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Old 09-03-2011, 11:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Got a new guy, now I got questions!

So I've had my hedgie for about 2 weeks now. I picked him up from a... pet store Sadly there weren't any more active breeders in my area. When I got there, it felt like I was rescuing the poor fella! The store owner told me she had put all her hedgies in the same cage... all males! As a result many of them have battle scars. I couldn't bring myself to leave him in their care.

I've noticed that when I had an old tee-shirt in his cage, he would sleep in there over his igloo. Which is fine, except I think that it was so dark under there that when night time came, he had no idea and just kept on sleeping! I think this because when he only had his igloo, he would be out eating and running on his wheel almost as soon as darkness came. After putting the shirt in, he doesn't poke his nose out until 2am usually! So after he became used to my scent, I took out the shirt and replaced it with a hedgie bag. Now it seems like he's doing the same thing. Is this normal, or should I take out the bag?

Also, the food I got him was a combination of vita exotics hedgehog formula (which the store owner fed him, I'm only using it to transition to a new food), and science diet. I had seen the lists of food for hedgehogs and sadly I didn't notice that science diet was on the poor food list. At a different pet store I was assured it was good quality. The other problem with it is that each kibble is way too big, it takes my little guy a lot of effort just to eat one piece. Can someone recommend one of the better quality foods that also has really small kibbles? I'd hate to buy another bag of expensive food my guy won't eat. As treats, I've been experimenting with different fruits and veggies. So far, I know he'll eat apples, loves peaches and green pepper, but hates blueberry and banana.

I think this is it for now, if I think of anything I'll add it! Looking forward to responses!
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a new guy, now I got questions!

I haven't had one yet that didn't like Solid Gold Katz-n-Floken. KnF is readily available in Petco and Petsmart. They are an x-shape and my hedgehogs have been able to eat it without a problem. It used to be thicker, but I bought a bag about 2 months ago and the Xs are now thinner and easier to break. I dunno if it is a fluke batch or not, but I hope it stays like this.

Halo also makes a nice small round shaped kibble. Its higher fat than the KnF. Mine liked it and I've seen others report here that theirs did too. Again this is can be found in either of the 2 big box stores. If you only have the smaller mom and pop stores around, call and ask if they carry either product before wasting your time going there.

How old is your hedgehog? If he is a baby, he will likely sleep more. Like any baby animal they need lots of sleep to grow. So long as he is getting up at night, eating, drinking and being active, he is likely fine.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a new guy, now I got questions!

Thanks for the quick reply

I believe I have a Petsmart fairly close to me, so hopefully they have them! It sounds pretty good, so I may have to give it a try.

I think my hedgehog is about 4-6 months old, the store owner wasn't exactly sure, but he's fairly young. It could be just as you say, they need more sleep.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a new guy, now I got questions!

Another thought, are you keeping the light on in his room late at night? Many hedgehogs will be reluctant to come out and be active while the there is a light on. I have several now who would maybe come out to eat, drink, go to the bathroom, then would go right back to bed while a light was on. Once the lights were off and they thought I was a sleep... they would come out and start to explore and be active. Hedgehogs are shy little animals, and catching them up being active can be quite a trick.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a new guy, now I got questions!

For the most part, no. I don't have any light on during the day, he gets a lot of natural light. At night time, the only time I have the light on is to get into bed, then I turn it right off.

I've noticed he hates the light at night. Once when I was reading late, I came into the room with the light off and he was running on his wheel. After I got into bed with the light on he ran behind his wheel and stayed hidden until I turned the light off.

I don't have to actually be asleep for him to be active tho luckily. Sometimes with the light off I can sit beside his cage and watch him eat or run on his wheel.

He was doing it again yesterday. He was sound asleep in his hedgie bag at about 10pm. I very gently (rudely in his opinion I think) woke him up, and played with him for about half an hour. Then when I put him back in his cage, I did it with the light turned off. He ran straight to his food and water, then his wheel. I've learned to put him back like this, or he just hides in his bag and I don't hear from him until 4am sometimes
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a new guy, now I got questions!

Most people suggest you have some sort of an artificial light source that is on for the day. This is because when seasons change, days become shorter, which triggers the hedghog's natural instinct to hibernate... except hibernation to an APH is fatal. A light that is on for 12-14 hours a day should be enough to stop them from thinking they need to do this
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a new guy, now I got questions!

I have three boys and none of them really have a particular schedule, but I know if I have a lamp on in my room they will not budge until it is off. It can be seconds after I turn it off and they all crawl out of the wood work! LOL I would not worry about that unless he appears to be overly lethargic, but as Kalandra said, if he is a baby, they do sleep a lot more. However, my little foot LOVES to sleep, so it does depend on the individual pog.

As far as food goes, I know that blue buffalo has nice tiny circular pieces. My boys eat that really well and it is easy for them to munch on. Also purina has smaller pieces, I know some people use that even though it is in the middle of the "quality" spectrum. A lot of people have a variety of thoughts on food, it just depends on you and your little guy. For example, the brand Wellness is considered a great quality food; however, it is way too rich for my hedgehogs, so they can't eat that. It just depends. =)

I hope that helped you some
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Old 09-05-2011, 01:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a new guy, now I got questions!

Thanks for the posts everyone

I don't bother leaving the light on yet, as its still summer and the days are pretty long. But when it gets closer to winter, I'll probably leave the light on so he gets enough light.

As for the food, I may buy a couple different small bags just to compare. If hedgie prefers a certain one, I'll definitely stick with it!
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a new guy, now I got questions!

Some pet stores will you give you free sample bags of cat food. If you can get these you can try offering them to your hedgie and seeing which he prefers without buying expensive bags and then wasting them.
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Old 09-05-2011, 08:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Got a new guy, now I got questions!

Some pet stores will also let you return the food, even after it's opened. I know PetCo and Pet Supplies Plus do this, and I'm sure other larger chains would as well. Just ask one of the employees.
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