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Old 07-10-2011, 01:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default need a lil guidance for my new hedgies

Hi. I just registered with HHC and got my first two hedgehogs tonight! Ive been researching them for a while now and got an older female (approx. 3 yrs old) and a younger female (9-10 months old) as a pair. Current names are Sonic and Knuckles. I got them from a very nice couple who couldnt care for them anymore; they gave me all their supplies which includes: approx. 1 1/2 by 2 1/2 ft aquarium tank, wire wheel, sleeping hut, food, and some other items. I know the requirements and care hedgehogs need and I need to make a few important upgrades. BTW they live as a friendly pair in the 1 tank, but get along very well from what the previous owners said and through my own observations.
Im looking for advice to guide me in the right direction that covers a few topics to get my hedgies in an awesome, healthy, and happy environment. So anyways some of my immediate upgrades are going to be:
- a new cage big enough for both of them
- two new solid hedgie wheels,
- probably a new food bowl and dish for [i]each[i],
- fleece blankets instead of corn cob bedding
- a very accurate thermometer
- food
I have some things mapped out that are pretty much common sense: the hedgie wheels, thermometer, bedding of choice. But i could use some advice on a good cage for the two of them, and see what you guys and gals think of the food they gave me. Also any input in general is much appreciated.
-Prior to buying them I was leaning towards c&c cages but think it may be too expensive. Starting to think sterilite bins are the way to go(even 2 ster. bins put together)
-I checked a lot of the ingredients in the food and its not all good but here is
The Food list:
1. Eukanuba adult chicken formula cat food
2. Vita Exotics hedgehog formula
3.Extreme fruit and nut small animal treats im only picking out the corn, banana, cocunut, etc for them b/c it has all kinds of nuts in it
4. Ultra Bites fruit and veggie treat
5. Ecotrition veggie puffs
6. insects and mealworms

Ill try and stop blabbering on . Any information anyone can provide me about cage solutions, food, or any other valuable info would be great. Thanks.

-B
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: need a lil guidance for my new hedgies

The C&C cages are great but i have seen people on her post the big bins connected by a PVC pipe . Seems to work very well and you can have a different set up in each bin.

As for the food list you have, most of it isnt good for hedgies .
Here is a link to the dry cat foods suggested viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15
Reaper has done an awesome job on it!!! Hedgies dont eat alot of fruits and veggies, I would go buy some of the cat foods, add them in to you mix and take away all of the other stuff slowly and feed fresh fruits and veggies in a seperate dish. I myself have 4 dishes. A weighted ceramic water bowl and kibble bowl and 2 very small ceramic dishes for fresh foods and for bugs.

You should check out the nutrition part of this site. Its amazing! There are things that are toxic to hedgies and things they shouldnt have etc..These people have helpped me soo much!! I am sure the experts will be here soon and give you all sorts of info

Congrats on your two new little girls
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: need a lil guidance for my new hedgies

Aquariums are not suitable cages for hedgehogs because they don't give good ventilation. Because you plan to keep the together, you will need to double EVERYTHING.

-Your cage will have to have a minimum of 4 square feet AFTER everything is in the cage.
-2 food dishes
-2 water dishes
-2 wheels
-2 hiding places

A C&C cage is the best option, because they cage has to be large, especially since they are living together. Bins won't be big enough, you'd have to connect many of them together. This is something that honestly should have been thought of before getting them.

Each wheel takes up almost 1 square foot of space = 2 square feet for wheels.
Each hide takes up almost 1 square foot of space = 2 square feet for hides.
The eating area will take up 1 square foot of space = 1 square foot for eating area.
=5 square feet of space + you need at least 4 square feet after everything is in, which is 9 square feet of space for the minimum.

I have a 12 square foot C&C, and it cost me around $140.

