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Old 11-15-2010, 02:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy OUCH! How do I handle my new hedgie?


Hi! I just got my new Hedgie tonight. His name is "Chocolate Covered Macaroon". He is a snowflake. He is 15 weeks old today. The breeder told me he was shy, unlike his siblings who were friendly (and already sold), He huffs & puffs and barks and stays curled up in a ball. If you try to touch him anywhere, he pops and huffs and puffs somemore. Everytime he pops, he stabs me. His quills are out like a cactus's. The breeder showed me the trick of picking him up from the side along with some litter. I still got stabbed. When I took him out of the carrier, when we got home , I used gloves. Then I read on here that gloves are a no-no. Help! I know I should leave him undisturbed for a couple of days, but how do I handle him without being impaled?

Also, at 15 weeks, do you think he's too set in his ways and will never unwind and be friendly?

~~~Joanne, in South Carolina~~~
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: OUCH! How do I handle my new hedgie?

There's always the possibility that a hedgehog will not become friendly towards a human, but its generally uncommon. He's going to be very shy and anti-social just from the home switch, but no, at 15 weeks he's not set in his ways, even hedgehogs that are 1, 2 years old that are shy and grumpy about being handled can make a 180 personality wise, it just takes time and dedication, it may take you months to get him to come around, but as long as you're up for the challenge, all should go well.

Other members will have suggestions, indeed when they're not so shy and balling up, you scoop them up with both hands from either side. If you got some fleece or a small blanket or even a towel with no loose threads, what I do at least and it might not be the best way, is I take fleece (folded so its a double layer), place it over top the hedgehog, and then basically do the scooping method as described, and when they ball up I usually gently roll them over into my right hand, then of course use both hands to bring them out. My female Hester isn't shy but very anti-social about being handled and this is how I got to get her out of the cage, otherwise you get poked. As said, other members might have a better method.

But definitely let him chill for at least a couple of days so he doesn't get too stressed out, hogs are not a fan of changing homes. Make sure he eats and drinks, is warm (73'f to 78'f) and has a light cycle going to regulate his internal clock. If he doesn't come out at night, try giving him total darkness if he doesn't have it, some don't mind gentle light from a tv or computer monitor, others (especially shy guys) like having total darkness. My male Loki is totally shy, but once they trust you, he hardly balls when I scoop him up.
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Old 11-15-2010, 07:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: OUCH! How do I handle my new hedgie?

Congrats on your new grumpy hedgie lol!
He is young enough that you should be able to bond in the near future,just don't be scared and don't give up! Try picking your hedgie up with an old worn tee-shirt and just let em sit covered up in your lap till he starts to get use to you. Also putting that old worn shirt in his cage will help with him with getting use to your smell. I'm from NC so we are kinda neighbors From what breeder did you get your hedgie?
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: OUCH! How do I handle my new hedgie?

Welcome to HHC & Congrats on CCM!
The guys know what they're talking about.
Just continue being patient with the little guy.



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Old 11-15-2010, 09:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: OUCH! How do I handle my new hedgie?

Welcome to HC & to having a new hedgie. I'm backing the "no-loose threads' fabric. My hedgehog has a large fleece square and a fleece hat. When she's cranky, I can use those to buffer between my hands & her quills. Agreeing with putting a shirt in that smells like you. You can also use this to pick up your hedgehog.
Give him time & he should come around, making picking him up easier.
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Old 11-15-2010, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: OUCH! How do I handle my new hedgie?

Welcome! I agree with all the other suggestions members have made on this post, and I just want to add that you need to be persistent. My hedgehog goes through phases where he suddenly decides that for a few days he is going to be balled up, spikey, and mouthy. He comes around in time and is very sweet. Just keep trying! Giving out plenty of treats helps too
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: OUCH! How do I handle my new hedgie?

Thank you all for your suggestions and advice and encouragement. He is doing better tonight. Yesterday, he didn't come out of his house til after i went to bed at 4AM. I know that he did, cause he ate some food. This evening, we took his house out of the cage for a while and listened to him huff & puff and pop! Then we pulled out the mealies! Boy, did he react! Was he greedy! I put a couple of dead crickets in his food dish, too. It was good to see him move around and show his handsome little face!

In response to Larry T(I don't know how to send PMs. Couldn't figure it out.): I got my hedgie from SCSpikesand Scales in W. Columbia, SC. The breeder's first name is Marli. Have you heard of her?
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: OUCH! How do I handle my new hedgie?

There is a little button that says PM next to each poster's post. To PM that person just press the button on their post (it's a very small button).

It sounds like your hedgehog is very food motivated which is awesome. Some are so picky. I just wanted to caution though to go easy on the treats in the first few weeks. one or two every so often (less than every night I would say) is probably fine but make sure you introduce any new treats or food slowly and one at a time to watch for any signs of stomach upset. The first few weeks are so stressful for hedgie and their stomachs are so sensitive to change to begin with that you want to be extra careful during that time.

Another suggestion that I don't think I read was that if you are sewer make some hedgehog bags. these are just sleeping bags usually made out of a few layers of fabric without any loose threads (so all the seams have to be hidden in between the layers). You can use whatever fabric you have as long as it doesn't have any loops or loose threads (like towels do) popular choices are fleece and flannel (my favourite that I made is fleece on the inside and denim outside). You can also buy these bags, a few different members on here sell them.

Once you have the bag put it in the cage for your hedgehog to use as a hiding place. When he is inside you can pick up the bag from the edges or the bottom and leave hedgehog on your lap inside the bag for bonding time.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: OUCH! How do I handle my new hedgie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jings55
In response to Larry T(I don't know how to send PMs. Couldn't figure it out.): I got my hedgie from SCSpikesand Scales in W. Columbia, SC. The breeder's first name is Marli. Have you heard of her?
Don't know them personally but have heard of them,nothing bad.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: OUCH! How do I handle my new hedgie?

congrats on your new best friend

My guy pops when I reach for him 90% of the time but I've quickly learned to deal with the thorns. It takes 2 or 3 seconds of owies and then he retracts in my hand. Sometimes I'll just lay my hand flat by him so he sniffs and figures out what it is and walks onto it. Oh how I love his little wet nose, it tickles lol
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