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Old 08-03-2010, 01:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Soil and plants in cage?

We recently changed vets and he recommended putting a tub into Priscilla's cage and filling it with soil and some plants. The soil is in now (organic non fertilizer, no poly ball stuff) but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for any hedgie safe plants? Last thing I want to do is go and buy something poisonous and stick it right in her home!

The vet recommended simple grasses - just things to root around - and to put mealworms into the soil. Has anyone done this? I hate hate hate the idea of Priscilla spending her life in a white fleece blanketed cage environment so if we can add this kind of natural enrichment I'm definitely happy to do so.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil and plants in cage?

I see no problem with regular old grass and sterile potting soil... though it'd probably become quite a mess to keep up. The mealies I wouldn't risk though, really, if one isn't eaten and burrows deep down, pupates, and you start getting beetles, and you start getting baby mealworms crawling out and down into the carpet... also the mealworms would eat the dirt, so by a hedgie eating them they are essentially eating the dirt as well...

I personally prefer to let Inky out in the grass in my own yard, he has much more room to run around than a small bin would in a cage, and he loves it. You can also toss mealies out and it doesn't matter if he doesn't catch all of them.



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Old 08-03-2010, 04:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil and plants in cage?

I agree, I'd much rather P-hog run around outside but we don't have a garden (we're on the 27th floor) so a soil tub is the next best thing! She gets lots of time out of the cage but it's on a hardwood floor... not exactly natural surroundings. This makes me feel like she at least has the smell and sight of something more natural in her home.

I'll go with grass, then, and forgo the mealworms. Never even thought about them pupating! We took two shallow 5" tubs from IKEA, drilled holes in one and set it in the other so that excess water (pee, etc) can drain out, then we can empty that tub. We'll change the soil when necessary too.

The soil IS a bit messy but to be honest it's not nearly as messy as the poop that is left from wheel running! It hasn't resulted in any extra clean up for us as her cage is cleaned daily or every two days if she's being tidier.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil and plants in cage?

That sounds like it will work well for you then! Nesting the tubs is a good idea too!



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Old 10-28-2010, 03:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil and plants in cage?

I just wanted to update this post to let everyone know how it went. We've had the tubs in the cage for a good couple of months now and Priscilla LOVES the soil.

It took a couple of weeks before she learned what to do with it and stopped being scared, sad and yet understandable considering she'd probably never seen soil before. Now she digs and roots in the soil, does her business there in one area and uses the mini tree we planted as a scratching post. I once sat and watched her for half an hour in her soil tub and she seemed to be having a great time!
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil and plants in cage?

Do you have any pictures of the set up? I love the whole natural environment idea.
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Old 10-28-2010, 04:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil and plants in cage?

I, too, would love to see pics of your set-up. It sounds very cool!
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil and plants in cage?

That is great, I too am interested in pics
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Soil and plants in cage?

Please put up pictures! I think this is something I'd want to do
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