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Old 03-03-2017, 08:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question I would like help with Hedge Hog Care please!

Hello I currently don't own any hedge hogs but I would like for someone to give me a complete run down of generally accepted hedge hog care requirements before I decide to get one. (I see different posts about them with different opinions and I would just like all the correct info in one place, sorry if someone already asked this and I missed it lol.) Sorry for all the questions I just want to make sure I'm accurately prepared. Thanks for any answers I know its a lot.
Do hedge hogs need to be kept in groups?
Best age to get a hedge hog?
How to play with them?
How to bond with them?
Ceramic Bowls or water bottle?
What is a staple diet (cat food only)?
What are good veggie and fruit treats?
Dried or live meal worms (I heard dried makes them ill)?
List of acceptable wheels (besides Carolina Storm)?
Can they live in a Sterile storage bin or 10 gallon aquarium?
Minimum housing in sq feet ( I hear that they don't like to much space)?
Does their cage only need wheel, hiding house, water and food containers and toys?
Do they smell?
Do their quills hurt, are they hard to hold?
Heating requirements?
Bedding requirements (aspen ok and fleece caves)?
Does their potty smell and do they potty in one spot or all over?
Do they like to cuddle or dislike touching?
How often to wash (and how do you wash)?
How often to cut nails (and how to cut)?
Do they need shots?
Do they do well around small dogs (are they terrified of all other animlas)?
Do they have to be pedigreed order to breed them?
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Old 03-03-2017, 09:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome! Most of these answers can be found in the stickies. Make sure to read through the forum, but here are some short answers:

hedge hogs need to be kept in groups?
No. Hedgehogs are solitary.

Best age to get a hedge hog?
I think most people get them when they're babies because it's easier to bond with them, but you can get an adult/rescue. It depends on what you want, really. If you get a baby, get one from a licensed breeder.

How to play with them?
How to bond with them?
Answering these together. This depends on the hedgehog. As mentioned earlier, hedgehogs are solitary. They're not the cuddly, playful pets you often see on the Internet. A lot of the time, they are grumpy and don't want anything to do with you. Some hedgehogs are happy just to lay on you lap, and others would rather want to crawl on you and explore a hedgehog proofed room. It's up to you to figure out what your hedgehog wants.

Ceramic Bowls or water bottle?
Bowl. Water bottles can chip teeth and cut tongues.

What is a staple diet (cat food only)?
High quality cat food. Most "Hedgehog food" is complete crap. Most people feed a mix of two or more cat foods in case one is recalled.

What are good veggie and fruit treats?
All listed here: https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...s-veggies.html

Dried or live meal worms (I heard dried makes them ill)?
Yes, dried mealworms can cause impactions. I feed canned because I can't find live mealworms, but live is the best way to go.

List of acceptable wheels (besides Carolina Storm)?
Not many, honestly. Comfort wheels will work, but they're loud. There are also Flying Saucers, but I heard they can break. Personally, I don't like them because it's like the hedgehog is always running uphill. I heard it's not good on their joints. Plus, they take up a lot of room. Stay away from Silent Spinners. Those aren't safe.

Can they live in a Sterile storage bin or 10 gallon aquarium?
Plastic totes are very popular. Cut a hole in the lid and cover it with wire mesh, and drill holes for ventilation. Perfect cage, as long as it's 4 sq feet (the minimum cage size in the US). Glass Aquariums are not suitable for hedgehogs.

Minimum housing in sq feet ( I hear that they don't like to much space)?
Hedgehogs need a lot of space. In the US it's 4 sq feet. In other countries, I think it's more.

Does their cage only need wheel, hiding house, water and food containers and toys?
Yes, but most people put many different hides in their cages for some variety. I have a PVC pipe for Echo. He loves it.

Do they smell?
They can, depending on how much you clean their cage. I clean about one a week. Some people clean more.

Do their quills hurt, are they hard to hold?
Again, they can. When they're rolled into a ball, it can hurt. You get used to their quills after a while, though. You can use a piece of fleece to pick them up.

