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Old 06-12-2019, 06:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello all!

So since yesterday I am the carer (and probable new owner) of a little hedgehog as for now nameless. It was rescued from a wildlife centre where it was to be euthanized (as invasive species) and kept with rats for some days in the meantime.
I had a glimpse under it and pretty positive it is a female, otherwise no idea about age. I think it is an African pigmy hedgehog and probably adult?
I am attaching photos here. I set up a cage quickly for her, I am planning on improvements such as an exercise wheel and a big play pen and toys, just starting.
The little one is quite stressed and huffs and puffs a lot and stays hidden most of the time. I have her on my lap now sleeping in a t-shirt.
Also she does lick and nip which kind of concerned me cause I don't mind spikes but would rather not have a pet trying to eat me.
So this is only day two! Lots to learn!

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Old 06-12-2019, 07:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi there! That's great that she is letting you handle her already that means she's pretty tame. She's definitely an adult. Kinda scary she was in with rats. Kind of you to rescue her. They really need as much space as possible for excercise so getting a wheel is important when u can one that's solid not made of mesh where they can get their nails stuck . A high quality catfood with meat being the first 2 to 3 ingredients is ideal and insects too there's lot's of information in the nutrition department. There's a lot of people on this site that are experts regarding all your questions. I just thought I'd give you a little head start and say good job and keep her warm around 78 degrees.👍😉
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Congrats! She's doing fantastic if she's opening up like that and walking about on you already.

Just a possible caution (I'm a new owner too) but I thought I read that bowls are better for offering water. Something about a bottle not being ideal, possibly a hazard? Maybe some others can comment on this.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If it’s a bottle where the ball rolls around in the straw, it’s safe. The hazard comes in with bottles that have that little ball attached to a spring (flip the bottle upside down- if the ball falls into the straw it’s fine) where small animals can get their tongues severely pinched. With that being said, speaking from personal experience, my hedgehogs have all been observed drinking more water when offered in a bowl as it’s easier for them to access and less frustrating. If she is drinking fine and you notice a decent amount gone each day, then you shouldn’t have any worries!
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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To be honest even if it is a bottle that has the ball that moves, I personally still wouldn't use it, as they can still struggle to drink from it, and its better to be safe with a bowl for water than the bottle where you could run the risk of dehydration.

Also your cage, its not bad considering you got it quickly but those bars at the platform ideally need to be covered up to stop your little one climbing them and getting hurt. Especially as at the moment you have no wheel, and climbing is another way that they let out energy when there is no wheel available but they will climb up and then just fall down, also if they try putting their head through the bar it can get stuck which is a reason why its not very safe. So you'll just want to cover the bars up high around the top of the platform bit.

Those ears look a little tattered too, get some coconut oil and just rub it on the ears, this works great for helping them.
When I touch Holly's I start slowly and gently at the top and then work my to touch the rest, have a go and see is you touch the ears then try the coconut every other day for the ear.

She seems to be very relaxed with you !! Which is really great.
If you want to be 100% sure it is a she, boys have what looks like a belly button (for their man parts) and girls don't - this is the easiest way to check.

As for the biting, are you washing your hands with unscented soap before handling ?? If your hand smells nice then your very likely to get bitten.
Another reason could be that she's scared or she's had enough of being handled. Though to not reward the biting you don't want to put her back straightaway. Theres a sticki on biting in the in the personality and behaviour section.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Many thanks for your replies and really helpful! I feel like running home and putting a bowl of water, I really don't want her to be dehydrated! I will be home in a couple of hours and will do that first thing. I don't think she's been drinking enough. And coco nut oil on the ears if she lets me.
As for the biting or rather nipping, it may really be because I was handing her pieces of chicken and had them in my hand, so I will try not to smell so appetizing next time.
My idea is to take her for a vet check up in a few days. I know the rats were feeder rats for the birds of prey and they were in the same cage which is basically a naked mesh cage, quite crowded and not very hygienic.
I will take time to read through the forum/caresheets but maybe you can direct me to tips about the temperature issue. Shall I add an infrared lamp or ceramic bulb over the cage or a reptile heating mat under? What is the best option and how do you regulate the temperature? I am sure that is all written somewhere already.
Also I have a big play mat that is two square meters and I plan to make a little fence to transform that into a playpen for her so I can leave her cage open if she wants to explore. But no hurry cause she is just about settling in and hardly comes out even at night, just a bit to eat.
I will weigh her and let you know the result. I don't know if she is eating enough. I have high protein kibble the best brand I could get, some frozen crickets and a few bits of zucchini and peas and some chicken out there for her. I know she does eat a bit, she also ate on my lap.
I have cared for european wild hedgehogs and sincerely I don't see her much more tame than them whilst they were in my care. She does relax after some minutes a bit but remains very jumpy. That is ok, I don't mind as long as she feels happy and healthy. I have to say that sadly there was another hedgehog in there, one with long ears. But it had mange and the worker that rescued her (he sneaked her out in his bag) took this one that looked healthier. Those hedgehogs get dumped before summer holidays, they are not well socialised and people realise they prick and get tired of them. So they either "let them free" or hand them over to the wildlife centre.
I never considered a pet hedgehog, my main issue with them is that their lives are too short (even my dog... hate to see him grow old faster than me), but unless a very good home comes up she is probably staying.

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Old 06-13-2019, 11:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Heating I would get a ceramic heat emitter with a dome holder and rest it in the middle on the top bars (it shouldn't heat the bars much if at all) and thermostat to keep the temp from going below whatever temp you pick, also make sure you have a thermometer in the cage to check the exact temperature. Therese a section called heating under housing and accessories if you want to have a look there. All hogs like different temps, so just keep playing with it until you find where she is most comfortable with being active, but dont let it got below 20c

I'd definitely recomend looking in the nutrition topic at the beginners guide to hedgehog nutrition - its a stickie I can put it as link if you need

You can cover up the back and two sides if you find it looses too much heat. By doing this you still get plenty ventilation but it will hold more heat.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you Ria! I will go on to check resources so much reading to do

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Old 06-14-2019, 05:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Call her Flower! Or Tulip! Lol, she's absolutely beautiful, gorgeous. She's so lucky to have you. Nips and licks are normal, especially when they get to know you. Maybe she'll even anoint with your scent when she's more comfortable 😂
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hello folks. A little question. Do you guys have an outdoor enclosure? Does it work well for these guys in summer? Do you let them spend the night out if it is warm enough?

Thank you!

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