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Old 08-17-2013, 11:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Silly Temperature Question

Being a new hedgie owner, I am worried about hibernation probably a bit more than I should be. My hedgie's cage ranges from 72-80 based on times of day and I do not own a CHE yet. I have a space heater and I make sure to keep the light on for about 12-14 hours a day.

From what I've seen 72-80 is a good range for hedgies, but I have also seen 65-80 or 75-85, and I can never find a good rule of thumb. Any tips for a good hedgie temp?
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Always above 72. 75-78 is usually where you should aim.


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Old 08-17-2013, 03:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Individual hedgehogs seem to have different temperature preferences. Unfortunately, I don't think you can figure out what your particular friend's are without accidentally going outside them and having a hibernation or estivation attempt. This particular experiment is not recommended! To avoid accidentally conducting it, most people suggest staying in the middle of the range, thus the high minimum temperature (Tom's 72-75) and low maximum temperature (Tom's 78).

Now, my particular hedgehog does not like very high temperatures: he starts radiating hedgehog-misery and overheating around 78, and by 80 he's looking at me like I've personally betrayed him. I'd rather not find out what his lower-limit temperature is, but he's totally happy at 72, so that's where his thermostat is set to click on. I've read about other hedgehogs on the forum who absolutely have a higher temperature happy-zone than him, particularly after they've attempted hibernation or been sick.

Part of the idea is that it's not just the temperature, but change in temperature, that can lead to hibernation attempts. I live somewhere with a cool to cold ambient temperature (we consider it a crazy heat-wave if we get to 80F outside), so I can have a lot of confidence that if I set a lower-bound temperature, the outside world won't go above it. For someone living somewhere that's naturally hotter (I'm looking at you, Florida hedgehog-owners), the year-round ambient temperature is much warmer, and if it goes through a cold freeze all the way down to 70F, little hedgehog might attempt hibernating. So in those circumstances, setting the thermostat to a higher baseline minimum so it clicks on and keeps the temperature stable near the average, even though it's higher than the minimum, would be a good idea.

Does that give you a better idea of why the ranges can be so big, and how to figure out what a good temperature for you and your hedgehog is?
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie&Tibbers View Post
Individual hedgehogs seem to have different temperature preferences. Unfortunately, I don't think you can figure out what your particular friend's are without accidentally going outside them and having a hibernation or estivation attempt. This particular experiment is not recommended! To avoid accidentally conducting it, most people suggest staying in the middle of the range, thus the high minimum temperature (Tom's 72-75) and low maximum temperature (Tom's 78).

Now, my particular hedgehog does not like very high temperatures: he starts radiating hedgehog-misery and overheating around 78, and by 80 he's looking at me like I've personally betrayed him. I'd rather not find out what his lower-limit temperature is, but he's totally happy at 72, so that's where his thermostat is set to click on. I've read about other hedgehogs on the forum who absolutely have a higher temperature happy-zone than him, particularly after they've attempted hibernation or been sick.

Part of the idea is that it's not just the temperature, but change in temperature, that can lead to hibernation attempts. I live somewhere with a cool to cold ambient temperature (we consider it a crazy heat-wave if we get to 80F outside), so I can have a lot of confidence that if I set a lower-bound temperature, the outside world won't go above it. For someone living somewhere that's naturally hotter (I'm looking at you, Florida hedgehog-owners), the year-round ambient temperature is much warmer, and if it goes through a cold freeze all the way down to 70F, little hedgehog might attempt hibernating. So in those circumstances, setting the thermostat to a higher baseline minimum so it clicks on and keeps the temperature stable near the average, even though it's higher than the minimum, would be a good idea.

Does that give you a better idea of why the ranges can be so big, and how to figure out what a good temperature for you and your hedgehog is?
Yes thank you! I live in CT so it doesn't get too hot. I just worry about the cold nights. I'm saving up for a Che/thermostat to get before school starts just to keep her at a steady temp when I'm not around to fix it manually.


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Old 08-17-2013, 11:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Awesome.

You know that a regular lighting schedule is also necessary to prevent hibernation attempts? (It's come up a few times on the board recently.) You only need a basic timer; you can pick one up at the hardware store (or pretty much anywhere once Christmas decorations invade every general store!) for $5-$15. You can also get really fancy ones with multiple light settings, lots of plug-ins, blah blah blah, but you really don't need it. Just something that goes on-off every 12-14 hours!
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Every hedgehog is different. My hedgie Sonic likes it between 75-82 degrees max. At 83 he starts acting too hot. I never let the temp in his room go lower then 73.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I used to live in CT and 104 degree days in the summer were not unheard of. I hope you're having a cooler summer!

I'd be concerned about temperature because 72-80 can actually be a really wide range, and if the switch happened fast enough, could trigger hibernation attempts. Is there any way you could get the CHE now and pay for it as you go? Also, check your local Craigslist - they're up there more often than you'd think because herp owners also use them. Can you set your space heater to automatically click on when the temp goes below 75?

How active has your hedgie been at night when the temps are coolest?
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