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It can be disheartening when they don't understand we aren't out to hurt them, but this is generations upon generations of survival. If they would be passive when a predator is near them, they wouldn't survive long as a species.

Yes the chicken thing was self anointing... Nothing wrong with it. Laugh at it, because it's funny. It doesn't even mean that he doesn't like chicken.

Hedgehog in the crotch is less than comfortable especially while you are getting used to the quills on your hands. Cover your crotch with a small blanket. Let him hang out on top of the blanket. If you need to move him, you can do so with the blanket that he is on. The blanket will also give you an extra buffer.

Explorers can be a lot of fun. Best way to deal with them and get them used to us is a playpen, or section off a hedgehog proof area and hang out in there with them. The goal is to basically become a jungle gym. Letting them explore freely can be difficult. They get into things, out of their area, difficult to keep heated, and you eventually have to pick them up again. For a new owner I wouldn't recommend letting them free roam unless it's a small room like a walk in closet or smaller bathroom.

Picking him up, gloves got to go. Blankets work. So does using their bedding. Scoop him up with some bedding. You get used to the quills, trust me. Also, you have to commit to picking him up when you are going to do so. No hesitation or reacting. Yes, easier said than done, but that in itself makes a big difference. Do some breathing exercises, remember quills are only modified hair and don't hurt that bad and pick him up with calm confidence. One thing that might help you both is when he's out, stick your bare hand on his back. Let him jump, pop or whatever he feels he needs to do. You aren't trying to hold him down, you are just lightly resting your hand there. This will let you get used to his quills and him to understand that he doesn't intimidate you.

Time, it's perfectly fine to wake him up in the evening. You don't have to wait for him to wake up on his own.
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