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Old 05-13-2011, 01:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Getting my 1st hedgie this week - Help?

Hi there! First off, I would like to say thank you all so much for being so informative! I've been reading different threads on this website for the past week or so now to prepare myself more for my hedgehog and have learned more than I could ever hope to know! You are a great bunch of pet-owners and I'm so happy I found this site.

I've been crossing things off my "to get" list for the past couple weeks in preparation for my baby hedgehog. She is 6.5 weeks old and just about ready to leave the breeder, and I'm going to start getting her home all set up this weekend. I figured I would post and see if I have all of my bases covered.

This is what I have:
-29"x18"x12" sterilite "house"
-Fleece liners & absorbent diapers to go underneath
-CHE dome
-Digital thermometer
-Light timer for the lamp I will have near the "house" for consistent 12hrs/day light
-Litter box & litter
-Non-scented, hypo-allergenic laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets

This is what I will be getting:
-CHE bulb
-Remote sensor thermostat
-Food bowl
-Water bowl/bottle?
-Wheel
-Some type of hut
-Food: Chicken soup for Cat Lover's soul (adult cat lite), Wellness (healthy weight formula), Natural Balance (Green pea & duck formula)

I feel like I'm forgetting something haha.

Some questions:
-If I'm using fleece liners for bedding, will I have much of a problem as far as messiness if I use a bowl for water instead of a bottle? I know bottles can hurt their teeth, and don't promote hydration as well, so I would really like to get the bowl.
-Is a 75watt CHE going to be enough to heat the "house"? My home is usually between 69 and 73 degrees
-What is the best size wheel to get? 10"? 12"?
-I've seen some pictures of people's hedgie set-ups and noticed bag-like things meant for them to cuddle up in. I would prefer something like this over an igloo hut. Do you buy them or DIY?
-Should I give my hedgie distilled water? I know they have a good sense of smell and don't want to offend mine by giving her lame ol' tap water if that's not what she thinks is good
-How should I bring her home? I don't want to lug around her huge "house", or have her associate the bin with bad things, like scary people and traveling. The breeder is about an hour away from me

I think that's it for now. Any replies are appreciated! I've been interested in getting a hedgie for years now, and a few months ago finally decided that I was going to do it. I found a good breeder and waited for the call to let me know that mama was pregnant! My fiance is really interested in them as well, and really excited that we are getting "our" first pet.

Once again, thank you guys for being so knowledgeable and caring!
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting my 1st hedgie this week - Help?

Welcome to HHC! Glad to hear that the forums have already been a big help to you, and kudos for doing your research before getting your new baby!

All of your supplies lists look great, you might also want to get a digital scale at some point so you can monitor hedgie's weight.

- Yes, a bowl is definitely better to use. You should be fine to use one, just make sure it's a heavy bottomed bowl so it's harder to tip over. If the breeder has used a water bottle, you may want to either buy a bottle to offer along with the bowl, or watch carefully to make sure hedgie figures out how to drink from a bowl.

- Hm...The 100 or 150 watt is usually recommended, but you're using a sterilite bin so it seems like 75 might be safer...Maybe someone else can offer more advice on this. Also, in case you haven't already, you'll want to drill some holes in the side of the bin all the way around, to give more ventilation. Otherwise they're not much better than a glass aquarium as far as ventilation goes.

- You'll need a 12" wheel. If you're looking for the best of the best, one that's easy to clean and will last for the longest time, I highly recommend LarryT's wheels viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4844 and viewtopic.php?f=20&t=9827. I have one of each and they're wonderful. Lily especially prefers the bucket wheel, I'm not quite sure why. If you're going to get a pet store wheel though, a Comfort Wheel or Flying Saucer are the best choices.

- You can make them yourself or buy them. There's several people on here that make them to sell, the first that comes to mind is Nikki. viewtopic.php?f=20&t=6690

- You might ask the breeder if you can get a bottle of their water to bring home so you can slowly change over to whatever you're going to use. Sudden water changes can upset tummies just like sudden food changes. I don't think distilled water is recommended, but filtered water is used by a lot of people on here, either by buying filters to use on their faucets, or buying filtered bottled water (I think). I just buy regular bottled water for Lily since it's easy to keep constant.

