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Old 02-16-2017, 02:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Tale of Chai McPricklewinkles

In less than two weeks Chai the African pygmy hedgehog will be moving in with us at the tender age of nine weeks old. Chai will be our first hedgehog, and unlike my 'starter guinea pigs' as a teen I'm hoping she won't be subject to too many newbie-owner mistakes... though I am worried about clipping her teeny tiny needle-nails.



Even at this early stage in our relationship, I feel like I've pulled the short straw. Her only job is to eat grown up food while here we've been learning about vivarium heating systems and building flatpack furniture




Organising the decorations, buying the furniture and laying down the carpet... I mean substrate.



Working hard to not fall in love with the crickets, roaches and locust who have arrived ahead of Chai to be gut loaded then frozen as our 'emergency' batch (their cute little munching noises!!!)


We're very excited and trying to pack as much prep work as we can into this week as we can (I'm nearing the end of my post-operative recovery time and it'll be harder to accept deliveries when I'm at work!) This week I've been trying to work out how to keep insects alive - I'm so glad that reptile owners have had to deal with this before I have!

Hope you all don't mind if I use this thread to keep you all up to date on me and Chai as we learn from each other. She has the misfortune of being my first hedgehog but hopefully the fortune of my enthusiasm.
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Old 03-04-2017, 05:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I might have romanticised the day we brought our hedgehog home in my mind.

We did not bring home a baby hoglet who rarely balled up and was curious and happy for all kind of handling.

Baby hog went into a Car Portal and after 3 hours of processing she came out...

A Ball of Nope.


Day Two and we had a might of a misunderstanding over a mealworm. She decided I was offering her a poisonous peace offering and I was trying to work out how to say "How do you know you don't like it until you try it?" in Hoglish.


She is Very EXCITING to the three feline residents of the house who seem confused that she's spiky but not as ferocious as a wasp.


Just as I thought that we'd finally come across some common ground and felt like she was accepting me as her new eager-to-please housemate... she got a pet without prior family approval. Already she's breaking the house rules.

Once I can photograph him waving at me on top of the tunnel, I'll introduce you to Braveheart the cricket. Chai's new Sidekick. Sigh.

I thought that the hour in the fridge had killed him (he was NOT moving) but apparently in the vivarium Chai delivered some cricket CPR and decided he was welcome to stay.

He's driving the cats NUTS.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh no! Crickets are the absolute worst. I don't even take them out of the box, the whole thing goes right into the freezer overnight to kill them. My roommate would murder me if any got loose, hah.

I'm happy Chai is home, though she's a little grumpy about the whole situation. Hopefully she settles in soon! She's absolutely adorable.
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I wish I had your ability to write. This thread is so much fun!

I had a turtle once and bought her crickets (yes I was "that" brave once) those things escaped and it took me forever to get rid of them.

I don't do live bugs, at all!!!
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Old 03-05-2017, 04:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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She looks just like my Poppy! So cute! I agree Artemis! I can do canned mealworms but I draw the line at keeping crickets in my freezer!
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you guy! I do love writing wee animal stories/diaries! Glad you're enjoying them too

I tried to keep them in a 'Kricket' Keeper... as of last night I'm throwing in the towel. Or, more specifically I'm throwing the keeper into the fridge then the crickets into the freezer.

I signed up to getting a HEDGEHOG as a pet, not a hog and her edible Hand Maids! My evening routine had expanded from tending to the hog, hog cuddles and THEN...

Wiping down the crickets container, feeding them and checking their water.
Wiping down the dubia roaches container, feed them and check their water.
Check the live mealworms, pick out any dead and become excited about those pupating... consider getting them a better enclosure for when beatles appear... worry about more bugs.
Check waxworm container and pick out dead food.

And recently some earthworms arrived from wormsdirect!!!

I was spending soooo much more time caring for the insects when... she's only eating roaches and crickets when they're blended in with raw food anyway after gut loading! Whole she just lets them rot - siiiiggghhh!

Chai has absolutely nothing to be grumpy about... I do all of this work when she goes to sleep!
But grumpy she is!
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