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Old 06-15-2015, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New hedgehog owner.

Hello.

First of all excuse me if I write something wrong as I'm from Spain.

I recently got a hedgehog. I live on the Canary Islands, which are near Africa so the weather is pretty good for them I think, but I had serious trouble getting a hedgehog because, although it's not forbidden to have a hedgehog, it's forbidden to sell or buy hedgehogs, because they are an invasive species here (yes, that does mean that the only legal way to get one is by picking up one in the wild or someone giving them to you as a gift). But anyway I love them, I really wanted one and I managed to get a 7 months old hedgehog.

I got her from another person, and she's already vaccinated. We got her the night of the 12th. The first day she was really really scared and shy, there was absolutely no way we could pick her up without she turning into a ball., but today, the 15th, she's already much better. She still gets a bit scared when you get her off the ground and if you get near her nose, but she rarely turns into a full ball anymore, and even if she does she gets out of the ball on my hand quickly and doesn't do it anymore for that "holding session", so I think I'm making good process.

I bought her Applaws cat food, which has 80% chicken & salmon, so it's supposed to be pretty good for hedgehogs. Because of the hedgehog problem in the Canary Islands I mentioned early there's no hedgehog food anywhere here, BUT a shop near me will apparently start getting hedgehog food this week, we'll see if it's true. Another shop also ordered a big enough wheel since they didn't have any in-store.

I currently have her in a "balcony", but don't get scared, it can be closed just like a room because it has windows. This is the balcony and cage she's in:




I put that water bottle thing just in case she sees it someday and uses it since it would be great, but I don't think she ever will. She also has a small plate with water so don't worry. I plan on getting a heat lamp when the summer is over, I don't think it's necessary now. I want to get some more toys and stuff and put it around the balcony but I don't know what to buy exactly.

What I usually do is leave the cage opened and the balcony's door closed, so she can run around the balcony freely if she wants. That ramp is temporary, but I haven't gotten a better idea to allow she to get back in yet. For now, it's working.

I pick her up every day with no fear so that she gets used to me.

I will get baby shampoo for her today. It's supposed to be tear-free, to have no scent and... that's it right?

Something that has me a little worried is her sleep schedule. She wakes up VERY late, around 4 AM I think, and since she gets up so late, she stays awake for the morning until around 1 PM which is really cool. but I don't know if this is normal. I also don't know if I should try to wake her up in the evening, when I do she just looks for a place to sleep.

However when she is awake she is REALLY active, running around the balcony and stuff. I always wake up and see she just running around haha. Of course I pick her up a lot when she's active, socialize with her and let her explore the house a bit.

So... what do you think? What am I doing right, what am I doing wrong? What should I buy for the cage and balcony? Any advice? I just want to know how well / bad I'm doing, and get some advice.

Thank you!
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is she wild? It is very unfair to keep a wild hedgehog. Even if you want a hedgehog that bad you shouldn't take one out of the wild.
Best would be to set her free again where she belongs, but given it's an invasive species over there others might not be too happy about it.
Unless you have a pet African pygmy hedgehog of course. But I assume those are not allowed to be imported there. What kind of hedgehog is it?

As for your questions, most hedgehog food has crap ingredients so high quality cat kibble is better.
Does she get enough light during the day and when do you turn the lights off? If they are still on late she might not want to come out.

Last edited by Draenog; 06-15-2015 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draenog View Post
Is she wild? It is very unfair to keep a wild hedgehog. Even if you want a hedgehog that bad you shouldn't take one out of the wild.
Best would be to set her free again where she belongs, but given it's an invasive species over there others might not be too happy about it.
Unless you have a pet African pygmy hedgehog of course. But I assume those are not allowed to be imported there. What kind of hedgehog is it?

As for your questions, most hedgehog food has crap ingredients so high quality cat kibble is better.
Does she get enough light during the day and when do you turn the lights off? If they are still on late she might not want to come out.
I would never take home a wild hedgehog, that would be cruel As I said it's from another person, and he had her since she was a baby. And yes it's an African Pygmy hedgehog, they are an invasive species here but it's not illegal to have one, it's illegal to buy or sell them. I will also update the thread with some pics!

Thanks for the answers!

Am I supposed to leave some lights on so that she can see well? Anyway yes, because there are windows everywhere she gets enough light to see ^^

Last edited by León; 06-15-2015 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 06-15-2015, 03:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Some pictures!

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Old 06-15-2015, 11:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Please don't use baby shampoo, its WORSE than regular shampoo.
Also cat food is WAY BETTER than hedgehog food
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Much like everyone else has said, cat food is good (pay attention to protein/fat percentages), I'd stick with that over the hedgehog kibble. I'm not sure what kind of wheel you have ordered, but keep in mind that it should be solid so that her feet or nails don't get caught in anything.

For toys you could buy a cat ball with a bell inside, a small stuffed animal for company, PVC tubes, create dig boxes out of tissue boxes and fill them with fleece, etc.

There are some horror stories about hedgehogs poking their eyes on the water bottle spout, but you have a small plate of water so that's good. As long as the temperature is around 23-25C or 73-78F she should be fine, if you notice that she is too hot or cold you will have to fix the temperature accordingly.

Instead of baby shampoo you could always put oatmeal in a coffee filter and soak it in warm water to make an oatmeal bath.

I don't know if her sleep schedule is odd, but they are nocturnal so waking up late makes sense to me. Her being nocturnal means that she prefers darkness over light and will likely sleep if there's any brightness. That being said, she does need 12-14 hours of light per day.
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Old 06-16-2015, 12:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That's not a pet African pygmy hedgehog, that's a North African hedgehog. They aren't bred for the pet trade like the African pygmies.

I own one (a rehome) they are a different species but care is very similar. They seem to be less temperature sensitive and get bigger, among some other differences like bigger claws, better climbing abilities etc.
Mine comes from the wild (as does yours, most likely - or its parents) mine was found as a baby in Morocco. The previous owners didn't do much with mine so he's very skittish but I hope yours will be a bit easier to handle.

She's very cute! This species is called erizo moruno in Spanish.

Last edited by Draenog; 06-16-2015 at 12:07 PM.
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