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Old 04-06-2009, 06:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Hedgehog Cage *my options/ideas - long...

Hello to all the good people here!
I am yet to buy my hedgehog. I do have one lined up, a very nice cinnamon male.

I am getting it, probably in a week-2weeks.

My intention was to use my 55gallon terraium, just moved my adult python into a custom cage.
So I have this cage... I know they are not ideal, so I started thinkin of alternatives.
I do not wish to have a sterlite tub, I want something, nicer.

So this glass cage, 2.5ftx1.8ft, 18inches high
If I do not cover half the top, the humidity follows my rooms humidity. (30-40%RH)
Ventilation should not be to huge an issue, I would plan on leaving evenn the screens off the top.
Not IDEAL? IS that better then, this?

I just got 6 new custom cages for my dragons and snakes.
Leaving all my old ones empty.

My Dragon had a 4ft x 2xt custom melamine cage.
There are screens on each end of the cage with plexi glass sliding fronts.
The cage is white melamine, all inside corners have been sealed with silocone.
Melamine does not obsorb liquid deposited onto it. It does not stain either.

Also, to make the wodden cage 100% better, would be for me to take 3ftx5ft plastic shelf liner(used as all my snakes substrate)
I would take this shelf liner and one piece cover the entire floor, coming up roughly 6" on all sides of the cage, this will ensure no liquid even touchs the floor.

Mold is not an issue in this cage, I kept my dragons humidity at 50-60% And I misted the cage daily(so the dragons can lick the drips)

Ok, so to recapp
Which ones of the above mentioned cages is better?
I prefer my old dragon cage, very nice to view, easy to cover at night for light....

Then once I choose which option, I then decide substrate.

First a question on this topic.
My dragons were kept on slate tiles substrate, this ensured I never had to trim their nails, they are a ncie round tip. I have not been able to find ne info on this option? is it an option?
If it is an option, I would leave slate tiles on half the cage, and paper towel on the other side,
On the soft substrate I would have the hide box. As well as some shredded fleece/or such.

Another option would be to put inside the cage a smallish tub, some 15qt(1ft by 1.5ft 4inches high) Cut a 2inch groove in one side, And fill half way with aspen shavings. This will contain the mess somewhat, allowing the lil guy to dig a little, providing a super secure hide. (no lid on this big)

So if you say, tile NOO WAY, very well, I would then look to cover the entire ground with paper towels, normally my cages get 2-3layers of super obsorbant towels(the sponge pockets ones) I find they soak up all juices from ym dragons stools well.

You may say, paper towel? you will need to change that bi-daily. well sure, I change my snakes cages on a 3day cycle, easy enough to add one mroe cage to my cycle.

As for cleaning my cages.
I use chlorohexadine, a solution I know many herpers use. I even use this stuff to clean my washroom now it is great, and evaporates into hydrogen and water particles. Harmless to herps I know fursure. I remove all cage furniture, spraydown entire inside, and wipe dry on a weekly basis. Very simple, and this means moving my glass cage would not be an issue, for that matter my wooden cage is easily twice as heavy as the terraium.

Ok so I have asked and said alot.
Any one who is still reading, please if you could assemble my above options into what you think is the best...
Also feel free to say I am crazy and need to rethink everything I have thought...
Or recommend changes to any of my above options....

Personally from my reading, I would want to use plastic shelf liner to reline the bottom of my big dragons cage, and use paper towels ontop for half, and the tile on the other half.
A hide with shredded nonthreaded linen. A saucer wheel I would buy commercially, and of course toys and such.
I have a great big pet food store accross the street, and the breeder I am purchasing my hedgehog from is supplying a one months supply of the feed they use.
I have a readily available selection of feeder worms, hornworms, silk worms, superworms... I have read these make a good 3rd option as a treat, with 2 types of foods as the staple.

So now it is even longer, so wow ok any one who helps now I am amazed you read all this...
so THANKS A TON!
GoodSmeagol
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Cage *my options/ideas - long...

