what do you do during play time??? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 11-13-2008, 12:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Smile what do you do during play time???

im wondering how you play with your hedgie
i never know what to do during playtime and he just crawls around sniffing

do you brinfg out his toys or food?
do you set up bariors or let them crawl where they want to?

anythink to help make it more interesting and fun for both of us
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Old 11-13-2008, 08:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: what do you do during play time???

For bonding I typically start out with just holding the hedgehog and allowing it to either explore around on me or to snuggle down under a blanket or in a sleeping bag with my hand near the hedgehog (and later on the hedgehog). I think this is a good way to start as it allows the hedgehog to learn that you are ok. Offering a treat while they are on you is also a great method of positive reinforcement.

Otherwise how we interact really depends on what the hedgehog's personality is like. I've had cuddlers who look at you funny if you try to make them run around while they are with you. They'd rather snuggle on your chest, shoulder, etc and nap.

I've also had some that liked to explore. You can either continue with the exploring on you or if you are interested in a play area give it a try.

You can hedgehog-proof a room and allowed them free run of the room. Interacting with them by sitting or laying on the floor. I've had a few that would run up to me while running around, but don't be surprised if a hedgehog finds a dark place and hides. It is just the nature of most hedgehogs to do this.

You can also do this on a smaller scale by creating a play pen (I have poly cubes just for this) to help corral the hedgehog into a smaller area. I typically put down a couple of old blankets to prevent accidents on the carpet and build the pen around its edge. In a play pen I throw a few items in. Often these items are composed of a couple of the following: cat balls (nothing big enough for a mouth to get stuck in), running wheel, tubes (ferret, old oatmeal boxes, etc), a stuffed animal, things to hide under (fleece, tissue boxes, etc) or anything else I think the hedgehog might like to investigate or explore. You have to tailor it to what your hedgehog's personality it like (cuddler, mighty explorer, tunneler, etc). Oh and I use enough cubes to make it big enough so that I can be in the pen with them.
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Old 11-22-2008, 03:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: what do you do during play time???

I let mine run all over the apartment. It's pretty much hedgieproofed as it was rabbit and rat-proofed before I got Norm.

I get some tubes and cup out and an old box as toys and leave them on the floor.

I pick him up now and then to keep him friendly and social and let him run all over. He love sit.

Once he settles down and tried to go to sleep I etiher put him on the counch with e to sleep of put him in his cage.
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Old 12-09-2008, 06:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Default Re: what do you do during play time???

I love hedgie play time, but its really hard to come up with new and interesting things for them to do.
Its winter right now, play time is in the kitchen. We have a U shapped counter, its like a rectangle with an end missing, I block off the open end and sit with luna in the square. I handle her for the first little bit, it takes some coaxing sometimes to get her moving. Thats just her, she's stubborn. If its not her idea then she wont do it After having some handling I let her run around the square, and put a couple toilet paper tubes around and a piece of pcb tubing its really just one big plastic tunnel. I when I have bugs I usually let her run around a bit and then take a bug and do some name training. Hold the bug out and call your hedgie, like a dog. When the hedgie comes to you give it a treat! I get lots of squeaks durring this game. She runs away and hides in a corner until I call her, like a hide and go seek thing lol. I also have a giant hedgehog/ferret ball. you put the hog inside, put the lid on and let them roll. JUST BLOCK OFF STAIRS!!!! Its safe, the slits in the ball are big enough to not catch little nails, and small enough that the whole little foot doesnt go through. It is also safe to let hedgie run around the house in as the little explorer cannot get in any small crevices around the house. They can't go under anything either, like beds and appliances, computer desks etc. And on top of that they cant get anything in their mouth, like wires. They get the benifit of excesise, safety, and can still smell and explore their world.

There is however one toy I think nearly every hedgie will like. Take an old wooden spool, or a large plastic spool, and fill the inside hole with something like peanut butter, baby food, or something like a bit of turkey or chicken, or vegies or fruit and shove chunky bits in there. Then you just put it down on its rolly side. Hedgie will chase the spool and then have to work to get at the goodies in the center.

In spring, summer and fall I take play time outside in the back yard. Spring and fall are much shorter outside play sessions due to wet and cold conditions. I find after those shorter sessions Luna is happy just to snuggle up to you and watch some tv. I also use garden fences, those little white/black plastic ones that you can just push in the ground, to make a little fenced off play pen that they can run around in and explore, but still be safe. You do still have to watch them, but can lay in the grass and read beside the pen for some extra bonding time. We have apple trees in our yard, so often there are fallen apples on the grass I check to make sure are clean and have no buggy visitors. If its safe, I give it to luna. Its a ball and a snack.
Outside can also be fun with bugs. BUT FARMED OR BOUGHT BUGS. Wild bugs may have pesticides, parisites and matter of the doody, or piddle type. And you dont want your prickles to consume that. Earth worms can also cause indigestion and upset stomache, actually just the whole slew of the peptobismal song :P
All you do is take a mealie, or wax worm, kriket, what have you and set it in the grass and hide it so hedgie can 'forrage' like they would in the wild!
Some hedgies like to climb too, like my Luna. we have a wood pile so I take some pieces and turn them so the smoot bark side is on the outside. You can arrange them however you want. DO be careful if you're making a little hiding nook for hedgie, make sure the pieces of wood are stable and stacked properly.
You can also cary hedgie around and let them sniff and explore in your hands. Luna likes the apple blossums in spring, so I carry her to the tree and let her sniff and nibble a little. And its the same thing with the shrubs, mountain ash, carrot greens, radish greens, chives. She especially loves dads tomatoe plants!! (But she'll attack anything thats my dads including glasses, his oldmans orchids, shoes/shoe laces, socks, shirts...its cute, but supervised fun.)

sorry! I know its a long one, but I hope it helps!!
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