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Old 09-09-2013, 02:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Grumpy Hedgehog?

Hey there. So I'm a new hedge owner an I have a question about my little girls behavior. I've had her for about a month now and she is about 12-13 weeks old. She is really sweet most of the time, dispite the fact that she is quilling like crazy.

My question is, even though she is usually a sweetheart, whenever I go to get her out of her cage, she balls up really tight and huffs at me super bad. I know your supposed to pick them up under their bellies where its soft, but she makes it rather hard when shes in tight ball. When she does this, it makes it really hard to pick her up with out getting poked to death. I've tried wearing gloves to pick her up and getting bedding with her, but I've read that it's better to just do it with your bare hands. Plus, it seems to be 10x worse when I use bedding or gloves. Once she's out of the cage she is fine and dandy, but do you have any suggestions on getting her OUT of the cage in the first place? I'm really tired of having me hands becoming pin cusions.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you tried talking to her and putting your hand near her until she calms down? It doesn't take too long for them to get curious and stop huffing. Good luck! Pin cushion hands are no fun.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree -- try just putting your hand near her for a moment. If she's friendly once she's out, it's likely that she'll notice your scent and get curious enough to un-ball. Remember, when you put your hand into her cage, you are intruding into her territory, so it makes sense that she gets a little grouchy about that to begin with. Maybe if you give her a moment to see who you are and remember that, oh yeah, you're that nice giant thing that likes to play and brings the nomz, she'll loosen up.
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I didn't give Ambrose an igloo until he was more used to me because picking him up while he was inside his bag was so much easier than scooping him (he has a rabbit cage, so scooping him while fitting both my arms through the smaller front door is very hard).

I second the advice of giving her a minute to recognize you. If she, like my grumpy boy, takes this as an invitation to bite you, just wrap a small holding blanket over your hand and hold it near her. She'll still smell you, and hopefully unball. After nearly three months of practicing, my boy mostly doesn't try to bite me when I pick him up anymore, and only huffs a little. I think Ambrose mostly is grumpy because either he's just been woken up, or "I'M BUSY DOING THINGS, HUMAN, HOW DARE YOU DISTURB ME?" (Ambrose always speaks in all-caps, haha.)
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grumpy, hedgie, tight ball

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