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Old 12-02-2008, 02:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Some questions i am thinking about getting a hedgie

Ok so we are thinking about adding a hedgie to our family. But when we went and asked questions about them we got different stories.

Do they spike you everytime you try to hold them?
Do they like to be held?
What is the best cage?
Can you just use a huge rubbermaide bin for them?

What age should they be when u get them?
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Some questions i am thinking about getting a hedgie

I'm not saying that I know everything there is about hedgehogs, but what i'm posting is my oppinion.

1. Do they spike you everytime you try to hold them?
A: When you first bring them home they will probably be scared of you. It takes a little while for them to get used to humans, depending where they came from (a breeder, they were someones pet, a pet store, etc..) After they get used to you if they are socialized properly and depending on the hog's personality they will become a very rewarding pet.

2. Do they like to be held?
A: I dont think it's really a matter of liking being held, as it is minding being held. Again, it depends on the personality of the hog, but my little guy would much rather be left in his cage. I've heard stories of other people's hogs walking up to them and trying to climb on them to be held. Again, it depends.

3. What is the best cage?
A: a hog really needs at least 2 sq. feet of room in his cage. At least that's what i've been told by other members on this site (correct me if i'm wrong). Right now I have my guy in a cage that I built from grid shelving units (about $20 from Target) and I line the bottom with fleece and just wash it when it gets dirty. Most people will recommend that you do not put your hedgie in a glass tank because of the lack of airflow.

4. Can you just use a huge rubbermaide bin for them?
A: I have seen several cage examples made from big rubbermaide containers. They work out really well and are super easy to clean. (at least that's how it looks to me). I've even seen cages with two bins attached together by a pvc pipe. One side for the housing and food and the other for play and wheeling.

I hope this helps you decide whether you really want a hedgie or not. But PLEASE do LOTS and LOTS of reasearch on these guys before you make a final decision. They are wonderful pets, but do require a lot of work. Daily cleaning of the wheel, spot cleaning the cage, washing the liners/replacing bedding, daily cleaning out the food and water dishes, etc. Not to mention that if something happens to your hedgie, vet bills can get very expensive.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some questions i am thinking about getting a hedgie

Welcome to the forum!

Hedgehogs have quills and are guaranteed to poke you. However, a well-temperamented hedgie should put its quills down soon after being picked up, so it isn't too bad, unless you have very sensitive hands. Before getting a hedgie, make sure you've handled one and know what it's like. Make sure not to use gloves while handling, that will only make the hedgie more scared, and mask your scent.

Some hedgies are cuddly, some are more of the explorer type, and some are just all around grumpy. It's all the individual's personality.

There is no "best" cage, it all depends on your own circumstances. People usually use plastic bottomed, wire topped cages, or large rubbermaid tubs. I would suggest you get a very large tub (4 sq ft PLUS) or two of them, and attach with a PVC tube.

A reputable breeder will sell babies at 6-8 weeks. Any earlier than that, would be bad. A pet store should sell around the same age, but oftentimes the hedgies will be left in the store for long periods of time and will be older. It's NOT recommended to buy from a pet store.

Make sure you will be able to keep the hedgie's living area at 73-76 degrees F at all times. Hedgies will attempt to go into hibernation when it gets too cold, and this will kill them if not caught in time.

Also, make sure you have an exotic vet set up, and funding for any emergency procedures. Hedgie vet care can be quite pricey!

Good luck!



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Old 12-18-2008, 01:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some questions i am thinking about getting a hedgie

When you first get your hedgie it will most likely spike you. But as it starts to trust you it wont always spike up. Ive had my hedgie for a few weeks and he still spikes up when i wake him but once he smells me he knows its just me and settles down. Some hedgies are much shyer and can take a long time to get them to fully trust you. When you first get your hedgie i would use your hand instead of a cloth or gloves to pick him up. It may hurt a bit but thats a good way for him to trust you. Also for a bed use one of your old used t shirts so he can get used to your scent. For food we use Wellness low fat and Iams low fat.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Some questions i am thinking about getting a hedgie

Hey there, good for you to not just jump in and get a hedgie before you do some research.
I would like to add one note to this topic....POOP

I also did alot of research before I got mine and I thought I had a pretty good handle on the hygiene issue, however they are poop machines. I spend almost an hour a day keeping him and his cage clean.

The Wheel... is totally caked with poop every morning, so I take it outside and spray it with Fantastic, let it sit for a few and hose it off. Then bring it in and clean off any remaining poop and disinfect it then clean it with water to remove the chemicals.

Bath.... the feet (and sometimes the face) are covered in poop EVERY DAY so then it's time for a foot bath, so after a 10 to 15 min slot to get the bath ready, bathe him, and he poops in the bath, then 15 to 20 min. of treats and cuddle time to get him warm and dry.

Cage.. I think he likes to paint with poop so I spot clean the walls and igloo.

Bedding... I pick up all the poop with tissue, then I take out the pieces of liner that are soiled, take them outside, shake them out to be laundered, replace with clean liners and line the cage with paper towels in all the right spots, under the wheel, the path to the food dish and igloo.

Food and water... then I wash the water and food dishes, they have poopy foot pronts on the edges, and dry them before freshening them with new food and water.

I do not regret my guy, he is very sweet, and I love him very much. :P I am only adding this because I really did not have a clear idea of how poopy they are and I think people, and parents, should have a clear idea of the needs of these little guys hygiene needs before they get into it.
Perhaps I take the long route, but I could not stand the smell of Carefresh litter, and with the problems with wood chips I chose to go with fleece liners, but that does not, in my opinion, add to the mess, they still have poopy feet and a poopy wheel EVERY DAY. So it is very important to their health and your well being to have a grasp of what is entailed in their daily care.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some questions i am thinking about getting a hedgie

Wow, beck. You were blessed with a really messy hedgie. Hehe.
I just wanted to note that while it's a possibility that a hedgie can be that messy, it's not necessarily the rule--but you do have to be prepared to deal with that. With Quentin, he poops and pees in the same area of his cage, away from where he plays. I use liners, as well. I just put a paper towel in that area and take it out when it's dirtied, put another in and he'll go back over there later. Other than a poopy wheel, he's never completely messed up his cage--and he's never come out with it all over his face, so I guess I lucked out in picking him. While my little guy is apparently a clean freak, it could have happened that I ended up with beck's hedgie's evil twin that got even more dirty. And I've read about hedgies that manage to get poop in crazy places, as well. It's really the individual personality of the hedgie. Hope for the best, but be prepared to have to do a thorough cleaning daily and be prepared for a quirky personality because no two are ever the same.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Some questions i am thinking about getting a hedgie

Yea I am pretty lucky with Damien. After i put in a litterpan in his chosen corner he does almost all his pooping there except what he does in the wheel.
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Some questions i am thinking about getting a hedgie

Yeah I'm just lucky I guess. I had to take his wheel out last week because he ran his feet bloody. And the next day he went only in his litter pan and I did think I was lucky. That lasted for three days. And now some is in the pan and the rest is all over the place. He is getting a new bucket wheel so the poop will be in there in no time.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Some questions i am thinking about getting a hedgie

poor beck.
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