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Old 03-07-2009, 12:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default new owner! lots of questions. help!

okay, so I just got my new hedgehog, Bonzo last sunday at my local independant exotic pet store. He's very friendly and has only balled up once. I do have many questions though. I'm sure I won't remember them all in one post. [Now, before you get worried I do know about hedgehogs bc I did a lot of research before getting Bonzo, I have just have general questions, haha.]

1.He nips at me sometimes. Not a full on bite but just a nip and I try to blow in his face a little to show him it's bad. Is this nipping normal?
2.He sleeps A LOT! He seems healthy, eating normally, walking normally, etc. Is this just because he's still young? (roughly ten weeks old).
3. When I try to feed him meal worms or canned crickets, also, i tried peas and apples and lettuce. He just ignores it. Is he just not used to other foods yet?
4.Can you feed hedgies dead meal worms that were once alive; also, touching the meal worms and crickets really grosses me out, is there another meathod of feeding him these things? should i put them in his food bowl?
5.He has mostly all blackish and white quils. but on his sides he has little patches of pure white quills. will these fall out or are his quills just unique that way.
6.I use pretty pets hedgehog food. is this okay?
7.can you litter train within the cage? not just outside the cage? is this a good idea?
-this is all i have for now; sorry for all the questions. if anyone could answer these questions i would appreciate it sooo much. thank you!!
-Nicole
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: new owner! lots of questions. help!

1. Sometimes they'll nip if they smell something yummy or interesting on your fingers. Make sure you wash your hands before getting him out.

2. Yes, babies do sleep quite a bit, so this is completely normal.

3. If he hasn't had these foods before, he may not recognize them as foods. It sometimes takes a few introductions to a food for a hedgie to even try it. Make sure you only introduce one new food at a time though. That way if he has an allergic reaction to it, you don't have to guess which food gave him the reaction.

4. There are freeze-dried mealworms, but it's not good to feed these because they don't have an enzyme that helps hedgies digest the mealworm. Sometimes a hedgie is fine with them, anyway, but there's been some hedgies that have gotten blocked up bowels because they couldn't digest the mealies, so it can cause problems. It doesn't seem worth the risk to me. However, you can feed live mealies to a hedgie without touching them. Just get a tweezer (might want to set this one aside just for mealies, lol) and pick them up with the tweezers, then put them either in front of the hedgie or in a bowl for them. Most people, if not feeding them directly to the hedgie, put them in a separate treat bowl, not in the normal food bowl. Live mealies will poop and you don't really want your hedgie eating mealie poop, lol.

5. That means you have a pinto! This is just a color pattern that can occur with any color of hedgehog. It just makes your little guy that much more special. (btw, could you post pictures? We all love to see new little ones!)

6. No, it's not okay. Most hedgehog food is nothing but crap for them, and some is even deadly to African hedgehogs. Pretty Pets isn't one of the deadly ones, but it's still not nutritional for them. Most people feed their hedgie a mix of two or more good cat foods. Reaper made a list of acceptable cat foods that you can find here - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15
Make sure you only introduce one food at a time, again so that you can keep an eye out for allergic reactions.

7. Some hedgies can be litter trained, but some are completely resistant to it. Most will poop all over their wheel, since in the wild they potty on the go. To try and litter train, you can move poops into the litter box, and if you happen to catch him pooping, try moving him gently into the litter box. Also, when you get him out for the night, get him out for a couple of minutes, then place him in his litter box, since most hedgies will potty a few minutes after waking up. Don't be surprised if he discovers he just likes to dig or sleep in his litter box. They're not easy to litter train like cats.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: new owner! lots of questions. help!

omg; thank you soooo much for your response! i really appreciate it! and yes i will try to post pictures.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: new owner! lots of questions. help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole
1.He nips at me sometimes. Not a full on bite but just a nip and I try to blow in his face a little to show him it's bad. Is this nipping normal?
You will want to discourage nipping because it could turn into a bad biting habbit. Blowing in his face is a good way to stop it with some hedgehogs. Here's an article from my hedgehog website that might be of use to you: http://www.thehedgehog.info/How_To_S...ng_Problem.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole
2.He sleeps A LOT! He seems healthy, eating normally, walking normally, etc. Is this just because he's still young? (roughly ten weeks old).
Baby hedgehogs do sleep A LOT! I wondered the same thing when I got Herisson.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole
3. When I try to feed him meal worms or canned crickets, also, i tried peas and apples and lettuce. He just ignores it. Is he just not used to other foods yet?
Herisson won't touch anything other than cat food either. The only thing I've gotten him to eat was applesauce. It may take a few tries to get him to try something. Be sure to go slowly when introducing new foods so it doesn't upset his stomach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole
4.Can you feed hedgies dead meal worms that were once alive; also, touching the meal worms and crickets really grosses me out, is there another meathod of feeding him these things? should i put them in his food bowl?
You can feed canned or freeze-dried. You might want to be careful about freeze-dried because sometimes they can block a hedgehog's digestive system. You could also feed bugs on a spoon or in a separate treat bowel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole
5.He has mostly all blackish and white quils. but on his sides he has little patches of pure white quills. will these fall out or are his quills just unique that way.
You probably have a pinto colored hedgehog. Here is an example of a pinto to give you a visual of what a pinto looks like:

If that's what your hedgehog looks like he should stay that cute multi-color forever. Post pictures! We would love to see him!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole
6.I use pretty pets hedgehog food. is this okay?
You should change foods! You can check out the Diet and Nutrition section here or go to this article at my hedgehog website for more information about foods. http://www.thehedgehog.info/Hedgehog_Food.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole
7.can you litter train within the cage? not just outside the cage? is this a good idea?
You can litter train some hedgehogs. Herisson and I are still working on this one. You can try putting all of the poops in a litter box and cleaning the rest of the cadge. Don't be discouraged if it takes a while.

I hope I was able to help.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: new owner! lots of questions. help!

hedgie love,
thank you; you were able to help. one question though. for the food. should i start switching right away? because i've only had him a week tomorrow and i read somewhere that you're supposed to let them get comfortable with their new living situation for six weeks before you start trying to give them new food. (I bought what they were feeding him at the pet store). Is this true?
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: new owner! lots of questions. help!

Because it's not the greatest of food, it would be fine to go ahead and buy a bag of cat food that is on Reaper's list and start introducing it slowly. Start with a few kibbles, then slowly increase the amount of kibbles until you can take out the PP completely. Slow transitions is the key. However, you may find that your hedgehog would much prefer the kibble, most have had that happen, and will end up ignoring the PP.
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