Nutrition Overview | Diet Recommendations | Diet During Transition | Hedgehog Food Comparison
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Diet During Transition

Our Blend

  • Millermeade Farms uses a blend of three different foods in our staple diet plus a supplemental food for mothers with babies and weanling babies going to new homes.
  • Spike’s Delite Hedgehog Food (described in our Diet Recommendations guide) is the one food that never changes in our diet.
  • Our current high quality cat food of choice is Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul Lite made by Diamond Pet Products.  This holistic food is made from quality ingredients and is very reasonably priced.
  • Special Kitty cat food is what I would consider the hedgehog version of “French fries” in our mix.  Our hedgehogs love the taste of this food and will often pick it out of the mix first but I’m not convinced that the nutritional properties of this food make it the best food choice.  Keep in mind just because they love the taste doesn’t mean it is the best food for them.  This food was designed with cats in mind.  More cat food options are discussed below. 
  • Mink-Gro Fur/ Select Diet has proven to be an excellent booster food for animals in transition into new homes.  Once the small bag you purchase is gone you will not need to purchase any more. More information about this product is in our Diet Recommendations guide.
  • Hedgie 1st Crumbs is a new food currently being developed by Pet-Pro Products.  We are testing this food in hopes to replace the Mink-Gro Fur food in our diet plan.
  • It is always a good idea to switch foods gradually to ensure your hedgehog is accepting of the new food.
  • We provide our customers with the opportunity to purchase Spike’s Delite and Select Diet (or 1st Crumbs) and we strongly encourage each of our hedgehog customers to do so.  We will have you sign a note on your receipt if you choose not to purchase these foods.  We want you to acknowledge that you understand the potential problems that you may encounter and that you are willing to accept these risks of not following our transition suggestions if you choose not to purchase these foods.

Transition From Our Home To Your Home - Food

  • Baby hedgehogs in transition to new homes are subject to “shipping” stress.  Shipping stress occurs in all types of animals and can occur at any age.
  • The most common problems during shipping stress are diarrhea, or loose stools, and/or not eating.
  • The use of Milk Specialties’ Mink Gro-Fur or “Select Diet” along with the same diet we use here has virtually eliminated these problems. 
  • We suggest starting out with about 1 TBSP of Spike’s Delite or your Spike’s Delite and cat food mix plus about a 1 tsp of the Select Diet on top. 
  • You may need to adjust the amount of food you give to your hedgehog depending on its activity level.
  • You can increase the amount of Select Diet for a hedgehog with loose stool or one that isn’t as inclined to eat right away.  The amount of Select Diet should be cut back as soon as the hedgehog starts eating well and having firm bowl movements.
  • You don’t want your hedgehog to become dependent on this food because it is only a temporary part of your diet.

Determining How Much to Feed Your New Pet

  • We use what may best be described as daily monitored feeding.
  • We recommend that you give your adult hedgehog only enough food so that it is completely gone or almost gone the same time the next day.  This will be 1 Tablespoon to ¼ cup depending on your hedgehog and the quality of food.
  • Most babies won’t eat a full tablespoon of the mix (or Spike’s alone) plus the Select diet. Until your baby is through transition and you learn its eating habits it is o.k. to give it a little extra food.
  • Check how quickly your hedgehog eats all of its food.  If you feed your new hedgehog in the evening and it acts hungry in the morning give it a little more food.

When to Feed Your Hedgehog

  • Hedgehogs are typically diurnal (awake during dusk and dawn) to nocturnal animals.  Wild hedgehogs typically spend most of their awake-time hunting for food.
  • We feed our animals in the morning because that is what our schedule allows.  Our animals know the routine and are very well adjusted.  Most of our hedgehogs come out and take a nibble of their favorite part of the mix and then go back to sleep and eat the rest in the evening.
  • Other hedgehog owners find that evening feeding works well for them and it certainly doesn’t hurt hedgehogs to adjust them to a new routine.
  • Moist or wet food or treats should only be left in the cage about four hours to prevent spoilage so keep that in mind when developing a routine.
  • Your hedgehog will adjust to feeding at any time during the day or evening but it is important to be consistent in that you feed at the same time every day.

Determining If Your Hedgehog Is Eating Enough

  • It is very common for hedgehogs to eat very little the first day or two in its new home.
  • Using the transition food and maintaining the same diet will certainly help your new hedgehog adjust more quickly.
  • Leaving your hedgehog’s wheel out for the first day or two will also help in the transition.
  • Hedgehogs will eat different amounts depending on their stage in growth, metabolism, activity level, and quality of food.  Unfortunately there isn’t an exact amount that will tell you how much is enough.
  • Monitoring what comes out of your hedgehog is a good way to determine what is going into your hedgehog.  The color, smell, and shape of a bowl movement can give you clues as to exactly what your hedgehog has been eating.
  • Every parent knows that a good-sized, well-formed bowl movement is a good sign of a healthy body.
  • Teeny-tiny and hard little deposits are a sign that your hedgehog may not be eating and drinking enough, but something is obviously better than nothing.

Transition From Our Home To Your Home - Water

  • Hedgehogs, like most other animals, need access to fresh, clean water.
  • Almost every home has slightly different tasting water. 
  • Our water here is going to have a unique smell and taste compared to your water.
  • Some hedgehogs have a hard time adjusting to different tasting water especially if it is highly chlorinated.
  • We recommend using bottled water, filtered, or purified water.  This type of water has a more “neutral” taste. 
  • A comparison to my own drinking preferences is that I personally like Coca Cola and I will drink several if they are sitting in front of me.  On the other hand I hate Diet Coke and I would rather go thirsty than drink it.  I will drink almost any other flavor of beverage (other than cola) if Coke is not available.
  • A hedgehog that is not inclined to drink may be stimulated by adding 50% Gatorade to the water.  One should offer both plain and flavored water so that the hedgehog has a choice.
  • All of our hedgehogs use a water bottle.  Some people choose to offer water in a dish as another method to increase water consumption but we have never needed to do so with our hedgehogs.