Meet Pepper, and I have some questions. - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
Hedgehog Central GalleryForum Archives Facebook Link

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-27-2013, 08:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Default Meet Pepper, and I have some questions.

Hi guys,
I am a new hedgie owner and just brought home an almost 1 year old hedgie. This is Pepper


I got her from a lady who didnt want her anymore (How can you not want that little nugget??) and she came with a cage that is too small, and no heating (she didnt use anything specific for heating) and no wheel or anything. So she is pretty big. I will weigh her soon to see how overweight she is.
She hasnt been eating very much lately, and the poops seem less frequent than they should be (im only finding one a day or so)

I had the cage set up with carefresh ultra, but I dont like the way it clings to everything and makes a mess of the room, so I just got back from the fabric store with some light pink fleece to use as a liner for the bottom instead. I hope I will be able to keep better track of the poop and make sure I am able to spot any abnormal pee colors. I do have questions though.

1: Is one layer of fleece okay to use? The lady at the fabric store says that it wont fray so I dont have to sew it. Is this true? I hope so since I have no idea how to sew.

2: When do you guys play with your hedgies? I always feel bad waking her up, and I dont think she likes having the igloo lifted off of her in her sleep.

3: The lady I got was feeding her a specific hedgehog food. Its called Sunseed Vita Exotics. Is this okay to feed her, or is the cat food still better? I want to get her on a steady diet of something very nutritious since I suspect she is overweight.

4: How often do your hedgies go poop?

5: She is very unsocial. She doesnt balls up and hisses and jumps while she is in the ball if I try anything. What is the best way of getting her used to me? I have been talking quietly, and I put used shirts in her cage for her to sleep under and get used to my smell. I always wash my hands before handling. It seems like she just runs away and finds a corner to fall asleep in when I let her wander. I have been picking her up with a tshirt while she is quilled up in a ball, obviously against her will, just to get some time in with her, but she isnt interested in me at all. Im fine with that if she isnt a cuddler, as I have read that not all are. But, I would ultimately want her to trust me so she doesnt "quill up" everytime I get close.


Thanks for any help. If you have any questions for me, please let me know.
XavierDeRoos is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-27-2013, 08:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
Alex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 142
Default Re: Meet Pepper, and I have some questions.

Hi again, Xavier!

I think one layer of fleece would be alright, but two is probably more comfortable for your hedgie. What I do is use a larger piece of fleece (I think about a yard cut down to twice the cage's length), and fold it in half for them. It works just as well with a little less work, haha.

I'm not sure when other people play with their hedgies, but I play with mine towards the end of her light cycle, when it's about time for the lights to go off anyway. She probably won't like the igloo being lifted off her for a while, but it could just be because she wasn't taken care of or socialized. Eventually, she should be able to get used to it without being too skiddish. It just takes a little while for them to warm up to you. That's also an answer to your question about getting her used to her: Take a shirt that you've worn for a while (so it has your scent on it), and leave it in her cage. This way she will get used to your scent and hopefully start to associate it with safety and shelter and all that. It could take a little while, since she's older, but just have patience and work with her gently

As far as food goes, sunseed is not the best thing to give your hedgie; you should start switching her over to a higher quality cat food when you get the chance. I don't know enough about the food to tell you which would help her weight loss, so I will leave that to someone else that can hopefully help you. I know Blue Buffalo is the most common one here, though, mixed with different types of insects that you should give her as a treat now and then. That way she gets all her vitamins.

As far as hedgie poops go, 1. She probably isn't pooping as much because she is stressed. I believe they could stop pooping as much, or when they poop it's really runny when they're stressed out (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). 2. As far as I've experienced, there is no real schedule for hedgie poops. They do it most often when running on their wheels, I know that much. When it comes to diet and similar stuff of the like, I'm not exactly an expert, so I'll leave that to someone else

To sum it up:
One layer of fleece will work, but preferably two so they're most comfortable.
Play with your hedgie when it's about the time they will wake up anyway. They're most active at night because they're nocturnal, so they should favor this more.
To get her used to your scent, leave a worn shirt in her cage and try to gently work with her over a period of time. Patience is key with your hedgies
Cat food is better for your hedgie, make sure it's a higher quality one like Blue Buffalo, something that has a lot of vitamins and real meat and stuff.
The most common time they will poop is at night on their wheel; she may not be pooping as much because she's stressed.

I hope this helped; good luck!
__________________
Alex is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-27-2013, 09:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
Lilysmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 11,963
Default Re: Meet Pepper, and I have some questions.

Welcome to the forum! Pepper's adorable and I'm glad she found a nice new home with you!

To help with your questions...

1. One layer is just fine. I only used one layer for Lily's cage, it was just easier. It doesn't fray, which is why it's so well-liked for hedgehog bedding, if you do want to use just one layer. Another thing you could try is doubling the length of fabric needed and folding it over for a simple double-layer. That might increase the chances of her trying to dive between the layers or under the liner though, so it's up to you whether you want to try or not.

