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Thread: Food type ideas

  1. #1

    Food type ideas

    Does anyone have any food brands that they use that don't have any corn fillers in them? I only have two brands of food and I'd like to mix at least three types of food for my first hedgie. I was wondering if about 30% protein and around 10-12% fat is an appropriet diet for a hedgehog, would that be ok? I am pretty new to owning hedghogs so any suggestions on how I can keep my hedgie happy and healthy would be great. DIY cages ideas, name ideas for my hedgehog. Is sunseed sunscripton hedgehog food good as a supplemental food for hedgehogs? What are you thoughts on Castor and Pollux Natural Ultra mix indoor formula cat food and Natural Balance L.I.D Green Pea and chicken formula? Both foods have over 30% protein and under 13% fat, are they ok to feed? Also toys, what types of toys do your hedgehogs like to play with?
    Last edited by hedgehogjunkie0998; 01-21-2012 at 04:24 PM.

  2. #2
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    Check out our articles section (Click Hedgehog Info in the top bar) to read some articles on hedgehog feeding. While you don't want to feed them absolute crap (almost all fillers with no identifiable meats) you also don't want to go with a rich super high quality food with no fillers in it. Hedgehogs fed too rich of a diet are prone to liver damage and failure, so make sure you don't get the food TOO high of quality. As far as the specific food brands, I don't have them in front of me so I can't create an opinion. Cage ideas can be found in our articles section as well. Toys can be almost anything that a hedgehog can push, pull, carry, climb on, or crawl under as long as it doesn't have sharp edges, gaps that the hedgehog (or any parts of a hedgehog) can get stuck in, or small pieces that can fall off. The old trusty toilet paper tube is a huge hit with many hedgehogs.
    Becca

  3. #3

  4. #4
    *The following is my opinion, based on over 16 years of owning hedgehogs and at least 8 years of breeding them*

    The corn filler isn't a problem. Actually, I worry about the foods without the fillers. Like Becca said, hedgehogs have problems digesting foods that are too rich because they can't break down the complex proteins. Then they get obese and get fatty liver disease.

    I don't follow the 30% protein blah blah blah that your read that they should have. There is no set guide and no official study on this. Furthermore, many of the people who are writing these food guides for their sites love their obese hedgehogs. And obese hedgehogs have fatty liver......... although a hedgehog does not have to be obese to have fatty liver....... which is why you want to be really careful about what you feed.

    K
    Kelly Sosik-Hamor
    Hamor Hollow Hedgehogs, a New Hampshire breeder
    Do you want to buy a baby Hedgehog? Ask me if they are available |
    Hedgehog World

  5. #5
    There actually WAS a study done, back in the mid to late 90s by Dr. Wendy Graffam at the Bronx Zoo... I'd have saved a copy of the data if I'd thought ahead about links getting taken down, which is what happened. I also went to a seminar presented by the author, who told me that the way I was feeding my hedgies was very much in line with what the research showed (and all of us who are on staff at Hedgehog World pretty much follow the same format for feeding, though we may use different brands or exact ways of getting their needs met). I also consulted with Dr. Griffin, a PhD animal nutritionist who was helping to develop the Mazuri zoo diet for insectivores, and he said the same thing. The biggest thing that Dr. Graffam (and Dr. Griffin) pointed out again and again and again is that hedgehogs need FIBER in their diet. In the wild, they get the fiber from insect chitin. In captivity, Dr. Graffam demonstrated that plant fiber can be utilized by hedgehogs in the same exact way. They need something like 15% fiber in their diet or they can't process the fats and proteins appropriately. So that corn that isn't good for cats is, like Kelly pointed out, good for hedgehogs. The high protein, low fiber, nutrient dense foods that are awesome for cats are not so good for hedgehogs.

    Tig

    Quote Originally Posted by HamorHollow View Post
    *The following is my opinion, based on over 16 years of owning hedgehogs and at least 8 years of breeding them*

    The corn filler isn't a problem. Actually, I worry about the foods without the fillers. Like Becca said, hedgehogs have problems digesting foods that are too rich because they can't break down the complex proteins. Then they get obese and get fatty liver disease.

    I don't follow the 30% protein blah blah blah that your read that they should have. There is no set guide and no official study on this. Furthermore, many of the people who are writing these food guides for their sites love their obese hedgehogs. And obese hedgehogs have fatty liver......... although a hedgehog does not have to be obese to have fatty liver....... which is why you want to be really careful about what you feed.

    K

  6. #6
    Good info, Thanks Tig!
    Kelly Sosik-Hamor
    Hamor Hollow Hedgehogs, a New Hampshire breeder
    Do you want to buy a baby Hedgehog? Ask me if they are available |
    Hedgehog World

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nannyogg View Post
    There actually WAS a study done, back in the mid to late 90s by Dr. Wendy Graffam at the Bronx Zoo... I'd have saved a copy of the data if I'd thought ahead about links getting taken down, which is what happened. I also went to a seminar presented by the author, who told me that the way I was feeding my hedgies was very much in line with what the research showed (and all of us who are on staff at Hedgehog World pretty much follow the same format for feeding, though we may use different brands or exact ways of getting their needs met). I also consulted with Dr. Griffin, a PhD animal nutritionist who was helping to develop the Mazuri zoo diet for insectivores, and he said the same thing. The biggest thing that Dr. Graffam (and Dr. Griffin) pointed out again and again and again is that hedgehogs need FIBER in their diet. In the wild, they get the fiber from insect chitin. In captivity, Dr. Graffam demonstrated that plant fiber can be utilized by hedgehogs in the same exact way. They need something like 15% fiber in their diet or they can't process the fats and proteins appropriately. So that corn that isn't good for cats is, like Kelly pointed out, good for hedgehogs. The high protein, low fiber, nutrient dense foods that are awesome for cats are not so good for hedgehogs.

    Tig
    Even though I'm totally new to Hedgehogs (picked ours up yesterday) I figured my first post could be a useful one. I'm a research scientist so I have access to a lot of journals, so I went ahead and sourced the above mentioned study done by Wendy Graffam. Feel free to save a copy from my dropbox folder. Hope it's helpful to anyone interested.

    Fiber Digestion in the African White-Bellied Hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris)

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