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Old 10-10-2011, 10:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Getting a hedgehog on Sunday?

I'm getting a four month African Pygmy hedgehog this Sunday. The lady that currently owns him told me that he usually poops when taken out (due to fear, I'm guessing?) I've been Googling hedgehog poop and found nothing LOL! I just want to know what I'm in for. She told me that he hisses a lot, also. This is my first time owning a hedgie so I want to be fully educated as possible! How can I get him used to me handling him? How should I hold him and take him out? She has two tubs put together for a cage (I'm thinking of buying a new one later when I get him, I'm not sure if I can attach a picture of the cage here), she has holes cut in them and two paper towel rolls stuck out through to get to the other tub, I'm guessing? She said she bought a sleeping bag for him on Ebay and he loves it, do I still need something to produce heat? What can I use and where should I place it? http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos- ... 1264_n.jpg (That's the 'cage') What would be a better cage for him? How about a big rabbit cage or something? Do I use shavings or fabric for the bottom of its cage? How big should he grow? I have so many questions! Mostly how am I going to get him used to me, though. Please help! This is my new baby http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos- ... 4093_n.jpg
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting a hedgehog on Sunday?

He's a doll! That cage will work, I would drill a few holes here and there for better airflow/ventilation. When you first wake the hog up and take him out he will need to go potty so sit him in his litter box till he goes a few times lol before holding him. Here is a link to a very good book written by our LizardGirl, it covers alot
http://www.hedgehogbook.webs.com/
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting a hedgehog on Sunday?

Well, at 4 months he's still just a baby, and they're experts at pooping and sleeping. I always wore an older shirt for the first few months when I got my little guy - that way if he answer nature's call while snuggling, I could just toss the shirt in the sink, let it soak, and grab a different old shirt.

I'd also recommend wearing an old shirt for a day or two and putting it in the cage with him. This will let him get used to your scent even when you're not around and will help him associate the smell with comfort and safety. I used to wrap Norman up in my shirt before putting him back in his pen to sleep.

The best way to get him used to being around you is to just spend some snuggle time with him. Take him out of his cage, sit down on the couch, plop him on your lap, and give him an old shirt to hide in. Give him some time to just settle in on you and get comfortable. He still needs to sleep a lot. When you pet him, keep petting him even when he raises his quills and starts huffing. If you stop, he'll eventually figure out that doing that will get him what he wants.

As for how big he'll get, there's no real standard. Hedgehog sizes vary just like people. My little guy is 11 months old and only 360 grams. You can take a look at the Average Hedgehog Size and Weight topic on here to get at least some idea as to how big he might get, but it's not something you'll really know until he's actually full grown. As long as he's not so plump that he can't form a tight ball or really skinny, he should be okay.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting a hedgehog on Sunday?

Quote:
Originally Posted by elishax
I She said she bought a sleeping bag for him on Ebay and he loves it, do I still need something to produce heat? What can I use and where should I place it?
You ABSOLUTELY still need to do something to produce extra heat. There are a few options for this, depending on your personal preferences and what works best for you in your situation. Many people simply heat their entire house to keep their hedgie warm, but I'm sure this can get expensive and could be potentially uncomfortable for some of the humans in the house. Others choose to heat just the room their hedgie is in by buying a space heater with a thermostat. I've found that most people on this website use ceramic heat emitters (CHEs), because they last for a long time and only heat the hedgehog's cage.
Here's an example of a CHE (you buy a bulb and a lamp):
http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-ReptiCare ... 630&sr=1-1
http://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Deluxe-Po ... lies_img_b

Both the space heater and the CHE need to be thermostatically controlled. Most higher end space heaters have a thermostat setting, but if you go with the CHE option you will need to buy a separate thermostat like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/R-Zilla-11939-Tem ... 601&sr=8-1
A thermostat/temperature controller is really important to have. The one I linked has a temperature probe that goes in the cage. When the temperature drops below what you have set it at, it turns the bulb on. When the temperature goes above what you have it set at, it shuts the bulb off. This way the temperature in the cage stays relatively steady.

Generally, heating elements are the most expensive thing you will buy for your hedgehog, but they're definitely necessary. Regardless of which heat source you end up choosing, you also need to make sure that you have some sort of thermometer set up in your hedgie's cage just to verify that everything is working right. I have this one zip tied to Felix's cage and I usually check it once a day:
http://www.amazon.com/Coralife-Zilla-Di ... 817&sr=1-3

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting a hedgehog on Sunday?

I forgot to mention, CHE's are generally placed directly over the cage. Sometimes you need multiple lamps and bulbs depending on the size of the cage you use. If you decide to stick with the plastic tub cage, you can buy a stand that sits next to the cage and hangs the lamp safely above the plastic. These things get really hot (I've accidentally burnt myself pretty bad) and you don't want them coming into any direct contact with the plastic. If you end up buying a rabbit or guinea pig cage with a wire top, the lamp can be placed directly on the wire.

This is how I set up Felix's CHE:


It is zip tied (although you can't really see it in this picture) just to make sure it stays in place. His cage is a Super Pet My First Home XL.
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