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Old 04-16-2014, 05:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice for a new hedgie owner?

Hello guys, I'm Ally and I just recently became the proud momma of a hedgehog whom I've named Watson!

Here's just a little background info: I bought Watson from my mothers friend who didn't really want him anymore. From what I know, he's almost a year old, so naturally I was a little worried about how he'd adjust to being with a new owner.

So far, he hasn't been doing too bad, considering I got him last night. I put a t-shirt of mine that I'd been wearing in his cage last night so he can get used to my scent, and he's currently using it as his hideaway spot right now.

I realize hedgie owners need to have patience with handling and having them warm up to you, so I've just started with putting my hand in the cage, so he can smell me. He has come up and sniffed my hand, no problem. The only time he curls into a hissing ball of quills is if I take my t-shirt off of him or if you make any sudden movements near him. Other than that, he just goes about his cage, doing his thing

I am nervous about picking him up though, I'm not sure if he's ready or not, or if he'll handle it badly. And I don't want to pick him up with me being nervous, cause I don't wanna pass any bad vibes to him.

Do you guys think I'm handling this fine, as a new hedgie owner?
I just want him to be as comfortable as possible, and I know it could takes months for him to warm up to me, I just want to make sure I'm off to a good start.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Make sure that you handle him for atleast 30 minutes a day. Show no fear and if you are a bit worried you could pick him up with the shirt until you are a little more comfortable with him. What food are you feeding him and what kind of cage does he have? Love the name btw.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah I read that you should handle them for at least 30 minutes every night, I think I'm gonna try to do that tonight, and do it every night at the same time from now on.

Right now I have whatever food the previous owner had, I know it's a cat food of some sort but I'm not sure what brand it is so I may have to ask her... Any suggestions on that?

His cage is like a wire rabbit cage, with a plastic bottom so his little feet don't get suck in the metal wiring.

And thank you! He's named after John Watson from the BBC Sherlock tv show c:
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sherlock is my favorite show. ^-^

I would definetly find out what cat food he is on as soon as possible. You don't want something unhealthy. Then I would slowly start to transition him to a high quality cat food if it is not already on this https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...oods-list.html

Wish you luck with Watson! Tell him I said hi.

-Nikki
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah Sherlock is one of my favorites too c:

Yeah I'll ask her either today or tomorrow, and I was planning on transitioning him to better food too, but thank you for posting the link to that list, it really helps!

I'll definitely tell him you said hi, and thank you so much ^_^
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Old 04-16-2014, 10:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No problem.
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So I'm really excited! I made great progress tonight with Watson

I got him out of his cage, with the t-shirt I had in there. He, naturally, curled into a hissing ball of quills, but soon relaxed a bit when I didn't pose a threat. I put him on my lap, and he went sniffing about.

It was kinda weird though, cause at some point he crawled up my arm and on my shoulder, then moved to my chest. And he started licking my neck, then lightly bit it?
It didn't hurt, I'm just wondering if this is normal behavior, like him getting to know me?

But I don't want him to think I'm food either haha. He also went into my hoodie pocket for a little bit, it was pretty cute.

I'm just hoping that from tonight he's gotten a bit more used to my scent; and I definitely plan on taking him out tomorrow night at the same time!
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It sounds like you're off to a great start! Nikkinak made really good points - picking your new baby up in the t-shirt is fine if you're nervous about handling a ball of quills also, handling your baby around the same time every night is important, as it helps build a routine.

It also could help to sleep with a piece of fleece, or even a cozy sack if you've bought one, for a few nights. You can also use that to handle him, or to use for his hideaway. This may sound weird, but wearing a long-sleeved shirt or hoodie that you've worn for a few days can help, just so he knows your scent even when you're handling him. When my girl used to ball up, I just put the sleeves over my hands and scooped her up, so it minimized any pricks.

It also helps a lot to talk to them so they know your voice. But avoid saying "shh" because they may take it as a hissing-sound.

Playing some soothing music helps too. Good luck and have fun with your new baby!
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Old 04-16-2014, 11:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah I was planning on buying him a little cozy sack soon, I think he'd really like one.

And yeah that's what I was doing, I had on my hoodie that I usually wear, and I was picking him up with the sleeves of that, it definitely helped some.

I didn't know about the "shh" thing, I think I did that a few times, but I'll be sure not to do it anymore! Thank you so much for the advice ^_^
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