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Old 03-05-2012, 06:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rock Garden How-to?

I have ran across a couple of mentions of Rock Gardens for hedgies. I am interested in giving my little Miss Hilda something interesting to do (and more stuff to poop on). It just sounds like something my silly hog would enjoy in her late-night roustabouts. Could someone please give me some insight into what is the best way to make one of these. I was thinking of using those marble-like things that are generally used in fish bowls. Would that be a good? Thanks![attachment=0:32ge0xb3]IMG_1053.JPG[/attachment:32ge0xb3]
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rock Garden How-to?

I`ve only ever heard of people using the shiny smooth pebble sized aquarium rocks for them, although I dont know the actual set up
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rock Garden How-to?

This sounds like such a great idea for them.
Hope someone can help on this, Can safe plants be added too?
Perhaps a miniature form of garden.
Would a miniature African landscape be more to
their natural liking?
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rock Garden How-to?



I made a rock garden for Izzy and Harvey. I used plastic plants to add obstacles/interest. I haven't seen one using real plants. You would have to use dirt to keep the plants alive. I think this would probably be a mess. The silk flowers in the picture were a pain to make stand up, then I saw other people use silk aquarium plants. This works out sooooo much easier. The ones I initially made in the photo fell apart very quickly after a few washings. Now I use aquarium plants, but I don't have a pic of that on hand. It's important to use silk aquarium plants, not the hard plastic, to prevent injuries. Hedgies can scratch or poke their eyes so easily.

Also, when I washed the rocks, they had an oily residue on them. I had to wash them several times, then I ended up putting them all in a colander and pouring boiling water over them several times and cleaning them with vinegar/water solution. Wash the rocks until the rinse water runs clear.

Then you just need a shallow dish to put it all in. They use the rock garden as a cricket/mealworm hunting grounds. Once they understand that treats are in the garden, you can start burying them under the rocks and listen to them flip the rocks around to get the yummy treats. Good luck and post some pictures of your creations.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rock Garden How-to?

I wouldn't use aquarium rocks, they are too small and can easily become a choking hazard. If a hedgehog can open their mouth wide and get it in their mouths then they shouldn't be used. Try something a little bigger (but not huge obviously) like some medium size garden or river rocks. As mentioned make sure you clean the rocks well, they should be boiled first to get off any animal urine or feces, bugs, dirt, etc that may be living on it.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rock Garden How-to?

I made Miss Hilda's rock garden last night. I found river-type rocks at the pet store. They are the perfect size, not too big-not too small. I just put them in a sandwich sized tupperware and hid a couple of crickets and a mealie in there. I woke up at 2:30am to check on her and she was in there just having a good ol' time. When I checked on everything during the morning clean, all of her treats were gone. I will deem this a success! I think I may just put a few of her kibble in there tonight so that I don't spoil her too much with the insects. I'll post some pics soon. I think I will put some aquarium plants in there too! Thanks everyone for your help--we both love the garden.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rock Garden How-to?

LOVE the hedgie-safe zen garden idea.

" . . . they are too small and can easily become a choking hazard. If a hedgehog can open their mouth wide and get it in their mouths then they shouldn't be used. . . ."

I gave Sophie a 'chunk' of banana at treat time and was shocked to see how wide she could open her mouth. Previously, I had peeled open a banana and just let her take a couple bites off the top. When I gave her a big piece, she like tried to eat it whole and scared me to death. Thankfully, it was too big for her to handle. Last time, I diced up a piece. Of course, she didn't want any of it. Ha.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rock Garden How-to?

Found the perfect sized rocks at the .99cent store where the flower vases are,
They will get a good cleaning before using them and I cannot wait to see
if the hedgies enjoy their new gardens.
Also found the cutiest ceramic flower dishes in the spring section.
Will be so cute for feeding.
I try to change the cages with the seasons and
even though I had snow this morning,spring is around the corner.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rock Garden How-to?

" . . . ceramic flower dishes . . ."

Be wary of glazed pottery intended for non-food uses, primarily imported pottery. Lead is traditionally used in many glazes and is highly toxic. Probably fine for decoration type uses, but, for example, lead would absolutely leach into a water dish.

I believe that controls are pretty well in place regarding lead-containing glazes for food use products, but I would be leery of non-food-intended products. Lead is a cheap and useful product all over the world. There was a big scandal not so long ago with China and lead-containing paints on kids' toys.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rock Garden How-to?

Do you think they would be alright to put the dry food in?
Love my hedgies too much to risk water in them even though I believe they
are meant for candy.
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