2. Most people handle in the evenings. You usually do have to wake them up - they huff and puff a bit, but they'll get used to it! It helps if you get on a regular schedule and try to take them out around the same time each evening. Once they realize that it's the same time, they'll come to expect you and might be a bit less grumpy. Just give her a couple minutes to fully wake up when you get her out and she should calm down. Another thing you can do is start talking to her when you go into the room to get her out - sing a song, tell her what you're doing, talk to her about your day, whatever. Hearing your voice might wake her up before she suddenly has her whole bedroom lifted off her!

3. Sunseed isn't one of the worst or dangerous hedgehog foods, but the ingredients still aren't the best. It'd be okay in a mix, but I'd definitely recommend getting at least one cat food to add to it, or just switching her onto a mix of 2 or more good quality cat foods. There's a list of suggestions in the Nutrition forum. If you think she's overweight (does she feel "squishy"? Some other signs are fat rolls in their armpits or chin or a hump between their shoulders.), try to aim for below 12% fat when you're looking for foods. If she didn't have a wheel though, get one ASAP and that will almost definitely help. Lack of exercise can definitely explain being a bit overweight.

4. Most hedgehogs poop a lot! Average does depend on the hedgehog, but usually a couple times a day. You said she's not eating as much, so that's probably the cause of less poop as well. Do you count/weigh/measure her food? It'd be a good idea to start doing that, so you can see how much she's eating. You also want to try and figure out why she might be eating less - it might just be from the change of home, but check the temperature as well. If it's a bit cool, it could cause less activity and eating without causing a full-blown hibernation attempt. Make sure she's also getting 12-14 hours of light, since that can affect activity and hibernation attempts too. Another thing to check is whether the food is stale - they can start eating less if it's starting to get old.

5. If she hasn't been handled much, it'll take her awhile to get used to it, as well as getting used to a new person. How do you hold her when you have her out? Do you try to hold her uncovered in your hands? Try letting her snuggle into a blanket on your lap, or get a snuggle sack (several people sell them on the forum, in the For Sale section) and see what she thinks of it. It sounds like she'd be willing to be a cuddler if she has someplace to hide in. Cuddling and bonding time where the hedgehog is all covered up and sleeping on your lap still counts as such - and it can be great since they learn that you make a great bed, so you must not be that scary! Just be patient with her and try to start learning her little quirks and preferences. It'll take some time for you both to get used to each other and figure out a routine and how to interact. Good luck!
__________________
~*~*~ Kelsey ~*~*~

RIP my sweet Lily ~ 6/12/08 - 1/20/12
Lilysmommy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-28-2013, 12:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Default Re: Meet Pepper, and I have some questions.

Thank you both for your help! I went and got her a new cage today, and I wanted to see what you guys thought about it!

A friend had an old rabbit hutch that he wasnt using, so he gave it to me for pepper! The bottom and sides are both mesh, but I am going to get a piece of acrylic to cover the bottom that is 36" x 30" to cover it completely. Would I also need to get plexiglass for the sides up to a couple of inches?

I hope that she likes it, because it is huge, but if there is a better option I would like to know, so I can do that instead.







Here is the fleece I got for the liner




And here is her current cage that she came with



And here is a little video

XavierDeRoos is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-28-2013, 12:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
Lilysmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 11,963
Default Re: Meet Pepper, and I have some questions.

The hutch definitely looks roomier. I would definitely get some plexiglass (or coroplast, which would be a cheaper option if you can get it) to go up the sides as well - you should go up at least 6-8 inches to keep her from climbing. Judging by her current cage, either she's not a huge climber or she's just been lucky not to get hurt doing it so far. Either way, I'd be safe and cover the sides to prevent the possibility. Another precaution you'll want to make sure you do - make sure the wood is sealed, and if it's not, you'll want to seal it.

Do you know what the dimensions are for it? It definitely looks bigger, and if you can make sure those two things (walls and wood sealed) are done and safe for her, it should be a good cage!
__________________
~*~*~ Kelsey ~*~*~

RIP my sweet Lily ~ 6/12/08 - 1/20/12
Lilysmommy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-28-2013, 12:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Default Re: Meet Pepper, and I have some questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmommy
The hutch definitely looks roomier. I would definitely get some plexiglass (or coroplast, which would be a cheaper option if you can get it) to go up the sides as well - you should go up at least 6-8 inches to keep her from climbing. Judging by her current cage, either she's not a huge climber or she's just been lucky not to get hurt doing it so far. Either way, I'd be safe and cover the sides to prevent the possibility. Another precaution you'll want to make sure you do - make sure the wood is sealed, and if it's not, you'll want to seal it.

