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Old 11-30-2012, 12:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy New hedgie owner

Hello! My name is Caitlin and I just got a six-week old baby albino hedgehog named Lucius. I just had a few questions as a new owner:

1. How much do you feed him? I'm currently using hedgehog food from a pet store but am going to switch to lowfat catfood soon. How many pieces of food should he be eating a day?

2. I wake up in the morning to find that while playing all night, he has smeared his poop all over his cage and its all over his paws and stomach. I'm fine bathing him, I just don't know if I should be doing it every day. Is this normal?

3. I was told that if I made a little litter box for him and put ripped up paper towel pieces in it that he would use it as a litter box, but so far he's not. Will he start to?

4. He bites me. It's not in aggression, and he seems to be tasting me, as he always licks me a lot before he bites. I don't mind it too much now but when he gets older it might start to draw blood. How can I break him of this habit?

Any other advice for a new hedgie mommy would be very welcome! Thanks!

- Caitlin
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie owner

Welcome to the forum, we're glad to have you and Lucius here! (And I love his name! XD)

1. A good quality cat food is definitely a good idea. If you're not sure on brand yet, some really popular ones on the forums are Blue Buffalo, Innova, Natural Balance, Solid Gold, and Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul. There's plenty of other good ones, too! But those might give you an idea of some brands to start with if you're not really sure. As far as amount, most people recommend free-feeding and see how much he eats on his own. It varies a lot between hedgehogs - most tend to eat between 1-2 tablespoons, so that might be a good starting point until you see how much is normal for him. Measuring/weighing/counting how much he eats is a good idea too, so you know if he goes off his food.

2. Yup, that's normal! Gross, but normal. Does he have a wheel? They tend to poop as they run, so they often run through it and end up with poop on them (what has been nicknamed "poop boots"). Most hedgehogs do require at least a quick footbath in the morning to clean them up a little.

3. Litter training is really hit-and-miss. Some hedgehogs catch on and will use them, some just don't care. Most hedgehogs will poop on the wheel no matter what, so many people compromise and put a litterbox under the wheel, to catch "run-off". That tends to keep poop limited to the wheel area of the cage for a lot of hedgies, but some can make a wreck out of their cage anyway.

4. Make sure your hands are clean - wash with scent-free soap before you handle him, and don't give treats from your fingers/hands. If he's licking first, he's definitely tasting or smells something interesting on your hands. If he starts licking your hands, pull away before he gets a chance to bite. Hopefully those things together will break him of the habit before it turns into a serious one.

My only other advice is to do LOTS of reading! The forums are a great place to look up questions, and read old threads to learn from others' experiences. There's also a fantastic hedgehog care book written by one of our mods, LizardGirl, that you can download for free here - http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/files ... index.html It contains a lot of information from the forum, all neat and organized. Definitely a must-have for new and old owners!

And lastly...we love pictures!! *hinthint*
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie owner

hi my name is micaela, and i know how it feels to be a new mommy, my recomendation is to read about hedgies
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie owner

Hello and welcome!
As for the litter training, what I do is put the "pan" which is made from part of a cereal box in the corner under the wheel and I put Yesterdays News (recycled ferret litter) in it. I then try to place at least one poo/day in the pan. Daisy is starting to get the hang of it sometimes - meaning she isn't as dirty as she was at first! Anyway, it just takes time and patience and your hedgie may never be totally litter trained, but they seem to be a little bit cleaner with age!
Good luck,
Susan H.
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