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Very often people buy a pregnant hedgehog and have no clue until they suddenly find babies. Here are some guidelines to help you through it. This is an informational post, chit chat will be removed. Please start a new thread for any questions you have.

Please note that breeders are the best people to take advice from. Not every situation is the same so advice that might apply in one situation could be totally wrong in another. :)

- If there is a wheel in the cage, carefully remove it or if removing it requires too much bothering with the cage, then lay the wheel down so it can’t be used. Often moms will wheel with a baby in their mouth causing severe injury or death to the baby. Sometimes moms will spend their time on the wheel rather than caring for the babies.

- Resist peeking or bothering mom in any way. Stressed moms are more likely to do their babies harm.

- Only go into the cage to give fresh food and water. That is best done at the time you would normally change her food. She must have fresh food and water daily and if evening is when you normally give it then do so. Also check her food and water first thing in the morning to make sure she hasn’t soiled it. Give fresh if needed. Quietly talk to her as you enter the room and before you open the cage and tell her what you are doing so she won't be startled.

- You can offer her some pieces of toilet paper for nest materials. Just set it in the cage while you are refilling her dishes. She will take it to the nest if she wants to.

- Minimize activity around the cage and keep things quiet so as not to stress her.

- Keep the room fairly warm, 75F is a good temperature for mom’s and babies.

- You may find a wayward baby. Sometimes they crawl out of the nest on their own, sometimes mom takes them out, or sometimes mom is in the process of delivering and hasn’t gathered them all up yet. Leave it alone and go out of the room but check back in about 15 minutes. If baby is still there and mom is in the nest, gently pick up baby. Is baby warm? Warm babies usually wiggle. If the baby is cool, warm it up by putting it next to your skin. Once warm, gently and quickly set the baby in the nest. If the nest is in an igloo, don’t lift it up, just set the baby through the door. Then leave the room.

- The best chance of these babies survival is if they stay with mom so you want to do everything you can to minimize stress on mom. That means, leaving her totally alone. Do not try to sneak in. She WILL know someone is there and it will stress her. Do not try peeking at the babies and especially don’t touch the babies unless absolutely necessary.

- Mom’s need extra fat in their diet while nursing. A very good food for a nursing mom and for babies to wean onto is Royal Canin Baby Cat. It will give mom the extra fat she needs and it tiny little easy to eat pieces. Start by giving her a small amount with her regular kibble and over the next few days, increase the amount until she has about half and half old kibble and baby cat.

- It is normal for mom’s not to eat much if anything the day of delivery and possibly not the following day either. If something is wrong, one of the first signs will be mom not eating. It is best to count the kibble you give her and keep track. Having two food dishes will help. Have the fresh counted food in one dish and replace the dish in her cage with it. Then you can leave the room to count how many are in the dish you just removed. After the first day or two, moms usually develop a big appetite. If she is used to getting bugs, give her bugs too.
 

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I have a mother with four babies. I have been keeping disturbances to a minimum of simply providing tons of food and fresh water. I notice that sometimes she will nurse all the babies and at other times she singles out one particular one, who just lies next to her. I don't want to disturb her any more than I already am and I want to trust her judgement, but I'm just not sure what to do.

Zan5041
 

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zan5041 said:
I have a mother with four babies. I have been keeping disturbances to a minimum of simply providing tons of food and fresh water. I notice that sometimes she will nurse all the babies and at other times she singles out one particular one, who just lies next to her. I don't want to disturb her any more than I already am and I want to trust her judgement, but I'm just not sure what to do.

Zan5041
The best thing you can do is just leave them alone. ;) Changing the food and water once a day is enough.
 

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my mom is not eatting often at all!!! but the 1 baby she had is growing well! i'm only having to change out food every other day. baby is 2 weeks old and has tripled in size, so should i be worried? or is it fine. neither mom or baby looks poor
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You should be changing the food every day and counting the kibble to know exactly how much she is eating. Is the food in the bag fresh and not close to the expirey date? If she is not eating well, there may be something wrong. Mom should be eating at least as much as she ate before pregnancy and usually they eat much more. It is critical you make certain she wants to eat because loss of appetite while nursing often means a problem. Are any nipples red and inflamed or hot? What are her poop and urine like? Is she drinking well?
 

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she is drinking well and no inflamed nipples or anything, and poop is normal (not loose or smelly). not sure about her urine but there isn't any strange smells or anything so i guess its all good. and food is also good... could it be cause the baby is hurt? do u think its just cause she is worried? (baby got a hurt leg, i discovered it about 3 days ago and took it to the vet, he said it wasn't broke but that there was a chance the baby would lose that foot and a 50%chance of death. baby seems fine, and wound is drying up, but the foot is starting to curl up a little... i hope mom and baby r gonna be ok!)
 

