Can I let her "roam" outdoors? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can I let her "roam" outdoors?

Hey, ya'll. I have some extra caging material that I could use to make Soda Pop an outdoor play pen area including a cover on top. When she's outside with me, I always hold her and she seems to like being outdoors. When we were in the apt, I closed off the balcony so she could run and have some fresh air. She was sooo fast! Since we have a yard now, I wanted to know if an outdoor cage/play pen would be ok. Any ideas/suggestions or is this strictly off-limits?
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There's a lot of variables that going into determining the safety of letting a hedgehog have outside play time.

What is the enclosure going to be made of?
The temperature at her level?
What time of day would you be doing this?
What is growing there and has anything been treated?
What kind of native animals live in the area?

Having a playpen outside isn't the same as inside. While they need to be supervised the whole time either way, inside you have a bit of leeway because if they manage to escape they are still contained in the house. Outside you have all ne concerns with that. If they escape, it's really bad. If certain predators are in your area, it's really bad.
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Old 08-08-2016, 04:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, Two! It'll be made of the wire cubing & connectors used in C&C cages. It'll be in the afternoon around 4PM just for a short while. The current temps where we live are in the 90s...feeling more like 100. Nothing's growing but Bermuda grass and we treated the lawn with nematodes because we have dogs. I do have a patio area where I can set it up, but I'm figuring it'll be best to just keep carrying her. I wouldn't forgive myself if she somehow escapes & gets scooped up by something...or lost...or hit by a car... yeah...I'm good
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's a calculated risk thing. My current house, it isn't worth it. I'm too close to the road so I have to worry about sprays from the state. I don't know what all is growing here because I mow everything that doesn't have bark. My area is very rural so all God's creatures use the yard as a toilet. Half the creatures would probably enjoy a snack that flosses your teeth. I don't feel like asking the neighbors if them or any tenets ever sprayed for bugs or weeds.
However, I have property where almost all the unnecessary risks are almost eliminated.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There seems to be two schools of thought on the forum. First and the majority is to create a sterile environment where nothing can happen to the hedgie. Then there are a few of us who balance quality of life, natural settings, and safety. I only have Scrizzies behavior to judge by but does a hedge hog want to be out in the open when there is light outside? I know Scrizzie would run for the first thing she could hide in. With that said hats off for thinking of ways to stimulate your hedgie. Maybe start by bringing the outdoors to her. The first thing I did was create a dig feed box. It is composed of gravel, rocks, some wood in which her dinner is placed. She eats live insects but it could be done with any food. There is nothing more fun than to watch a hedgie "root and dig" for food. I can only hope this stimulates her mind. Once you see how cool they are in a more natural environment you get hooked. Scrizzies pen has to two pens connected by about 10' of clear 4" tubing and has about 90sq feet of room and now creating a "den" made of small branches and hay on the inside. It is not quite done yet but she plays in it at night. For reasons that defy everything you read Scrizzie has gone to sleeping in the clear tube in front of the TV. The fun part of all this for me is trying things to see what she likes not forcing her to do what I think she would like which for all of us pet owners is more what we like.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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For some taking them outside has much larger risks than others. And those risks can't be negated.
I live right by a state highway, that results in the edge getting spayed by something that can kill everything within 10 ft of the road. That could potentially effect weeds and bugs. That's out of my control.
My area is pretty rural. With that comes a list of predators. Big and small. Some big enough that if an animal wants my hedgehog, I'll throw it at them and run the other way. Also animals don't use a toilet, they use yards. Some animal feces carries all kind of nasty. None of which I chose deal with.
I don't have the ability or desire to change what's growing in the whole yard when I don't plan on being here another summer.

Like I said, playing outside can be a calculated risk. For some, the risk isn't worth it. That's a personal decision, one which someone shouldn't be judged for going with the safer option.
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey, ya'll. Just an update. Since she usually likes being outdoors when I take her, I went ahead & built Soda Pop a large outdoor play pen over the weekend & covered the top with connectable caging that I used to build her arena. She LOVED it & was very active. It felt nice to be outdoors with the whole family. I was about to snap pics, but my phone died & I was too lazy to get out my rocking chair to charge it.

I also made her a dig box as suggested. I got some lightweight Mancala sized marbles and included strips of fabric
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