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Old 02-20-2010, 05:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default What Do I Need To Bring A Hedgie home?

I have been wanting a hedgie forever. I bought one today after doing alot of research. I am not picking her up until Thursday after I get all my facts and her cage straight.

it seems everyone has different ways of taking care of them. Can some peopl maybe show me the best way? Best diet?

I would EVENTUALLY POSSIBLY way later on, Start breeding. So All advice on that is appriciated too. Right now Im starting off with one girl, possibly two.

Can she be housed with another female, Maybe I can buy her sister too? I have a 75 gallon aqarium. I know they like wheels, Just plain on wheels? Or special wheels? I also know they like hide-outs Anyones better than otheres? Wooden? Plastic? What Is the best bedding?

I asked the petshop this too, They didnt say much. They handed me a short care sheet that didnt have much information on it. Since I have been looking everything up and getting alot of different veiws. I would really like to see some veiws from people who own them. PLEASE dont hesitate to tell me anything.

I held her, She didn't seem like her pointies we're sharp, Do they ever hurt you? Little scratches don't bother me.

I read they can eat cat food? Is Purina Indoor cat chow okay? Fruits Veggies and Mealworms too? Please ! ALL advice would be great. THANK YOU! = )

I will share pictures after I pick her up.
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Do I Need To Bring A Hedgie home?

This is just from my research, but I hear that all wheels need to be solid plastic.
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Do I Need To Bring A Hedgie home?

Ooh, yikes. Forgive me if this seems a little harsh.

First, where are you getting your hedgie(s)? If you are getting them from a breeder, it is probably not a good one if they let approved you for one of their hedgies and accepted payment without even checking if you know anything about their care...

My recommendation is to READ READ READ. There are soooooo many threads on these forums with great advice, you just need to read them. If you want a more "book style" way of getting information you can read my book I wrote directed towards people new to hedgies here: http://www.hedgehogbook.webs.com/petafr ... s-free.pdf . It's a free PDF.

I'm really glad you don't want to jump right into breeding, that'd be a horrible idea. I HIGHLY recommend owning hedgies for at least 2 years before considering breeding. You learn so much with actual experience, I don't know of a single person that would be a good breeder right off the bat, with little experience. Appreciate the girl you are getting as a pet, because she will be far too old to breed (possibly not even around anymore) by the time you would be ready to try breeding. Once you have a lot of experience and get to know other people in the hedgehog community you can start considering getting good, pedigreed, healthy hedgehogs for breeding. Even then, if you have the experience, you might not want to breed. Can you afford thousands of dollars on a C section? Moms often have problems birthing. Can you deal with seeing slaughtered baby hedgehogs strewn around a cage, or mom dying, or babies too? You need lots of experience, time, money, not a faint stomach, so many things for breeding. Please wait for a while before considering it.

You can sometimes house girls together. You can do a search in the forums for more information on that. A 75 gallon tank will not work for 2 hedgies though, and IMO not for 1 hedgie either. With liners it would be somewhat easy to clean, since you wouldn't often have to move it, but tanks still are hard to move, have limited ventilation, can be hard to heat... so many things that make them unsuitable. Please search for more information about why they aren't good as well.

For wheels, you need a solid surfaced wheel at least 12" in diameter with no cross bars. People sell wheels specifically made for hedgies which are the best to use. You can also buy a commercial wheel but often they are loud and unsafe.

Most owners use fleece liners as bedding with more fleece in an igloo or a "hedgie bag" sewn from fleece/flannel to sleep in. Again, there is tons of information on this in the forums. I really don't recommend any particulate bedding like shavings or paper products.

The pet stores are *never* any help. I haven't heard of a single one that actually knows what they are talking about and very often they give really harmful advice. They gear all their advice to make hedgies seem like great pets that don't take any work or special care and really are just trying to make money off of them.

The quills don't hurt when the hedgie is relaxed, but they can when she is defensive and balled up with them erected. You'll get used to it, though.

