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Old 01-22-2013, 06:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Hey new here :)

Hello!
I am new here and i am about to adopt a Hedgehog! This will be my very first experience with hedgehogs, i have never even seen one up close. But acouple of days ago a relative of mine knows someone who is moving and they cannot take their little girl with them. And knowing how much of an animal lover that i am (i have several different animals myself, and I also work at Petco), she asked me if i wanted to take her. Of coarse i could not pass up this incredible opportunity, nor do i want her to go to anyone else, so i now am accepting the challenge. I have been poking around on this site for a few days now, so i have gained some knowledge, but would like some more help on what else i will need for her. so heres the details.
This Hedgehog is a Girl, and she is 16 months old (so im told). As far as i know she eats cat food, although i do not know what brand, i am hoping that it is not a crummy brand like Meow mix or somthing. I have cats of my own and they eat Blue Buffelo, (i believe natural food should be the only food available) i have read that this is a great brand for them but which formula would she need to be on? Ideal weight Mature? or is there a brand that you all recomend over this? and should i mix it with hedgehog specific formula food? I also here that they can have some fruits and veggies, but i am a little confused about this, i have read that they are carnivors, so how are they also able to eat some fruits and veggies?
Next, she does come with a cage, UTH, water bowl (do they drink mostly from water bowls or bottles?), bed, cat food, wheel, freezedried mealworms. I do not know what kind of a cage she comes with, after i pick her up i will deffinitly give you all more details.
she does come with a UTH but my house is cold as it is winter where i live ( infact there is snow on the ground right now :0 ). so i know that just a UTH is not going to be enough. i do have an extra heat lamp, a Zilla mini halogen, 25 watt, it is a powerful little thing so could this work? well i guess it also depends on cage size aswell..... right? ok well i will also include pictures as soon as i can

another thing is traveling, it is 20 degrees outside so how could i keep her warm while i bring her home?

Ok i believe that is all the questions i have at the moment... i am soooo excited about this! anymore information that i can learn will be much appreciated. so thank you all for reading at the least. ;D
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hey new here :)

Hello, and welcome! It's great that you're figuring these things out before bringing your girl home.

Try to get a bag of whatever food they're feeding, even a few cups in a ziplock bag. Hedgehogs can go on hunger strikes if the food they're used to suddenly isn't available, and it's better to do a slow transition. Blue Buffalo is one of the better brands for hedgehogs, there are a few varieties that fall within the correct fat and protein ranges. This list should help you out: http://www.volcanoviewhedgehogs.com/kib ... oduce.html

Hedgehog-specific foods are crap, but after you get her started on your food of choice, it's a good idea to introduce a second food. Gives them more variety, especially if you use a food with a different protein source, but it's also good as a precaution against hunger strikes from recalls (more common than you'd think) or just the formula/recipe of your chosen food changing. We actually sell our food mix through our website if you'd like to take a look - link is in my signature.

Hedgehogs aren't carnivores, they're omnivores with an insectivore leaning. In the wild they'll basically eat whatever they can find. Fruits and vegetables are great for treats, with a good quality cat food as the staple of the diet. Insects, baby food, and unseasoned cooked meat are good treats also.

If she's using a water bowl, you can stick with that. I wouldn't recommend relying on a UTH for heat - any sort of heating pad doesn't heat the air very well. A small space heater or CHE (ceramic heat emitter) are the best options. A heat lamp that emits any sort of light will interfere with them waking up at night and being active.

Definitely let us know what kind of cage and wheel, as well as the bedding type. Some are more appropriate than others, some are downright dangerous, and it sounds like the former owners aren't the best informed.

Also, photos! We love photos!
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hey new here :)

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly
I have tried a CHE before on one of my other animals, and I didnt particually like it, it smelled and didnt give off alot of heat, i believe it was a 100 watt. But i will deffinitly get another one and try agian, i dont know maybe i just got a messed up one before.

How do i keep her warm on the way home? she will probably be coming home in her cage but other than turning up the heat in the car should i keep her in my jacket while i drive home or? it will only be a 10 minute drive home.

Also with the food, how long should i wait before trying to switch her food, if i find that the brand she is on is not adequite? and i know i need to mix the food to transition her over to the new food, how would i do so, mix 10 percent of the new food mixed with the old the first day, and slowly add in over 5 days or?
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hey new here :)

You can introduce her to a new food the first day, or after a few days. Try putting 1/4 new and 3/4 old, and transition slowly over about 2 weeks. However, if the current food is garbage, hedgehogs will often switch themselves much more quickly and snub the bad stuff.

