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Old 02-05-2011, 01:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1st time bringing a hedgie home?

So, first time you bring a hedgehog home (your home)
what are some DOs and DONTs for handling your hedgehog for the first time?
I.E "Dont let it watch spongebob for the 1st day" stuff like that would be great

Also, i already have a cage at home, so how should i bring the hedgehog home? Can i just stick it ina box thats 1feet by 1 feet and let it chill there for the entire car ride home? Anything i should be aware of? thanks

I will have a light source for it because i am also more of a night person so should i ask the breeder what cycle they had the hedgehog on and slowly change it like 1hr a day to what i would prefer?

How far away should the CHE be from the floor of the cage - also is going to be hot enough to melt zip ties if they are pretty close? O_o

For food im planning on buying a month worth from the breeder and then slowly changing it to a mix i prefer, so im hoping that changing it little by little is going to work (20% day) unless it only wants the new food. That would work yeah?

Additional tips/ advice/ words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated
thanks so much for all your help
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1st time bringing a hedgie home?

Maybe ask for some water too if the hedgie is sensitive.

By "The time that you prefer" what do you mean? when do you want the hedgie to be awake for cuddle time or exploring time etc?

Do not expect your hedgie to be in a great mood cause chances are.. he or she on't be.

Don't handle him or her for the first few days to give him or her time to relax and cope with the new environment.

Don't drastically change his or hers old habits, lighting, temperature, etc.
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1st time bringing a hedgie home?

Congrats on your new hedgie!!!

Personally, I don't like handling them the moment you get home. Just because they must be scared, and have no idea what's going on. So the first night, I gave my boy his space, I even put a blanket over his cage at night to give him extra darkness. He had his bed, his wheel, his food and water and he settled in very well. By the next day, I started taking him out.

Make sure your hands are clean, but I wouldn't suggest freshly washed. Just because then they can start getting used to your scent. Be sure to use all unscented stuff, including hand soap, and deodorant. But other than that, you should be good to go. Don't use gloves. If you are having trouble picking up from the cage, use the old shirt you put in there for scent, or give your hedgie a fleece blanket to sleep in. Then all you have to do is take out the entire fleece/shirt bundle out of the cage, and then carefully "unwrap".

Also, many new owners feel the need to bribe with treats. However, unless the treats are something they are already used to eating, nix the treats idea. Just because moving usually causes stress, which causes green poop. And eventually, you may think about switching food, and that can also cause green poop. So just knowing what is causing what can make life easier.

1) You MUST use a hard sided cat/animal carrier that is strapped in with seat belts. It is the safest way to travel with the little ones. If anything were to happen, EMS are trained to look for animal carriers, and a mere box will be overlooked, thus possibly leaving your hedgie in a very bad situation. Sudden braking of the car can cause the box to fly out of your hands, and then traumatizing, possibly harming your hedgie.

2) By moving it 1hr a day, what do you mean? When are you planning on having the lights on/off? They just need 12-14 hours of "light", so I have a desklamp for my boy to turn on at 8am, and off at 9pm. 10pm lights out should still be alright, 11 or 12 may be pushing it, just because some of them will go back to bed before light is up, meaning they would've only had 3-5 hours of "night time activities".

3) I can't help you with CHE, cause I use a space heater. But someone will be along to answer your question. ^_^

4) I usually err on the cautious side when switching food. I always introduce 1 food at a time, and 5 kibbles each time. So I'll put in 5 new kibbles for about 2-3 days, then on the 4th day, I'll up it to 10 new kibbles and keep it like that for 2-3 days, etc etc until I get my desired amount in the mix.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1st time bringing a hedgie home?

@pook
"The time that you prefer" is just the time that i would be able to spend more time with it

@immor
Great, now i gotta go get a hard sided cat/animal carrier -_- hopefuly i can go borrow one
if not. . .ehhhhhhh ill try
By moving an hr a day i mean like
if cycle was from 9am to 10pm next day would be 10am to 10pm etc etc slowly changing the lighting cycle to what i want.
Since your light is on at 8am and off at 9pm. Does that mean your hedgie is up from 8am to 9pm or it sleeps from 8am to 9pm since they are nocturnal? <-- confused much lol

any other suggestions ? thanks
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1st time bringing a hedgie home?

They sleep during the day but we still have to keep a light on for them to simulate day time. For the light it can be the overhead room light or a lamp near the cage, its important they get 12-14 hours a day. By changing the lighting schedule it would be okay to do it gradually as long as you aren't trying to drastically change it (since they are nocturnal you will want the lights off at night and lights on during the day). I don't think you meant a drastic change but wanted to include that just in case because trying to switch a hedgies lighting schedule too drastically can weaken their immune systems which will lead to other problems. Everyone's lighting varies a tiny bit but for example my lights go on 8am and off at 9pm, my hedgies sleep during this time but they somehow sense the light is on even if they are sleeping under a liner.

Can't wait to see pics of your new hedgie when he gets settled in
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1st time bringing a hedgie home?

I would bring a wet washcloth inside a plastic baggie with me. Just in case your hedgie gets carsick. Also, some papertowels. I would bring a slept-in t-shirt to put in the carrier with him. Some of the fleece betting, cuddle bag, whatever, so there's someplace for him to burrow into & it will make the transition into his cage easier if you can just scoop the whole thing out & put it into the cage.
If you have it, I would also bring a thermometer. The one I have for my cages is digital w/ a cord. I like that because I can see the numbers on the display outside of the carrier. If it's cold outside, I would also bring warm water bottles or safedisks or something to keep him warm if the carrier gets a bit cool (& you don't want the entire car to be warm).
How far will you be traveling? (We had to travel 5 hours each way to get our little Cholla, so obviously that takes more planning than a quick trip down the street.)



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Old 02-05-2011, 10:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1st time bringing a hedgie home?

I still have to argue the "don't handle them for a while/few days after bringing them home" point. It really seems to depend on the hedgehog. The breeder I got Norman from said to start handling him as soon as I got him home which I did. He was incredibly inquisitive the instant I popped open his carrying box and couldn't wait to explore anything and everything. He huffed and popped for the first little while but got used to being handled fairly quickly. By day 2 the only time he balled up was when he was woken up from a nap, and that only lasted a few seconds.
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1st time bringing a hedgie home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricky32
@immor
Great, now i gotta go get a hard sided cat/animal carrier -_- hopefuly i can go borrow one
if not. . .ehhhhhhh ill try
By moving an hr a day i mean like
if cycle was from 9am to 10pm next day would be 10am to 10pm etc etc slowly changing the lighting cycle to what i want.
Since your light is on at 8am and off at 9pm. Does that mean your hedgie is up from 8am to 9pm or it sleeps from 8am to 9pm since they are nocturnal? <-- confused much lol
My boy is asleep from 8am to 9pm. He comes out to eat and wheel at around 9:15pm.

What exact is YOUR ideal light cycle? Then perhaps we can comment on how well it may work.
The only problem I see with it, is that many times, our hedgies are in bed WELL before 8am, 9am and 10am. My boy is usually in bed by 6 or 7am, whether the light turns on or not.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1st time bringing a hedgie home?

@PJM
im traveling like 1hr20 each way

@immor
i actually wouldnt mind having my hedgie wake up at 9pm or so like yours
so the 8am to 9pm cycle wouldnt be that bad
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1st time bringing a hedgie home?

Spongebob migh lower the hedgehog's IQ
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