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Old 03-15-2012, 06:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Thoughts on Improvement...

Hello everyone... here is my first post about my first hedgie.

I just received him yesterday at exactly 6 weeks old , his name is Durzo after a book character- since I live in a small studio and have no car I bought the kit of supplies from the breeder and she was nice enough to bring everything to my apartment... I am already kinda wishing I had gone with a C&C cage or something larger. Right now he is small but I definitely want to upgrade him within the next couple months size wise.

Currently lives in: My super pet home
the large size cage (yes, I know it is not 4 sq ft)

Looking at...
- C&C style (due to space on my floor - 500sq feet studio with my husband and I- I kinda want to make a 2 floor set up... any ideas?
- C&C loft style <-- like this one alot but would have to figure out a way to cover the top...
- Guinea habitat - once again space issue and it looks difficult to clean

My husband and I are thinking of some way to add onto the current cage - I liked the idea of using vinyl vent tubing.

I am using a 100 watt heating bulb in a 8.5 in lamp for heating and the stick on therm on his igloo says he is staying between 70-80.. it has only been one night but he actively ran at least 2 hours last night and has been eating/drinking.
I just ordered this therm: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MD ... 02_details
This heating pad (just as an extra if he is out and about): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NV ... 00_details

Looking at these thermostats - Zilla 500wt or 1000 wt vs Zoo Med 500wt
- both have some bad reviews though ... any opinions on what has worked for you?

-He has a silent spinner wheel which I will be upgrading to the carolina storm wheel (size again :/)
-Using two small ceramic containers for food
and a bottle for water
- plastic igloo for housing -- -looking at some snuggly bags and tubes on etsy.

-He came with carefresh bedding which I will be switching to fleece liners
-And also changing his food ... looking at Innova cat food mixture.
he was sent with "select diet premium hedgehog food (I believe the breeder said it is a mink dry food)
- crude protein = no less than 34%
- crude fat: no less than 20% (seems high to me)
- crude fiber no less than 4%
-- The main reason I want to switch is because the first ingredients read... "animal protein and fat" - I would like to see chicken or something more specific and also have no preservatives.


Specific questions:
-Also handling wise the breeder recommended handling for no more than 20 minutes the first week. When I held him the first time yesterday he was fine at first but after about 10 minutes I could tell he was getting very annoyed - hissing and clicking if I would try to move my hands. Is it pretty common for the new hedgies to act this way at first?? Seems like the temperaments can be vastly different... just hope he nicens up a little
(I did put one of my shirts in his cage last night - now he is sleeping in it as a type ^^)
- thermostat preference?
- which scale used to weight hedgie on?
- I have read and heard differently about feeding - some say measure out certain amounts and only give at certain times of the day others say to free feed...
- How much water is pretty normal for a hedgie to drink?
- recommendations for "playtime" areas


Any advice on anything would be great...
(if you are just here to criticize without offering advice on improvement please don't reply - I have seen a bit of this from what i've read on the forums)
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Improvement...

Oh... and another question.

How can you tell if hedgie is hibernating?
I have read a cold stomach... doesn't move when you touch him etc... any other tips?

And tips if hedgie does go into hibernation?
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Improvement...

For some reason I can't edit my post any longer...
pic of cage set up right now.

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Old 03-15-2012, 08:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Improvement...

I've had both the ZooMed and the Zilla for the thermostats. My ZooMed broke within a couple of months... no idea how... But the Zilla one is so far pretty awesome It also helps that the Zilla one actually has the temperatures marked out, unlike the ZooMed one.

For the handling, you might have an explorer, not a cuddler, so maybe he was getting frustrated. The handling suggestion sounds fine by me. You could try handling him in a darkened room, which would help him be less grumpy.

Most people use electronic kitchen scales to weigh their hedgies.

For the water, it's difficult to measure the "average" because a lot of it will evaporate. My Kashi drinks from a mini souffle bowl I got from the dollar store. He drinks about 1/3 from what I can tell.

For playtime areas, I can't really help. You could try sitting in the bathtub with your hog, or something along the lines of that. Kashi is a cuddler so he just sits on my lap or inside my sweater/blanket (pretty much where ever I am). Po' Boy, my other hog, so far hasn't had the courage to walk around a lot yet, but I do have a playpen for him (he's very grumpy lol).

For the hibernation, your hedgehog will become lethargic, and will be wobbly on his feet. His appetite may decrease, and he may become unresponsive. I think it'll be hard to miss out on it. If your hedgie attempts hibernation, stick them under your shirt and cover that area with a blanket or something to warm him up. Do NOT put him in water!

Also, just a note... Some hedgehogs never use a second level. You can check out the housing section for some space efficient ideas, though. Good luck!
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Improvement...

the wheel is something i'd change. Comfort wheels are good pet store wheels but little hedgie toes can get stuck and broken or nails can get ripped off causing problems in the silent spinner...
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Improvement...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashh51191
the wheel is something i'd change. Comfort wheels are good pet store wheels but little hedgie toes can get stuck and broken or nails can get ripped off causing problems in the silent spinner...

Ya, I have read this... the wheel came with the kit from the breeder and my next purchase is definitely going to be a CSBW. Thanks~

And Shae thank you as well - think I will go with the zilla.


Is there generally a better time to hold hedgie? I am trying not to bother him till 8pm when it will be darker (keep it light from 8am-8pm). So difficult to resist the urge to hold him though hehe.
Also I work 3 night shifts 7pm-7:30am... so on my nights off I am basically up when he is.
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Improvement...

Each hedgie seems to be different with times Some nights we get Alice out around 8pm, other times not until 10pm. Depends on her. If she's really sleepy, I just get her out and have her sleep on me. It still counts as bonding
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Improvement...

You can hold him during the day. It's generally recommended to keep things relaxed if you want to get in some bonding time during their sleeping hours. I will take my Milly out around 8am after I get home from work and plop her in my lap while I use the computer or read. I make sure to keep the noise to a minimum, close the curtains in my room, and give her lots of fleece to cuddle up in on my lap so she can snooze. I personally don't keep her out much longer than an hour or two if it's during the day though because if I keep her out too long, she doesn't get enough sleep and it affects her whole night time schedule. Instead of waking up at 8:30pm, she wakes up at 10 or 10:30. Which means she eats and wheels less, and then I feel guilty.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Improvement...

Just a note, until you buy your CSW, you can duct tape over the slits on the SS to make it hedgie-safe, but it gets very messy!
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Thoughts on Improvement...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeddysMommy
Just a note, until you buy your CSW, you can duct tape over the slits on the SS to make it hedgie-safe, but it gets very messy!
I read about that on another post... think I'll do this for a while Can always replace the tape to clean...
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