Re: Thinking about getting a Hedgie, but have some q's
Cons: A LOT of poop. Like you will be amazed how big they are and how much there is, I've had a hedgie for over a year and I still cant get over it haha. Babies will poop a ton more than the adults, and it will be smellier too. Don't be afraid of a poopy wheel either. A poopy wheel means a healthy hedgie. They are expensive, and not just for the hedgie itself, but with all proper supplies it can cost a pretty penny. And they need space, meaning a cage at least 2x2 ft is recommended to be sure there is space for everything they need and a little leg room too. They do need heat, but CHE (Ceramic Heat Emitter) are preferred over heat lamps because they need constant heat bwtween 72-80F (75F is usually most comfortable) but only 12-14 hrs of light each day so keeping the lamp on can be disruptive to their inner clocks and cause hibernation attempts. Thats another thing you have to worry about. Since African Pygmy Hedgehogs are a hybrid breed of two different African species, they are not equipped for hibernation and it can be fatal. Let's see...biting. Biting is pretty much a last resort for a hedgie that is terrified, but there is a big difference between their terrified biting and curiosity nibbling. Fear chomps will hurt and are capable of drawing blood but that only happens if the hedgie is seriously angry or scared, and the best way to react to that is to not react at all. You have to teach the hedgie that biting will not get them their way, and keep handling the hedgie regardless. Curiosity bites are when a smell or something intrigues the hedgie and they try to figure out if its food or if it will hurt them. These are usually small little nips and dont really hurt, and usually lead to anointing. And lastly, attitude. Each hedgehog has their own personality, and despite how much effort is put into bonding, there are some rare hedgies that will just never become friendly. You have to be prepared to accept and love your hedgie even if they never warm up to you.They will never come when you call (or even recognize their names), they will never wag their tails or brush against you for affection. Usually though, a hedgie that is exposed to a lot of new experiences and people tends to become friendlier and maybe even cuddly. But it is possible that will enough time, patience, and care your new hedgie will learn to love or at least tolerate you haha.
Rest peacefully and sweet dreams little Thalia 8/25/2012 Mommy and Daddy miss you <3