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Old 02-22-2012, 03:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy New owner, a few questions...

I've spent weeks going research and learning all I can about hedgehogs. I felt like I had everything down - safe cages, toys, wheels, heating, food, general care - but now that the day to bring home my baby is tomorrow, I suddenly have a million worries.

I've moved our cage about 10 times and my boyfriend is beginning to think I'm insane. But my worry is, the warmest & safest place in our house for his cage is in our living room. This is also where I can most easily set up a good 9-12 hours of light for him. But this is where we spend most of our time. Do hedgehogs need somewhere quiet to be during the day in order to sleep? I'm worried our general movement during the day would be disruptive to his sleeping pattern.

Also, I'm wondering how hedgehogs interact with other animals. I have a Russian dwarf hamster, Munchie, who is about the sweetest little furball in the world. She comes out of her cage in the evening and gets free reign to run around on the couch and occasionally the floor - then finally come cuddle when she is tired. Should hedgie play time and hamster play time be kept separate? I can't imagine Munchie would take much interest in another animal, but unsure how a hedgehog may react to her.

Traveling - I have a little carrying cage and cuddle pouch for taking him out - but I'm wondering how long we should wait before going on even a short trip with him? I would really like him to get used to car rides and going places, but don't want to stress him out right after moving into a new home. My parents live about 20 minutes away from me and have never seen a hedgehog, so they're begging me to bring him for a visit next week - but I don't know if it would be too much too soon.

Those are my questions for now... but I'm sure I'll have a million more once I get the little guy settled in. I haven't decided on a name, but I will be sure to post pictures! Thanks in advance for all your advice and help!
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner, a few questions...

I'm no expert, I just got a hedgie like 3 weeks ago. But I do know that they need a quiet place to sleep during the day and him being around all the noise in the living room would probably bother him/stress him out. Are you gone at school all day? If so then it might not be too much of a problem, but the occasional days you're home might annoy him. I spend a lot of the weekend in my room doing homework and I try to be quiet but Diggory wakes up a lot when I move and I can tell he gets a little annoyed lol.

I think that bringing him home the first week would be too much, he will still be adjusting to his new home. I've read that it can take 2 or 3 weeks for them to fully feel comfortable in their new homes. But maybe someone else will have a more insightful opinion on that.

Stick around, a lot more people will answer the thread, I promise.
Also, welcome to HHC!
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner, a few questions...

Hello,
what is the second warmest room in the house? Is it less noisey?

I think it would eventually get use to the noise, but it might take him longer to adjust, settle down. I am new to hedgie owning also.

I wouldn't let them play together. Both need separate play times. Most critters do not get along well.

I also think I would wait before taking him for visits.

Others with more experience will reply. Congrats on the new hedgie!
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner, a few questions...

A quite area is best.
I'm a little confused about your lighting though? Do you have a lamp on a timer? Or just sunlight?
Sunlight doesn't work thats why I ask. And you have to make sure the light is shining in the cage (for the lamp).

Don't let the two play together. I wouldn't risk it. Hedgehogs are solitary animals and may even kill another hedgehog, I wouldn't put him near a little hamster. Plus it will be stressful for both of them.

I'd wait a few weeks. Long enough so that he feels safe with you and it won't be to stressful for him to be out around more new things. So probably 3-4 weeks?
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner, a few questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShutUpAndSmile
A quite area is best.
I'm a little confused about your lighting though? Do you have a lamp on a timer? Or just sunlight?
Sunlight doesn't work thats why I ask. And you have to make sure the light is shining in the cage (for the lamp).
We have a lamp set up on a timer as well, but I figured some natural sunlight added to the mix would do him well. The living room is the only place that sees much natural light. He'll probably end up in our bedroom then, my boyfriend works nights and just wasn't too thrilled about the hedgie light being on when he was sleeping during the day - but I think he'll just have to tough it out. :P

Thank you for all your advice!
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner, a few questions...

Hedgehogs eat small rodents in the wild, so I would definitely keep them separate. Even if they "seem" to be getting along for a while, a fight could break out for no reason at all.

I wouldn't travel or upset his routine for a while. He needs that time to adjust to his new environment and bond with you. Even visitors who come over, I wouldn't bring him out for a few weeks.

You will never feel ready for your new one. But everyone here is so helpful with questions. Best wishes with your new little one.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner, a few questions...

I'm going to be the odd one about, about the trips thing, and say it depends on the hedgehog. We took Archimedes with us to a store within the first few days of bringing him home, and have been taking him places once or twice a week the whole time. He has a small clear plastic bin to ride in, which we put in the shopping cart with his hedgie bag or blanket; he has the option to burrow out of sight, but he very rarely does while we have him out with us. This is partially because we recognized his curious/adventurous personality, and partially because we wanted to expose him to different places, things, and people so he would be used to it - kind of like what you're supposed to do with a puppy. When we first visited the breeder, she told us that she has all different people handle the babies, not just herself (her husband, children/grandchildren, friends that come over, etc.) so they've gotten used to that sort of thing before they even come home. This is pretty much in line with puppy socialization, so we decided to go that route with Archimedes as well. He always is very interested in his new surroundings when he goes to stores or whatever with us, with no signs of it stressing him out and only occasional mild huffing when other people come up to us to ask about him (and most of that was when he was already insanely grumpy at the peak of his quilling). Now that he's at the very end of quilling and the grumpiness has completely disappeared, he's even better about it. Today he went with us to my boyfriend's work, where he was willing to be held by several different people, including one of my boyfriend's coworkers - he anointed with her ring and then fell asleep in her hand. He's never met this person before. He's about 12.5 weeks old right now, and he's had outings quite often since we got him at just over 6 weeks. I don't think he'd be nearly as relaxed about new people and new places if we'd waited a while before starting to introduce him to those things.

Obviously, not all hedgehogs are alike. What works for Archimedes isn't necessarily going to work for a different one, and I'm sure the personality has a lot to do with it. A hedgehog with a curious/adventurous 'explorer' personality will most likely do better with having these experiences early on, and a hedgehog with a more timid or shy personality might not. The point is that it's something that should be determined on an individual basis. As long as a new owner uses their best judgment and goes by what the hedgehog seems to be okay with, I see no reason why they should have to wait several weeks. If the hedgehog seems comfortable and confident enough for it right away, I'd say go for it; and similarly, if the hedgehog is especially shy and skittish, a few weeks might not be adequate. Also keep in mind that in almost all cases, socialization and new situations/experiences are very beneficial to a young animal.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner, a few questions...

Thank you moxieberry! I think I'll wait it out and see how the little guy does when settling in for the first few days. If he seems stressed and unhappy, I'll give him some time to settle before we go on any adventures.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner, a few questions...

just a suggestion if you want to sleep at night dont have your hedgie in your bedroom. i tryed but the wheel and her eating and just running around was enough to keep me up at night.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner, a few questions...

I'm a very light sleeper and Diggory in my room doesn't bother me at all. I have the flying saucer wheel and while I can hear it when I'm dozing off, once I fall asleep it's quiet enough to tune out. And either your hedgie is a loud eater or you are a VERY light sleeper because I can't imagine that bothering me at all.


Then again, I've had hamsters and birds and am used to the odd noise here and there at night. It actually comforts me. I find myself straining to hear any movement from Diggory as I'm falling asleep/waking up. I just love it.
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