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corinamarina 11-11-2019 04:35 PM

Winter time behaviour?
Evie is almost 7 months old and I have noticed some behaviour changes recently which are getting me worried something might be wrong...
Up until a few weeks ago she would always wake up at 9pm eat and run almost all night until about 4am (sometimes even until 6am).
I live in Scotland and the winters here are very dark with the sun setting at around 5pm and rising again at around 8am. Ever since the time change she has been getting up between 5 and 6 pm, she’ll eat and run for about 10 minutes and then go back to sleep until late (sometimes she doesn’t come out of her hide until 1am). She still runs almost the same amounts every night (most of the time she hits 15km) but it has gotten a bit less over the past two weeks.
The temperature in her cage is always at or above 24C / 75F degrees. She eats, drinks and poops normally. I had some issues with her skin and poop a while ago, but it went back to normal after I stopped giving her a new kibble I had been feeding her as part of a mix. I mix flaxseed oil into her mealies once a week to help with the skin problems.
She seems very tired but not lethargic. When she is awake she’s as crazy as always. She has been making an odd new noise while exploring as well. It sounds like a squeaking but coming from her nose. I’m worried it could be a URI but then again, she doesn’t show any other signs such as discharge from the nose or eyes. She only makes the noise when actively exploring on the sofa or in her playpen but never when she’s asleep, eating or just cuddling.
She also does another new thing where she almost jumps out of her wheel, runs off the litter tray onto the fleece liner and she starts digging into the liner with her head as if she is trying to scratch her face and her sides. Her skin is not irritated or anything and it’s not as dry as it used to be now that I’m using the flaxseed oil.
I’m just very unsure if these are normal hedgehog behaviours or if something is actually wrong with her 😞 I’ve read on here that some hedgehogs change or settle into their personalities when the are about 6 months old but I just wanted to see if anyone had some more insight to her behaviour... Especially since all of those changes started around the same time (awake/sleep times, funny noises and scratching).
Sorry for the long post, I would really appreciate some advice! 🙂

SquirtleSquirt 11-11-2019 08:39 PM

Do you have a lighting schedule? Hedgehogs require 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Sunlight is not a sufficient light source. Not getting proper light amount could also result in hibernation.

corinamarina 11-12-2019 05:42 AM

I have thought about that... Makes sense. I’ll look into buying a lamp for her cage asap, thank you!

Spiky_Floof<3 11-12-2019 05:23 PM

It seems like it could just be her adjusting to the new lighting outside. As long as she has natural light, and maybe the light in the room she is in on for the right time, she should be fine.

nikki 11-12-2019 07:44 PM

Spiky_Floof, natural light is not enough for a hedgehog. They are native to areas around the equator that receive about 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness a day year round. They will try to hibernate if they don't get enough day light. All pet hedgehogs, regardless of the time of year, or amount of natural light they receive, need to have about 12 hours of bright light a day. Relying on natural light is a good way to end up with a hibernating hedgehog.

Aj.t 11-14-2019 08:54 AM

However, I will say that from personal experience, none of my hedgehogs have reacted adversely to a natural light schedule. It’s safe to assume that they’ll get a good even amount of light/dark in their natural habitat daily, but APH have been bred in captivity so long that I feel it’s also safe to assume they can easily adjust to a natural light setup. I’m neither recommending nor discrediting the idea of using an artificial light setup, but I’ve found it to be pretty unnecessary in my specific situation.

Askeptosaurus 12-03-2019 12:46 PM

I've found natural light is mostly a problem when the days are getting shorter as that's one of their cues to hibernate. If the days are getting longer that's less of a problem.

Mecki 12-05-2019 01:07 PM

The OP is in the UK, so that means their shortest day is less than 8 hours. And their winter skies are overcast/cloudy 72% of the time -- so even less sun.

So... yeah... I would think it pretty important in that location to have artificial lighting for hedgehogs to prevent hibernation attempts.

corinamarina 12-10-2019 05:11 PM

Thank you for the answers everyone!

I have added a light to her cage (unfortunately it doesn’t come on automatically but we usually turn it on between 7-9am and it goes off at 8:30pm) so she’s back to her ‘normal’ schedule &#x1f642;

Ria 12-10-2019 05:49 PM


Originally Posted by corinamarina (Post 1079858)
unfortunately it doesn’t come on automatically but we usually turn it on between 7-9am and it goes off at 8:30pm) so she’s back to her ‘normal’ schedule &#x1f642;

Use a time it will save you worrying about turning it on and off. And it will be the same time every day.

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