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Old 04-26-2015, 03:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First Hedgie!

Hi. I just picked up my very first hedgehog from a local breeder yesterday. She is 7 weeks old. The breeder let me hold her when I was there and she did not ball up and ran around a bit in my hands.

The car ride home was a bit over an hour and I was scared that she would get sick but she ran around the carrier for the entire time. She fell asleep when I brought her home. Later, she woke up a couple of times and ate. I touched her a bit and she didn’t seem too scared. She never balled up and only hissed a little when my finger got too close to her face.

She went into her dome to sleep again so I wanted to leave her alone to get settled. I heard her moving around a lot in the night. This morning I got up and the cage was a disaster zone. I had put a container of bedding in the corner (to see if she’d use it as a litter pan) and the bedding was spread around everywhere. The fleece liner was pushed up and some of it into the dome (which had moved to a slightly different location). I lifted the dome a bit to see if she was asleep and I couldn’t see her. I found that she had went underneath the fleece and was lying down on the plastic bottom with fleece over her. When I lifted it a bit she got up and ran around then went back underneath.

Long story short: I’m wondering if there is a way to secure the fleece liner or if I should use bedding instead? I didn’t want to use bedding because it seems messy and expensive but she seems to like burrowing under things.
There was some poop around the cage. I moved it into the litter container but I guess she likes to push around the bedding rather than go in it. I’m still hoping I can litter train her.
Also she seems to be scratching a lot but I don’t know if that’s normal.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 04-26-2015, 05:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you haven't done it already try putting some small pieces of fleece in her dome, but to be honest 2 of the 3 I have sleep under the fleece liners I figured if it makes them happy so be it.( one I have had a while 2 are rescued I got last week all in their own cages)
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a sheet of coroplast that i wrap my fleece around, then secure the edges with binder clips so it doesn't pull up easily. Pop it in the cage and boom, it's nice and flat and neat and so far Hamish hasn't even tried to pull it up to go under.

I also leave two small fleece "blankets" in his cage and a huge handful of fleece strips. Those get spread throughout the cage. I don't bother with litter, i just put a paper towel in the pan under his wheel and that's it. He doesn't mess with that, either.
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Old 04-26-2015, 09:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks. I did put some fleece strips inside the dome but she was more interested in the liner. Maybe if I completely stuff the dome with them she'll prefer to burrow into that? I'll try to get some coroplast this weekend.
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I took her out while I was cleaning her cage and she bit me a couple of times. She still hasn't balled up at all and she runs on my hands and arms when I hold her. Is she biting because she's afraid? Or is it because of my scent or something else?
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It could be several things. At this stage I would bet it's more curiosity than anything else. For the time being just keep exposed skin away from her face to avoid biting becoming a habit.
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I also use paper towel instead of litter, because she was playing in the litter I had.

My hedgie has only bitten me when I have just eaten and I forgot to wash my hands, so make sure you don't have a food smell on your hands!
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I took her out and handled her today. She runs a lot so it's hard to keep her from falling. I feel really bad when she falls but I tried to stay close to the ground so it wouldn't hurt her. She didn't bite me at all, though. (pooped on me a few times)
I'm going to handle her daily to help her bond with me. Are there any warning signs or time limits where I should stop and put her back? I don't want her to become scared of me from picking her up all the time.

She seems to poo a lot around her eating area. This is where all of the poo in her cage is. Any way I can convince her to poo elsewhere?

She is also scratching a lot! I saw some quills scattered around her cage. Is the itchiness related to quilling? If it is I can try an oatmeal bath, I have some steel cut oatmeal in the cupboard.

Her nails are kind of long too. I might need to cut them soon but I'm worried because she's so squirmy. She never stays still.

Sorry about the endless questions! I did a lot of research and have read a lot around the forums but I still feel like I'm not prepared enough.
Thank you for all of your responses.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My hog prefers to sleep under a blanket, sweatshirt anything cozy. Also she bit me a few times when I first got her before we bonded. The only time she nips at me now is when she's really irritated (nail clipping ). She also moves her stuff around when she's board, hogs are just peculiar that way, just keep at it and handle her a lot. One thing I have noticed is she lives to dig and burrow and play in her bedding do I keep some in her cage as well. Maybe you could do s dig box for your hog as well.
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