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Old 10-10-2012, 12:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default hibernation and winter....

I dont know if im being just a little paranoid... but i let my hedgie have free run of my bedroom as her cage i feel is not nearly big enough anymore and i have been having pressure from my mother to have her like a cat... fair enough with that i think... she loves the freedom... plays in my shoe... runs in her wheel... plays in boxes.

but i occurred a problem today thats making me worry... she slept in a box today and got chilly enough that it took a while to warm up... now im fearful of a hibernation attempt but now shes sleeping on my leg and warmish which comforts me.

now i live in canada...where it gets really cold in winter and im asking for tips for making sure this doesnt happen again... because i dont believe my mothers theory of... get a heating disk and put it in her cage... she will learn where the heat is... shes not stupid...

i just want the best for my little friend... what if we black out and lose my little heater to warm up the room?

thank you so much for any and all advice.... even if i have to splurge and get a cage (which i dont particularly want to do... already have one with tons of fleece she plays with) i believe im willing... i just want to make sure this is a hiccup free winter...seeing as its her first winter.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: hibernation and winter....

While its nice to let them wander for play time I don't think you should treat them like a cat and let them lay where they want in a room, they aren;t cats and they need the heat of a cage and maybe even a lamp if the heater isn't enough.
Im so nervous of keeping my hedgie warm enough that if i ever let him out of the cage i stay right by him.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: hibernation and winter....

I've seen people create their own cages, which are plenty big enough for them to live in daily. Check out the cage setup post as there are great setups there. Don't forget that hedgies can wedge themselves into tiny places, so they could get stuck and then it wouldn't be good! The floor is probably drafty, and is probable a lot cooler than the rest of the room. I generally only let Auri run around on the floor if I'm there and then only for a little while.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: hibernation and winter....

Personally, I'd recommend caging her for the winter so you can keep her warm enough. Otherwise, you're going to need to keep your entire room at 75 degrees or so to make sure she stays warm enough, and that may not even do the trick - floors are usually draftier, and there's always some spots that aren't as warm. If she ends up someplace cooler, she'll likely attempt hibernation. And as you said, if your space heater goes out and the room temp drops, that will probably cause one as well. Your mom is (no offense to her) not right - even if you put down a heating pad or snugglesafe for her, if she does stay by it, that means she won't exercise, eat, drink, etc. If she doesn't stay by it, but goes back and forth, the change in temperature can cause a hibernation attempt as well. The air wherever she is needs to be warm, not just create a warm spot for her to retreat to - they won't always do that, and if they do that, they may not leave and exercise as they should.

For a big enough cage that's relatively cheap, you can build a C&C cage, but those can also be hard to heat - you'd probably need two CHE lamps and you'd need to insulate the cage, unless you're planning to keep your room at 70 or above as well. Here's a sticky with more info on heating options - viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4579

Power outages are definitely a risk, and there's a sticky from Nancy on that - viewtopic.php?f=8&t=325
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: hibernation and winter....

thank you so much for the advice! i will get right on it...luckily this happened on my "weekend off" so i can set everything up today... thank you so much again... i knew this was the right place to come to...

what if i extend her cage? like put a fence around it then also put some of that fancy plastic so she wont climb up it and then heat both up not just the one cage?
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: hibernation and winter....

and i never used to be too worried about keeping her warm... i normally keep my room strangely hot (around 30ish) that when i got her i actually needed to turn down the temp...but then it isnt the summer anymore and i need to accommodate that now...

i have already hedgieproofed my room to make sure everything is safe for her
to run around in... no little areas for her to get stuck in... everything in my room is put on feet so she has a good amount of space with little boxes to run around and explore in...
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: hibernation and winter....

That cage extension sounds like it might work, but you'll have to do some experimenting to see how well you can heat it. Keep in mind that whatever temperature you had your room at for the summer, that's what she's used to now - so be careful how much lower you keep it because even if it's within hedgie-safe temperatures, it may still cause a hibernation attempt with her because it's lower than her usual. Letting her have the run of the room sounds very nice for her for summer, but not practical during winter, unfortunately. Good luck with getting things set up!
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: hibernation and winter....

Do you have a picture of the set up now?
Id like to see it :3 give some tips
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: hibernation and winter....

i will take a picture of my modification... went out right away to get the heat lamp... some fencing type stuff and more fleece for her... so moved her cage again XD

i just have to fix her ramp... its too steep for her right now... still got a few things to fix before she goes in and plays tonight but thats now the overall setup.... get all of her toys from around my room... she likes carrying them everywhere hehe

im going to have to keep the room at the same temp as the summer.... **** canadian winters too cold for myself... i hate the heat but in my bedroom i expect it to be perfectly warm

im worried the heat bulb isnt the right one... it said for small animals and reptiles.... but it has a red glow to it from red glass...
what brand/bulb does everyone else use?
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: hibernation and winter....

Oop...yeah, not the right bulb. You CAN give it a try if you want - some hedgehogs are bothered by the red light, but some don't care. But most people use CHEs - ceramic heat emitters. They're either black or white, and solid ceramic, not clear glass. If you look at the heating thread I linked to before, I'm pretty sure there's examples linked in there. They're usually between $30-40 in stores, but you can find them online for cheaper sometimes - you just have to be careful not to get scammed by that, since sometimes they arrive broken or they might break soon after you start using them.

The cage looks good!
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