I'm not sure which of those cages would be the best, but I don't think you should use slate tile with nothing covering it. I think it would be hard on the hedgie's feet. And instead of paper towels, most people use liners, made of fleece, corduroy, or flannel. They're easy to get/make, and you can wash and reuse them. It's cheaper and a heckuva lot better for the environment than using all of those paper towels. Then you just change the liners every couple of days or so, then wash when you have enough to make a small load. People usually use fleece strips for the hiding spot too, because fleece can take a beating from hedgie nails clawing at them.
I also use that chlorhexadine solution, I was given a bottle from the breeder where I got Lily. I made wipes and I wipe the cage down with it weekly, and wash her wheel in it whenever it needs it. I really like it.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Cage *my options/ideas - long...

First off, Hedgehogs are not fish or reptiles they are mammals. An aquarium shouldnt be used since there isnt much ventalation.

that being said, IF those are the only two options then i would say the dragon cage. I personaly wouldnt use either one, BUT if you do use the dragon cage be sure to use PROPER bedding ...preferably fleece liners, Paper towels could be used in you liter pan, but from personal experience one time of using it and it is soaked. also, Hedgehogs walk on the bottoms of their feet, not their toes so the tile should not keep their nails trimmed. That is something you are going to have to do for yourself. If the nails are long enough to reach the tile then they are too long and if the tile is rough enough to trim their nails then it is too rough for the bottoms of their feet. I would either strongly recomend a Sterlite cage or a C&C cage as a much better alternative. Once again, this little guy is a mammal NOT a reptile or fish so he shouldnt be housed like either one.

What kind of food is the breeder feeding? If it is a commercial hedgehog food I would recomend that you read Reapers list in the diet & nutrition forum and if it is in the bottom half of that list then toss it and get one of the foods on his dry cat food list to start and after a week or so slowly start adding another one. This can be a hit and miss procedure as no two hedgies are alike and what some love, others may shy away from. If it is a hedgehog food and it is in the top half of the list then you can start slowly changing them off of that food, commercial hedgehog foods are junkfood at best and some are even fatal to hedgehogs. Be careful when feeding the hedgie super worms as they have been known to bite the insides of throats and stomachs. would be best to cut off their heads first.

I would also suggest reading all of the stickies in the forums before you get your little one, from the sounds of it you have a lot of research left to do.
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hedgehog Cage *my options/ideas - long...

Thanks
Food I understand, in the emails from the breeder the name of the food is listed, he has asked I keep him on it. It is not a hedgehog food, I believe a high protein canin food is what he has, I understand high quality cat food is better, I will have to look into this in my next conversation with him.

I did not understand the way they walked, thank you, tile is unacceptable.

Paper towel (sponge pockets) when 4oz of water is poured onto it, the water will spread into about a 4inch circle.
Is obsorbency the only benifit from fleece to papertowels?
Any one else provide a reason paper towel is not good?
I am a germaphobe, and would prefer useing disposable substrate. Also dust free...

I still do not believe this entire terraiums have bad ventilation stuff, esp with out a screen lid... but I will fold and accept this as a common recomendations, thanks.

My wooden cage, why would you not use it? it is highly water resistent, I know it will not mold or harvest bacteria, the melamine does not stain or obsorb, both sides are extremly well ventilated, it has a big floor space, all inside corners are sealed with silicone. I use a spray cleaner to clean, so moving is not needed... Why is this a bad cage to use?

If reasonable answers are given, I can front money and find something else, however I do not like wired cages, the look is just not what I like. If mandatory I would live with it, as I want my hedgie to be happy, so please give me reasons why my cage is alot worse then a steal bar cage(C&C, big guinie pig cages etc...)

Always thanks for any answers/replies/information given...
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Cage *my options/ideas - long...

In the case of paper towels, I can just picture the hedgie digging, scratching and ripping the paper towels, shredding it all and making a den of ripped paper towels with all their urine and poop mixed in and getting all over the hedgie's back.

I use fleece liners as well. Although, when I went to pick my hedgie up from the breeder's, she was using puppy training pads as liners. It's something to think about, but I just didn't like it because of all the garbage it would produce, when fleece liners can be reused.

Also, I believe Dorasdaddy said dragon cage, so the wood one would be the better choice. Although pictures to get a full idea on the cage would be great as well, as it sounds like it might be similar to what others have used as cages. I'll prob edit when I can find the examples I'm talking about.
https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...st=0&sk=t&sd=a Thread mostly about wooden cages.
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hedgehog Cage *my options/ideas - long...

Strong case against paper towel, good call on the hedgie ripping it to shreds.

