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Old 10-06-2018, 07:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What do i need to make my hedgehog happy

We have just had a hedgehog given to us. What do i need to buy to give him/her a long and happy life.

I am currently using a meat based cat food and semi-moist hedgehog food.

What size and type of cage, what type of wheel, bedding do i need etc

Many thanks
Stephen
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Old 10-06-2018, 11:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Congrats on your new hedgie! How old is your new ouch mouse? Does he/she have a name?
There is a lot of great information under the forums link. Here are a few to get you started:

https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...-care-faq.html

The cage needs to be at minimum 2ft x 3ft. There are many different kinds. I use 2 large plastic bins I got from Walmart and connected them by a tunnel. Check out the sub-threads for cages under Housing and Accessories. Many people talk about different cages they have and some even have pictures of their setups.

The wheel needs to be a solid wheel, no mesh or wire running area. They can get their little feet or toes stuck or even ripped off. It is also recommended to avoid the Silent Spinner wheel. It is a solid running area wheel but there are little notches where the two pieces of plastic come together and little hedgies have had some pretty traumatic and catastrophic accidents. Whichever wheel you choose a wheel is must have. Personally, I use a Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel. My girl is housed 3 feet from my bed in my room and I don't hear a peep even though she runs all night long AND it is super simple to clean. Here is a link to where I got mine https://www.carolinastormhedgehogs.c...orm-wheel.html

There are a bunch of different bedding options. Personally, for ease of cleanup and cost, I use fleece liners. I got some inexpensive fleece and just cut them to size. I made several and just switch out every 3 days or so. During those 3 days, I just spot clean by removing the poop and flushing. If you go the fleece route just make sure to get a laundry detergent for sensitive skin preferably unscented. Hedgies have sensitive noses and skin and detergent can be harsh.

Your hedgie will need somewhere to hide inside the cage. A lot of people have the igloos you see at pet shops.

Now in terms of diet, there about a billion different cat foods to choose from. Here is a link to the recommended nutritional guidelines

https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...nutrition.html

Be careful with any food that is made for hedgehogs. Most have a lot of fillers in them or contain a lot of freeze dried insects. The freeze dried insects can cause constipation and in extreme case a full blockage or impaction.

Your hedgie will also need have insects every day. The exoskeleton is made of chitin which is where they will get fiber from. Hedgehogs are insectivores and insects would their primary diet in the wild. The most popular insects seem to be crickets, mealworms, super worms, and dubia roaches. You can go with live, canned or frozen but again, not freeze dried. I buy my crickets live and then put them in the freezer. Freezing them kills them and then just feed as needed. Here is a link to insects to help you out

https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...e-insects.html

Here is also a link to safe fruits and veggies

https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...s-veggies.html

That should get you started (a lot of info right?! )

Don't worry, it may seem like a lot but you will be a pro in no time, I promise! Just click around on the different threads. Chances are that if you have a question, at some point, so did someone else. I guarantee you will find an answer. The people on this forum are pretty great!

Jill
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