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Old 05-23-2011, 03:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My New Hedgie.. & a few questions.

Okay, I just got my sweet Norma Jean on the 5th of this month.


I have a few pictures to show my setup and the products I have been using.. I have a few questions & any advice or tips would be extremely helpful and appreciated.

Her cage is the My First Home Extra Large.
I previously had her cage setup like this but it seemed like she didnt like climbing the ramp I had & the shelf was as low as it could go so I ended up removing it... should I try adding the shelf again? doing something different with the ramp? I think she has enough room but I know more is better (the cage was only on the middle of the floor because I was setting it up):

This is her current set up (I plan on getting some fleece for liners my next pay check now that we are getting the hang of things, I was using paper towels but she rarely has accidents outside the box and they were more of a hassle & also the aspen was far too messy and she seemed to not like it getting caught in her quills and feet either):

I dont see her taking too much interest in her toys other than the two i store treats in.. is that just her personality or will she eventually do so? Should I try other things? She seemed not interested in toilet paper rolls as well.any tips on getting her to play?.. or possibly it just takes time. she does seem to like hiding under the stuffed animals. The water bowl & food dish are great, never tip over.

She loves getting this open for her treats!

My dad made this warm for winter/cold for summer hide for her:

it comes apart like so:
first the lid lifts up

then the wood frame lifts.. shown below without blankets too

when its cooler in the house i plug in the heating pad which is attached to the floor of the hide:

for when it was cooler i would put one of the cloths as a liner like this, but i am wondering if for the summer if i should not do this so the stone feels cooler?

These are the products I am currently using:

Are the products above good for the cleaning of the cage as well as diet? Is there a better cleaner that is safe out there or are these wipes ok? I have heard so many numerous diet plans and all the different conflicting information was overwhelming and I was told by the person I purchased Norma from to only use the Hedgehog diet shown above and never cat food. Also I am running low on the treats shown and wanting to switch to the freeze dried crickets.. what are some opinions on treats?

Her cage is near a window, it does not give her direct sunlight so it wont overheat her area but does light up my room so during the day I open the shade for her.. I have seem many people use heating lights but my dad who is an ex firefighter is fearful of those and preferred me to use the heating pad.

As far as handling, I handle her every day, If I work I handle her when I am home and before bed, on my days off I keep her with me around the house often on top of the time we spend before bed, I have also brought her on car trips twice which she seems to enjoy climbing in my hoodie and causing mischief and can be fun... Is it ok that i handle her often or is it too much? I dont want to ruin her sleep cycle but I have read that it is okay to wake them and carry them with you.


I know this is quite long & I appreciate you reading.... Thank you so much for the help!
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My New Hedgie.. & a few questions.

Also.. She is currently quilling... I have used aveno oatmeal baths which seem to help her as well as used oil once.. seemed less helpful but ok. Anyway I am wondering If there is a way because she is quilling of guessing how old she is approximately?
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My New Hedgie.. & a few questions.

If you want to try the ramp and platform again, you need to find a way to block it off. Hedgehogs have bad eyesight so they can easily fall off ledges and hurt themselves.

As for getting her to be more playful... Some hedgehogs just are not very playful. You could try hiding food in different places around her house, and just keep trying new toys. Every hedgie is different and they all have their preferences.

Heating pads are not suggested because they can burn your hedgie's feet if it gets too hot.
Also, what bedding are you using, and what kind of a heat source?
You could use fleece and fleece scraps to keep his sleeping place warm.
Most people here use fleece/flannel liners as bedding.

Ultra bites are not recommended for the following reasons:
1) I believe they have raisins in it, which can easily get stuck to the roof of their mouths.
2) Nuts are a choking hazard
3) Corn is not good for them and can cause digestive problems.

I have no idea what the hedgehog insectivore diet contains. Could you list the ingredients and nutritional analysis?

The wipes should be okay as long as you are making sure that it is 100% dry before putting your hedgehog back in there.

EDIT:

How often did you bathe her? People recommend aveeno oatmeal bath (the kind that comes in powder) to help soften the skin so that the quills can more easily pierce through.
What oil were you putting on your hedgie? Remember, you don't want to overdo it.

Hedgehogs quill at 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 12 weeks and some also quill after 1 year.

EDIT x2:
The reason why we use ceramic heat emitters is that they keep the entire cage at a constant temperature. Heat pads do not heat the floor, just the wall/floor. Ceramic heat emitters are not a fire hazard if used properly. You have to get a thermostat with it so that it does not overheat. It willy turn on/off depending on how hot/cold the cage is so that it can keep the cage a steady temperature.
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My New Hedgie.. & a few questions.

Welcome to HHC! Your Norma Jean is ADORABLE!! I just love the picture of her.

Your Dad did a great job on that little house. It's very inventive! I wouldn't have thought of it. I do love how the top of the house comes off. In the summer, you could always put some fleece in there & let her decide if she wants to push it to the side & sleep on the tile. Wood's not the BEST choice, because it can harbor mites. That being said, I would personally use it, just because it took so much work to build & wouldn't worry about it unless/until there are mites.

