What should I feed my hedgehog?-
Hedgehogs should be fed a protien based diet that is relatively low in fat. Many breeders recommend a diet based on one or more brands of good quality cat food supplemented with various treats.
How much should my hedgehog eat?-
The average adult hedgehog will eat between 1-3 tablespoons of food per day. This varies widely though, so you should offer as much as your hedgehog wants to eat unless there is a medical reason not to.
Why cat food and not hedgehog food?-
Simply because of the quality of the nutrition offered. There hasn't been much formal research done on hedgehog nutrition, therefore some companies have found that they can get away with packaging almost anything, putting a hedgehog picture on the front, and selling it as a healthy hedgehog diet. One of these brands includes such things as puffed wheat, rolled oats, and raisins, it sounds more like a human's breakfast cereal than a food for an insectivore, but it is one of the top selling brands in the country. Most brands of hedgehog foods are inappropriate for a complete hedgehog diet, and some of the better ones are still lower quality than a decent cat food. As well, high quality cat foods are more available, less expensive, and often better tasting to the hedgehogs.
If I need to change my hedgehog's diet, how should I do it?-
It is a very good idea to do any major changes to an animals diet gradually. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with the old food, and gradually increase the amount of the new food. If you are adding multiple new foods to the diet, add one food at a time, allow the hedgehog to get used to the new food for a few days, and then start gradually mixing the second new food into the diet. If you notice very runny, smelly, or off colored poops, reduce the amount of the new food for a couple of days to let the hedgehogs' digestive tract readjust.