Heating requirements?
I use a ceramic heat emitter. Between 73 and 80 degrees F. I keep Echo at about 75 F. They also need 12-14 hours of light a day. Use a lamp on a timer.

Bedding requirements (aspen ok and fleece caves)?
Aspen, fleece, and paper bedding. Pine has to be kiln dried to be safe. I use fleece.

Does their potty smell and do they potty in one spot or all over?
It will smell if you don't clean, like all animals. You can litter train them, but that's hit or miss. They mostly poop when they run on their wheel.

Do they like to cuddle or dislike touching?
It depends on how much you bond with them. Some never get used to you.

How often to wash (and how do you wash)?
I do foot baths weekly, and full baths when needed. Foot baths, I just put a bit of soap in shallow water, and let it soak for a few minutes.
Full baths, use a toothbrush to brush their quills with soap, then fully rinse. Use Aveeno Baby Oatmeal (I think that's what it's called.)

How often to cut nails (and how to cut)?
When needed. I check Echo's weekly, and cut when needed. Use baby human nail clippers, and only trim the clear part. Avoid the pink quick. It just takes patience.

Do they need shots?
No. Some vets will try to get ivermectin shots for mites. This isn't safe. Use Revolution for mites.

Do they do well around small dogs (are they terrified of all other animlas)?
They probably wouldn't like the noise. It's best to avoid all contact with other animals.

Do they have to be pedigreed order to breed them?
YES! Breeders are working very hard to eliminate genetic diseases like WHS and some cancers. Please do not breed without a mentor and good breeding stock. Especially since this will be your first hedgehog.
Hedgehogs do not need to breed to be happy.
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Old 03-03-2017, 10:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Only one thing I'd like to add...Silent Spinner wheels are dangerous and have injured many hedgehogs. The only commercial wheels that are safe are the large Comfort wheel and possibly the flying saucer wheel.
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Plastic Tote Cage Idea - Wire Mesh Top

I absolutely love the plastic totes idea - How large is the largest size that these are made in? Dimensions?


Also - a question about the wire mesh - is that something like a metal with round holes? (perforated holes in sheet metal) or are you actually using metal wire screen, like a window screen ( www.bwire.com - something like the woven wire mesh seen here) ?

Any idea how large the openings should be? I don't want any part of the animal getting caught or cut in the holes or edges.

Can you measure the opening size of the metal mesh that you are using?
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can get a mesh wheel, but you always have to put a liner on it. This way, it will cover the holes. This is risky though.
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia0505 View Post
You can get a mesh wheel, but you always have to put a liner on it. This way, it will cover the holes. This is risky though.
Who are you answering to? And mesh wheels are not recommended no matter what.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Mesh wheels are dangerous no matter what you do to them. Liners on wheels are not safe and can catch toes. Please be careful about giving bad advice.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnoconnor View Post
I absolutely love the plastic totes idea - How large is the largest size that these are made in? Dimensions?


Also - a question about the wire mesh - is that something like a metal with round holes? (perforated holes in sheet metal) or are you actually using metal wire screen, like a window screen ( www.bwire.com - something like the woven wire mesh seen here) ?

Any idea how large the openings should be? I don't want any part of the animal getting caught or cut in the holes or edges.

Can you measure the opening size of the metal mesh that you are using?
I'm not sure of all the tote sizes since I have a C&C cage. Look around online or at a local store for plastic Sterilite bins. As long as it's 4 square feet, you should be fine. Also, I think it's best to use clear bins as well.
Yes, like the window screen. I think chicken wire is also acceptable.
As for the size of the holes to drill, I can't help you there, but do a search on the forum for bin cages. Most likely, someone has asked the question before.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I was able to look up Google Images and I got some good ideas - thanks - just making sure we don't catch any toes in the wire screen.....
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Old 04-22-2017, 11:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Anyone have any good pics/images of their cages made in this fashion?
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