3 week old hedgehog, abandoned by its mother - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 3 week old hedgehog, abandoned by its mother

I am buying a hedgie, and the girl who has the babies said the mom abandoned the litter last week and she's been hand feeding then. Now she's wants to know if I can take the baby home... It's not nursing anyway, but how much care will it need? I work full time...

Advice please
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A lot of care. Period. Haha. Buy a hedgie from the breeder when the baby is a little bit older, preferably 5 to 8 weeks old, if I'm correct...
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Babies typically wean at 6-8 weeks. I'm hoping a breeder will step in, but I don't know how long before that they start eating solid food (stealing mum's kibble) and if at 3 weeks you'd be doing formula-feedings. 2 weeks is typically the age they start getting handled by their humans, but only for brief intervals.

I wonder about the odds of the baby surviving when abandoned that young. New hedgehog-parents have enough things to be worried about, I'd be terrified of taking on that task when I'm such a novice to hedgehogs.

Hopefully one of the breeders will come along, or someone else with more robust hedgehog experience, to give an idea of the type of work required and how good the odds are of the hoglet surviving abandonment.
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Babies start sampling moms food at 4 weeks and start to wean at 5-6 weeks. Nursing from mom to 3 weeks a baby has a good chance of survival but you will need to monitor him closely and hand feed every 3-5 hours depending on if baby will drink the goats or puppy milk from a bowl. You will also need to ensure he is pottying on his own which he should be, but you may need to stimulate him to poop if he doesn't on his own. You will need a scale to keep daily track of his weight to ensure he is gaining properly.

I would never have let a baby that young go to a new inexperienced owner. What is her guarantee if baby does not survive?
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm waiting to hear back from her about how often she's feeding the babies now, and how. We really want this pet, and we already have a lovely warm case set up in preparation, but we thought we'd get her in a few weeks... I don't want to buy a pet who will die, and I work all day... But I'd be home to feed her at 4pm and I could do feedings at 8 pm and again at 5 am (maybe even get up at 1am)... They do sleep most of the day, and I dunno if she could drink from a bowl of kitten formula in the day....

I hope to hear from anyone who has hand raised a 3week old hedgie....
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That's me and why I replied. I've raised two. Both did well. One started drinking from the bowl very quickly, the other took a bit longer but even after they were eating from the bowl, I still hand fed them a couple of times per day. A bowl of goats or puppy milk needs to be replaced with fresh after about 4 hours. Babies at that age eat frequently round the clock and don't sleep all day.

The companionship of littermates also helps babies at that age when mom is no longer there.

What type of cage do you have?

My boys were big babies when mom passed away so that certainly helped them.
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I bought a big guinea pig case, but for such a small one, I'd use a box at first. I have heating pads and a thermometer to monitor the temp. I can do feedings with formula, but not from 6am to 4pm (I'm a nurse and I work day shift). I could leave out milk in a bowl, but I don't know of that'll be okay. The girl who is selling them seems to want to send her home ASAP (I suspect she doesn't want to keep hand feeding them, and I saw she posted the littermates online to find homes for). Anyway, I'm still waiting for for her response about their current feeding regimen and times. If it sounds like u can do better, I guess I'll take her home, but I'm nervous because of that 9 hour stretch she'd spend without a hand feeding...
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I also bought a scale, so I will monitor weight as well...
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sounds like the girl is willing to keep her longer until she can be alone in the workday... Relived! I still will prepare to have a tiny hedgehog in a week or two though!
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Old 11-29-2013, 02:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Good! Good luck, and I'm glad you're not going to have the additional stress of trying to take care of a tiny-young hoglet while you're still learning.

If you haven't encountered it while doing your setup and research, West Coast Hedgehogs has an awesome book that organizes all the care information in one place.
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