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Old 04-24-2009, 12:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My cage setup and questions

Hi, I've been browsing these forums for a month or so now, but this is my first time posting.
I'm very close to having my pet hedgehog (waiting for the pet store to call me) and have spent the money on a cage and things I'll need, mainly based on asking the employees of pet stores, but I still have a few questions.

The first picture is where I have placed my cage, as my room doesn't allow for much else, this is the most convenient.

[attachment=1:udoibbum]cage_spot.jpg[/attachment:udoibbum]

Will this be a bad spot? I read on the site to keep it away from direct sunlight. As you can see here, it is right by a window. I can easily keep the blinds closed, so I figured that would make the problem null.

The second picture is my cage setup. The cage is 30"x12"x12" (LWH). On the left is the wheel and water bottle, in the middle is an edible hollowed log for him to play in/hide in/gnaw on, and on the right is an igloo and two food bowls. The bowl on top of the igloo is just extra at the moment, possibly for treats, but just serving as a weight at the moment.

[attachment=0:udoibbum]cage_fromabove.jpg[/attachment:udoibbum]

I haven't placed my bedding out yet since I'm still waiting to get my hedgie, so this is just my cage "plan" until I get the call.

I decided on aspen "pellets" and was wondering if this any different from shavings? Or is it the same thing with a different name/shape and no real difference otherwise?

The wheel I have in the cage is only 8.5 inches. Will this be big enough? I do plan on getting a bigger wheel and giving the hedgie a sort of playplace outside of the cage later when he's older and bigger, because a 12-inch wheel will not fit in the cage. I figure I'll have to upgrade the cage later on as well. I also have a ball for him to run in that is also about 8 inches in diameter, and I was also afraid he may not fit in here (again, upgrading to a bigger ball when he's bigger). I'm also not sure if my igloo is too small. If it is, I'm sure I can find a way to boost it so that he can still get inside, etc.

Overall, my main concern with the cage is whether or not it is too crowded. After rearranging it a few times, I feel like this is the best way to make it so I can have everything in the cage that I feel I need and still have that little bit of free space. Is this space big enough? If not, I will simply have to take the log out, and possibly throw it in every once-in-a-while in place of the igloo or something.

That's all my questions for now, if I forgot something I'll be sure to ask.
Thanks for the help, and sorry if there are any stupid questions. (:

Kevin
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cage setup and questions

That is not a cage, it is an aquarium. It is intended to hold fish, not mammals. There is very very poor ventilation. Also, hedgehogs do not need the edible wood hut, this wood can actually harbor mites. Your wheel is way too small, it need to be 12" minimum. Hamster balls are not recommended due to the poor ventilation and the fact that the slits can rip out nails. The igloo also apears to be to small. I know not all of this is your fault, it is the faulty information given by the people at the pet store. This is why it is recommended that you find a reputable breeder to purchase your hedgehog from. Then not only do you know that you are getting a properly bred animal (not inbred or overbred, properly cared for, and quality breeding to have as few genetic defects as possible) you also get proper information as to the care and handling of your little. I hate to put it this way, but with all of the misinformation they have given you, to properly house your hedgehog you are going to have to start back at square one.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cage setup and questions

In saying "cage" I really meant in general, and I've read many places and been told by a number of people that an aquarium would be just fine. Is an aquarium really such a bad choice? The main reason I chose it was for the sake of messiness. Things spilling out of the cage, etc.

I already figured the wheel would be too small, thanks for the confirm on that note.

Also, thank you for the comment on the edible wood. I will definitely be removing it.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cage setup and questions

No, aquariums really aren't suitable. The main problem as previously mentioned is the lack of ventilation. Hedgies have very sensitive noses and an aquarium does not allow for air flow to keep the smell of their waste away from them. This is not to say they have a strong smell for the most part but their nose is only inches away from their waste.

Also for an aquarium to be large enough to properly house a hedgie, it becomes harder to clean due to it's weight.


A suitable alternative is a C&C or Sterlite container. With the Sterlite container you're able to drill holes for ventilation and can easily haul it around for through cleaning.

