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Old 04-16-2012, 01:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New owner looking for advice

I got my hedgie about a month ago, I am a first time owner and I am still trying to learn the proper way to do things with him..
He's i guess a typical hedgehog... He hates movement, he balls up a lot and doesn't seem to like to be picked up out of his cage...

I think he may have been cold because he always perks up when I put him near a heater or vent so I got him a heat lamp to keep him warm.

I just realized the other day that maybe turning the lights on was causing him stress so I have started leaving the lights off and got a little better reaction..

Sometimes he's super grumpy and other times he's pleasant and he seems to end up biting me a lot when I am holding him.

I had the best experience so far last night in the dark.. He seemed quite interested in my finger even to the point of following it around and sniffing it... I gave him my shirt and he went nuts on it, he was anointing but he tore the heck out of it... is this whats to be expected of my hand?

While he was chowing down on my sweater he let me rub his fur and side quills a little without balling up or freaking out for the first time ever... Is this a good sign or was he just too busy tearing my shirt to shreds to care?

I also noticed stroking his quills when he's balled up or rubbing in a little circle seems to make him uncurl... I am not sure if he is doing it because he likes it or because he's mad and he wants me to stop...

Any advice from experienced owners would be appreciated as I want him to be happy and me to be unbit

Thanks.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner looking for advice

Your shirt likely smelled like laundry detergent, cologne or some other sort of scent that caused your hedgehog to want to eat it, that fact that he annointed says he acquired a new, or pungent flavour/smell. Hedgehogs may bite your fingers if they smell like food, or cologne, lotion...mine likes to nip if I've used very fragrant soap, lotion, hands smell like food, perfume, or deodorant. If you are worried about your shirts being destroyed you could do the following things...wash your shirt in hypoallergenic laundry detergent, don't put cologne on the shirt you are wearing, or just don't let him have access to your shirt. As for your hands, I would buy a plain smelling soap and use that to wash them before you handle your hedgehog
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner looking for advice

Another thing to add is that hedgehogs are pretty temperature and light sensitive, and most do the best with temperatures around 73-80 degrees F and a light schedule with at least 12 hours of light. I heard that you got a heat lamp, which is a good thing! Do you have a thermometer to measure the temperature in his cage? And is the heat lamp one that also produces light? If it does, this may deter him from coming out at night to do his hedgehog activities. Otherwise you're solid (:

The shirt thing is totally normal too (: Just make sure you don't have anything that smells too good on your fingers and you'll be fine (:
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner looking for advice

He hasn't tried to eat a shirt I am wearing... I gave this one to him because I heard it can help them get used to your smell, I just don't want him ripping parts of my hand off

I have been using a scented soap, maybe I will try washing with something unscented.. I am not sure if he's biting because he thinks I'm food or if he's biting because he wants me to leave him alone... I try to keep him from licking my hand very much because it's not food...

I do have a thermometer in there keeping track of ambient and under the heat lamp temps. The area in his cage where he usually is is around 80 and sometimes a little above depending on the outside temp but definitely within the range it should be in.. I left a window open a little so he gets some daylight in there as well.

It does produce a faint red glow but as far as I can tell he doesn't seem to notice it. He seems normal under the red light but acts weird under ambient light. The first day I got him I left the room lights on for him and he didn't leave his little hiding hole at all.

I guess I am hoping that he will get a little friendlier eventually and at the very least stop biting so I don't just leave him in the cage by himself all the time.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner looking for advice

As long as he is coming out at night, then the red light works fine. I have read that it does bother some, but if yours doesn't notice it then it is certainly not a problem (: While the sunlight may provide some light, you might also want to look into perhaps a desk lamp plugged into a timer. It makes it REALLY easy to keep a light schedule in place, so you don't have to worry about turning lights off and on at the same time (:

Otherwise, I'm glad to hear your little one is doing well! Can't wait to see pictures (:
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