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Old 09-14-2015, 07:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Urgent help with baby hoglets

My hedgehog just had babies a couple of hours ago. They're her first and I didn't know she was pregnant. I heard squeaking from here cage and that's how I knew she had babies. I could only see 1 or 2, they're in a little plastic house. I didn't touch her or open the cage, I knew she might eat them if she feels threatened. But a little later I heard a crunching sound. She was eating them. I saw her eating one of them. And I saw another one laying on it's back with it's legs in the air and not moving. I thought she had first kill them and now she was eating them. I didn't do anything. But I kept wondering if the one laying on it's back might be alive and if I can save it. At the end I decided it's worth trying and I lifted the plastic house. She was furious and hissing, but I saw two babies moving under her. I was very surprised, I thought all were dead. When I saw they're alive I decided to leave them with her, I still think they might have better chances with her.
Am I right? Should I leave them with her or get them out and try feeding them. I started reading about feeding hoglets, I mean I'll try to do everything right.
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm really sorry, I saw there is an emergency thread after I posted this.

A little more info for my hedgehog. She's very young and I know she shouldn't get pregnant at that age, it was a mistake. I left her with my ex husband for a couple of days when I was out of town and it happened that there was a male hedgehog and they spent some time together. He knows nothing about hedgehogs obviously and I just didn't know there is another hedgehog.
I don't know her exact age, but I suppose she's under 6 months. We have her for two months and she is still not used to us. She was hissing every time we approached her and it was hard to pick her up.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Your best bet at this point is to leave her be. Remove her wheel and give her food and water. Then just replace food and water daily and let her take care of the babies. Don't make any major changes around her cage to help her feel as secure as possible.
What kind of bedding is she on?
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Disclaimer: I've had hoglets before, but I'm certainly no expert. Mine didn't try to eat any of her babies either, so I have no experience with that.

I think I would have done the same thing as you in your position, though. If she's not eating them yet, there seems to be a good enough chance that she won't, and I agree with you that they might have better chances with the mom. From everything I've heard, rearing newborns is very difficult.

Ours were an accident too, and the mom was young too--about five months. She turned out to be an amazing mom, however, and it was really something to observe. Hopefully her maternal instincts will kick in, if they haven't already. I would leave her be for now, but make sure she has unlimited fresh food and water and some treats too, whatever she likes.

At any rate, someone with more experience than me will come along soon. In the meantime, reading some of those threads like you've been doing will probably help a lot. I'm not sure to what degree you would want to try to optimize her cage for babies at this point. I have a feeling it may already be too late for that.
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you, both. I still hear some squeaking so I hope they're both alive. I don't think she's eating food. I put a little bowl of food right in front of the entrance of the house so she doesn't need to go too far away. She got out, drank a little water and only smelled the food.
I try to be as quite as possible and I put a blanket over part of the cage as the sunlight was too bright at noon.

The bedding is pellets.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You've been given some good advice. Just leave them alone as much as possible. Only go near her cage to give her fresh food and water once a day. Make sure the wheel is out. She may have been confused at first about what was going on and that's why she ate the babies. If she wasn't hurting them later then just leave her be. The babies have maybe a 1% chance of surviving being handraised. The biggest thing is to stay away and to not make any changes.

Don't put blankets etc over the cage unless this is something you've been doing before. The bright light isn't a problem and actually will help keep her in the nest with the babies. Mom's usually don't eat for the first day or so after giving birth so that is normal.

Its good she's on pellet bedding because you won't be able to clean the cage until the babies are weaned. After a few days or a week, if mom has settled down, you can take out a handful of dirty bedding from the cage and replace it with clean bedding when you feed and water her, only one handful a day and always far away from the nest. You can't clean the nest or near the nest until the babies are weaned.
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you so much.
I still hear some sounds so I hope both babies are alive. And they're more than 1 day old now. The mother is getting out, but she's very quick and drinks and eats very little.
She doesn't have a wheel inside. The blanket was covering only a small part of the cage, but I took it off, so it's all like before.
Now I'm going to read about the babies, it was so unexpected and I have no idea what to do when they start growing.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds like everything is going good, that's wonderful to hear
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Old 09-19-2015, 02:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a question, is it really bad if I take the mother out of the cage for a little walk? The cage is pretty small, I used to take her out in the evenings, but I haven't touched her since the birth.
I actually took her out for a little while yesterday. She really looked like she wanted to get out. I first took her for only a couple of minutes. When I put her back she checked the babies, but then she was trying to get out of the cage. So I took her out for 10-15 minutes. She walked around, chewed on some cardboard, spit on her quills, the usual hedgie things. She didn't seem very disturbed so I thought it's ok. She's still taking care of the babies after that. Is it fine, or I shouldn't take her out anymore?
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Old 09-19-2015, 08:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The babies are less than a week old so I wouldn't be taking mom out or doing anything to distract her from her babies.
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