- The best thing to use for car trips is a small cat carrier, which is something else you may want to add to the shopping list. They're better protection in the event of a car crash, and emergency responders are trained to look for them.
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Old 05-13-2011, 09:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting my 1st hedgie this week - Help?

Welcome to HHC! I'm so excited for you!! And it's wonderful that you have done your research. It sounds like you are very well prepared.
I'm glad Lilysmommy already answered - that's a lot to type!

I wanted to add some moew about the carrrier. You can get one at pet store, Walmart, Target, etc. They are great to have because you can buckle them into the car. If you get into an accident, not only will they be much safer, but emergency personell will easily be able to identify that ther's an animal in the car. They are great for taking your hedgie to the vet. I usually will take mine to the office with me & then go to the vet straight from there. Handle makes it easy to carry (although, since I have 2 hedgies, my 2nd carrier has wheels & I just put the other on top of it like I was at the airport).

I can't wait to hear more about your little one!!



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Old 05-13-2011, 10:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting my 1st hedgie this week - Help?

I use Sterilite bins for Quinn. We cut the middle out of the lids and put a screen over it. Also, we drilled holes all around each bin. Use a hair dryer to warm the plastic it makes cutting easier and prevents cracks.
For heating we use a space heater in the room. It's never pointed directly at his cage for safety reasons. You can get one a Canadian Tire for $20 (if you live in Canada lol). However right now we dont use it that often because oddly he prefers cooler temperatures
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting my 1st hedgie this week - Help?

Thanks guys! Like I said, I'm extremely happy that I stumbled across this site on google. I am beyond excited to get my little girl!

I went to 2 pet stores in my area today, and neither of them carry 75W CHEs. They had 60W, which I don't think would be good enough to heat the whole sterilite. And I definitely agree that 100W may be too much for the plastic. Anyway, does this one look good?
http://www.amazon.com/GSI-Quality-Ceram ... 764&sr=1-1

I'm starting to think the 75W aren't very popular because this is the only one I could find on Amazon.

I will most definitely be getting one of LarryT's wheels! They look and sound great.

Just to be sure, by filtered water, do you mean purified? Like Dasani or Aquafina?

Also - should I clean the sterilite and supplies before I get everything set up? If so, what should I use?

More questions ( ) -When should I schedule the first vet appointment for? As soon as possible? And are vet trips a regular "check-up" type thing, or just when I sense that something may be wrong?

Annnnd - I found "hedgehog treats" at a pet store. It's a dried fruit and vegetable mix, with 12% protein, 6% fat, and 4% fiber. Would it be more beneficial to just buy fresh fruits and vegetables for her?

@Quinn - Your choice for the lids is just what I was thinking of! I am curious how you went about doing it. I'm assuming you attached the screen material to the lid, I just can't picture how it should be done.

Thanks for the quick responses, ya'll! I was so excited when I saw that I had replies already!
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting my 1st hedgie this week - Help?

I replied to your question in a pm and I sent you a link about the lids. I don't know anything about CHE's since I use a space heater. LarryT's wheels are great! I wish I knew about them before I bought the wheel that I have now but maybe I'll just replace the wheel one day. As for water I give Quinn filtered tap water using Brita but you could use bottled water if you wanted. I clean the sterilite containers with dish soap (I hope that's ok) but I have used a mixture of vinegar and water to. I would clean before you set it up just to get dust and stuff out. Do a vet check as soon as possible and book one yearly. Im pretty certain that dried fruit for hedgies isn't good because it can get stuck to the roof of their mouth (please correct me if I'm wrong). So I would just use fresh to be safe. Good luch and have fun!!!
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting my 1st hedgie this week - Help?

Thanks a ton, Quinn! It's much appreciated.
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