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Old 09-10-2012, 01:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Questions from a potential owner!

Hello all! I don't own a hedgie yet, but I've been doing some research and had a few (well, a lot of) things I hoped to have clarified before I purchase one.
1. I would be using a Sterilite tote as housing, and I read about ventilation issues and people drilling holes into the totes. Is this necessary? If so, where should the holes be drilled and how big is a safe size?
2. I've read and seen that a lot of people use and make fleece liners. Is there any certain type of fleece I should buy? How often do the liners need to be washed? Are they handwashed, and is there a certain type of soap that won't irritate the hedgie?
3. Do I leave food sitting out in the dish all day, or should I take it out after a while?
4. Are there any good instructions out for building a good wheel? I've found a few guides, but if there's an awesome one out there I'd love to see it.

My biggest concern, though, is light and sleep!

I have a very weird sleep schedule. I am up until 6AM most days, except on Mondays and Wednesdays when I am up all night and sleep in the afternoon. My lights are basically always on, but if I have my hedgie, will this throw off their sleep schedule too? What can I do to fix this?

Thank you in advance to those who answer! I will check this obsessively for replies.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions from a potential owner!

Fleece liners are easy, you don't even have to sew them if you don't have access to a sewing machine. You can buy fleece material at fabric stores and most Walmarts. I bought a bunch of different pieces of fleece in double the size I needed, all I have to do if fold it in half so it is 2 layered and put it in the cage. I think most people sew their's up, but just folding it works fine for me. I have a bunch so I can change it out every couple of days. They can be washed in a washing machine but its important to use laundry soap that is free of dyes and perfumes.

Food can just be left out for the hedgie to eat whenever he wants, just pay attention to how much so you can monitor any changes in his eating habits.

This is the best place to figure out heating: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4579

Your hedgie will need dark during the night, mine won't even come out to run until the room is completely dark.

Also, Lizzardgirl wrote a book that I found to be the most helpful resource for me when I was a newbie: http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/files ... index.html

I don't use Sterilite containers and haven't tried making a wheel, so I'm of no help there.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions from a potential owner!

You don't have to drill holes but if your using a lid you will need a screen for ventilation (I don't use lids)
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions from a potential owner!

Thank you both for the informative and helpful answers! That book was very comprehensive. I am still worried about sleep schedules, though? If I bought a desk lamp for my nightstand would that provide too much light and keep my hedgie from coming out at night? I would like to be able to do my homework in my room at night..
Has anyone else had issues like this that have been resolved?
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions from a potential owner!

If you're going to be up past a reasonable "lights out" time, the lights can interfere with a hedgehog's schedule. Some hedgehogs are fine with a dim light in the room, but most will be most active when it's more or less completely dark. The easy solution is to have the cage in a different room, or if that's not possible, put a blanket over the cage to block out the light for those extra hours that you have the light on.
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions from a potential owner!

I was about to say the same thing Moxieberry said. They need to know when it's daytime and when it's nighttime or they will get confused which could lead to health problems and potential hibernation attempts. I feel that as long as the room is gets plenty of light during the day, then if you are working quietly at night with a dim light and a blanket over the cage it should be fine. Thistle will only come out of her igloo and run on her wheel if it is completely dark and silent (when she thinks no one is around). I've stayed up later than usual on occasion and when I check in on her late at night, she'll be just sitting in her igloo completely awake but waiting for me to leave the room, poor girl. I used to keep her in my bedroom but had to move her out because no matter what I tried she was just too loud at night.
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