You will need a heating system. The cage must always be kept at 23-25C. It must always be the same temp, it cannot fluctuate up and down. Heating system are expensive. My cage is 12 square feet (yours should really be the same with housing two).
My Heating System:
60W Ceramic Heat Emitter (2): $54
150W Ceramic Heat Emitter (2): $62
10" Ceramic Clamp Lamp (4): $75
Thermometer (2): $26
Timer/Power Bar: $33
Repti-Temp 500R Thermostat (2): $81
=$331

Hedgehogs need to have 12-14 hours of daylight each day. It has to be the same everyday. For example: The light will go on at 7:00AM and off at 8:00PM. During this time, they will be sleeping. When the light is turned off at 8:00PM they will come out. They usually take about an hour to come out. It has to be completely dark after 8:00PM. So if they are in your room, and you will have your light on, you will have to find a way to safely cover the cage.

Fleece is the best bedding to use, get them off the corn cob asap, it molds very quickly.
You will need to get a wheel. The only safe wheels for hedgies are the Carolina Storm Wheel and Carolina Bucket Wheel.

All those foods are crap, sorry. There is a list posted above me of the good foods.
What you want is:
Protein: 30-24%
Fat: 15% and under
First ingredient: Real meat (Turkey, chicken, duck, etc)
Second ingredient: Real meat or meat meal (turkey meal, chicken meal, duck meal, etc)

There cannot be any corn, wheat or animal by products. Don't feed to many freeze dried insects, they cause a blockaged. Live is best. Mealworms are high in fat, so don't feed to many. Crickets are really good because they are low in fat.

When switching the food:
Week 1: 1/4 new, 3/4 old
Week 2: 1/2 new, 1/2 old
Week 3: 3/4 new, 1/4 old
Week 4: All new food


Because they are different ages, you have to make sure they older female isn't weaker, or she won't be able to protect herself/run away from a fight. You need to have an extra cage just in case. At any point they may fight and they must be separated. They can and will fight to the death.

You will need to take them for a vet exam. Every time you get a new hedgie or hedgies, they should have a checkup.

Things such as thing need to have been prepared before getting a hedgie or hedgies, as well as money. Hedgehogs are very expensive pets to own. You'll need to have at least $300 saved for vet bills, more since you have 2. So far I've spent just over $1000, half of that was on a proper setup.
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: need a lil guidance for my new hedgies

Thanks for the input. I think that going from what their living conditions were, to what they will be tomorrow is an upgrade in itself. Hear are some things im going to get tomorrow to immediately help my hedgies:

-A new cage=no more aquarium. I would rather build 4 sterilite bins for $50 then spend 140. i think 4 bins will be better than their current 2 sq feet of tank space
-doubling everything is a must. Maybe 2 more ceramic bowls with different foods like you said newbie. 2 wheels, an extra hiding spot, etc
-new food to start to supplement into the other crap. lol..
- my apt. is extrememly hot for the most part. i have a not so good thermometer that will be replaced tomorrow. the one i currently have reads 82f. my hedgies are plenty warm but tomorrow ill get back on exact temp with good thermometer. And if your wondering theyve been active and Ive been watching them closely, they are in great health and very active, also pretty friendly with me for the first night. the older one is a bit grumpier
- the daylight, nightime thing is something in have to decide on, as well as food brands and switching over their food diet
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: need a lil guidance for my new hedgies

Whatever cage you decide, make sure there is a bare minimum of 4 square feet after everything is in. If the cage is 82F, that is to hot. The cage needs to be 73-78. You need to cool down the cage if it's that hot. You don't want them to have a heat stroke, which they get really easily.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: need a lil guidance for my new hedgies

ok thank you. im not sure what to do till i can get a thermometer that wll digitally read the temp. i have the air on, and an overhead blowing in the same room as them. they are slepping now
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: need a lil guidance for my new hedgies

Also, they may seem healthy, but that doesn't mean they are. Hedgehogs are very good at hiding illness. Everytime you get a hedgehog (or any pet) they need a vet checkup. You will need to buy a scale as well, so you can weigh them, a kitchen scale.

