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Old 03-07-2018, 04:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Some General Questions

Hi everyone!
I'm thinking about getting a hedgehog in about a year and I have a list of questions that I can find answers too.

- what time of the day do you feed your hedgie?
- what brand(s) do you feed?
- how many mealworms do you give per day? how many would you give to a baby?
- does your hedgie have any favourite toys?
- do they need a lot of mental stimulation?
- would having a hedgie in a common room (living room, hallway etc) be a bad idea? would there be too much noise?
- what do you do differently for a baby?
- fun play time ideas?
- what to do when you first bring one home?
- is there like a maximum time limit to hang out with them? like is sitting with them for three hours too much?
- are they able to get any sort of mental illness?

I know this is sorta a lot and some of them are pretty dumb questions. If anyone has answers it would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Best to feed in the evening, close to when they wake up for the night. Most people who feed kibble will also leave a little in during the day, some hedgies will wake up to grab a snack.

I'm currently feeding a Wellness wet food, doesn't help a whole lot since most people feed kibble. There's a list of suggested brands & some guides for what to look for in a good food in the Nutrition section though. There is no one best brand, it depends on your price range, what you have available, and your hedgie. Also your standards - some people are pickier about their pet's food than others.

Currently none but used to give 10-15. I would start at a few a day for a baby & work your way up & watch for possible signs of struggling with digesting the exoskeleton - sometimes it comes out in their poop undigested. I would lower the amount slightly if you notice that.

Wheel! Also tunnels, and foraging toys are always a great idea.

Depends on what you mean by "a lot". Not as much as some animals, like dogs & cats. But more than most people offer. It can be hard to find things they are interested in interacting with sometimes, and it can be hard to see what they do interact with, since they do so at night. They do need to be handled regularly (ideally daily) to keep up with socialization.

It should be fine! The main issue is disturbance at night, since many won't be active (or as active as they would normally) if there's someone around or any lights on.

Babies might need more fat in their diet while they're growing, so foods 15-18% in fat are more acceptable for them than most older hedgies. Expect lots of sleeping from them. Make sure their water dish is low enough to get into, and same with their food dish.

Let them explore a hedgie safe room, hide insects (frozen-thawed) around room or a playpen to encourage exploring, offer novel items to sniff & potentially annoint with (make sure they're safe to lick/chew on). Not all hedgies are up for this kind of activity while out, a lot just want to snuggle & hide & sleep.

Let them settle into their new cage until evening (or until the next night if you get home in the evening/at night), then start handling. Keep things relaxed while they settle in - don't expect playing or exploring unless you really have an explorer-type hedgie. Just let them snuggle into a blanket & sleep on you. Make sure you have the same food as the breeder for the first 2 weeks before you start to switch foods, if you plan to. No treats until after the first couple weeks either, & best to wait until main diet is stable again. Expect defensiveness, huffing, balling up, etc., even if they were friendly at the breeder's - everything just changed & they don't know if it's safe yet.

Kind of yes, kind of no. It depends on the hedgehog - as you get to know your hedgie, you'll start to recognize signs of them being done with handling. My boyfriend has one rescue boy now that I've been snuggling each weekend when I visit & he gets pretty antsy & frantic when he goes past his limit. We try to put him away before it hits that point, so it doesn't reward the behavior & so he doesn't get unnecessarily stressed. But his limit has been increasing with more handling. Start short & work your way up. And make sure that they're still getting enough time to sleep - daytime snuggling is okay, but only if they don't seem too restless or bothered by it.

Not that I can think of.

Asking questions is great, and I'm glad you're doing research well in advance!
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you so much!
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