Leaving the air vent open in the room hedgie is in - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Leaving the air vent open in the room hedgie is in

Hi all, this may sound like a silly question but I am wondering about the air vent in the room I keep Arowen in. A little explanation first: I live up north in the midwest and we are entering winter, so the temps are going to drop. Right now the outside temps are anywhere from 20 to 40 degrees fahrenheit, so we keep our house at 60 to 65 degrees. I should add that Arowen has two plastic bin cages that are 200 quarts/189 liters each. They are connected with a 4 inch in diameter PVC pipe, it's probably as long as Arowen, maybe a little bit longer. Because the bins are quite large I have two CHE in clamp lamps on each, all with thermostats and the two cages have their own thermometers. We have kept the temp of her cages at 76-77 degrees F and she has been fine. The bins sit on the wood floor but I bought a rug that they sit on so they're not directly on the floor.
I am wondering, since the heat for our house is only set at 65 degrees, should I leave the heat/air vent in her room open or closed? We keep the door to that room closed most of the time to keep as much heat in as we can, and the windows in our house are really nice, they keep the heat in and the cold out.

We had a little hibernation attempt last night that maybe lasted half an hour. After holding her close with a couple of hand warmers and one of the CHE nearby she got better. I noticed this morning that she ate all her food and had run on her wheel. Last night she was sleeping under one of her houses which she hasn't done since it got cold out. It is a dome shaped house with fleece scraps inside. When I lifted it up she was lethargic, her tummy was cool, and she was a little wobbly when she walked. I felt the bedding where she was laying at it was cooler than the rest of the cage. I am assuming that since she was sleeping under it, not enough heat was getting to her. She will only sleep under that bed, she has never slept inside it. So I decided to remove it and instead put a bunch of fleece scraps in it's place and also upped all the lamps to 78 degrees. She has two other cozy places to sleep that she seems to do fine in. Sorry if this is a long post, I'm a first time hedgehog mom and I want to make sure I do everything correctly. I checked on her this morning and she was alert and her tummy was warmer.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, Sarah and Arowen

Last edited by Sneuman97; 11-18-2019 at 01:29 PM. Reason: Wanted to provide a little more information.
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You should be able to leave it open to keep the entire room warmer. You will want to determine where the draft from the forced air is going. Drafts can cause an abnormal heating/cooling cycle inside the cage which can cause a chill.

So something to think about... How thick of a rug/insulation are you using under her cage? Way back when, I used a similar setup with my hedgehogs. I found that a rug was not enough to keep the floor of the cages warm enough. It worked OK when the hedgehogs slept in places I wanted to, however hedgehogs don't always do what you want and some rebel will always decide to go find a new spot to nap. To try to combat the rebels, I started using an additional 3-4 layers of fleece and/or bath towels for a while, but even with that we ended up with one who would get a little cooler than I'd like. We ended up purchasing folding tables, and moved them off of the floor. Then later moved to a different system so that I could stack cages to house them.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Okay, thanks! I will have to look into where the draft is going. I also read on another thread that someone moved their cage setup away from an exterior wall, I'm pretty sure I have the cage set up on an exterior wall, so I will have to see what I can do about moving it. I looked into a couple of tables before I got her, but the ones I liked were either too small or too expensive. So,while I search for a couple of nice tables I might look into some rug pads for a short term option since the rug I have under her cage is not very thick at all.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You found a good idea. Move to an interior wall where the floor will be warmer if possible. Use extra layers of fabric, old bath towels, blankets, etc. If you cannot move away from the exterior wall, you can also try to insulate the cage from the wall with an old blanket.

One additional thing to note. While all may seem OK now, continue to monitor her closely for a while. Hedgehogs who have gotten chilled tend to chill more easily for a while and we sometimes see reports of URIs popping up a couple of weeks later. Just be aware that its a possibility and something that should she start to show signs of a URI to take her into a vet and let them know she had an attempt that could have weakened her immune system.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Will do! I'll keep an eye out for any odd behavior and symptoms. This morning I woke her up to check on her and she was a little huffy which is normal. She unballed after a few seconds and was walking on my lap fine. I don't know if I'm being too worrisome but it seemed like her tummy still wasn't as warm as usual but definitely better than last night. I work an office job during the day so it really stinks when I can't be there to monitor her. But when I get home tonight I will try and rearrange some things.
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Old 11-22-2019, 06:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Heating the Cages

I also live in the cold Midwest and I have 5 boys. I use the Fluker's 29050 Heat Mat for Reptiles and Small Animals with BN-LINK Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controllers or iPower 40-108 Degrees Fahrenheit Digital Heat Mat Thermostat Controllers and they stay nice and cozy. I also have an additional temperature probes in each Cage to make sure they stay at the right temperature. I use Zilla Reptile Habitat Lighting & Terrarium Heat Power Center strips to make sure the power is correct and backed up with a battery. I got them through Amazon which I found to be the least costly. Hope this helps.
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