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Old 06-04-2018, 06:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Owner- advice please

Hi there! I apologize for the long post in advance.



I got my little baby Sophie, (a little pinto), 2 days ago. I did a ton of research beforehand, and I'm hoping that my setup is good. I'm mostly worried about the temperature of her home. I have two chinchillas, and they need a cooler climate, so that is an issue. I am keeping my house at 72 degrees F right now, hoping that will be a good middle ground. I have my Sophie in the large Living World cage, but I removed the built in ledge and hut and replaced them with an igloo and cuddle sack. She also has fleece in her cage with aspen bedding. I draped a fleece blanket over half of the exposed wiring of the cage, and have a heat lamp on her as well. It doesn't give off just a ton of heat, but it is definitely helping. I have a thermostat and a ceramic heat bulb on the way; it should be stronger than the one I am currently using and also not shine on her all day. (I know she needs a normal night and day cycle.)


SOOOooo... here are my questions:


1) Do you think my setup is ok for now, until my new heat source arrives?


2) I have her using a water bottle like the place I got her from was using, but I'm really thinking about switching to a dish since I've seen that it is generally better. She was used to the bottle, but would she take to a dish pretty easily?


3) I tried to start her on a cat food, but I think it upset her little tummy. So, I bought some of the same food she was on before, but I don't think it's very nutritious. I'm worried that she might have a hard time switching diets, and I was going to see if anyone had any advice on when they switched food and how that went.


4) When should I start using a bonding pouch or cuddle sack? I have a pretty good feeling that I got lucky and have a super friendly little gal, but she is a little spooked about her new surroundings. She huffs and spikes when I try to pick her up, but after a short moment of holding her, she unwinds and goes into what I like to think of as "friendly little explorer" mode. So, I don't think she's scared of me necessarily, just the "newness" of the whole thing.



Any advice would be extremely appreciated! Thank you
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Congrats on the new baby, my answers are below in each question

Quote:
Originally Posted by SophieTheHedgie View Post
Hi there! I apologize for the long post in advance.



I got my little baby Sophie, (a little pinto), 2 days ago. I did a ton of research beforehand, and I'm hoping that my setup is good. I'm mostly worried about the temperature of her home. I have two chinchillas, and they need a cooler climate, so that is an issue. I am keeping my house at 72 degrees F right now, hoping that will be a good middle ground. I have my Sophie in the large Living World cage, but I removed the built in ledge and hut and replaced them with an igloo and cuddle sack. She also has fleece in her cage with aspen bedding. I draped a fleece blanket over half of the exposed wiring of the cage, and have a heat lamp on her as well. It doesn't give off just a ton of heat, but it is definitely helping. I have a thermostat and a ceramic heat bulb on the way; it should be stronger than the one I am currently using and also not shine on her all day. (I know she needs a normal night and day cycle.)


SOOOooo... here are my questions:


1) Do you think my setup is ok for now, until my new heat source arrives?

73 to 78 is a good temp.


2) I have her using a water bottle like the place I got her from was using, but I'm really thinking about switching to a dish since I've seen that it is generally better. She was used to the bottle, but would she take to a dish pretty easily?

Bowls te better than bottles and they usually take the bowl easily.

3) I tried to start her on a cat food, but I think it upset her little tummy. So, I bought some of the same food she was on before, but I don't think it's very nutritious. I'm worried that she might have a hard time switching diets, and I was going to see if anyone had any advice on when they switched food and how that went.

Keep her in her old food for about a month until she settles and then add the new food little by little. When you do it too fast it upsets their stomachs

4) When should I start using a bonding pouch or cuddle sack? I have a pretty good feeling that I got lucky and have a super friendly little gal, but she is a little spooked about her new surroundings. She huffs and spikes when I try to pick her up, but after a short moment of holding her, she unwinds and goes into what I like to think of as "friendly little explorer" mode. So, I don't think she's scared of me necessarily, just the "newness" of the whole thing.

Bien is the time, she feels comfortable with you so go for it.

There are basically 2 types of hedgies, one type likes cuddling in a bonding pouch and the other type likes explore. If you have an explorer, get a playpen and sit in there with her and toys and let her explore and use you as a jungle gym.


