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Old 04-23-2012, 10:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Few questions before getting a baby

Ok, so when people are about to get babie hedgies they post their last questions and the awesome people at HHC will tame their jitters. I always thought to myself, " That's never going to happen to me!" well, I was wrong. I'm getting Luna on Saterday and have some questions to ask myself.
Background Knowlage- I have a bin cage with 12in Comfort Wheel, am starting my mix with Chicken Soup for the Cats Soul, and using a CHE setup. My thermostat turns on at 72 and off at 80 degerees.
1: I really don't trust the clamp on my clamp lamp, and don't want to put the CHE on plastic, so could I put a C&C square on the cage and place the lamp on that?
2 What are your best/ worst car ride experiences? I have a cat carrier and plenty of hand warmers, but how could I keep her warm for the 45 Min car ride?
3 If I gut load to mealworms then freeze them, about how long do they last?
4 About how old is the best time for visitors?

Thank you!!!!
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Few questions before getting a baby

I don't know much about a CHE setup, but I just wanted to say that my hedgie's name is Luna too!

Our first car ride was a breeze, I made sure the car was warm before bringing her outside- important in Canada especially, and she snuggled right into her fleece and fell asleep. I had a thermometer with me, and I never had to worry about the emergency heat sources I brought. I just kept her cage near a good heat vent.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Few questions before getting a baby

1. Either suspend the CHE over the bin somehow, or cut out the middle of the bin's lid and replace it with something metal - screen or grate. Since you've mentioned the C&C grids, the best idea would be to put a few holes in the edges of the lid's inner hole after you cut it out, and use zip-ties to attach a grid in place over that. Then the CHE can rest directly on the grid. The grid might get warm, but your hedgehog will never be in contact with it, and you won't have to worry about melted plastic or whatever.

2. Hand warmers inside of socks are plenty. When it was much colder during the winter we would take Archimedes out in a fleece carry-bag with two hand-warmers inside socks in the bag. They got warm enough that when I had the bag in my lap, I could feel the heat a little on my legs. Very very toasty, and he seemed very comfortable in there. If you just put a few of those inside the carrier, with a few hedgie-sized blankets or squares of fleece, and/or a hedgie bag (enough stuff to cuddle into however she wants to) it'll stay perfectly warm for her. Just make sure you open the handwarmers about 30 minutes before you need to use them. They last for about 10 hours, so if you set up the carrier before you drive to get her, they'll be at peak heat and still last for hours and hours by the time you put her in the carrier. She'll almost definitely just sleep for the whole ride.

3. Not sure exactly how long they would last, but they're not going to go bad while frozen. The nutrients will diminish over time, but I assume they'd be good for at least a few months in the freezer. Since you're wanting to gut-load them anyway, the best option would be to not freeze them in bulk - keep them in a container and either keep it in the fridge, taking them out every week or two to warm up and have some food - or keep them out of the fridge and keep providing them with pieces of carrot or apple. The second way, you'd eventually end up with some aliens, but if you start with a container of 100-200 small/medium mealworms, you'll most likely run out of mealworms before they ever get big enough to turn into pupa. If you'd rather freeze them and offer them recently thawed, rather than alive and wiggly, you can put however many you need in the freezer the night before, or only freeze a week's worth at a time.

4. Depends on the hedgehog. I honestly don't consider the initial 'wait time' before handling them or introducing them to new things is mandatory - you should just go based on how they react to things, how comfortable they seem to be, etc. Archimedes was very outgoing and curious when we brought him home, so we actually stopped off where my boyfriend's mother works to show him off before we even took him home on the first day. We've been taking him on outings at least three times a week, every week, since we got him, and I think it has a lot to do with how outgoing he is. If your baby seems especially antsy about being in a new place, you could go easy for the first day or two, but ultimately sheltering a baby from being exposed to other people and situations doesn't benefit them in the long run. Meeting new people, having people visit, taking them out to the store with you, exposing them to various noises and environments - all of these things help socialize them so they'll be comfortable with all sorts of different situations when they're older. So, just go with what seems appropriate to how slow or not slow your particular baby might need it, but that also doesn't mean trying to avoid any little thing that might trigger a small stress response. As far as this applies specifically to visitors, it's probably better to take a few days to start the bonding process before you invite people over - but that doesn't mean to not let other people in your house handle her during that time. She'll have to get used to them, too.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Few questions before getting a baby

Thank you!!
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