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Old 09-17-2012, 06:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy First Time Owner, Need Advice!

Hi everyone!

My first APH is due to be with me in a few weeks and I am just looking for some advice and clarification on things!

I have a 4ft vivarium for him and a heatmat with a thermostat. I am just wondering if I need a heat lamp/CHE for him too? I know they need 12 hours of light a day, but does that have to be a daylight or UV bulb or can it just be regular light?

Secondly, at what age should I start bathing my little man and how often?

Thirdly, a bit of a dumb question but I want to make sure I get everything right - can he eat bugs when he is fully weaned or do I wait a bit longer?

Thanks!
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Owner, Need Advice!

I am not sure about your second two questions, but in regard to the first it is my understanding that you will need a CHE. A heated mat will heat the floor, but not the air temperature. Hedgehogs need the air temp to stay somewhere between about 75 and 80 degrees.

I am sure someone more knowledgeable will come along to answer the other two questions! I adopted an adult hedgie so I don't know much about babies.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Owner, Need Advice!

Oh I forgot to mention, the light can just be a regular bulb! I just have a floor lamp in my small room set to a timer
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Owner, Need Advice!

Babies can be bathed once they're weaned, however often is necessary. Most of mine get a bath about once a week, but more often if they're messy, anoint on themselves, etc. If yours turns out to be fairly clean, you can do it less often.

For the bugs, the same thing - once they're weaned. However, if you're going to be switching your hedgie to a different kind of food from what he/she has already been eating, you should start that transition first and make sure it doesn't cause any stomach upset, or that any upset is given time to settle before you introduce insects. It's better not to introduce more than one new food at a time.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Owner, Need Advice!

Thanks for getting back to me! All very helpful.

I'm gonna be keeping him on the same food as the breeder.

Moxie, do you know if I need the CHE?
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Owner, Need Advice!

Yes, you'll need a CHE, or some other heat source. A heat mat isn't enough, it can work as supplementary heating but also shouldn't be under all of the cage - the hedgehog needs to be able to get away from it if they want to. Your other options besides a CHE would be to use a space heater, or keep the whole room heated to the right temperature.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Owner, Need Advice!

Does it need to be a particular wattage or on a thermostat?
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Owner, Need Advice!

Wattage depends on cage size and how much it will have to heat the cage if room is on the cooler side you'll need a higher wattage I think. Yes you need a thermostat for a Ceramic heat emitter
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Owner, Need Advice!

It's a 4ft Vivarium. If I put the heat mat in his bed, where should I put the CHE? Or do I just need the CHE?
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Old 09-18-2012, 05:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: First Time Owner, Need Advice!

Be very carefull having the heat mat on all the time. They really don't need one and they can actually cause your hedgie to be chilled when up and running around which can cause hibernation. Heat mats are usually used for older or sick hedgies to give them a bit of extra warmth. There have also been a few cases of hedgehogs getting low temperature burns from being on a heat mat, even when it just feels warm to the touch. The problem comes when they decide to stay on the mat to long because it feels so nice and warm and over time this causes tissue damage.

Most people use one or two 100 or 150 watt CHE's to heat their larger cages. It will need to be on a thermostat to control the temperature.
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