Enrichment for my new rescue hedgie - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
Hedgehog Central GalleryForum Archives Facebook Link

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-23-2013, 11:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
treazure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 3
Default Enrichment for my new rescue hedgie

Back story: We recently adopted a hedgie (Squiggy) from a young girl who wasn't able to give him the attention or care he needed. He is a little under a year old, overweight, and has barely been handled. She told us that she's had Squiggy since he was 9 weeks old. The cage we got with him was far too small, he had no toys - only an igloo in the cage and food bowl, and she was only feeding him one cheap brand of cat food. No snacks other than dried meal worms. We're slowly working on him tolerating being around us by offering daily time with us outside of the cage. We've provided a bigger cage with room for a wheel (bucket wheel, I promise!),toys, a heat lamp, a healthier diet and a variety of snacks. But, he still spends 95% of his time sleeping or hiding in his igloo. He only comes out to eat, drink, poop and run for a short time in his wheel.

My question is: what can we provide for a more enriching life for Squiggy? We do handle him daily, allowing him the ability to roam around, supervised, on a play area. He has some cat toys available all the time, toilet paper tubes, and his wheel. He runs on the wheel, but not much because he seems to get tired easily.(Maybe because he's so chubby?) When he's out of the cage, he stays balled up, hissing and popping. We know that with time he'll warm up to wandering around more. But, I want him to come out of his igloo, when he's in his cage, and have more of a fun life. Are there tricks to getting a hedgie interested in toys and playing? Maybe we're not giving him the right toys? I'm hesitant to take his igloo away because I don't want him to feel unprotected and stressed, but maybe I should?

If anyone out there has suggestions on how we can provide our new friend with a more enriched cage life, and even how we can help him adjust to a new, happier world, I'd be very appreciative.

Thanks,
Nicole.
__________________
Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened. - Anatole France

treazure is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-24-2013, 12:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
AngelaH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 613
Default Re: Enrichment for my new rescue hedgie

That is wonderful that you took in little Squiggy and give him the love and attention he deserves!
I would say do not take away his igloo if he finds comfort in it. Many people on here use snuggle sacks (if you don't know what that is, picture a mini fleece sleeping bag) for them to hide in, but whatever you use he needs a place to hide and feel safe. My hedgie Thistle LOVES her igloo to hide in.
Many hedgies (mine included) just don't come out to play if there are lights on in the room or people around. I take her out for supervised out of cage playtime in the evenings, otherwise she hides until all the lights are off and she thinks everyone is gone.
As far as enrichment, they are all so different in what they will go for. A wheel is essential, but you seem to know that already Thistle never played with toilet paper tubes or cat toys. Many enjoy having things to burrow into, like cut up strips of fleece or Carefresh. I have a PVC tube in her cage with 3 openings and she goes in and out of that a lot.
A popular activity with Thistle is I take her all time favorite treat (canned crickets) and hide them around for her to sniff out and find.
Sounds like you are already off to a great start! The best thing you can give him is love and attention, even if the attention is just him napping under a bit of fleece in your lap as you watch TV.
AngelaH is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2013, 12:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
sklock65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 695
Default Re: Enrichment for my new rescue hedgie

I agree with everything in the above post and just want to reinforce the idea of trying PVC pipe. Our Henry hasn't taken to playing with much and while he loves to sleep in our laps the one other thing that we found to be successful was pieces of PVC piping. There is a whole section of it at Lowes (or probably any home improvement store) and we bought a few various shapes of 4" wide pieces. He has an elbow shaped piece in the corner of his cage (which is consistently dirty each morning so he definitely runs through it each night!) and we have a few other shapes that we sometimes place in his playpen when we have him out in the evenings. I get a kick out of watching him run through them and even push them around a bit. Every hedgie seems to be so different but since its the only thing Henry has taken to with us I'd say its for sure worth a shot!

Not sure how long you've had the rescue at this point but continue to be patient and I'm sure it will become more comfortable around you! Best of luck!
__________________

Henry!
http://youtu.be/C_Xg6Zt3vDo
sklock65 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-24-2013, 01:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
alexvdl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 354
Default Re: Enrichment for my new rescue hedgie

It's really sad that someone didn't give that girl the proper information on how to take care of her pet. That probably means that it wasn't a good breeder she got it from

One of the things Maggie and I did to get Reginald to spend more time out of his cage is hide treats or kibble all over the cage. Under toys, inside them, etc. We keep track of how many we hide and how many he's found. Then we got him a dig pit. We found that he liked digging in little piles of oatmeal to get to his mealworms, so we cut a kleenex box down, to a little over an inch tall, taped up the edges, and filled it with oatmeal. Now we can hide treats and such inside. Reginald loves it
__________________
Sir Reginald Franzibald Riggs, Duke of Gloucester, Protector of Harrisontonia

My Carry Tube tutorial https://hedgehogcentral.com/forums/vi...st=0&sk=t&sd=a
alexvdl is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2013, 03:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
treazure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 3
Default Re: Enrichment for my new rescue hedgie

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexvdl
It's really sad that someone didn't give that girl the proper information on how to take care of her pet. That probably means that it wasn't a good breeder she got it from
She got him from a pet store, I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sklock65
Not sure how long you've had the rescue at this point but continue to be patient and I'm sure it will become more comfortable around you! Best of luck!
We've had him about 3 weeks.

