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Old 02-20-2010, 07:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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LizardGirl's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 5,136
Default Re: What Do I Need To Bring A Hedgie home?

Ooh, yikes. Forgive me if this seems a little harsh.

First, where are you getting your hedgie(s)? If you are getting them from a breeder, it is probably not a good one if they let approved you for one of their hedgies and accepted payment without even checking if you know anything about their care...

My recommendation is to READ READ READ. There are soooooo many threads on these forums with great advice, you just need to read them. If you want a more "book style" way of getting information you can read my book I wrote directed towards people new to hedgies here: http://www.hedgehogbook.webs.com/petafr ... s-free.pdf . It's a free PDF.

I'm really glad you don't want to jump right into breeding, that'd be a horrible idea. I HIGHLY recommend owning hedgies for at least 2 years before considering breeding. You learn so much with actual experience, I don't know of a single person that would be a good breeder right off the bat, with little experience. Appreciate the girl you are getting as a pet, because she will be far too old to breed (possibly not even around anymore) by the time you would be ready to try breeding. Once you have a lot of experience and get to know other people in the hedgehog community you can start considering getting good, pedigreed, healthy hedgehogs for breeding. Even then, if you have the experience, you might not want to breed. Can you afford thousands of dollars on a C section? Moms often have problems birthing. Can you deal with seeing slaughtered baby hedgehogs strewn around a cage, or mom dying, or babies too? You need lots of experience, time, money, not a faint stomach, so many things for breeding. Please wait for a while before considering it.

You can sometimes house girls together. You can do a search in the forums for more information on that. A 75 gallon tank will not work for 2 hedgies though, and IMO not for 1 hedgie either. With liners it would be somewhat easy to clean, since you wouldn't often have to move it, but tanks still are hard to move, have limited ventilation, can be hard to heat... so many things that make them unsuitable. Please search for more information about why they aren't good as well.

For wheels, you need a solid surfaced wheel at least 12" in diameter with no cross bars. People sell wheels specifically made for hedgies which are the best to use. You can also buy a commercial wheel but often they are loud and unsafe.

Most owners use fleece liners as bedding with more fleece in an igloo or a "hedgie bag" sewn from fleece/flannel to sleep in. Again, there is tons of information on this in the forums. I really don't recommend any particulate bedding like shavings or paper products.

The pet stores are *never* any help. I haven't heard of a single one that actually knows what they are talking about and very often they give really harmful advice. They gear all their advice to make hedgies seem like great pets that don't take any work or special care and really are just trying to make money off of them.

The quills don't hurt when the hedgie is relaxed, but they can when she is defensive and balled up with them erected. You'll get used to it, though.

High quality cat food supplemented with insects, fruits, veggies, scrambled eggs, unseasoned cooked meats, etc. is best. There are threads here with good cat foods listed. Purina is a crappy brand, and their "chow" formulas are even worse. I would never feed them.

Really, just look around and read the threads and stickies here. They'll help a ton.

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