades.

That being said, you can start a vermicomposter....a great way to compost and rear your own, safe worms year-round.
Hmm interesting idea. I'm in chicago so I doubt any land around here is safe. But this vermicomposter thing .. I'll have to look that one up and see if I could do it!
 
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