CHEs tend to produce a bit of a smell when you first use them, same as space heaters, but it goes away pretty quickly. You'll want to look into what's going to work best for the size of the cage - 100w vs. 150w, one CHE or two. You'll need a thermostat, and generally 10" domes work best for spreading out the heat. They also work best if the temperature of the room is around 70 degrees, so if it's less than that, you may need a space heater to bring the ambient temperature up a little.

I wouldn't recommend carrying her home in her full cage. Some sort of small carrier works best - you can get a hard-sided cat carrier, a carry bag, or just a shoebox-sized plastic container and put some holes in the lid. Give her some fleece, a bag, etc, and a few hand warmers (in balled up socks, or something similar so she can't have direct contact) will keep her warm enough.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hey new here :)

OK well i just got her and brought her home. she is so adorable and cute, i am in love! she will not let me touch her so i just set her up in her cage and will try to handle her later when she is more active or maybe in a day so she can settle down.
The cage seems like a good cage, i have picts below. the thing that is weird is the parents would not give me the brand name of food she is on. they gave me only alittle bit of her food in a plastic baggie, unmarked, and only about a 1/4 cup or less of it, and they stated "ooh any old good quality cat food is fine", they wouldnt give me any thing else. so i am assuming that they did not have her on just one brand. so im not sure how to go about this with the food. i guess im going to try Solid Golds food and see how she takes to it. she also came with Exotic Nutrition Glider- cal calcium supplement and Hedgehog booster vitamin booster. the bag says its from Exoticnutrition.com which i have never heard of, although i dont particually agree with the ingredients, here is a pict of it. they give it to her sundays and thursdays. what do you think of this?




The bottom of the cage is lined with Reptile carpet. she has a wheel which is perfect, fully plastic (no holes!). underneath, taped on the bottom is a UTH which heats up the bottom pretty good, but still going to get a Cermamic heat lamp. what wattage should i get for this size cage? 100 or 150?


she has a cubby box that her bed sits in, so cute, that she loves. and it is right above the UTH, for now i have her next to our radiator, tonight i am going out shoping for her heat lamp, and food.

ok heres the picts


Her cage


her cubby with her bed, tonight i replaced the bed with a t-shirt of mine that i wore today, all smelling like me


And here she is, Twiggy in all her Hedgyness!
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hey new here :)

So between my last post and now, my family who is also co-owner of Twiggy is helping me out with all of this, and my dad told me that we have a space heater, so before i spend money on a CHE we are going to try that first and see if it will heat the air better.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hey new here :)

From the last picture, it looks like shes using a Wodent Wheel (She's adorable btw) and I would advise against it. Hedgies tend to stop and look to the side while running often, and the plastic between the openings can be a hazard if shes not careful. Also, it wont drain out the poo and pee completely, so cleaning may be a hassle. I would highly suggest a Carolina Storm Wheel or one of the ones moxieberry offers on her website. And great job with taking care of this girl, you're doing great for a newbie
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hey new here :)

Supplements aren't necessary as long as you get her started on a high quality food. Calcium can be overdosed - I only give it to nursing mamas. Ditch the wooden house - any wood in the cage can attract or harbor mites, and it's impossible to clean once poop and pee inevitably gets on it. I agree with what was already said about the wheel, that kind can be dangerous. What are the floor dimensions of the cage? You'll want to enclose the second level and ramps to prevent injury, and I would also suggest 6" minimum of coroplast (sign board) or some other solid makeshift wall - those horizontal bars are just begging to be climbed.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hey new here :)

Another vote to not use the supplements - if they were actually something significantly beneficial, I'd say go for it, but you can see the ingredients there. Not very high quality and if you are feeding a Solid Gold food, there won't be any need for additional supplements. And for the Glider-Cal, you really only need to supplement calcium if you're feeding a lot of treats that are high in phosphorus, to balance out the Ca:P ratio of their diet. Strictly cat food won't need any additional "balancing".



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Old 01-26-2013, 01:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hey new here :)

Thank you guys that was all very helpful!
Well I had decided to go with Blue Buffalo Freedom instead of solid gold. Iv slways been a big fan of Blue and my cats are also on this brand. Maybe ill mix in solid gold later on.
As for the vitamins, yes I didnt agree with the ingrediants either I just think its weird to have a vitamin supplement with a bunch of crap in it, how are you supose to use and digest it if all this other stuff is in the way? Never made sense to me.

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