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My hedgie just had babies and due to my fear of disturbing her I havent counted them or really checked on them... Should I or should I wait about a week just to let her stress go down its her first litter and she's already Ill-tempered to begin with.. She surprised me I had no idea she was pregnant! I bought her about 3 weeks ago and she was only 9 weeks old but I know they can get pregnant that young but still I had no idea what do I do??
 

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Poffertje, who turned 21 days today, has opened her eyes and is teething and annointing. She's not eating kibble yet (or at least, as far as I know). She crawled out of the nest on her own just now. The thing is, she crawls or walks in a very wobbly way, as if her muscles can't support her. Is this normal considering her age, or should I consider taking her to a vet?
When she sits on my hand, all feet seem to work fine.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They are all old posts and have probably been answered in another thread or privately. :)
 

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So mommy Cupcake hasnt been doing too well with taking care of her babies she had 3 of them but 2 of them have already pass away =( There is only one left now and I havent disturbed her other than changing water and food. Last night I notice there was a lot of squeaking coming from the baby and now this morning I found that the baby is now missing a huge patch of quills. Im assuming the mommy has had the baby in her mouth the entire night and she ripped the quills off. Should I try to raise the baby or should I continue to let the mom take care of her? If I was to take care of her how do I do so?
 

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I would suggest making a new thread to ask about this - your post may not get seen here. And this is a question that would best be answered by an experienced breeder. When you make a new post, make sure you add the age of the baby as well, that will be something the breeders will need to know in order to give advice. :)
 

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This actually happened to me! I came home one day and I had thought my hedgie was a male...turns out she wasn't! I now have four, 2 week old babies! I'm very impressed with the little mamma because I'm pretty sure it was her first litter (she was 5 months old when I got her) and she's been taking perfect care of the little ones. I was planning on finding them homes when they get to be between 6 and 8 weeks old, is that enough time?
Also, this experience has made me think I'd like to breed, are there any suggestions or tips that you would have? Thanks!
 

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Yes, 6-8 weeks is the usual time to home babies. Just make sure to separate them all before then, if you have males and females - males can mate with mom and sisters at 6 weeks and need their own cage around then. It's good to put them on their own before sending them home anyway, to make sure they're still eating & gaining weight.

For breeding, check out the breeding stickies and read over them. Keep in mind the expense (it can be $1000 to save a mom who has a stuck baby or starts bleeding or has other problems), the heartache (losing a mom, or seeing half-eaten babies or losing babies from illness), and the time involved. You'll need to get pedigreed hedgehogs from another responsible breeder in order to be a responsible, ethical breeder. You'll also probably want to get a experienced mentor that can vouch for you - good breeders tend to be very hesitant to sell a breeding pair to new people, especially if they haven't owned hedgehogs long. That's all just a start - so read stickies, read other threads in this forum, and ask around to other responsible breeders to find out the good & the bad. Most of us on the forum here have the opinion that breeding's nothing to take lightly or get into just for fun. :)
 

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Thanks for the info! They're almost three weeks old now and just opened their eyes! I'll be sure to find someone in the area to help me out!
 

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My hedgehog had 4 babies, and she killed 3. I didn't want her to kill the last one so I decided to take care of him. I know he has to be bottle fed so I got milk replacement (the kitten formula). I just want to know how much powder and how much water do I add for him? He isn't a very small baby and he is 4 days old. Can you also tell me what else I have to do? Thanks!:)
 

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It'd be best if you started your own thread to ask questions on. People don't always check to see what's posted on old threads/stickies like this.

Here's an article on the main site that may help you - http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/handfeed.shtml You may get more advice from some of the breeders, but I'm not sure any of our main ones on here have successfully hand-fed. It's extremely difficult to do, you'll have to feed him every two hours (including through the night), and it's unfortunately very likely he won't make it. I do wish you luck though, and keep us updated.

The one other piece of advice - I'm going to repeat/stress the advice from the article of including anti-bloat drops or something in the formula. From what I've read, bloat is the main thing that kills hand-fed babies. Also be careful not to overfeed - that's just as dangerous as underfeeding, I know that much from working at a wildlife rescue. Don't forget to potty him each time you feed as well, and keep him warm - at least 78-80*.
 

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Dear remihich,

I do not want to sound harsh, but you started with having what you though was a male hedgehog which turned out to be a female. Three weeks later, lets admit it's quite a short period of time, you have babies, great! However, even though it must be a great joy seeing little hoglets evolve, are you sure it would be a good idea to start breeding? I say this taking in consideration only the wellbeing of all the living and future hedgehogs of this earth.

Please think about it for some time and take in consideration all the hedgehogs it may affect now or in the future.
 
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