A friend gave me some of the Ultra bites when we first got our Cholla. they have some seeds & dried fruit that you wouldn't want to give her. The dried fruit is a choking hazard.

There's lots of good info about food for your hedgie. Checking the ingredients is something that will help you make a decision. For example, in the "hedgehog" food you have, corn meal is probably pretty high up the ingredient list and the meat is probably processed. With some HIGH QUALITY cat food, you will see that the main ingredients are meat, veggies, other good things. Do your research on this & ask yourself what really makes sense. You can get something on the recommended list & mix it in even.

Mealworms are great snacks for hedgies. :P

And lastly, you want to be careful with your wheel. The slit in the middle can catch hedgie toenails while they run & rip them off. If you decide to keep the wheel, you will want to at least tape up the slit & any holes. But that will make cleaning more difficult. The Carolina Storm Wheel or Bucket wheel is the best/safest/easiest to clean wheel - in my opinion. If you can't get it now, it's always a good thing to save for.

I know it sounds like a lot. But you can do little bits at a time. For example, if you are going to add in another type of food, you would want to do that gradually anyway. It looks like you are well on your way to being a great hedgie owner! And it's obvious that you care about little Norma Jean a lot. I hope you two have lots of fun for a very, very long time.



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Old 05-23-2011, 06:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My New Hedgie.. & a few questions.

My dad has a point and shoot thermometer which I use to check the temperatures of the cage & heating pad the heating pad is a low wattage one.. used for hermit crabs & because the pad is stuck underneath the stone the temp gets perfect and not too hot, I also use a piece flannel to line it when plugged in as well as other pieces for her to snuggle of course. The entire hide, not just the floor (the point and shoot thermometer helps me see that from roof to ceiling the temperature is warmer than outside the hide), gets to about 80 to a bit over that when plugged in. the entire cage currently is at 78 degrees. I have bunches of flannel scraps, no loose strings of course!, I am using these temporarily until I get some fleece. i also have a fleece blanket that i cover half the cage when it is cooler in my room,the blanket is over the cooler side towards the window wall of my room.. to keep that side warmer while also letting the other half stay open for ventilation.

I will stop feeding the ultra bites immediately! I will switch right away to freeze dried mealies & crickets for treats.

Unfortunately the insectivore diet doesnt have an ingredient list.. I could try asking the owners of the store who told me to buy it.. I know it is what they feed their own hedgies so I am not too worried, but they actually told me not to use cat food because cats are carnivorous where hedgies are insectivores so it doesn't give them what they need.. but given that people on this site use the cat food I will look for something to switch her over to what are some recommended cat food brands/types or what single type do you use? The pet store by me has an enormous selection to choose from, i could probably spend hours looking for one with the right contents.

I certainly make sure after using the wipes that everything is dry before Norma goes back in.
I have only bathed her with the aveeno oatmeal twice and the small amount of regular olive oil once, other than that she has gotten some foot rinses here and there as needed.

The wood for the hide frame is clean, she has no mites & has had the cage for weeks now, it is actually her favorite place to be!
For the silent spinner.. I had no idea that little slit could be a problem for her, was actually told that was safe! but as for cleaning it is actually quite annoying for me because her poop gets in that little slit...glad to hear i have an excuse to spend money on a new one.. it will make my daily wheel scrub easier on me.. & safer for her! I will save up for a better one asap.


Thanks so much for the input and help! I really do care for her, I try to do as much research on my pets as possible as to give them a healthy happy long life with me. it seems unfortunately though that there is a lot of conflicting and wrong information out there glad I found this site!
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My New Hedgie.. & a few questions.

Here's a list of recommended dry cat foods. What I would do is print it out & take it to the store with you. Then highlight what they HAVE. You can think about what you want to get & just get a small bag the next time.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15
You can feed your hedgie snacks of some fruits & veggies also. If you go to the food section & do a search, I'm sure you will find lots of good ideas.

Can't wait to hear more about Norma Jean!!!



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Old 05-23-2011, 07:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My New Hedgie.. & a few questions.

UPDATE!
After looking up the CSW i decided to go ahead and purchase one.. they arent too bad price wise.... I decided on the bucket rather than the regular wheel because I didnt see much of a difference between the two other than price & I dont need the liter box that came with the regular CSW since mine should fit underneath the CSBW, plus I liked the color choices! i got the sparkly green I hope Norma will love it!

Also thanks for the list of cat foods! that will come greatly in handy. I'll pick something up and start mixing it with her other food to switch her over.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My New Hedgie.. & a few questions.

Everyone gave great advice, I just wanted to say what a beautiful Hedgie she is Congrats.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My New Hedgie.. & a few questions.

I agree its amazing how helpful you all have been and thank you so much! I think she is just absolutely adorable!
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My New Hedgie.. & a few questions.

I have no expertise at all on hedgie care. However, I would like to add that I am in love with Norma Jean! She is adorable!
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