Since your using bins, which you'll need a lot of to PROPERLY house two together. You'll need to drill holes because they don't have good ventilation. You'll need to buy PVC pipes (4 inches) to connect the bins. You'll have to make holes big enough for the PVC to go through. It will have to be pretty exact or they could get a foot or nose stuck in the crack.

When housing a hedgehog you need to properly take care of it (or them). There must be a minimum of 4 square feet after everything is in. That is the bare minimum. Like I said above, about 9 square feet is the bare minimum with everything in.

Don't put a different type of food in each bowl. Put the same in each bowl or they can fight over one bowl.

The fan can't be blowing directly on them. They can't have any drafts going into the cage.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: need a lil guidance for my new hedgies

I wouldn't stress too much about the temperature at the moment, as long as both girls seem to be comfortable... If they're splatting, have their mouth open or seem lethargic, then it would definitely need to be cooled down, but it depends on the individual hedgehog with what's comfortable. Lily does alright at 82, but she's also 3 years old and has started to need warmer temps to avoid having a cool belly. You don't want to cool the cage too much and have the lower temp throw them into a hibernation attempt. Just watch them both for signs of of being too hot.

For the sterilite bins, if you can possibly find anyplace (even online, maybe, with free shipping?) that sells the Christmas tree bins, those would work great! Keep in mind you want as much floorspace as you can get. For height, the main thing to worry about is having at least 10 inches of smooth wall so they can't escape. You may also want to think about the lids, especially if you have any other animals. A lot of people cut the middle out and replace it with screen to aid in ventilation. Four bins sounds like it could work well, you could make two of them into playrooms, maybe, with the other two having food and sleeping areas?

Also, welcome to HHC! Once you have your new little ones settled in a bit, we'd love to see some pictures of them! And just keep looking around the forum for more information. The stickies (locked topics at the top of each section) have TONS of info in them that can help a lot when you're just starting out, and another member here, LizardGirl, wrote a fantastic book, which you can find a free download for here! http://www.hedgehogbook.webs.com/
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Old 07-10-2011, 01:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: need a lil guidance for my new hedgies

thank you. im in the preocess of buying supplies and everything. they have been sleeping for about 12 hrs now but when i go to check on them they r immediately alert and get all huffy for waking them up . tonight maybe i can post some phtos once the setup is done
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: need a lil guidance for my new hedgies

Welcome to HHC! We will be expecting pictures of your two new little ones! We are picture fanatics, lol.

Building a C&C cage will be cheaper than buying 4 bins and making 4 lids. The biggest bin I could find at WalMart was a 28"x19", and it was $15 on sale. So $15 x 4 = $60. Add in the PVC pipe to connect them and you're probably pushing $80. I built a 2.5x3.5 foot C&C cage for $45 total. C&C cages are very simple to make, and are preferred over bins.

If you do decide to go the more expensive route with the bins, make SURE you drill a couple sets of holes about 7 or 8 inches up the sides. Ventilation is hard with the bins.

Also - DO NOT FEED THE ULTRA BITES TREATS. Sorry for the caps lock, I just want to make sure that you see this. They have raisins in them, and grapes are toxic for hedgehogs. I have seen these treats being sold at pet stores and online and I am continuously informing people selling them that grapes are TOXIC to hedgehogs. Don't feed these to your new little ones.

CanadienHedgie said that the only safe wheels for hedgehogs is the Carolina Storm Wheel or Bucket Wheel, but that isn't necessarily true. If you are handy, you can make your own wheel with a cake pan lid or a bucket and PVC pipe. If not, buy one from LarryT.

As far as the temperature in your house goes, 82 degrees may be too warm for your hedgehogs, but it really just depends on their preference. My hedgie likes her temp between 77 and 81 degrees. Some hedgehogs are more sensitive to heat. Just pay close attention to how they act.

Vet appointments are a must, but I would wait at least a couple weeks to take them in. That gives them time to settle into their new home, and to start trusting you a bit. You don't want to stress them out too much in the first week or two.

Congratulations on your hedgehogs. They are really fun little animals
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