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Old 08-22-2010, 09:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need help from experienced breeders urgently

I am trying to save two baby hedgehogs rejected by their mom.
Here is the story. On the day my female hedgehog gave birth to her babies, there was a great deal of noise on the house. On that day she killed three of them. One time on the following day it seemed like she fed the remaining two at least once. The female seemed to be in stress throughout the day and was running around her cage hectically. The babies were crying a lot. On the third day I found her inside of her house and the two babies were outside quite cold and with bite marks on their bodies. At first I decided that one of them was dead, but when I took the baby out it warmed up and started moving. After warming them up a bit in my hands I tried to give them back to their mom, but she continued to bite them and run around the cage in worry. At that time I had my other female with five week old babies whom she was still nursing, but they were already grown up and eating on their own. I have moved the grown babies into a separate cage and gave the two young ones to the foster mom. She did not act towards them aggressively and quite quickly began nursing them. Now the babies seem warm, but I am not sure if the new mom will be able to continue nursing them. The foster mom is an extremely friendly hedgehog and has never reacted negatively to people being present near the nest or handling her babies. That was her second litter.
Will the milk produced at this stage be enough to keep the babies alive?
Is there anything else I can do at this point except for keeping the mom and the babies in peace and quiet?
How can I help the biological mom, who continues to be restless but eats and drinks more than usual?
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help from experienced breeders urgently

Hedgies that are pregnant and near the delivery date should be kept in a quiet room with no people around except to feed and water them. The new mom is stressed and may never take the babies back, I wouldn't even try it. You're very lucky that the other mom took them and that she's so quiet and relaxed, that's not usual for hedgies. All you can do now is hope that the foster mom will have enough milk and won't reject them.

All you can do for the birth mother is leave her alone and let her settle down. Make sure she keeps eating and drinking. If she stops eating or drinking she'll need to see a vet as it could mean she has a baby still in her or an infection.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help from experienced breeders urgently

Nikki gave you the advice I would give you. I would add some higher fat food to the mom that has the babies.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help from experienced breeders urgently

I know about the quiet, it happened due to independent circumstances.
Can I increase the fat of her diet using insects? She eats them with pleasure even when she's full. Or is it better to make Chicken Soup for Cat Lovers (18% fat) the base of her diet? At this time she is eating a mix which already includes that brand of cat food.
Right now she is seating outside of her house as she usually did with her grown up babies in the evenings.
To see what she is doing, it is not necessary to approach the cage. She is an albino and very visible in the dark.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help from experienced breeders urgently

Bugs will work or get some kitten food.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help from experienced breeders urgently

Thank you
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help from experienced breeders urgently

Wow, well done reacting quickly and getting those babies to a foster mom. I hope they'll be okay, it's terrible about the ones that didn't make it...but hopefully the two remaining hoglets will be alright.

I am not a breeder and so I can't give any advice, but I felt the need to offer condolences about the ones that died, and praise for your swift reaction.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help from experienced breeders urgently

For now the babies are still alive, but one of them doesn't seem to be getting enough milk. I mean his belly does not show any white inside and by now he is significantly lighter in weight than the other baby. I tried putting the mom on her side and bringing the baby to her nipple myself. But even the friendliest of hedgehogs still isn't a dog, so that proved to be very difficult. Here is my question: is there any sense to feed the smaller baby with something in addition to natural milk (kitten milk for example) to strengthen him so that he could feed more actively?
p.s. The biological mom has passed away. R.I.P.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help from experienced breeders urgently

Yes, you can supplement him with kitten milk. Goats milk is the best, then puppy, then kitten. Sometimes removing the larger baby for an hour every so often will give the smaller one a better chance at the milk but they are so young still and only two of them so that really shouldn't be necessary.

I'd give the foster mom some goats milk, or puppy milk too as it will help with her milk production.

I'm sorry about their mom. Something must have gone wrong with her. Poor girl.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help from experienced breeders urgently

https://hedgehogcentral.com/handfeed.shtml - I have read this, getting some goats milk.
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