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Old 12-26-2011, 11:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New-Baby/New-Owner and a steep learning curve?

I received a hedgehog for Christmas. I am old, so the responsibility of taking care of the what I call the little pig isn't a problem, but the problem is sorting out the loads of stuff on the internet and knowing what to do.

Right now, Mary Harly-Chip Poppins is in a very small cage --I have a 23''x36'' floor size cage she will be moving too soon. But, I need to get everything so she's comfortable and so am I.

I am wondering if fabric liners are the way to go, and if anyone has a DIY for making fleece liners. I have some bedding for Harly, but I don't know if I should start using the stuff or not.

So, any help would be great. I am really afraid of putting stringy stuff in her cage and things, but I did cut up a fleece jacket, so she could burrow in her Saltine Cracker Box --awaiting the igloo from amazon.

I am also awaiting the CHE and right now my room is 76 degrees from the space heater and I am melting.
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Old 12-26-2011, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New-Baby/New-Owner and a steep learning curve?

Fleece is the way to go. My little guy is on aspen and its a huge pain. There are shavings everywhere, its a pain to clean, I have no way of seeing what color his pee is (except when he pees on me, silly hedgie) etc. Not to mention I have paranoia about mites. I cannot wait for my liners to come in the mail. Can't help with how to make them. I'm sure if you search on Google or around this forum you could find instructions.
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New-Baby/New-Owner and a steep learning curve?

Scroll done to the second to last post.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8425&p=71538&hilit=cage+liner+ template#p71538
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New-Baby/New-Owner and a steep learning curve?

Awesome. I have priced the fleece, and it seems Walmart has it pretty cheap. 4.97 for a yard that's 60 inches wide. I am going to order a bunch and run with it. I am not sure if I should just triple it and leave all three layers fleece or try and get something more absorbent for the middle layer. Maybe someone knows of a fabric that could be used for the center, or maybe fleece would work fine for all three?

I have some more questions: I hear water bowl is better for Harly in the long-term, and I am going with that, even though I am concerned about Harly tipping the bowl over does anyone know of really, really heavy water bowls for them.

2. Harly is currently receiving hedgehog food, but I have kitten food for her too. The full grown cat food seems to be too big for her. Is the kitten food nutritionally sound enough. I am going to limit Harly to 110 calories per day, because that's what I've read is this right.

3. Is there a book, a bible for these critters. I have a whole lot of time --wheelchair bound, housebound, cat just died hedgehog filling the void, and hopefully she's up to the job.
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New-Baby/New-Owner and a steep learning curve?

For anyone who is looking to purchase fleece (especially if you are looking to purchase a lot), check out Hancock Fabrics.

Hancock Fabrics has several types of fleece on sale for 70% off. You can find solid colors for as low as $2.39 /yd right now.

The bowls I use for water are actually fairly light. I place them in a corner where my hedgehogs do not typically burrow and they do not knock the water over. For those that burrow every where, I curl a corner of the cage liner over to prevent it from being spilled.

If this is a baby hedgehog, I would not limit calorie intake at all! As he grows, he will have days where he needs more food than usual. I have a 6 month old that went through a growing spurt about 3 weeks ago. She typically eats about 15 grams of food a day. During her growing spurt she was eating as much as 22 grams (think 3 heaping table spoons). Most hedgehogs will not over eat, and should be free fed.

Kitten food is often added for babies as it provides extra calories and is smaller for small mouths. My 6 month old is still eating foods that are not usually recommended for adult hedgehogs (18%+ fat). She's still growing and filling out.

The best bible you can find is right here. You'll find lots of information on how to do things. If you have questions post them to open forum. You'll find people who will reply, and if someone posts something inaccurate, someone else will come along and correct it (best part of using a web forum instead of a website or book). Many books are outdated but are still being printed and republished. Of those found in bookstores, I would recommend Hedgehogs (Complete Pet Owner's Manual) by Sharon Lynn Vanderlip. Its probably one of the most recent that provides safe information. Beware of those published in the early 90s or are a republished version. They actually can contain information that is harmful.
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Old 12-26-2011, 01:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New-Baby/New-Owner and a steep learning curve?

Thanks for the Hancock fabrics. My grandma is a beast at sewing and she's going to make a few of the fleece things for me. I don't know whee she'll buy the fabric from, but I'll be getting some from Hancock's. She has her own supplier, because she does upholstery.

