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Old 01-17-2019, 12:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Am I doing it right?

Firstly, I'm a new hedgie owner, and I've had our 11 week old Lil Quill for about 2 weeks. I've handled dogs, cats, squirrels, ferrets, girlfriend, but not a beast as complicated as my Lil Quiller. I've been told different things about taking care of him, and my girlfriend, who's had a hedgehog before named Bruce Quillis, has been giving me advice and pointers, which has been the exact opposite of the type of advice that the guy we bought Lil Winston Churchquill from has told me. I'm not sure what advice to follow, so I come to thee, forum of the hedgie, to guide my blind and naive mind to the wonders of taking care of our Lil Prick Astley. Also, a name vote, because I haven't made up my mind on what to name our Lil Quill Smith

What the guy we got Lil Quilliam told me to do: He told me to use the shavings as the flooring, feed him their special food mix of worms and hedgehog mix and avoid cat food since it causes liver damage in hedgehogs, use a heat lamp, give him plenty of space

What girlfriend told me to do: Use a blanket or fleece flooring that is easy to replace and wash since shavings can cause hedgehog to sneeze, feed chicken flavoured cat food for good protein with worms as a treat, use a portable room heater or a heating pad for heat and not a lamp because hedgies are nocturnal and the light hurts them, take him out at least 30 minutes a day to get him used to me and get him to friendly up, name him Prick Astley (I'm not naming out pet 'Prick')

What I'm currently doing: I had a heating lamp set up, he started to sneeze and lick his nose, so i panicked and took him to the vet. Now I'm giving him Clavamox antibiotic til his sneeze goes away 2 times a day and changed his heating arrangement to no lamp (girlfriend told me to just open the curtains and that is a sufficient source of light for him) with a heating pad set on medium and a thermometer in his cage to make sure hes at 80 degrees at all time. Using the wood shavings for now, but contemplating putting them in a pillow case and using that as his cage flooring (sounds like a good middle ground, no?), and I'm still not sure on food. I'm told cat food is the way to go, but I don't know what brand or what kind to get him. As for toys, he has a salt lick and a toy stuffed with catnip (he accidentally got into my sister's catnip and got super energized and had to go fast, so he kept one of the catnip toys since he liked it). I take him out about two times a day for 30 minutes and let him crawl around my desk while I do stuff, he is getting friendlier but still enjoys to poop on everything I own and also my hands.

Any advice, suggestions, tips, or opinions? Anything helps!
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wood shavings is bad, they can hurt eyes, cause sneezing some, its also very dusty. Its just a overal huge no.
Fleece is better than wood shavings, however you can also use loose bedding like carefresh or animal safe dust free shredded cardboard (finacard) which is good for letting them burrowing all the time.

Cat food is defintly best, there is a sticki under the diet and neutrtion which explains why, what to look for in a food, theres also one for brands and some names of the foods.
Dont just feed worms though, insects are a must, but you should have a variety, like roaches, locust, worms, crickets, grasshoppers, I also use orange woodlice (most insecst for reptiles are okay but if unsure ask on here and someone will know the answer.

The heating, I dont really agree with either. Heat pads arent great, they only heat the floor and hedgehogs need the air heated. CHE set ups are best.
This includes a ceramic holder (either a dome or one you screw in to wood depending on cage), ceramic heat emmiter-Only lets off heat not light, a thermostate so that it turns on when cage drops below set temp, and depending on holder depends if you need a cage around the che or not (only need the cage for the one you sccrew in to stop both you and the hog getting burnt)

Outside light is great but they need 12 hours light and atm we dont get that, so have the main room light on so that when the sun goes down or on greyer days it doesnt confuse them and set them into hibernation. If your cage doesnt get enough light (which is mainly vivarium cages) thats when you get extra light (if needed) and most people put them on timers so it goes on and off at the right times and they get their 12 hours light, 12 hours dark all the time.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The salt lick needs to be removed. They don't need it and its unhealthy for them to have to much salt.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you for the advice so far, fellas! As instructed, I have removed the salt lick and I'm keeping to a daytime schedule from 10am to 10pm to get those 12 hours in, more or less, and I'm about to go to the pet store to ask about CHE, although the girlfriend is pushing me to get a portable room heater, but i really would rather not prefer my room to turn into a sauna since I'm personally sensitive to heat and I will probably die if my room is at 80 degrees all the time. I'm about to read the sticki for cat food to see which cat food I should get. GF is sad that Lil Quillzilla didn't like the salt lick since the pet store she works at advertises it mainly to hedgehog owners, but I've learnt that pet stores don't actually know their facts about raising the animals they sell, so we're both learning a lot about this experience. I put the shavings in a pillowcase so the shavings won't hurt him and also the $15 i spent on those bags don't go to waste and it seems to have worked.

