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Old 08-17-2011, 11:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgie Bit Me!!

Hedgie bit me tonight for the second time. I've had him almost 2 months and he has never bit me before this. the first time he bit me I gave him a bath then was trying to introduce him to a new cage. the new cage didn't work out (it had different levels and he doesn't seem to understand what a ledge is.. made me too nervous) so I was handling him before I put him back into his old cage when he bit me. the second time was tonight and i was just holding him as per usual. Should I be concerned? I am planning on taking Hedgie to school to become a classroom pet in a second grade classroom. I can't have him biting the kids...
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgie Bit Me!!

Hedgehogs do not often bit and a second level is fine as long as you enclose it in a way they cannot fall.

It sounds like both times your hedgehog was stressed and panicked and responded accordingly. If he wanted to explore and you were stopping your hedgehog from doing that by holding him he will bite to get away cause he feels threatened.

I would highly advise against making him a class room pet as hedgehogs need a consistent temp which schools don't' always have and are nocturnal. I can't imagine how stressed the little hedgehog would get trying to be handled by children who will likely get quilled and drop him. There are so many teachers who think its a good idea and end up putting their hedgehog up on craigslist or another classifieds because he wasn't friendly to the children. Gloves for the kids will only scare the hedgehog as he cannot get a scent so its really not a very wise idea as they aren't an animal which can easily be maintained.

This is just my opinion and I know you make take it the wrong way but I don't think it will end well for your second graders or your hedgehog to have him as a class room pet.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgie Bit Me!!

I also forgot to add hedgehogs will bite if they smell a scent they like or a food on the fingers of people and bite thinking it is food.

They are prey animals and react defensively as it is their nature and forage. Since most second graders aren't always the best in hygiene the hedgehog may bite thinking there is food on their fingers.

Again I am only saying this in the best interest of your hedgehog and your children in your class.
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Old 08-18-2011, 12:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgie Bit Me!!

Hedgehogs are definitely not good for a class pet, imo. They're nocturnal, first of all, so when the kids are there they'll want to sleep... and they're... in all honesty... just quite crochety and grumpy, and accidents such as them biting a kid can definitely happen if they are not handled properly... Just my 2 cents.
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgie Bit Me!!

My second grade teacher had a hedgehog too, and it was miserable. :/ It was a very sweet little thing for the first part of the year (which is shocking, I don't know how it wasn't a total basket case after a week), but boys particularly thought it was funny to startle her and make her quill up (another reason why I refuse to sell my babies to kids). The teacher also thought it would be a great idea to BREED the hedgehog, and of course, she killed every single one of her 6 babies. Classrooms are just too scary for a hedgie, especially one that is as nervous as yours sounds. In all honesty she probably will at some point bite a kid. Kids do dumb stuff, and if your hedgehog reacts to stress/fear by nipping... well, kids are a big stress to humans, let alone hedgehogs. I would suggest keeping your hedgehog as a personal pet, and enjoying the unique and fascinating nature of hedgies! They are very rewarding and loving, but most of mine tend to be one-family and sometimes even one-person pets.
Proud hedgie-mama of the Storybook Hedgehogs herd!
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgie Bit Me!!

It would be fine to take your hedgie to school now and then...maybe as a reward for the kids...as long as he doesn't get carsick. But it's true, a classroom is a miserable place for a hedgehog.

Since you've seen that he will nip when scared, if you do take him to school for a visit, don't let the kids put their hands near his mouth. I have lots of pets and I'm a pretty relaxed mother...but I can't even describe how much trouble I would be inclined to make if my child got an animal bite at school.

I have taken some of my hedgies to school before, usually when my child's class is learning about hedgehogs. I even took my most determined biter...but I let the kids touch the spikes on her back, and nothing else.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you absolutely think you can handle a hedgehog in the classroom please read this page:

Hedgehogs in the Classroom

I would be ready with care sheets and for the most part ensure they will leave your hedgehog alone during most of the class as they will want to sleep.

Having a heating source for your hedgehog will be needed because as I recall most schools are horrible on heating/cooling consistently. I can remember some classrooms being really cold and others really hot and then vise versa next week.

My biggest concern is the noise levels in the classroom could scare your hedgehog constantly and leave it very much in defense mode for its life.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgie Bit Me!!

Thank you so much for posting the link to that article! I had not made it back to this site in quite some time, and while reading the responses this morning I was getting a yucky feeling in my tummy about taking Hedgie to school and I had already told the kids... This article helped that. I want to reassure you that I do have a plan in place and that Hedgie isn't just a classroom pet, but he's my pet. He may be grumpy, and unappreciative lol but I still love him and would not let anything bad happen to him. I have excellent classroom control and the children will be 100% supervised at all times around him. School has been in session for 2 days and Hedgie is moving in tomorrow. I took 2 days to discuss Hedgie with the kids, how they handle him, what the rules are etc. I am fully confident they will not harm Hedgie, as all their interactions will be controlled by me!
And my end of the building is pretty good at keeping the tempature consistant. If I was in the high school end though, it would be a different story lol.
thank you for all your advice and comments!
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgie Bit Me!!

Mine only full on bit me once - the first day I got him. He was really stressed, and I was feeding him apples so my finger probably tasted yummy.

Since then (its been about 2 weeks) hes tried to nibble on my finger three more times, and this is without it tasting like apples. Its only my pointer finger of my right hand he tries it with now when I let him smell my scent. Any other finger and for some reason he doesn't try it
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgie Bit Me!!

Just a question--will you be leaving him there overnight? I would be concerned about that just because if you leave at say, 5:30pm and don't come in until 7am, that is more than half the day that he is alone. If something happened to him at 7pm, you wouldn't find out until 12 hours later. Also, I would be extra concerned about the temperatures at night.
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