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Old 09-16-2012, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking New hedgie, a few questions.. c:

Hey there fellow hedgie lovers c:
I'm a new owner, that has done a good amount of research and have recently taken in a male hedgie who is a year old, and his name is Reggie. I've only had him for 2 days now, but there a few questions that I need some help with because I haven't come across a straight-forward answer.
First off - How long do you think it's going to take for him to get used to me? He was once owned by a friend who had to re-home him because he no longer had time to care for him, due to school and work so he was grumpy when I got him from not being handled that much. I was just wondering how long it would take for him to quit huffing and poking his quills out at me every time I come near him? Every time I walk by his cage or move my hand near him, he pokes out his quills and goes into a ball. I read somewhere that taking an old shirt that you've worn and putting it in his cage so that he could get used to the smell, would help a lot. So I've done that c: Like I said, I just got him recently so I haven't been handling him quite as much. He's been out of his cage with me and my family for 30 minutes-2 hours a DAY, is this too much or too little? I don't want to stress him out but then again I don't want him to never get used to me?
Another question - How much should I be feeding him? His previous owner gave me a list of the cat foods that he feeds him - and I'm currently giving him roughly two table spoons of Purina One a day, as it was at the top of the list. Is this enough? I'm not completely sure if this is the best choice and was wondering if you guys had any further knowledge on it? Also what other types of foods could I give him as treats? Would they help him warm up to me?
Last question- What should his stool be like? I took him out earlier today and let my little sister hold him (she was very gentle and slow-moving so she wouldn't scare him) but he decided to poop all over her and I wasn't sure whether or not this was just what they do, or if he was nervous/scared. It was a bit squishy looking and light brown. Is this normal? Also, will it take him time to stop pooping on people?
These are all the questions I have for now, thanks for your help!

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Old 09-16-2012, 05:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie, a few questions.. c:

Hi and congratulations on your new hedge! One thing you could do is get a cookie sheet and put some paper towels or recycled newspaper type litter in it. When you take him out of the cage, place him in the pan...or if you see that tail start to go up you can put him in there. If he runs around in one area of the house when you have him out then you probably could teach him to go there. I was able to do that with my previous hedgie, Snoball. Now I have a new hedgehog who does not go right away when I take her out. She thinks her wheel is the litter pan and even when she is not running she goes in there to take a dump! So, I don't know what I am gonna do except keep trying...
Anyway, aside from potty training, it might take a while (like weeks or maybe even a few months) for your hedgie to warm up. On the other hand it might not take long...Daisy is still a grump. I got her a month ago and she is about 6 weeks old, but she is not as bad as when I first brought her home. She actually is not that bad. I think Snoball was even grumpier.
I'd say just keep taking him out and form a routine, if you notice something in particular bothers him try not to do it. Of course you have to move around the house and you are gonna have to pick him up - but I mean other things, like making certain noises...
Snacks go a long way. (mealworms or crickets, a piece of egg, chicken, hamburger, carrot, banana, etc.) If you can get him to take some food from your hand that would help w/ the bonding I think.
It's a hard question to answer, how much to feed. If you get a food scale you can weigh him and then feed 2 tablespoons like you have been doing and make sure he isn't gaining or losing weight. I have the same question. My I feed about 1 1/2 tablespoons per day + 2-3 mealworms or another snack. I don't know if it is the right amount but some nights there is a little leftover food in her bowl...I don't want to overfeed, cause my old hedgie was overweight....anyway, just monitor him and see if he's eating it all. Two tablespoons + some snacks should be OK. Purina One is an OK food at the moment I am feeding a little Purina Healthy life to Daisy, I don't know if it is the greatest, but originally I was just trying to get her to eat!
I hope you can get some more advice from others!
Susan H.
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Old 09-16-2012, 05:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie, a few questions.. c:

It may take him anywhere from a few weeks to several months to a year to get used to you completely. It's an on-going process that takes a different amount of time for every hedgehog. It definitely does help when you handle him more and have a shirt in, but it'll still just depend on him and his personality. The single biggest trait for a hedgehog owner to possess is patience - these little guys take more than most pets, in my opinion. The amount of time you're taking him out sounds perfect though, so just hang in there, and keep doing what you're doing. Hopefully it'll pay off sooner rather than later.

Purina One isn't really the best food, though the Beyond line is better than the rest. Some of the cat food brands that are most popular on here are Blue Buffalo, Innova, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, Solid Gold, and Natural Balance. The main things you want to look for: no corn or wheat, a named meat or meat meal as the first ingredient, no meat by-products, and no BHA/BHT, or ethoxyquin. You also want the protein somewhere between 28-35% and the fat depends on the hedgehog - 15% is the usual high limit recommended, but if he's a runner and on the skinny side, you can go above 15% with no issues. Most people on here free-feed, where you measure out (either measuring, counting, or weighing) an amount of food and see how much is left in the morning. The goal is to aim for having a little more out than what he usually eats so there's some left for an extra-hungry night. Hedgehogs don't typically overeat, so this approach works best for them.

Here's a list of safe/unsafe fruits and veggies for hedgehogs - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=fruit+ and+veggie You can also feed plain cooked meats, baby food (my favorite way of giving fruits/veggies), small amounts of cooked egg, and insects such as mealworms, crickets, and dubia cockroaches. If you find a special favorite treat, that could definitely help with bonding, just be careful about hand feeding, which can cause nipping/biting.

Hedgehogs usually poop as soon as they wake up, so giving them time to potty first can help. Other than that, the best thing to do is either handle them on a blanket or towel and keep paper towels or tissues nearby for clean up. The poop might have been softer from being woken up and handled, but it's not a huge deal. It sounds pretty normal to me, so I wouldn't worry.
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