Ok so disposable alternatives?
My sister uses 'urine mats' for her lil doggy, they are about 2ftx2ft the inside is built out of the particles found in diapers to obsorb urine... The outside is a soft material, with no loose threads...
Would those be dangerous to the hedgie, I do not think they have any odour to them...

I am just really not a fan of the idea of washing liners, I want disposable.

Keep em coming, the quick replies are fantastic!
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Cage *my options/ideas - long...

Like i said before i just like the look and size of the c&c cage much better....I have one and it is not an open wire designe...the panels are frosted vinyl. This provides climb resistance, while still being customizeable. I would be worried about the hedgie climbing the wire screen and falling and getting hurt.

Also, what is best for the hedgie is what you need to consider, not your fear of germs. I cant imagine that the puppy pads would be very good for their sensitive noses. They have a scent imbedded in them to tell the puppy that is where to go. I would also worry about the digging prospect on these. Overall liners are going to prove to be the best overall choice...they are reuseable, environmentally friendly, absorbent, and dig resistant. they also have the added benefit of allowing you to monitor what is going on with the pee and poop.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hedgehog Cage *my options/ideas - long...

DD-Again thanks!

The doggie mats were sort of a fast thought, I have only seen them a few times... So I have no research on them. A scent to encourage doggie doodoo makes a little sense.
It was more of a 'nice' idea concept.

And yes, the hedgehogs well being is more important then my silly phobias...
I just REALLY want a disposable option, so if any one has any ideas... please...

If not, a liner is sounding more and more like what I will hafta live with, maybe I can find a bulk roll of fleece in which I can make tons of mats, and toss em as needed... (Yes I am a wasteful person)

Do hedgehogs not climb the wire cages? I would have thought it would be much easier for them to climb on the much bigger cubes of most of the C&C(am i thinking correctly?) with such big cubes I would have thought it very easy for them to climb those ones...

The screen I use is pretty fine, My dragon was not able to climb it any more after it was about 6 months old, its claws were just to thick...

Friends used to have hedgehogs a few years ago, and if my memory serves me right, their toes are about the same as my full grown dragons... (shorter mind you)

The breeder, who I was just talking to, told me "Royal Canin" is the food she feeds all her hedgies with. And also mentioned she would include a x-large tub on wheels which he currently resides. With this information, speed is not essential for me to get the big cage setup, she says he can stay in the tub for his life, or more space would be fine to give him. I described my cage to her, and she recomended covering the bottom 4" of the screen on either side of the cage. This will discourage him from climbing, and still provide adequete ventilation. She used carefreshbedding with him now. I would require a dust free alternative (looking more and more like fleece liners...) which she said would be fine, she did say put the fleece down with the carefresh bedding ontop for the first little while, to acclimate him easier.

Thanks all!
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Cage *my options/ideas - long...

What is it about washing liners that bothers you? Is it that you have to wash them in your own personal washer? A way to get around this is to go to coin laundries(I stuff horse blankets in there all the time.... and I get dirty looks ) You can buy a bunch of fleecies, and when you have a decent "dirty" pile, then head over to the coin laundry to clean them.

Also, if you look here https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...p=16305#p16305 You'll see pictures of typical c&c cages. The lower bits of the cages, you'll see is lined with coroplast, which makes it so that the hedgies can't climb the cages.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Cage *my options/ideas - long...

I use kiln-dried aspen shavings. Note: some hh cannot handle shavings due to allergies.
I got a long-handled spoon, and first thing in the morning, all drop site areas are picked up and thrown out. The cage gets a cleaning once a week, with total removal of shavings, and a wash down in 50% vinnegar mix.

To make sure you know what you are in for, (from the germ-side of things), you will find that the wheel you have after a night looks like an explosion went off, as your little quills will have run droppings all along the way (not realizing it comes back). If I don't see this in the moring, I am worried Not all are like this; however, be prepared for daily washes of the weel, and your your little hh's feet. This is never shown in a "how to care for" reality check.

As far as your wood cage, I think mites may be a concern, as they are hard to get rid of. This is one of the drawbacks of shavings as well.....as mites may come with the bag. Although, there is a great cage set up from Germany, and it looks like it is made of wood. I am not sure. You may want to check the cage option pictures. Decisions, decisions, decisions...
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