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Old 02-07-2012, 11:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default When will hedgie start using wheel??

Hello there!

I did a cursory look see on forum but got tired So if anyone still have the wherewithal, I would appreciate any response.

Kohari has been with us since 6 weeks old. Tomorrow she will be eight weeks. Last week I put an exercise wheel in her c&c cage. First we put her in it and tried to entice her to move with a mealyworm dangling in front of her nose. She took a couple of steps then plopped out of the wheel (sure was a funny sight for us)

Of course, Kohari gaves us her two cents worth by pooing all around the base of the wheel's stand. Second night tried again. She pooped again, but just a little less. Third night, no poop, but she still will only take a few steps, plop out of her wheel into litter pan, and that's it. So I put her back, entice with treat, take 3 or 4 steps, she gives up, plops out, and we go through for about 2 more times and then I stop.

I stop because I didn't want to over feed her on the worms. And really, I'm not sure how to proceed. It seems that most people have litter training issues, and here I'm having what I thought was the easiest thing for hedgehogs to do

So, any suggestions or ideas as to what I'm doing wrong with wheel training?
Ps the temp is around 77-78. She's drinking, and eating, and so far poop looks normal (long, dark)
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: When will hedgie start using wheel??

Well, babies do sleep a lot, so perhaps she's still more interested in the sleep-eat-poop lifestyle? There's also some hedgies that just don't take to wheels and prefer to run around their cage for exercise. As far as I know, though, that's generally rare and most appreciate their wheels. With the plopping out, is she deliberately stepping out, or is she sliding out? If she's sliding out, the wheel may be tilted too far forward for her and maybe that's why she's not all that inclined to try running on it. Also, what kind of wheel is it?

If you don't think the wheel type or angle is the issue, it could just be she's not interested right now. Since you've shown her a couple times how it works, I'd just leave her be for awhile. She may decide on her own that it looks like fun after all. Could just be she feels lazy, or she thinks she's too tired with all the growing she's doing. As long as she's eating, drinking, and is somewhat active when you have her out, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: When will hedgie start using wheel??

Are you leaving the wheel in her cage overnight and then finding poop all over it in the morning? If so then she may be wheeling at night without you knowing.

I brought Diggory home the day before he was 6 weeks old. I cant remember if he wheeled the first night but by the second night he was running like crazy on it.

Also, what kind of wheel do you have?

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Old 02-08-2012, 12:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: When will hedgie start using wheel??

The angle could be not quite right. She also could be running a little bit, but not enough that there's really any poop evidence on the wheel itself - or, the poop around the base of the wheel (I assume you mean the stand) could be that she pauses while running and that's where it ends up, instead of on the wheel. Archimedes used to run in spurts: a quick little bit of running, then get off to nibble food or get a drink or just shove his head in his dig box, then get back on. Anything like that could be a reason that poop ends up somewhere else nearby, which was the case for him; we knew he was running because we'd see him at it before we went to bed, but there would be little or no evidence on the wheel. He went crazy for the wheel on the first night, then there was no apparent wheeling (no poop as proof) for about a week and a half after that.

It could also be that she hasn't really figured out how it works, and needs more coaxing. What we did with Ares a few times early on was (after letting him kind of scope it out himself first - lots of wobbling, so he seemed kind of not-so-thrilled about the idea) we put him on the wheel and my boyfriend held his hand/arm across the lower part to block Ares from being able to get off right away. Instead of getting off after a few steps because he thought it was weird or whatever, he had to keep walking forward for a little while. Even with that, we didn't see him running at all the first day; we just knew he had been at it because of the mess the following morning. Then, like I said, even once he definitely knew how, it was very much not his top priority for a while. So it could definitely be the sleepy/lazy baby thing, possibly combined with other factors.

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Old 02-08-2012, 09:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Thanks All!

I think I'll lower the cake wheel a little more. I know she can climb into it, but just in case

I had made her a cake wheel, and so far when I'm enticing her with a treat she seems to walk on it with no difficulty, so I think the problem is not the wheel but like y'all say she in her sleeping stage. Or it could be the wheel and I just hate to admit that I suck at building things

Moxieberry: I made it folloing the same direction you posted, but did add a few minor changes, like using a 12" cake server as the wheel base, wheel bearing skates etc. Also the poop is not in front of wheel, but behind. I pretty much figure that she was use to the first litter pan flushed along the cage wall that when the wheel stand was there, she kind of misjudged.

Thanks again for answering my concern. We'll keep trying a little every night, and see where this goes. I guess I'm still on the mindset of "hamster behavior"!
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: When will hedgie start using wheel??

My baby didn't really start her regular wheeling until 5 or so days after I put the wheel in,
Even then, she was still young, and only wheeled for a few minutes then hopped off.
By 3 months she was wheeling a considerable amount, and now she's going on 4 months and is wheeling 3/4 hours a night.

My baby used to poop all over her wheel, and would have poop boots over her feet by morning.
She quickly assosiated poopy mess= bath time and hasn't poop-caked it in about 2 weeks.
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