High quality cat food supplemented with insects, fruits, veggies, scrambled eggs, unseasoned cooked meats, etc. is best. There are threads here with good cat foods listed. Purina is a crappy brand, and their "chow" formulas are even worse. I would never feed them.

Really, just look around and read the threads and stickies here. They'll help a ton.



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Old 02-20-2010, 08:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: What Do I Need To Bring A Hedgie home?

Ok, So where do I get the special wheel? My sugar gliders use a special wheel too. A Wodant wheel.

Understandable about the breeding situation.
What is a liner?

I have been reading through threads for atleast three hours, Im still confused as everyone says different stuff.

Yes, Im getting her from a petstore.

I have raised many animals in my life and im very big on rescues, I adapt to animals and their lifestyle very easily with the correct information. I have raised orphaned Opossums to bottle fed orphaned newborn kittens/pups to newborn rabbits. The list is alot bigger.

I am prepared for the rejection. Gliders also sometimes reject their joeys, Luckily I have not had to experience it but I am prepared.

My problem is getting the correct information.

I have credit cards, So if worst ever comes to worst with C sections, Yes I am preparred. I have Leu, Mosiac and WFB sugar gliders. Their price range is from $300 (WFB) to 1000 (LEU) To 1,200 for Mosiac.

I also already have an exotic vet for a checkup and then anything after needed.

Many people have told me my 75 gallon was good, Now im going to go research that. I actually had planned on using lights to heat the aqariums.
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Do I Need To Bring A Hedgie home?

welcome...good for you to get info before your baby comes home.

First, you say you're gettign them from a pet shop? The problem with that is you don't know their background, if there is any WHS in their lineage, if they are inbred etc. When you are ready to breed try to find a breeder with some good heathly lines and get the hedgies from there. You should also find a mentor to help with breeding problems etc.

I agree that a tank is a really bad idea. If you use lights to heat them what happens when you turn the light off at night? Most hedgies don't like infared lights either. A ceramic heat emitter would heat the tank...but the glass will get to warm and the ventilation isn't good. Hedgies have delicate lungs so need good venitation as their poop can be very strong smelling when fresh. I have a 66 gal tank for my fish and I wouldn't be comfortabe using it for even 1 hedgie as I don't think it would be big enough, you should have 2 square feet of open space, per hedgie, once everything is in it. With 2 hedgies you will need, two wheels, 2 sets of dishes, and 2 sleeping places. And be prepared if one day they decide they don't want to share a cage anymore. The wodent wheel is good for gliders, I used to have some gliders, but its not good for a hedgie as they poop and pee when they run and a wodent wheels would trap everything in there with them.

Good luck with your new hedgie
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Do I Need To Bring A Hedgie home?

To bring your hedgie home from where you are getting it is best to have a hard sided cat carrier if you are bringing them home in a car so that it can be buckled in and because its the safest thing in a vehicle. You can add fleece and hedgie bags to make it so they don't slide around in there.

For a cage I use a modified Ferret Nation, if I couldn't get that one my second choice would be a plastic bottom, wire topped cage. I'd make sure it had an absolute bare miniumum of 2 square feet but just based on my experience with my hedgehog I really feel that the minium is way to low and don't think I would feel comfortable with anything less than 4 sq feet. There is an excellent thread in Housing that shows wonderful cage set ups

I think one of the most important things I would pass on would be that keeping your hedgie at the correct temperture (75 degrees is an average temp with some liking it a degree or two warmer and a few liking it cooler) is crutial. For food choices you can check out Reapers for your mix, its recommended to have 2-3 quality cat foods for your mix. You have to wait a few weeks before incorporting anything new into their diet after they get home and its important to only incorporte one thing at a time and then watch for adverse reactions. You'll want to make sure that they are getting 12-14 hours of light a day too.

Lizardgirl has an awesome book she put together that has all the valuable info that you will need to have a happy healthy hedgie. The information is up to date in it. You can do a search to read the pdf file and I believe there is information if you would like to buy the book.

I think its great you are researching before getting your baby and I can't wait to see pics.
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