Any thoughts on a name for our Lil Quilliam Shatner? (I think that one suits him best cuz he poops literally everywhere)
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A che is like a protable room heater but only affects the hog not the whole room, so that people who dont likw being at 80 degrees dont suffer, and the hogs get the right temp in their cages so they wint get cold and hibernate. If you explain it like this to your girlfriend then she wont push you to get the room heater because she'll understand its the same sort of thing but as a bulb in a holder rather than heating up a whole room that you then dont want to be in because of the heat. Makes both you and your hog happy.

If you do change the food wait a month or two for him to settle in, and then change it over a month so that it doesnt stress him, and he doesnt go on hunger strike. Just a word of advice as your looking it all.

I'd just go with the name Lil Qulliam and then have the rest as nicknames. But thats me personally.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Bruce Quillis, Quill Smith, & Lil Quilliam Shatner are all creative names! Lil Quilliam is cute (Star Trek bias there).
Not sure if you are Marvel or Guardians of the Galaxy fans, but your names made me think of Peter Quill.

After I read the thread about the cat food, I found this link helpful for narrowing down the choices more specifically (since every brand seems to have a gazillion varieties):
http://www.volcanoviewhedgehogs.com/kibble-list.html
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm with Ria. Give him a real name and then just nickname him after that. It's not like he'll ever come when called anyway. I have a King Robert, which went to King Bob, Rob, Bobby, Bobby Pins, Bubby, Bubbins, Bubbles, Bubba-lubba-dub-dub, Bobadook, Bobadoo, etc.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey there! I know I'm a bit late to the party, but wanted to give my two sense too! You seem very invested in your Hedgie, which is commendable. I'm glad you're asking so many questions, because they're all valuable and essential to your hedgies well being. Okay, let's answer em shall we?
-Housing: This is ultimately up to you. Shavings vs fleece. Shavings is a good disposable option. Wood shavings or wood pellets are perfectly acceptable for hedgehog substrate, as long as it's not cedar. Cedar in particular (out of cedar, aspen, and pine since these are most commercial) is filled with chemicals and perfumes that are harmful for hedgehog skin and respiratory. Look for shavings that are low dust, and hypoallergenic if possible. The problems are mostly upkeep. Sure, your hedgehog may be the weird one who tries to eat his shavings, but that's probably not going to be the case. They're mostly just a pain to keep clean, and messy, as they stick to EVERYTHING and get dragged around whatever room he's housed in. But, if you're a 'wear it a day, throw it away' kind of guy, go for shavings. Fleece is a nice, more eco friendly alternative, but you're either going to have to invest some time making the fleece liners or some serious money buying them on Etsy. They're pretty cheap to make yourself- you'll want pill-free fleece and some sort of middle liner that is waterproof (I use Uhaul moving pads and Joann fleece). Wrap the Uhaul with fleece and sew her shut! Uhaul is machine washable, so make a couple liners for his house and just keep reusing them! Plus, fleece is fun- cool colors and patterns! Up to you- I started with shavings and settled with fleece for the ease of upkeep!
Diet- The type of food you feed your hedgehog is not as important as the quality of the food. Most commercial hedgehog foods SUCK. Look for ingredients such as whole meats, meat meals (ground and powdered meat) as your first listed ingredients. Too many brands fill food up with starches and crap- go for protein! You'll want about 30% protein in the food, and no more than 15% fat, since hedgies have been known to pack on the pounds! I use cat food that is high in protein, and low in fat and moisture. With protein comes smell so get ready for some stinky poop Supplement their diet with mealworms, feeder crickets, fruits, and veggies. Do some research on what foods they can't eat, cause there's a list!
Heat- I see some in the thread touched on ceramic heat emitting lamps. Yes. this is what I use and its perfect! No annoying light, easy to set up and use, and inexpensive yet effective. Keep your hog's house around 75-80 degrees, but good lord your whole room doesn't hav ego be that!
Space- P.L.E.N.T.Y. of it. 8 square feet really should be a minimum, some say 4. No matter how much space they have, let them run around in your room, living room, or even *extremely* supervised outside. They can cover up to double digits in miles roaming a NIGHT in the wild, so give them lots of opportunities to explore!
Final comments- no salt lick. they don't need it and as with any being, too much salt is a bad thing. Make sure any toy is safe, obviously. Since their digestive system really kicks in when they're active, they are going to poop randomly. On my hands, on my 100$ weighted blanket, they don't care LOL. Just live with it

Sorry that was so long winded, but I really hope it helps!

PS my girl is Christina Hedguilera so rock on with the fun name contest!

Last edited by Aj.t; 01-29-2019 at 01:17 AM. Reason: forgot to add something
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