At first, he never came out of the igloo, not even to eat. All his messes (ie poops, pees) were inside the igloo. I took him to an exotics vet, and she said he was obese and she recommended a different diet (we ordered one online from a hedgie breeder - a nice mix of 5 premium cat foods) and a much bigger cage. He has been coming out of the igloo more, now. I'm just worried his life is sad and boring. He seems so unaccustomed to the idea of fun or toys. I have read through so many forum posts about hedgies playing with toys, running endlessly in wheels, and being active, mischievous little stinkers. Our little guy deserves fun and mischief too! I just want to make sure I am doing things right.
__________________
Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened. - Anatole France

treazure is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-24-2013, 03:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
sklock65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 695
Default Re: Enrichment for my new rescue hedgie

If your little guy is almost a year but only been with you a few weeks...that actually sounds promising to me! If you think about it, the majority of his life he has not been happy and healthy. It sounds like he is already showing signs of improvement and with a bit more time I would be confident you will be able to totally turn things around for the best! Keep us posted!
__________________

Henry!
http://youtu.be/C_Xg6Zt3vDo
sklock65 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-25-2013, 06:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 234
Default Re: Enrichment for my new rescue hedgie

Give it time. The best thing is to have as much 'together time' as you can. For Sophie, together time means waking her up so that she can come nap with me; in my shirt while I'm in my office chair, or in her hedgie sack on my desk, or my taking a nap myself and her running up inside my shirt there. She's over a year old now, but still sleeps 20 hours or more a day. She doesn't play with toys at all. The most that I see her out in the open is during her three-a-week foot and belly baths.

She loves her wheel (in the pitch black dark only). And she loves her hiding places also. She has an igloo house (with fleece pieces burrow), three PVC tunnels (one with a fleece pieces burrow) and two fleece pieces stacks. She likes hiding in her tunnels and lately has been sleeping in the one with fleece pieces burrow.


I've got several videos of Sophie being extracted from one of her tunnels.
(2:47)
front-tunnel-burrow-12-10-2.mp4
http://youtu.be/0drd0Gk-V3Q


(Note: this tunnel has a "combo Y-T" fitting. It is a huge chunk of plastic that sucks up a lot of space. Her other two tunnels have a "long sweep 90 degree bend", a superior choice, IMO.
(6:22)
back-tunnel-burrow-12-10-3.mp4
http://youtu.be/O0hkWECQYbY
Erizo is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 12:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
treazure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 3
Default Re: Enrichment for my new rescue hedgie

Thank you everyone for your help, advice and replies. I thought you'd like a little update.

Last night we had an awesome break through. My boyfriend and I were sleeping, and we heard a lot of commotion coming from the cage. I got up to check on Squiggy and I found him with his head in a toilet paper tube. At first I thought he was stuck, but I had cut the tube to prevent this. I watched him, and I realized, he had it in his mouth and he was swinging it around, having a blast! He'd throw it and kick it, then swing it around some more. I was very happy to see him playing.

This morning, I woke up and his whole cage has been "redecorated". He moved all his "furniture" (ie igloo, wheel, bowls) to new spots, and moved all his toys into his igloo. Which means he had to pick up each one.

I am so excited! He's finally coming out of his shell. Thank you again to everyone who messaged and helped. We're going to keep working with Squiggy to enjoy our company. But, in the meantime, I'm happy he will have fun with his toys and live a happy hedgie life.
__________________
Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened. - Anatole France

treazure is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-26-2013, 01:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
momIImany's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NE North Carolina
Posts: 586
Default Re: Enrichment for my new rescue hedgie

I'm so glad he is getting more comfortable with you and his cage.
__________________


Lisa
momIImany is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gravel bath (for enrichment)? CinderSmoke Housing & Accessories 11 10-02-2017 06:10 PM
Enrichment ideas? Emma_Grace Toys 12 11-05-2012 06:14 PM
Cage Cleaning and enrichment bmaditz General Questions 48 06-22-2012 09:04 PM
Enrichment for a new cage... need opinions. hogmother Housing & Accessories 0 04-05-2010 11:04 PM
New hedgie rescue mom 7petmom General Questions 3 06-01-2009 08:37 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:57 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.