Any advice would be extremely appreciated! Thank you [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/images/smilies/icon_e_confused.gif[/IMG][IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/images/smilies/icon1.gif[/IMG]
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh yay, new hedgehogs are always awesome.
1) Your setup sounds great! remember (although you most definitely know) is a wheel, just a reminder.
2) yeah, Apollo imediatly went from bottle to bowl and liked it better honestly.
3)I also have a food-sensitive hedgie, and my advice is to go so very slow. It might be exhausting, but it'll be the only way that works. Few pebbles at a time takes a long time, but a happy hedgehog is worth it. 🙂
4) when she is comftorable running, playing, etc., then try using a snugglesack. I reccomend 2-1 weeks in depending on how friendly. Mine was not having it, so it took longer.
I hope these were helpfull! Good luck for your journey as a hedgeie owner! 🙂
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think your setup will be okay for now, but hedgehogs usually prefer the warmer side of the spectrum, so your little girl might not like 72 degrees (if she doesn't want to come out, doesn't run in her wheel much, doesn't eat that much, I recommend raising the temp to see if that makes a difference).

Aspen is not that great for hedgehogs as it can be very dusty and poke their eyes. I recommend using fleece liners or CareFresh.

As others have said, using a water bowl instead of a bottle would be better.

Usually when you first get your hedgehog, you should leave them alone for a day or two so that they can adjust. After that, bond to your heart's content!

Congrats on your new hedgie!
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi all! Thank you so much for the wonderful advice! I do have a wheel, although I am hoping to upgrade it soon. It's a good size for her, but I've seen better wheels. I have gotten some fleece in and I am switching soon! I hate that she can't burrow in it, though. Any tricks for that? Maybe use carefresh instead? I know with chinchillas carefresh can cause some stomach and intestinal problems with impaction, which can kill them. But, they are "chewers" and from what I hear, hedgies are not. I switched to a water dish last night, so I'm hoping she will like it! I used my cuddle sack last night for a very small while, and she didn't do as well as the day I got her, so I'm going to hold off on that for now. I started putting a couple pieces (literally) of the new kibble in with her old, and I'm going to verrrrry slowly start the transition.

Last edited by SophieTheHedgie; 06-05-2018 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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For switching from water bottle to water bowl put a bowl full of water in the cage without taking out the bottle and after your hedgie seems to get used to drinking out the bowl remove the bottle but make sure she’s actually drinking.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I use fleece as my bedding and I put about 15-20 fleece strips (about 2 inches wide, 8 inches long) in her igloo. She digs and snuggles up inside them fine. You could also just toss a big pile of them in the corner and she'll probably do the same.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJbottoms View Post
I use fleece as my bedding and I put about 15-20 fleece strips (about 2 inches wide, 8 inches long) in her igloo. She digs and snuggles up inside them fine. You could also just toss a big pile of them in the corner and she'll probably do the same.
Thank you for the wonderful hint! I am going to give this a try, most definitely! Also, thank you all for the water bowl advice- she is now very comfortable drinking from one. Thank you all for the help!
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SophieTheHedgie View Post
Thank you for the wonderful hint! I am going to give this a try, most definitely! Also, thank you all for the water bowl advice- she is now very comfortable drinking from one. Thank you all for the help!
Here's two quick pics of Shelby's fleece bedding and "inside" the igloo. You can see she's quite dug in . (and wasn't happy I bugged her for a picture, haha) I just put the strips in the igloo like a bowl and then "flip it" onto the tank floor real fast so they stay inside (without Shelby in the tank of course! ).





Fleece is so much easier than disposable bedding. I have two of the floor liners (just plain fleece my neighbor sewed for me to size but even a folded blanket will do) and two "sets" of fleece strips. Once a week I just swap them out and toss the dirty ones in the wash with unscented detergent and good to go for the next swap. If it gets too much food/litter scattered between washes I just dustbuster it real quick while shelby is exploring outside the tank.
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I cut up some 1.5x1.5 inch square pieces and tossed them in with my fleece strips that are in Juniper's igloo and she seems to love the extra little "snuggle fluff".
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