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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So lately my hedgehog seems like she only wants to sleep and burrow. She hardly ever comes out of her little cave that she sleeps under when I'm awake (and I stay up late and turn the lights out so she can be comfortable), and when she does it's usually just to quickly grab food then burrow again. She does seem to be using her wheel, although I never see/hear her using it (and I stay up late/wake up at weird times because of insomnia so I don't think she's doing it much), and when I take her out, she always seems like she frantically needs to burrow under something and is really distressed until she can, then she just lies there and sleeps. I don't know, maybe it's because I'm not used to hedgehogs (she's my first) but she just doesn't seem very happy. She seems healthy, but not happy. It makes me feel bad for keeping a hedgehog as a pet, as she seems miserable most of the time, despite our trying to follow all the hedgehog rules. She never ever ever interacts with me in any way that would lead me to believe she's bonded with me, recognizes me, or realizes I'm more than something to run across, and she doesn't play, cuddle, or really do anything except eat, sleep, poop, and occasionally run. Is that normal and okay? Or might she be depressed, and if so, is there something I can do?

oh and just so you know, she's almost a year old and I've had her for about 6 months so it's not like she's new and adjusting or quilling.
 

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Whenever I see a change in activity level the first thing I check is temperature. Some require more warmth than others and as they age, they can require more warmth. The temperature may be not quite warm enough for her to be active, but not cool enough for a full out hibernation attempt.

How much is she eating? Count her kibble to be sure. Are her poops and urine normal looking with no blood, green or loose stools?

What is she like when you get her up? Is she active then, walking normally etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's not the temperature, if anything, it's been warmer lately. Her poop and pee is fine and she is eating. She's definitely healthy. She just never seems to be very happy.
When I get her out, I put her on the couch with me and give her treats. She'll eat a bit then she just runs around frantically looking for someplace to burrow. The other night I put her on the floor, where she usually likes to run around, but she just seemed to want to hide behind things mostly and find places to burrow. She just seems to want to sleep so much!
Last night I did see her go on her wheel though. I guess maybe she is normal. Maybe it's me projecting. But like I've said, she seems like she's not having a happy life and I feel bad keeping her as a pet. She's not afraid of humans, but at the same time, she doesn't seem to like us or want us around. I feel like she should be alone in the wild except she would definitely die quickly because she doesn't really ball up and she has a hard time finding food that's right in front of her :lol:
 

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kristinmarissa said:
I feel bad keeping her as a pet. She's not afraid of humans, but at the same time, she doesn't seem to like us or want us around. I feel like she should be alone in the wild except she would definitely die quickly because she doesn't really ball up and she has a hard time finding food that's right in front of her :lol:
--the following is not meant to be inflammatory in any way--

African Pygmy Hedgehogs were never wild animals. The species has been domesticated since it's creation by breeding two different species of hedgehogs. Even if an APH could ball up, it would not be able to survive in most of the US or Canada. It is far to cold outside at nights, and would cause the hedgehog to enter a state of hibernation, from which APH's cannot easily recover. It would most likely die after one night of being outside in the cold. (rarely have i seen it over 25 degree Celsius overnight. In deserts it gets even colder.)

While the hedgehog may not have any natural predators, and say it didn't die of hibernation, it would not know how to find food or water, and would likely just curl up and hide, as it knows no other world. you APH has no survival instincts that would help in the wild.

Consider this, your mother gave birth to you, like her mother before her. Your grandmother taught your mother certain things, to live a certain lifestyle. Lets say you came from a wealth family and everything was done for you (much like you do for your hedgehog) and your mother never taught you anything else, because she never learned it from her mother and so on. Basically your life revolves around you eating what it prepared for you, sleeping, going to a private school where you learn classical music, and playing the piano (sleeping, playing, and running on a wheel for a hedgehog.) Your mother helped teach you these things, and pushed you to do them. Now some person decides to kidnap you and throw you into the amazon. How long do you think you would survive based off what your mother has taught you in this example. Chances are not long. (don't talk about how "i would know what to do!" this is hypothetical.)

It is the same with all creatures. The parents teach the child how to function in their society. If mothers have known nothing but captivity for many many generations, they can teach their young nothing but being in captivity. While some hedgehogs may naturally have instincts that make them hunt for food, much like a human looks for food naturally when hunger, it will not help them in the wild if they have to catch and kill their food first.

Releasing a hedgehog into the wild is pretty much the same as you butchering the creature for food. Instead of you eating it, some other animal will.

If you really don't see a future with your hedgehog, look to having it given up to a rescue organization so that the hedgehog may have a forever home if you do not with to provide one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@ azyrios:
I was making a joke in my post about setting her free in the wild. (Remember that little laughy face beside the sentence? That's what it was there to imply! Get it? Or should I explain it to you with overly simplified examples and language?) I already know everything you wrote in your post, and I found it highly patronizing and insulting. I understand how domestication works and I don't need your self-righteous post to teach me remedial science. I have no intention of actually setting her free, I just find hedgehog/human relationships rather awkward, and difficult to create and understand. That was all I was saying. Next time, please don't make wild assumptions about the knowledge of people you know nothing about. I understand basic science and I don't need your ridiculously lengthy and condescending response.

And by the way, saying "--the following is not meant to be inflammatory in any way--" does not give you complete freedom to be an jerk. Just saying.
 

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I dont think she was trying to be a jerk, but just to merely inform the readers on why we should not release hedgehogs into the wild.
 

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edit: i really shouldn't have to explain myself. I didn't say anything offensive, nor directly towards you. People on the internet are far to sensitive. I have nothing else to say.
 
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