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Old 02-15-2012, 10:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Questions on raising babies

My rescue girl Quillow had 5 babies about 3 and a half weeks ago. She's let me handle them from the start, although I haven't much...a few times a week for a few minutes at a time. Now that their eyes are open, they are starting to huff at me and ball up when I try to pick them up. I really want them to be well socialized to make good pets for their new adoptive parents, can anyone give me some good advice on socializing and handling babies, and what to expect? They are growing well and healthy.

Also, how do I go about weaning them from mom and onto cat food? At what age do I separate them from mom entirely? When is a good age for them to go to their new homes?

Sorry for all the questions but I didn't plan to have babies and I can't find much information on raising babies!

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions on raising babies

I'm sure a breeder will be by soon to offer more experienced help! Just wanted to say I'm glad the babies are doing well and everyone's healthy! I know that a lot of the breeders on here like to use Royal Canin Babycat for mamas and babies - the extra fat helps mom with producing milk, and the pieces are tiny, small enough for the babies to start trying when they're ready. The other questions I'll leave for a breeder to answer, but I know most breeders keep the babies until they're at least 6 weeks old. They also make sure that the babies are eating well on their own before they go, and that they're at a healthy weight.

(Also, you should post pictures!! )
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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there are some pictures and videos here I need to update, they grow SO FAST!

http://www.gallerygeckos.com/the-hedgehogs.html
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions on raising babies

Now that they have more then two weeks old and that mom seems to let you touch them, you should handle them EVERY day! They need a lot of socialization!

For the weaning time, I personally let babies with mom around 5 and a half weeks - 6 weeks. At this age I separe them (You have to separate males and females babies too, because at 6 week they might be able to reproduce). And when I see that everybody eat, drink well and weight at least 100g, thay can go to their news family!

Hope it help, More breeders will probably answer you!
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions on raising babies

Babies go through many little phases and mood changes. One day they will be happy and bravely explore, the next day a bit more shy and quilly. When one is being shy and quilly, spend more time with it even if you are just sitting watching tv with baby in a bag on your lap. When their eyes first open they often go through a shy period as all of a sudden they are seeing this great big world and everything is scarey.

Mom will wean them. What food is mom on? If there is kitten or baby cat in her mix, babies will start sampling her food any time now, some sooner than others. If it is adult food, start breaking it into smaller pieces for them. By 4.5 -5 weeks most babies are eating both the food and still nursing.
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions on raising babies

Mom is on Natural Balance...I live in a small town and its literally the only quality food available here. The pieces are quite small.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions on raising babies

We separate our hoglets once we see that they are not nursing off of mom anymore. Its different for every litter. This usually happens around 6 weeks but you can keep them all together until there around 7 weeks. Most people say to separate males and females at 8 weeks old because there have been a few stories where an 8 week old male is caught trying to mount momma! This is obviously something you don't want. I would just keep an eye on them and watch there progress. If you notice that they aren't nursing at all anymore then it would be safe to remove babies from the mother. You might want to get a kitchen scale and weigh them every day once you separate them to make sure they aren't losing weight. Don't separate them any sooner then 6 weeks though.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Questions on raising babies

Oh also another thing you can offer the hoglets to try is carrots, bugs and other various goodies they may like! Its a good idea to introduce as many new foods once they start exparimenting with kibble because they will be more open to the idea of trying treats when they are adults. If you dont show it to them when they are younger they wont be too interested once they are older. Just an idea! We give all of our mothers and babies lots of treats (well all of our hedgies get treats) but there favorite thing so far is chopped carrot. Its always a hit with our herd!
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:14 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone! When I take them out daily to play with them, I scatter kibble around for them to hunt down and munch on, and they all do. I introduced them to water tonight, just let them poke their noses in a bit of water on a plate. They didn't seem impressed lol.

3 of them are pretty bold, they huff at me and ball up but after they are out for awhile, they will come over and sniff me and lick me and let me pet them without getting fussy. Two are much shyer though, and its really hard to get them to unball and explore! THey are 4 weeks old now. I hope that taking them out daily to explore will help in the next 4 weeks or so, so that they go to their new homes well socialized. That's really important to me.
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