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Old 11-05-2013, 08:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How warm is too warm?

So we are hoping to bring home a hedgie baby soon. We have no problem understanding how to keep his/her room and cage warm. My concern is that in the winter we heat the main part of the house with our wood stove and sometimes it gets almost too hot, especially in the living room. So my question is, how hot is too hot? And is too hot in a room for shorter times ok (like hanging out with us on the couch and the room gets to 85 or 90?) What are the signs to watch for it being too hot?

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Old 11-05-2013, 09:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This is a quote from another thread:

When a hedgie gets too hot they will splat out on a cool surface. If it continues the hedgehog may stick it's tongue out panting. When a hedgehog is too hot the behavior they exhibit is called estivation. They will become sluggish and move very little trying to keep cool. Some hedgies will attempt estivation as low as 82 degrees Fahrenheit. So to insure that your hedgie remain comfortable it is best to keep the environment they are in between 74 F - 82F to start until you see how your hedgie will tolerate temperatures. Some do well a couple of degrees colder and some can stand a couple higher.

I would just try your best to keep him in that range, and if you feel it getting hot keep an eye on him until it cools down. Definietely keep a thermometer near his enclosure.

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Old 11-05-2013, 11:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It has always been my understanding that hedgehogs are much more tolerant of higher temperatures, so risks of being too hot are considerably lower and not immediately threatening. Splatting can indicate overheating. Their natural environment is African deserts. Though our hedgies are generations removed from living in the desert, instincts tend to persist for many, many generations (at a minimum).

My breeder said that 85 - 90 degrees was a reasonable top temperature. I keep Sophie's max temp in the low 80s in the summer and aim for high 70s most of the time. I don't worry too all much if temperatures hit upper 80s, but don't typically leave them there very long. I'm pretty conservative and haven't tested the high temps.

I do, however, think that she (and all animals that tolerate it) benefits from a wider temperature range as being better than a year-round narrow range of just a couple of degrees. So, I like to see variances from about 73 to 87 degrees, with the high temps being of shortish duration.

I'm especially conservative about low temperatures, having heard too many accounts of hibernation attempts. Lowest recorded cage temperature so far this winter is 74.1

So far, even when I have let the temperature push into the upper 80s, Sophie has never shown the slightest sign that she cares. She has several choices of places to sleep, but always chooses the fleece burrow in her PVC tunnel.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My temps have maxed out in the mid-80's (85/86) in the summer (the room the cage is in gets a lot of afternoon sun, plus I rarely have the A/C set to less than 78 or 79 for the house, which meant it was often much warmer in that room) and it was never a problem

I keep a thermometer in my cage that shows me the high and low temps for the prior 24 hours in addition to the current temp - for me it was reassuring seeing the range, especially since with A/C, the air certainly doesn't come out of the vents at 78 (it is MUCH colder!)... so it's not uncommon to get drafts and colder spots in some rooms, I was often seeing low temps that were 74 or 75, despite the fact that my whole house was never that "cool" and I doubt those cooler temps were sustained for very long (and I doubt that my hedgies even noticed while they were covered and sleeping), but now that it's cooler outside and the A/C isn't running, the CHE's (controlled by thermostats, both set to 77) keep the temperature much more stable... I've had a few days where the high/low teps are the same as the current temp in the cage.

One of my hedgies sleeps under fleece no matter what else is available (he has an igloo that I don't think I've ever seen him sleep in), the other tends to alternate between his igloo, fleece, and under his wheel. Personally I think he likes to "wedge" himself in whatever he sleeps in, and he prefers his fleece folded like a towel and will find his way to the "corner" of it to sleep. If he's in the igloo it's because he's dragged his blanket in with him.

Last edited by sarahspins; 11-06-2013 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have wondered this too. I don't think my hedgie noticed too much when our apartment was getting near ninety degrees when the AC stopped working. Then that whole day after it took to restablize her cage to it's normal 77-78 degrees.

I have also wondered about the cooler temps. My fiance has high blood pressure so does not tolerate warm temps well at all so the apartment is usually kept between 65 and 68 degrees. I don't take Petra out for longer than an hour an hour and half tops I do worry it will cause a hibernation attempt, I am thinking about getting a small space heater for play time, but don't know if it's nessisary since we don't keep her out long (average time out is 45 minutes)
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think that'll also depend where you're hedgehog came from. My adults can tolerate daytime temps way up to 97 degrees F since it's quite normal here. Difference is that it's windy here year-round and a/c's on at night that's set at 14 degrees Celsius. A simulated desert climate maybe? They're loving it somehow so i'm just letting them be. May also depend on your hedgies preference as well


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