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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-29-2019 02:41 AM
Ria If your changing the wheel, just a tip, it may take a week for him to start using the new wheel as much.

Also Holly generally gets off her wheel to go the toilet, because she likes to keep her wheel and feet clean, when she was younger she just stayed on but once she reached 10 months old she started getting off the wheel to go to the toilet more, there is still SOME poo on the wheel, but not as much.
I genuinely got scared that she wasnt using her wheel, we then got a camera for her vivarium to watch her to see if she was or not, and thats when we discovered that she WAS using her wheel a LOT she was just getting off the wheel to do her wee and poo !!

Ali is so adorable !!
I think that its great that you want him to have that area for play, maybe you could use the old wheel when he's out in the play pen and then the new one in the cage, he'll get used to that, (also save taking out the wheel and putting it back after cleaning it every single night) but he'll then get to know pretty fast that he has a play pen wheel and a cage wheel.
I think keep something that smells like you in the cage will help too, to get him back to knowing your scent, if you just moved and he moved with you then he is probably still adjusting to the new house smells, even if his cage is all the same, but it could affect the bond in a small away especially as you took his beloved wheel from him.
You could always make up a new smaller tube maze, if he loved that a lot too.
I think, to re build trust, start off from the beginning, and work it back up, also as Aj.t said do more hands off bonding for a while too.
04-28-2019 11:22 PM
Aj.t SUCH a cutie
04-28-2019 10:31 PM
AliHedgieDad Thanks for the tips y'all! I just ordered a storm bucket wheel for him and we'll see if that helps move things in the right direction. Here's a pic of Ali as a baby in the meantime
04-28-2019 07:28 PM
Aj.t Definitely look around at wheels! I’m sure there may even be some that aren’t as common
04-28-2019 07:16 PM
Emc I'd recommend bucket wheels over silent spinners. The 12" silent spinners can have stability issues; it's a very poorly designed wheel, and theyre not cheap - and it's not uncommon to hear them break. They can rattle too, which is incredibly annoying, and need to be dismantled to thoroughly clean them.

For sanity sake (ease of clean and a peaceful nights sleep!) I agree with Mecki, and would recommend you look into Bucket wheels. The only noise I hear is the pitter patter of feet, and the smooth surface makes them super easy to clean.
04-28-2019 06:55 PM
Mecki The bucket wheels are silent. (Storm Bucket or DIY)
04-28-2019 06:44 PM
Aj.t Regarding the noise, I’d suggest looking at a Kaytee Silent Spinner if you don’t already have one. With that being said, there’s a whole bunch of controversy with some owners claiming that the slots designed to drain pee has gotten toes stuck,nails ripped, and caused hedgehogs to bleed. But, I’ve had not one issue with them in the years I’ve owned hedgehogs and love the fact that they are indeed pretty quiet- quieter than any other wheel I’ve tried. Their nails shouldn’t be so long that they get stuck and rip and their toes are too fat to even get stuck in those holes so it had to have been their nails. I do encourage you however to search Kaytee silent spinners in the search area on here to find some threads and do your own research regarding them.

Hedgehogs that are used to wheels tend to use them A LOT. They’re very active animals, with wild hedgehogs roaming up to 15 miles a night, so constant access to their running wheel is a very good idea. Some hedgehogs love exploring around houses and others can be more timid since they’re not as familiar with the surroundings.

Regarding building trust back, start with hands off bonding for a few days. Let him sit next to you or even on your lap/desk but don’t manhandle him so much until he realizes you’re still you!
04-28-2019 06:02 PM
AliHedgieDad That's good to know that they get a lot more active as they age. I've observed that change in his behavior and I guess I wanted him to be able to have a combination of being able to run around on flat ground in addition to a wheel to give him some variety. He used to love doing sprints back forth on the ground in his old play area in addition to playing in the big PVC tube maze I made for him. I haven't been able to setup the tube maze in our new place since we simply don't have the room for it now, so the wheel has become his go-to exercise tool.
--
I was taking the wheel out of his cage for two reasons: 1) the noise the wheel makes that keeps me awake since I'm a light sleeper and 2) to keep the cage clean since I'm able to clean the wheel during his play time. When his wheel gets dirty/poopy, he'll stop running on it and actually wait for me to come and take it out of his cage to clean before he'll get back on it. He seems to like having clean feet as much as I like having his cage clean which is also great, it just means I have to be awake while he's playing. I may have to start leaving his wheel in his cage though and clean it the first few hours, wear ear plugs at night and clean the wheel again in the morning.

I just hope he warms back up to me.
04-28-2019 04:21 PM
Ria What I dont understand is why your taking it out and only allowing him to use it for a couple of hours.

At 1 years old, they like using their wheel more, when he was younger it wont have mattered so much. But at 1 years old they get MORE active and like to use their wheel more.
Also at 1 years old they can change when they feel waking up and some wake up later than they used to.

I understand you wanting to give him that play pen space and time, and thats honestly great, but if he knows he wont get his wheel when he goes back then he will want to make the most of it.

I cant see any benefit of not leaving the wheel in for him to use whenever he wants throughout the night. Especially if he seems to like his wheel so much.
04-28-2019 03:31 PM
AliHedgieDad
Sudden Hedgehog Behavioral Change

Hi there,

I've had my hedgehog, Ali, for about a little over a year now and we bonded quite well for the most part, we even have the same birthday. However, recently his behavior has drastically shifted and I'm not sure what's wrong.

I noticed he's started to wake up at his usual time (7pm) to eat the few treats I'd leave out for him. After that he usually wakes up fully with more energy before hopping on his wheel for exercise but now he goes back to bed and sleeps again until 9pm or so before starting play time until about 1130pm. I usually like to take his wheel out of the cage after a few hours of play time so I can keep his cage clean and this time shift is really affecting my sleep schedule.

I thought a good resolution to the time shift would be to use a separate larger playpen for him around 7pm that was already setup for play time (that he's used before in the past with no issue) so he could wake up fully there. But Now when I interrupt his new play time schedule in the pen, he refused to get off of his wheel the other day and so I waited another hour and came back. He refused again, so I tried to gradually stop the wheel with my hand at the top slowing it down so he'd walk off and he just sat there when the wheel stopped for a long time, maybe in defiance. I tried to gently pick him up off the wheel and tilt it slightly so I could grab him easily but he dug in even more and refused to get off. I waited and he just sat there for a while again, so I tilted the wheel a little more towards me so he would slide towards me and his bonding bag and he went into the bag.

Ever since then though, he's been extremely aversive to both me and the playpen. His cage is really large, but I just wanted him to have an even larger area dedicated for play that he's always had in the past when we lived in a larger house. The past 2 nights that I've woken him up and tried to put him in the playpen, he'll just sit in one spot for an hour or more behind the wheel until I eventually pick him up and put him back in his cage. I finally had to acquiesce last night and put his wheel back in his cage later in the evening and just leave it there all night. I'm worried that he now no longer has only positive associations with me because of the wheel incident. He'll even stay balled up when I pick up to the point where I get worried he might have a chill and slipped into false hibernation even though the house is plenty warm. He won't even unball for mealies or other treats as easily and that NEVER used to happen.

I'm not sure what to do. Just wait out this behavioral phase until he comes around again or is there something else I can do to rebuild the bridge of trust? I just want him to have a dedicated large play area like he used to so he's not in the cage all the time and get him back on a good schedule that slightly overlaps with my own so I'm not completely tired all the time at work the next day. I love the little guy and I don't want either of us to be stressed. ALL TIPS WELCOME!!

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