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Old 04-22-2015, 04:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Default New Hedgehog parent with questions

Hello. I have recently adopted a Hedgehog and I'm nervous and confused here after reading multiple different sites. A little background: My son was wanting a hedgehog for his birthday and after owning Guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, Water dragons, Leopard Geckos and dogs, I figured I'd look into a hedgehog. My best friend had one years ago and I used to sit for it until it bit me. It scared me of course although I know it thought I was just probably a snack at that moment. Anyways, on to the present.

There was only one pet store that had a hedgehog and I went to look at it. Truth be told....I did not want this hedgehog. I wanted a baby from a good pet store. However, in seeing the conditions it was in, I couldn't leave it there. **** my bleeding heart. (I almost rescued a ferret from this place but I don't think I could have handled it along with my dogs and newly adopted hedgehog.) The hedgehog was kept in a glass aquarium at the bottom of a dusty shelf. There was even a huge spiderweb next the the aquarium. The hedgehog had a bowl of food, a water bottle, cedar chips, and a hideaway. There was no room for running in this cage. I asked how old the hedgehog was and they thought about 1 1/2 years old. They had it over a year. They didn't know if it was male or female or where it came from. (I discovered it was a male. ) I asked if he was friendly and they said they didn't know. They never picked him up. They never took him out to play. In over a year they didn't do anything but feed him. Their response was "We don't have time for that." WT..????? So with my conscience eating at me and my daughter saying how horrible this place was...I bought him.

Coconut is now in a 120qt clear Sterlite bin with food, water, a running wheel that he uses every night ( I don't mind the noise; I'm just happy he is using it) a larger hideaway, litter box, carefresh bedding and a blanket. I even have some fabric that the kids and I wore in there so he'll get used to our smell. We have been taking him out every night and sitting with him in a playpen on the floor so we can bond. I can't pick him up yet. He hisses and pops. He hates me right now but in time I'm sure we will be ok. I scoop him out with his hideaway to get him into the playpen. Yet when it's time to go back in his home as soon as I put down the hideaway in the playpen he crawls into it eagerly to be transported back to his home. He sometimes runs around and sniffs the kids and I while in the playpen. Sometimes he just lies down in a corner. He doesn't seem to mind my dog checking him out. They get real close to each other at times. So here are the questions:

1.Can I temporarily wear a garden glove to pick him up? Like sleep with the glove to get my scent on it and then use it just until I'm comfortable enough to pick him up with my barehands. Even taking them off once I placed him in my lap. Is this feesble? I know he'll poke me but I'm terrified I'll drop him or freak out.

2. Once we are used to each other can he travel with me to the store or my parent's house every once awhile in his carrier?

3. His poo is a little green, probably due from stress since we have had him for only 6 days. When do I need to worry?

4. He is kept in my room where there is alot of natural daylight. Do I need to supplement artifical light in addition to this?

5. He has hedgehog food. I also have a jar of meat babyfood. Do I give him this once a week, twice? I tried giving him a piece of apple and he wouldn't eat it.

6.I had to resort to putting down a blanket during playpen time due to him loving my carpet. Yet I swear he pouts when I don't let him dig in the carpet. Do I need to worry about him getting ill from gnawing on the carpet?

7. Bathtime. This is worries me. I know he itches himself every once in awhile but how oftern and how the heck do I handle bath time?

8. I swear I hear him purring??? while running or sitting in his wheel. Is this a sign of happiness or something else? I was kind of surprised that after being in a cage with no wheel for over a year he took to that wheel so easily.

I'm sorry for all the questions. I just don't want to screw up here. Although this was not the hedgehog I wanted I felt that he deserved better than what he was getting. I'm trying to give him a good home and I'm hoping he'll warm up to us. I'm so jealous of others that have a wonderful relationship with their hedgehogs.

Thank you to all for your help.
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Old 04-22-2015, 05:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not an expert like some of the more seasoned members here but a few things:

1. Do you have a heat set-up? There is lots of good info here but hedgies need to be warm 74-80 degrees. I use a thermometer in the cage and a CHE set on a thermostat

2. My girl likes to huff when I first pick her up too. I use a blanket to pick her up, that way she gets used to my smell and can feel my hands through it. I can also move it once she gets settled on me.

3. Hedgehog food isn't great, nutritionally. There is a lot of info here about food, generally cat kibble is best, there is a sticky list at the top of the diet and nutrition board with recommended brands.

4. Bath time: I think most member recommend once a month maximum (unless he is quilling). I put a cloth down in the sink so my girl won't slide around too much. Fill the sink with warm water (test it on your wrist like you would a bottle) and use a little bit of shampoo (there recommended kinds on the board here). make sure the water is shallow enough that he can stand. I use a soft kids toothbrush with a little extra soap on it to clean my girls quills when she is sticky from annointing. likes this.
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Old 04-22-2015, 07:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you search all of these questions you will find wonderful answers. PM me if you have a specific question you can't find. I'd love to help your new hedgie have the best home possible.
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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No offense meant to anyone, but I just want to mention that we typically advise people to NOT PM others for information or advise. Obviously everyone means well, but sometimes it can be easy to accidentally pass along incorrect or harmful information. If information is shared on the forum, then it has a better chance of being caught by someone else. That option isn't available when advise is given in PM. As I said, I don't mean to offend anyone, or imply that you wouldn't give good advise or anything, but I just wanted to mention that PMing for information or advise isn't something we like to encourage on here.

If a question can't be found by reading the stickies or using the Search function on the forum, then it's best to start a new thread to ask the question.
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hello. My apartment is kept between 73 -80 degrees. I have a little ceramic plate in his bin for him to lay on if he feels warm. Normally he'll move all his bedding in an area and then stretch out on his belly with one leg stretching out. I have been sitting with him every night for about an hour in his playpen. I have had him now for a week and I think he might be getting used to me. I tried giving him just a little meat babyfood mixed in with his dry food and he chowed down on it. I'm not sure if I can give to him every night or every other night though. I'll keep searching for the answer on this site. I think he needs a bath and his nails clipped now but I'm slooooooowly getting to the point where I may be able to do that. He sure is cute though.
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Old 04-26-2015, 01:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hello and welcome..

1. Better to use your old, sweaty shirt or a small unwashed towel you recently used to get your hedgie familiarized with your scent.

2. Short trips are okay but make sure he/she is secured in her carrier, keeping it warm and dark and do not forget drinking water for them along the way

3. If the green poops continues for the 2nd week then re-assess her diet and be ready to get a fecal sample in a worst case scenario, keep her calm and do not switch diets abruptly

4. No need.

5. Pre-made hedgehog food is mostly crap? Better switch to a more healthier kibble selection. (see health/feeding section)

6. Yes, do not let them gnaw into anything fibrous to avoid digestive or teeth issues

7. Most people do monthly baths. This may depend on how smelly or dirty your hedgie is. This can be done by simply letting your hedgie swim around a few inches of clean water or pouring water with diluted baby shampoo or an oatmeal solution

8. I never heard my hedgie make sounds except a shrill during a forceful male and an unwilling female trying to mate. Other than that, a purr is a favorable sound i think. Be sure it is indeed a purr and not a wheeze.

Hopefully more people chime in to fill in points i may have missed


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