Do you know what the dimensions are for it? It definitely looks bigger, and if you can make sure those two things (walls and wood sealed) are done and safe for her, it should be a good cage!

The hutch is 36"x 30" She doesnt seem to climb at all. I have her cage in my bedroom and I can hear her at night, and I dont think she has even attempted. She is a pretty thick hedgie as you can see from the video, so she might not be able to do it. But I dont want to risk anything, so I will get some plexiglass. What is this coroplast I keep hearing about?
Im not sure if the wood is sealed, but if it is anything special, then probably not... its a pretty simple hutch
XavierDeRoos is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-28-2013, 12:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
Lilysmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 11,963
Default Re: Meet Pepper, and I have some questions.

Yeah, I tend to take the "better safe than sorry" approach too. It'll be a good safeguard in the event that you ever have to remove her wheel for a medical issue, such as after a surgery or something - some tend to get a bit nuts without their wheel and will turn to climbing the walls instead. That's definitely a nice, roomy cage though, I bet she'll love the extra space!

Coroplast is basically plastic cardbard, also called corrugated cardboard and signboard. Sign stores sell it, or I think you can sometimes find it at craft stores or stores like Home Depot. I got the coroplast for Lily's C&C cage from a local sign store.

I'm not 100% positive (I'm not exactly up to scratch on carpentry or this kind of stuff), but if the wood is sealed, I think it would probably feel like it has a film or covering over it or look shiny or something? The reason you want to make sure it's sealed is that it'll keep that wood from being a hiding spot for mites, just in case. In the event that she ever gets pee, poop, food, etc. onto the wood somehow, it'll also make it easier to wipe off and sanitize.
__________________
~*~*~ Kelsey ~*~*~

RIP my sweet Lily ~ 6/12/08 - 1/20/12
Lilysmommy is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-28-2013, 03:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
alexvdl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 354
Default Re: Meet Pepper, and I have some questions.

As other people have said, one layer of fleece works great. you may want to consider putting a layer of flannel or a second layer down for absorbency if you don't want pee dripping out of the bottom of the cage.

For the playing and the unsocial aspect, that's something you'll have to work with. What fits your schedule and can be sustained long term is going to be more important than the "perfect time". Maggie tries to get Reginald out around 4-6 because that's when he is most active and likes to ball. We took the one activity that he liked, and we used it to show him that other stuff was safe and worked from there. Now he's a lot more active and up for playing and snuggling no matter when she gets him out.

A big breakthrough was working with him to find a treat he likes. Now that we have a way to reinforce good behavior, he's been making leaps and bounds. It was hard waking him up because he'd always pop and hiss when Maggie reached into his pigloo to get him, but now we're able to use mealworms to lure him out, and he starts his day knowing that it's playtime, so he'll let her pick him up calmly.

The last thing I wanted to add is to keep in mind if she's too big, she won't be capable of balling up at all, so being careful of her emotional status is important. Hopefully a wheel and a good food source will help with that soon though.

Best of luck to you and Pepper!
__________________
Sir Reginald Franzibald Riggs, Duke of Gloucester, Protector of Harrisontonia

My Carry Tube tutorial https://hedgehogcentral.com/forums/vi...st=0&sk=t&sd=a
alexvdl is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-28-2013, 06:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 39
Default Re: Meet Pepper, and I have some questions.

I will try the reinforcer idea. I know she likes mealworms a lot, and I tried using them to lure her towards me, but I'm not sure how many is appropriate to feed at once, and how often I can do that.
Any advice?

Thank you everyone for being so helpful! You're making being a new hedgie owner far less stressful
XavierDeRoos is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-28-2013, 08:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
MaxQ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 9
Default Re: Meet Pepper, and I have some questions.

I read somewhere on the forum that 3-4 mealworms a day is okay, as long as it's not everyday. If you're looking for a less fatty treat, try crickets!
__________________

MaxQ is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
When Zoey met Pepper... PJM Fun Stuff 21 07-29-2011 01:09 AM
Pepper Soup PJM Fun Stuff 12 07-24-2011 12:27 AM
Salt and pepper! bj1998 Color Help 16 07-22-2011 05:27 PM
Pepper's First Vet Visit jinglesharks Health 1 07-06-2010 09:28 PM
Introducing... Pepper! jinglesharks Fun Stuff 9 06-16-2010 05:32 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:55 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
PetGuide.com
Basset Hound Forum Doberman Forum Golden Retriever Forum Beagle Forum
Boxer Forum Dog Forum Pit Bull Forum Poodle Forum
Bulldog Forum Fish Forum Havanese Forum Maltese Forum
Cat Forum German Shepherd Forum Labradoodle Forum Yorkie Forum Hedgehog Forum
Chihuahua Forum Cichlid Forum Dart Frog Forum Mice Breeder Forum