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Old 04-26-2012, 07:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
moxieberry
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Port Orchard, WA
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Default Re: Ideas and questions before I adopt!

1. Hedgehogs don't need extras, as long as the kibble is good quality. Some people also go with fully holistic diets, so it's personal preference. Generally my advice, is that meat (unseasoned, cooked - steamed or boiled is best) and vegetables can be added daily. Around a teaspoon of meat is good, and more than that is fine for vegetables. Fruits are typically high in sugar, so they work better as treats than daily parts of the diet. For instance, a frequent hedgehog favorite is watermelon, which is essentially water and sugar. I give this to Archimedes, about a teaspoon of it once a week, and without fail his poop is squishy the next day, haha. Something less sugary, like apple, would be fine to offer more often - just keep the sugar content in mind. Make sure you look up the list of fruits/vegetables that are safe for them. (No acidic/citrus, no grapes, etc.) Mealworms and crickets are the most common for hedgehogs - mealworms are higher in fat. Use live or frozen-then-thawed, not freeze-dried, since freeze-dried can easily cause constipation. Depending on the hedgehog, anywhere from two or three to 10+ can be good for daily insects; the higher end applies to the very active hedgehogs that require a higher fat diet.

2. I don't think that kind of thing is the best, for the reason already stated. Some other basic toy ideas (besides toilet paper rolls): prescription bottles (as already described), Hot Wheels or similar small toy cars, cat balls (make sure there are no slits in the sides), small stuffed animals.

3. Fleece strips would work better than balls for that. Make sure any second level has the sides and ramp enclosed so there's no risk of falling. Similar to what HedgieGirl said, another idea along those lines is to put large aquarium stones (big enough to not be a choking hazard) in a shallow bowl or plate. You can hide treats in there and your hedgehog can forage/dig for them.

4. Try Amazon. The prices are sometimes cheaper on there, too. You definitely need a thermostat if you're going to use a CHE set up.

5. Haha, if I were you, I'd make him do the hand-washing then. Honestly, there's nothing gross about it. Most of the poop ends up on the wheel or in the litter tray under the wheel. The stuff that doesn't you can easily pick off the liner (when it's dry) because it's just little turds. You can try to appease him by washing it separately from your clothes, in which case, it would make sense to have enough liners for a small load, instead of doing a load of just one or two. If you're really going to do hand-washing, just use a little bit of the same (unscented) detergent you would use in the washing machine. Make sure you rinse very thoroughly. Vinegar solution works fine for cleaning/disinfecting wheels, etc. Personally I use Simple Green. Fleece doesn't fray at the edges, so it doesn't need to be sewn. I find one layer to be adequate, but folding it over to make two layers also works. Either way, I suggest adding a few inches to the dimensions of the cage floor - that way it's all still covered if you don't place it exactly. Also, when the extra bit at the edges curls up against the wall, it can make liner-diving a little more difficult.

6. Foam isn't necessary. Liners are plenty. Some people sew liners with batting in the middle for added absorbancy.

7. Get a small sterilite bin to put him in when you're cleaning the cage. Personally, I know Archimedes will just stay in his sleeping bag, so I take that out and leave it on my bed when I have to work on the cage. But, if you want your hedgehog to definitely not be able to get away, just put him in a bin, or even just the bathtub if the walls of it are high enough. Generally if you clean the cage like that in the middle of the day, you can expect them to stay asleep if at all possible. Putting a hedgie bag or blanket with them will help that.
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