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Old 09-28-2012, 05:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Our girl had a babies to our surprise...

Before criticism, this was not due to my irresponsibility as a hedgehog owner. I got my baby girl from a breeder when she was 9 weeks old. She is now 13 weeks old, and last week she gave birth.

We had a slight inclination that she was pregnant because her urine started to smell bad, her nipples were bigger and she was slightly protective of her under bits. She was also turning her igloo around and putting her toilet paper tube in front of the entrance to it. When we researched, we found that it was textbook pregnancy for a hedgie. At such a young age, we were in a slight panic, and did everything we could to set her cage up to ready her for motherhood just in case. We kept her food bowl full, her water fresh and clean every day and made sure her cage was clean and free of poop. We got a cat litter box and cut a part of the side off to create a lip and put her igloo inside it (her cage is big - the litter box only took up roughly half the space). She loved the privacy and seemed to be a bit more relaxed after we did this.

I talked to the breeder I got her from and she said that she was only housed with a male shortly, and we all know as pet owners that "shortly" is all it can take. She said "good luck" and I went about my day worrying about my little girl. We thought we were clear of her having a litter last Friday, and went out that night, but stayed at a friends house (her food and water was full, and made sure she was temperature comfortable before we left). We came home Saturday night, and her food hadn't been touched, and her igloo had been blocked off by her little pet bed I had gotten for her. I thought she had gotten stuck, silly me! There were no noises in the cage at all, so I lifted the blanket off, did the sweet "Hi Auri, mama's home!" and moved the bed... she came out as she normally would when I got home and I looked inside the igloo and there were 5 babies!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe my eyes! I felt so bad looking inside because I know you're not supposed to bother them or the mother for a while after she has them.

So we removed the wheel, filled her food and water fresh up, and let her be. We did the same for the next couple of days. I gave her a little bit of sour cream (a breeder friend recommended for calcium - just a little, and her stomach is handling it fine - her poop is normal and she loves it), and some baby bananas and carrots (which she also loves - watching her annoint after eating some banana is super cute). She is being spoiled rotten, ands he loves it! She is a very laid back hedgehog, and I'm very happy for that. After she was eating, she put her nose to the cage and poked my finger with it, then continued eating. I peaked into her igloo and saw the babies (and yes, I'm terrible I took pictures), and they were all alive and well.

Now they are a week old. My girl looks tired, but she's eating and drinking well, and has some energy when I get home and feed her. The babies are all doing well, one is smaller than the others, but it does feed, and I see it nuzzling Auri's face once in a while (so super cute). It also happens to be the noisy one in the bunch, but she is taking care of all of them and hasn't rejected any (knock on wood).

Advice? I was recommended to come here from /r/hedgehog and a lot of my research previous to her having the hoglets came from here. Thanks in advance, and here are some cute hedgie pictures to awwww at!

http://imgur.com/a/2YSzP
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Our girl had a babies to our surprise...

Sounds like you guys are doing pretty good handling the situation! Shame about the breeder who caused the problem though. I can't think of any major instructions that you haven't already done, other than not cleaning the cage until after the babies are weaned, which I'm guessing you probably found anyway in your research. She's a gorgeous girl and I'm glad she and the babies are all doing great so far! I'm sure we'll have a couple breeders come by soon to give any advice that may be needed, but it looks to me like you're doing very well with her.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Our girl had a babies to our surprise...

They weren't related right? I can't believe a BREEDER would let this happen. Well, I cant expect all breeders to be as good as me haha But wow.. Congratulations on the babies and sounds like youre doing good. Make sure the room is very warm
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Our girl had a babies to our surprise...

Sounds more like a BYB. :/

Congrats on the babies though! Glad they're doing well. I'd suggest picking up some Royal Canin Babycat or just start crushing her kibble into small pieces starting at around 3-4 weeks. That's when the babies will start nibbling her food and you want it to be small enough for their tiny mouths to handle. The RC babycat is also high in fat which will help her with the demands of nursing, but any kitten or normal adult cat food will work the same. 18% or higher is best for a nursing mama and for when the babies start to eat solid food.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Our girl had a babies to our surprise...

Sadly, the breeder said she was caged with her brother - sigh.

And thank you for the food advice. She doesn't like the hedgie food we got her, but loves her Purina One Chicken. I will definitely grab her some of the Royal Canin though, since a lot of what I'm reading suggests it.

As far as her cage cleaning, I've just been scooping out the big piles of poop in there, but not going anywhere near the igloo so I don't disturb her. If I have to take out any of the bedding due to the amount of urine on it, I only replace about a handful or 2 at a time. I hope that's okay. She misses her wheel though Poor girl is restless sometimes, but better safe than sorry!
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Our girl had a babies to our surprise...

The bedding change sounds fine, that's what breeders usually recommend for cage maintenance once the babies are 2 weeks old, but if she's been fine with it, you should be good. Are you planning on keeping the babies? If you're not and going to be looking for good homes for them, I'd definitely mention to potential owners that the parents were siblings and they may have problems appear down the line - inbreeding increases the risk for genetic problems by a lot. That breeder needs a smack...
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Our girl had a babies to our surprise...

Update: They are all still doing really well! Appetites are good, had to get some of the dirty bedding out of her cage though as it was making me sick smelling it, but she didn't seem to mind. Here are some pictures updating! http://imgur.com/a/jQLR9
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Our girl had a babies to our surprise...

The babies are so adorable, I'm glad you didn't run into any major problems. You're doing good with them!



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Old 10-02-2012, 08:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Our girl had a babies to our surprise...

With such a young mother its suprising that they made it! Congrats! Its to bad that they are inbred but hopefully they wont have to many issues. Just keep an eye on them even after they leave your care.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Our girl had a babies to our surprise...

As long as there isn't more inbreeding further back (which you can't know for sure in this situation), it's unlikely that there will be any health issues because they're from a brother x sister pairing. Inbreeding should be avoided, for obvious reasons, but the more tangible physical/health effects of inbreeding show up after several generations of it. I wouldn't worry about it. Glad they're doing so well!
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