I guess Harly is a baby she's seven weeks old, so I will leave her on full feed. I don't want an obese pig, because of the health problems that comes with it.

I appreciate the near instant feedback on the site. I will use it as the bible instead of getting information from a book.

I haven't found a vet yet. I have a small animal vet, but I don't know if they could do much for Harly. I don't know what things hedgies go to the vet for, but hopefully Harly can wait until February to go to the vet for the initial visit --that's when the money when be available.

What frequency should Harly go to the vet? I've always felt cheated going to the vet, because they don't seem to do anything, but I want the pig to live for many years.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New-Baby/New-Owner and a steep learning curve?

I wouldn't be too concerned about obesity, most hedgies become obese because people feed them junk kitten/cat food. There's a dry cat food list on the forum (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15). I've been slowly weaning mine off his junk cat food he came with and onto a more healthy cat food mix (most of us mix 2 -3 different cat foods). I also provide several mealworms and gut loaded crickets each evening. He'll be going on a baby food mix soonish. Be careful about adding new foods too quickly as it can cause upset tummies. In terms of how much to feed it varies from hedgie to hedgie. I started out with about three tablespoons per night and kept count of how much kibble he left behind. After getting settled into his new home he takes about 3.5 tablespoons a night. He's only 8 weeks old and very active so he seems to eat more as a hyperactive baby. Keep in mind you want to see some kibble left behind daily but not a ton as this is a waste.

PS You can also get a postal scale to weigh him on just to keep track. From the top uncurled you want to see I I or ( ) shape. ) ( indicates underweight

Vet frequency... I would do a wellness exam after having him for a few weeks just so he's more comfortable with you and you'll be able to answer the vet's questions about eating and activity habits. Younger hedgies would probably be safe with an annual wellness exam, but older hedgies I'd take every 6 months.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New-Baby/New-Owner and a steep learning curve?

grandma brought home the book "The Hedgehog" by dawn Wrobel. Is it any good? published 1997,
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New-Baby/New-Owner and a steep learning curve?

Working through the Dry Cat Food list, and there's a lot of stuff there. I am on page ten of thirty and have some idea of what's good less than 15 percent fat, but I am not sure of the rest. A post from Nancy says high protein may cause kidney problems, but what is too high?

I have Brown"s Zoo Vital Hedgehog Food: 15% protein; 4% fat; 5% min fiber 7% max fiber. There seems to be a lot of crap in it, but this is what was provided with the hedgehog.

I also have Purina Pro Plan Salmon and Rice --adult--: 40% protein; 16% fat; 2% fiber max

From what I've read the cat food is too high in protein --Harly is 7 weeks old-- I've read the list of dry cat foods. Are all of these cat foods good? Does it matter which one on the list I use, is there a good blend that others have made up. I used the linked to Pixie's website, but I couldn't find the blend she was composing back in 2008.

I am looking at Royal Canine Oral Sensitive 30, but has anyone has good results with something else.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New-Baby/New-Owner and a steep learning curve?

40% protein is too high. Stay around 32 -34 % to be safe. All the cat foods on the list are quality. It kind of comes down to how picky the hedgie is and how sensitive their digestion is.

Mine is on Innova Low Fat Cat and Blue Buffalo Longevity Mature. I chose these two because they are made of different meats (ie Innova primary meat turkey & chicken. Blue Buffalo primary meat whitefish). I also chose them because they come 3 lbs bags. As a college student with too many roommates I don't have space to store food in the freezer. If you do that is definitely ideal so food doesn't go stale. Keep in mind cat food shouldn't be the only food they get.

Marvin isn't picky about his kibble but he won't eat his veggies. Veggie baby food mixed with a meat one remedies this.

BUGS. Mealworms are a favorite of many hedgies and their owners. Mealies are slow moving and can't get out of food dishes.
Crickets are another easy feed. I buy live and gutload (sweet potato, lettuce, orange, apple, bananas, peas blended and then frozen in ice cube trays). After gutloading for 2 - 3 days I freeze mine either outside in the snow or in the freezer depending on if my roommates are home or not . Freezing the crickets kills them. Allowing you to hide them around the cage or leave them in your hedgies food dish. Some people feed live crickets in their bathtubs or other enclosed areas. My little guy has stage fright so we're working on it...

Other things to feed that I'm still waiting to try include
- cooked chicken UNSEASONED
- scrambled or hard boiled eggs
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