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Old 05-26-2013, 04:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First Time Hedgehog Owner

Hello everyone. I just got a hedgehog yesterday (named him Sonic) and I've got a few questions.

1. Is this food http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... atid=16627 any good? The person who gave me the hedgehog recommended it. I'm kinda having secound thoughts on the choice. Sonic likes it but I'm not sure if it's good or not. Ingredients are listed on the webpage.

2. What household items (besides toilet paper tubes) can I turn into toys for my hedgie?

3. I'm a little worried about picking my hedgie up. I get my hand near him and he balls up and starts hissing. Could he possibly be quilling? he is 3 months old)

4. I'm using fleece fabric as bedding for his cage. How often should these be cleaned?
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Hedgehog Owner

Welcome to the forum and to the life of being owned by a hedgehog!

First I'd like to point you towards the best hedgehog care book out there. It's written by one of the moderators on our forum, LizardGirl, and has a ton of great information for new owners. It's free to download here - http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/files ... index.html

To answer your questions:

1. Sunseed is one of the better hedgehog foods, but even the best hedgehog foods are about on par with the "okay" cat foods. I would recommend getting one or two good quality cat foods to mix with the Sunseed (or you can get rid of it completely, if you want). Good quality means no corn in the ingredients, a meat or meat meal for the first ingredient, no BHA, BHT, or Ethoxyquin, and you want the protein between 28-35%, and the fat 15% or below (though this varies depending on the hedgehog's body size and activity level, so you'll want to watch his weight and habits so you can better judge what fat level he needs in his food. Most hedgehogs do well with 10-15% fat though). Some of the brands that are popular on the forum include Natural Balance, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, Innova, Blue Buffalo, and Solid Gold. There's plenty of other goods ones too, though!

2. Small plastic and cloth kid toys can work well - just make sure there's no loose strings to get caught around legs and no loose small parts that can be chewed off and swallowed. Best to avoid wood as well, since mites can burrow into it. Kleenex boxes can make good hides or dig boxes (filled with fleece strips). An empty oatmeal container with the bottom taken off can make a fun tube to run through. You can find more ideas if you look through the topics in the "Housing & Accessories" forum!

3. He's around 12 weeks, which is one of the quilling times, so he definitely might be. You'll want to make sure you continue to hold him daily anyway, even if he's a bit grumpy. If you're nervous about his quills or about him biting you, you can use a fleece blanket or a t-shirt that smells like you to scoop him up. It'll shield your hands a little, and you can let him hide in that on your lap. He may feel more comfortable wandering on your lap underneath something, or he may curl and go to sleep - both are good for bonding time!

4. It depends on the hedgehog. Most people have to change theirs anywhere from every other day to once or twice weekly. Go by how dirty it looks (if he tracks poop around, or poops and pees wherever he wants, etc.) or how smelly it's getting.
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