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Old 05-07-2011, 10:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Adopted Hedgehog- need guidance!


I am looking for some help with my newly adopted hedgehog, Pickles

A friend of mine bought Pickles a year ago for his girlfriend. Two weeks ago was my first time ever meeting her, I had never seen a hedgehog before but was instantly intrigued by the little ball of spikes he showed me. I had no idea what her face looked like, but after about 15 minutes of waiting very patiently, i saw a tiny little nose poke out from the ball. I fell in love. He seemed quite uninterested with her, he told me that the 'novelty' of wore off pretty quickly and I felt so sad for her. I noticed they kept her in a fish tank with nothing but shavings and an ash tray as a food bowl. I then offered to take her. Two days later I brought Pickles home

I have been doing a lot of reading about hedgehogs and they seem like amazing animals.I am trying my best to make her as comfortable as possible, I put a shirt of mine in her tank, (she has literally been wrapped up in it for 3 days) put a toilet paper roll in her tank (i heard they like to play with those) and have gotten her a new water and food blow. The first 2 days she did not eat at all but yesterday (to my relief) there was food missing. The person I took her from gave me a leather glove that he would use to handle her but after all the reading i have done it seems using a glove is not the best idea.. she has no problems starring at me from her tank but as soon as I try to touch her she goes into a ball and makes a hissing kind of noise. I really want to pick her up without the glove and try to bond with her but to be honest, she scares me a bit. I don't want to push her but I want her to know that I am not going to hurt her.

Any suggestions?

Appreciate the help [attachment=0:1bwssjw3]pickels.jpg[/attachment:1bwssjw3]
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Adopted Hedgehog- need guidance!

Kudos to you!!

Just a couple quick ideas: Take her out - use a cloth if necessary - and handle her everyday, even if she gets all spiky. Put her on your lap covered, and let her come to you. I would just pick her up with your shirt and carry her that way. Then you might try holding her in your shirt and attempt to touch her!! Gasp!!

Snarf spent the first 5 months in his fleece bag - we could talk to him, pet him, carry him - as long as he was in his bag. Now, I usually use his bag to pick him up and hold him as he seems mire comfortable but he relaxes within a few seconds.

The important thing us daily handling - with a hiding place nearby.
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Adopted Hedgehog- need guidance!

It's great that you've decided to try and give this little hog a better home. Keep reading! There's a lot to learn, but we'll be glad to help you.

I'm sure you've read that tanks aren't good homes for hogs, so I hope you're looking into different cage ideas. This thread is a great one to get ideas! viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1860

Also, does your little one have a wheel yet? We really recommend the Carolina Storm Wheel or the Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel, both sold by Larry here on the forum. But if you need one immediately, check your local pet store for either a comfort wheel or a flying saucer - you'd need the largest size of either of these.

As far as picking up - use the t-shirt you have in there, or some fleece or other cloth. Like Miss C says, try not to be scared and handle your hedgehog ever day. You're both just scared of each other at the moment, but you'll get used to each other

Thank you ashjac18 for my Sherlock avatar
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Adopted Hedgehog- need guidance!

First of all, she is just lovely! How sad; the novelty wore off. Sounds like some marriages. How wonderful; now she has someone who cares about her. Eventually, in her own way, she will let you know that she thanks you so very much!
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Adopted Hedgehog- need guidance!

Hissing just means that she's scared. For now, pick her up with fabric and then sit down with her on your lap and just stay still. Even if it takes a couple days of doing the same thing, eventually she'll come out and start exploring.

If you're on a budget but need a different cage, a large plastic bin will work in a pinch...costs about $10 at Walmart and there's room for the wheel in there. Also, when you buy wood shavings, get aspen rather than cedar. The plastic bin is quieter at night too than a glass tank. The ten gallon glass tanks really don't have enough room for a hedgehog.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Adopted Hedgehog- need guidance!

Aw she looks sorta like my Gracidea!

Gracie was pretty shy when I first got her, but like a lot of people already said, daily handling is key. If the lights are off and it's a bit quieter in the room, it can help too. I also think it's important to let her sniff you before you try picking her up. At least, that always worked for me in getting her to unball faster.

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