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Old 01-17-2018, 04:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Confused New Hedgehog Owner

My fiance and I brought our new little boy home. I have done quite a bit of research - and am now thoroughly confused with all the conflicting information. He is two months old and I read that I am supposed to let him sleep in his cage all day until he's at least 6 months old (because to wake him up during the day is apparently bad for his health). So at the moment I only take him out at around 20h00 for an hour or 2 to let him explore and get used to me. But I have also read that I should take him out to sleep on my lap during the day so that he can bond with me.

2nd point - I have that a lot of people have heating systems for their hedgies. I was told that it wouldn't be necessary because we live in South Africa and they are fine with the warm climate. It's summer here at the moment - should I get a heat system before winter comes along? Our winter's are around 20 degrees C (68/70 degrees F) on avergae.

So I am asking you with experience - what is your advice?

-Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PrickleyPear View Post
My fiance and I brought our new little boy home. I have done quite a bit of research - and am now thoroughly confused with all the conflicting information. He is two months old and I read that I am supposed to let him sleep in his cage all day until he's at least 6 months old (because to wake him up during the day is apparently bad for his health). So at the moment I only take him out at around 20h00 for an hour or 2 to let him explore and get used to me. But I have also read that I should take him out to sleep on my lap during the day so that he can bond with me.

2nd point - I have that a lot of people have heating systems for their hedgies. I was told that it wouldn't be necessary because we live in South Africa and they are fine with the warm climate. It's summer here at the moment - should I get a heat system before winter comes along? Our winter's are around 20 degrees C (68/70 degrees F) on avergae.

So I am asking you with experience - what is your advice?

-Thanks!
Hi!

Taking them out during the day, at any stage in their lives, isn't advised except for emergencies/vet appointments. They are nocturnal and would only ever come out during the day in the wild if they were in danger and had to relocate from wherever they had made a nest (usually). 8:00pm is a good time to take him out, so that's fine, but 1 to 2 hours at first of bonding might be a bit much for the hedgie. Try half an hour to an hour instead for the first little while. How you choose to bond with your hedgehog is up to you and the hog. If he is a snuggler, then have him on your lap in a bonding pouch or under a blanket. If he wants to run around sniffing everything, he is more of the explorer type and you can do that so long as you're keeping an eye on him since there's a near 100% chance he'll get up to no good and dive under a cabinet/couch/some other annoying place and you'll have to fish him out and believe me, he won't thank you for that. Also make sure that he doesn't get hurt while exploring, especially if you have other pets like dogs or cats or have anything at all he could get into that may harm him.

68/70 degrees is not adequate. 75+ is what you should aim for, without too much fluctuation in the temperature. Both cold and fluctuating temperatures can cause hibernation attempts and African pygmy hedgehogs do not hibernate well, and often die or try to hibernate a second time and die during that attempt. Also make sure your hog has 12 hours of light per day so they know it's day time and hide under a blanket/in their hideout in their cage to sleep. Too much darkness throughout the day might make him think it's a big scary winter and prompt him to hibernate. Easiest way to get the light he needs is to buy a lamp and a timer to plug the lamp into and put it above/near his cage, and set the lighting to your bonding schedule. So for you, the light would turn off at let's say 7:30pm or 8pm and turn on at 7:30am or 8:00am.
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Old 02-15-2018, 01:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice I took him out for only 30/40min for a while and he seemed to get a lot braver and would start exploring soon after being taking out of his cage.

In the beginning Creature REALLY did not like being handled. Still huffs when I pick him up but he doesn't stay in a ball anymore when in my hands.

Some days he's a little grouchier than others - but for all the little temper-tantrums he has still stolen my heart
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