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Old 12-01-2008, 12:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Hello people, I'm new to hedgehogs...

Hello, nice to be here!
I am looking forward to getting a hedgehog soon...
I will be building a cavy style cage, for >10 square feet. I have a couple questions:

If I choose to feed my pet catfood, what is a good brand?

What is the best substrate?

I have done lots of research, and have a general idea of what is acceptable and unacceptable for use in hedgehog habitat. I am hoping for some tested and true testimonials to take the guess work out, and make some connections in the hedgehog central world!
Thanks,

Kara
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hello people, I'm new to hedgehogs...

Welcome to the forum.
Most people prefer liners to wooden bedding. If you have easy access to a washing machine, they're wonderful. You can just take a piece of polar fleece and cut it to the size of the cage.
There's a sticky in the diet and nutrition forum with good catfood brands. https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...c.php?f=6&t=15 If you're not going with something from the list, you should look for the first two or three ingredients to be meat based (avoid corn meal and things like that for the first ingredients), there should be about 30% protein, and 15-20% fat (the lower the better). All the foods on the list have 15% or less fat in them and are suitable brands (most aren't carried at stores like wal-mart, which doesn't carry good meat-based foods; a good pet store has most of them--I found mine at a Pet Supplies Plus store in my area). A lot of people like the Wellness brands, and Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul brand.
How big is your hedgie going to be when you get it and how big are the holes in the cavy cage? Some baby hedgehogs and some smaller ones easily escape from holes in the sides of cages, so you might want to keep that in mind.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hello people, I'm new to hedgehogs...

Welcome!

10 sq ft is a great size. Just make sure if you are using C&C cubes, that they are blocked if your hedgie is a baby or small, because they can get caught in the grids while trying to escape.

Catfood, a lot is good, a lot is not. Check out reaper's pinned list under the Diet and Nutrition section.



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Old 12-01-2008, 11:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hello people, I'm new to hedgehogs...

Hey! Thanks for all of the great information!

The hedgehog- I paid for it today, and it will be ready shortly before Christmas. I was told it would be 6-8 weeks old. And I asked for a male, but really do not prefer one sex over the other. (a little f.y.i- I did buy the critter from a petshop-BUT-I know the owner, and it is a reputable place, who buy from reputable breeders.... i know, i know, one in a million...)

Zalea- polar fleece lining sounds perfect. Is this what you use? How often do you change it?

I plan on putting a litter box area in the habitat as well, so the fleece should stay fresher longer. (theoretically, lol)

Thanks again!
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hello people, I'm new to hedgehogs...

if you can get him to use it. im still working on that with my wee one! i would suggest getting a piece of fleece or some other fabric to stick under the wheel. It seems pretty universal that hedgies like to do their business in their wheel, so sticking something underneath it should keep the liner for the floor cleaner longer.

My hedgie likes his royal canine cat food btw.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hello people, I'm new to hedgehogs...

That is what I use. I change mine every 2-3 days. The drawback to the liners is that you have to have several of them to keep on hand so you can have enough to change them before you need to do them in the laundry, so you might have to buy a lot of the fabric. The benefit, though, is that they last for some time and you don't have to keep running out to buy bedding. You just have to toss them in the laundry once or so a week. (Try to get light colored fabric so you can keep an eye on the urinary health.)
Most hedgies go potty in the same areas once they get older (babies go where ever they have to so don't be discouraged if there's no litter training right away), so you should keep an eye out for that area and try to put a litter box/paper towel in that area for easy cleanup. Like Amelia said, they really use the bathroom in and around the wheel. This is because they can't hold it when they're moving quickly. So it's a good idea to have a litter pan underneath the wheel, with a paper towel in it; this helps catch urine running off the wheel as well as any "presents" that might roll out of the wheel. I've noticed my hedgie will actually get out of the wheel at some points and use the litter pan then get back in. I think it's just an accident when he's going to check to see if there's new food, but still. It's good that the pan's there. (My boyfriend and I have a theory that he runs for awhile and then gets out of the wheel to go check the food to see if it's different since he should be in a new spot, then gets back in the wheel and tries again. He does it several times a night, just running over to the food bowl to look at/smell it then goes back to the wheel. It's adorable.)
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hello people, I'm new to hedgehogs...

Thanks again for the brilliant info!

I have been reading more and more about hedgehogs...and was wondering what a vet would do during an exam with a hedgie? Do Hedgies need to be wormed?
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hello people, I'm new to hedgehogs...

As a newer hedgehog owner, I can tell you that we have about 6 fleece liners that we rotate out not only as warm covers over her housing area, but also to line the cage and cover it to keep it warmer on cold nights.

For the litter pan we found that using a very shallow baking pan that is about 8 inches wide and 4 inches long. I fold several paper towels on it and place her wheel on top. There are days when her wheel is filthy from running and pooping all night and other days when she has gotten off the wheel to go to the bathroom under the wheel on the paper towels. Overall, it's very easy to keep clean and the liners are just switched out twice a week.

Have fun with your new hedgie.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hello people, I'm new to hedgehogs...

Hedgies don't need to be vaccinated like dogs or cats. I'm sure they can GET worms (like if they're running around outside and munch on some infected dog droppings or something--and outside should only happen in fenced in supervised areas that have been checked for holes and droppings anyway) but most of the time, since they're indoor, you don't have to worry about it.
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