First I'd like to say that I have been doing research for about a month with books, Google, everywhere, and I keep coming back to this forum and website! I've spent days just reading through here, and am so happy to see that everyone is so helpful and friendly! None of the pet stores in my city carry hedgehogs (which I'm actually happy about), but that means I have no one here with firsthand experience to talk to
Anyway, I am planning to adopt within a few months, and have found a vet and contacted a few breeders. I have my C&C cage mostly assembled, got most of my CHE setup (on sale!) and have fleece for liners. I just have a few questions:
1. How often should I be feeding non-staple foods? Such as fruits, vegetables, mealworms, etc.
2. Plastic caps from cans (like hairspray, aerosol cans, etc.), are they safe to play with if I wash them thoroughly first? I have been saving TP tubes, my boyfriend thinks I'm crazy haha.
3. I have a lot of extra grids, and was thinking of cutting some up and making a 'ball/digging pit' maybe two or three grid squares high, so it would be a corner of the cage I could fill with ping pong balls or fleece bits (maybe both?). If I use a ramp to get in/out what should I make it with, and will it be too steep? I was thinking of using coroplast-covered grid, as tubing may get blocked by ping pong balls.
4. I am having a hard time finding a thermostat for my CHE setup in Canada. I have been to three chain pet stores (Petcetera, PetSmart and Petland), and none even carried heat mats, only substrate heaters. I don't really want to order online unless I have to, is there another source anyone can suggest?
5. I am using fleece liners and plan to hand-wash them (my bf thinks they will be icky and refuses to let them launder with our things *sigh*). I have read here a 50/50 vinegar and water solution should be fine for disinfecting and sanitizing? Also, do I need to do any special sewing for them? I was planning on just cutting them to size...
6. Would it be helpful/detrimental to put a layer of foam between the coroplast and liner? I would probably sew it into a tarp or something first to make it waterproof.
7. I was planning to buy a big hamster ball for (as-yet-unnamed) hedgie, so that I could put him/her in while I'm doing a full clean. A co-worker who's owned a hedgehog before said all the ones she's seen do not like the balls, any suggestions? The only place in my apartment not carpeted is the kitchen, which is small and where I would be cleaning the cage.
Where I live, getting a hedgie will be the hardest part, but I'll have plenty of time to source supplies, and the wait will definitely be worth it!