Also with the cage being so close to the window, I'd be wary of drafts.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cage setup and questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quills
Also with the cage being so close to the window, I'd be wary of drafts.
The window is never open, but I'll definitely take note of the rest of what you said here.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cage setup and questions

Yeah, aquarium's really not one of the better options...A lot of the information out there is a bit dated, and can be completely wrong on some things.
There are a couple of cheap alternatives to an aquarium, though. One is a sterilite container. If you look at the Cage Setup Examples in the Housing forum, there are a few examples of sterlite cages. One would be alright for a start, but most people, if using those, use two and connect them with 4" PVC pipe.
A second alternative that is pretty cheap in comparison of the size of cage you can get, is the C&C cage. I have one of these, and there's a few examples on the Setup Examples thread too. A C&C cage is basically cubes and coroplast. Cubes are wire sections you can buy at a store like Target. The spaces should be no wider than 1". I got two boxes of cubes (one wire and the other vinyl plastic stuff) for $30 at Target. The coroplast is corrugated plastic, and you can get it from sign stores. This is what you put in the bottom of the cage/a short border around the sides in order to give the hedgie a solid floor, and to discourage climbing up the sides. I've heard that the standard price is about $25 for a 4' x 8' piece, but I bought a piece that was the right size for my cage (about 3.5' x 2') for only $5 from a small, local sign store.
If you're interested in a C&C cage, this website explains how to build them, and has a spot where you can search for the stuff. http://www.guineapigcages.com/
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cage setup and questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmommy
Yeah, aquarium's really not one of the better options...A lot of the information out there is a bit dated, and can be completely wrong on some things.
There are a couple of cheap alternatives to an aquarium, though. One is a sterilite container. If you look at the Cage Setup Examples in the Housing forum, there are a few examples of sterlite cages. One would be alright for a start, but most people, if using those, use two and connect them with 4" PVC pipe.
A second alternative that is pretty cheap in comparison of the size of cage you can get, is the C&C cage. I have one of these, and there's a few examples on the Setup Examples thread too. A C&C cage is basically cubes and coroplast. Cubes are wire sections you can buy at a store like Target. The spaces should be no wider than 1". I got two boxes of cubes (one wire and the other vinyl plastic stuff) for $30 at Target. The coroplast is corrugated plastic, and you can get it from sign stores. This is what you put in the bottom of the cage/a short border around the sides in order to give the hedgie a solid floor, and to discourage climbing up the sides. I've heard that the standard price is about $25 for a 4' x 8' piece, but I bought a piece that was the right size for my cage (about 3.5' x 2') for only $5 from a small, local sign store.
If you're interested in a C&C cage, this website explains how to build them, and has a spot where you can search for the stuff. http://www.guineapigcages.com/
Thanks a lot for this bit of information, I'll definitely be putting some of this to work while I await the call for my hedgehog.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cage setup and questions

There's been some great advice already, so I'll just bypass those, as I agree with everything said so far. Though you mentioned taking out the edible wood, and getting a bigger sized wheel, but you didn't mention never using the hamster ball, because that one's potentially dangerous no matter what size you get.

You should look at all the stickies on this forum, the one of interest would most likely be the cage discussion thread, as it has many pictures of different cages.

Also, something else to consider. How are you heating the cage? Because you are using an aquarium, the only way ot heat it is by a space heater, otherwise, your hedgehog could suffocate if you use heat pads or ceramic lamp, because of the lack of ventilation.

Another thing to consider...They are nocturnal, and I noticed the cage directly beside your bed. It will be loud, and you will smell feces. So something to keep in mind when keeping a nocturnal animal so close to your head while you're sleeping.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cage setup and questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Immortalia
Also, something else to consider. How are you heating the cage? Because you are using an aquarium, the only way ot heat it is by a space heater, otherwise, your hedgehog could suffocate if you use heat pads or ceramic lamp, because of the lack of ventilation.

Another thing to consider...They are nocturnal, and I noticed the cage directly beside your bed. It will be loud, and you will smell feces. So something to keep in mind when keeping a nocturnal animal so close to your head while you're sleeping.

I had originally planned on getting a heating pad, but thank you for the warning on that one.
I'm now in the process of building a new cage, hopefully it'll be cheap because of the money I've spent on this stuff already. I've already started looking through the cage examples thread, and so far I really like the examples of the C&C cages, they even look like they'll be fun to build!

Is it possible that the aquarium will suffice while I put together the new cage? My only hinderance is waiting for the paychecks ever two weeks to buy what I need. The hedgehog is expected in two weeks, which is also my next paycheck, so I figure it'll be a pretty fast
process as I have plenty of free time, and he'll only have to spend a day or two in there at the most.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cage setup and questions

It should be fine for a short stay, just make sure you can keep him warm while he's in there. And C&C cages are fun to build, I had a blast building mine, lol. Btw, I also used zipties to connect all of the cube sheets and such, I liked them better than the connectors that came with the cubes. You could use those, though, if you don't want to buy the zipties, too.

Edit: You could probably sell the wheel and the aquarium on Craigslist or something, and get a decent price for them. That way you could get at least some of your money back from that stuff. I'm not sure if you might be able to return that edible wooden thing or not, but you could always try and sell that on Craigslist too.
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