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So I have been looking into hedgehogs for about a month now. I have a few questions, more so just want to run by what I'm planning on doing with the experts.

I have a 95qt plastic storage container. I will be cutting out the middle of the top and replacing it with screen. Also I will be either drilling holes along the bottom.. or I've been considering cutting a good size section out of the front and replace with like a wire window.

I know right now it's not that big, I do plan on adding another area which would be connected with the PVC pipping.

For the bedding I was going to use carefresh and have an igloo for her hide with a fleece bed. I see a lot of people of fleece line the hole cage, what are the pros of that? There will also be wheel and a litter pan.

For the litter pan what is recommended? The ones used for ferrets with the high corner backing, or a flat one (I've seen people using small cooking pans).

Next question.. water bowl or water bottle?

Also now for the food. It seems everyone here feeds at certain times rather then just keeping a bowl filled at all times, I take it this is the best way to go? I haven't completely decided which food to go with, most likely I will use Blue. I will also give her insects, fresh fruits and veggies, and cooked chicken breasts.

Please give your feed back and suggestions.

Jamie
 

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Pros and Cons of cloth liners (cotton, denim, fleece, flannel, etc...)
Pros

Can easily monitor poops and pee and the health of your hedgehogs
Inexpensive to maintain after the initial cost of buying fabric/liners
Easy to clean
Zero dust/allergens
Look cute - many color/print choices

Cons
Can be expensive to start up, but very low monthly maintenance
Pee and poop are more visible

Pros and Cons of CareFresh Bedding
Pros

Makes poop and pee less visible
Easy to see and scoop out soiled bedding
Comes in many cute colors

Cons
Expensive to maintain in the long run
Dusty - can potentially cause respiratory problems
Expands with water/urine and can be a choking/GI obstruction hazard if eaten

For bedding it just comes down to personal preference. Although CareFresh is usually fine, it can cause fatalities if your hedgehog tries to eat some. Because it expands so much with liquids it can cause GI obstructions, which if very severe or left untreated can kill your small pet. If you prefer bedding I would suggest aspen shavings or yesterday's news. Aspen shavings will absorb the urine odor but not expand, and yesterday's news absorbs 3x it's weight in water but crumbles so it can't cause a bowel obstruction and it's not a choking hazard.

Cloth liners can be made from cotton, denim, flannel, or fleece. Some people use velux blankets but this is not recommended for hedgehogs that chew on cloth, or dig a lot as it can be shredded and eaten. Fleece is not absorbent (it's made from plastic fibers woven together) so it's important to place something absorbent under the fleece. A lot of people like fleece because it can be cut without unraveling and thus doesn't need to be sewn. I prefer flannel because it is more absorbent than fleece, is quicker to dry than cotton, and is very sturdy like denim.

For the litter pan - you can use the corner litter pans (ferret size) with yesterday's news or paper towels but some hedgehogs refuse to be litter trained. Most, however, will go solely on their wheel. You can use a small plastic/aluminum tray (like a disposable small cookie sheet) with paper towles and put it under the wheel to catch spin off and droppings.

For food - the majority of commercial hedgehog foods are junk and have little nutritional value. Reaper has a list of good cat foods to give you an idea of what you're looking for. Dogs foods are also okay to use but their kibble are usually larger and harder. You can buy a small breed formula or crush the kibble before hand. You want a food that has 15% or less fat (10-15% is ideal) and about 30% protein. Avoid foods that use by-product meals as a primary protein source (meat meal is fine). Hoglets should be fed a kitten food with a slightly higher fat level (I think no more than 20%) until they are 4 months old. Then you will need to switch to an adult food. Most indoor or weight control cat foods will have the protein and fat levels you need.
 

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jme87 said:
For the bedding I was going to use carefresh and have an igloo for her hide with a fleece bed. I see a lot of people of fleece line the hole cage, what are the pros of that? There will also be wheel and a litter pan.
Carefresh is will be at least $30 a month depending on how much you use and how often you change it out. It's dusty, it gets everywhere, it takes longer to clean the cage.

Liners cost between $20 and $40 to get the fleece and then an afternoon of cutting it to fit the cage. After that it's a few dollars a month to wash them. Cons would be that hedgehogs like to climb under them and pee and poo directly on the plastic of the cage. I still find this easier to clean than when it's all mashed up in the carefresh dust. Also a con would be that you have to do more laundry if you don't like laundry.

jme87 said:
For the litter pan what is recommended? The ones used for ferrets with the high corner backing, or a flat one (I've seen people using small cooking pans).
The flatter it is the more likely your hedgehog will use it. It's too inconvenient for them to climb into the high ones.

jme87 said:
Next question.. water bowl or water bottle?
Water bowl.

jme87 said:
Also now for the food. It seems everyone here feeds at certain times rather then just keeping a bowl filled at all times, I take it this is the best way to go? I haven't completely decided which food to go with, most likely I will use Blue. I will also give her insects, fresh fruits and veggies, and cooked chicken breasts.
Usually people feed more than their hedgehog will eat every night. For instance I know that Quigley eats a little over a table spoon a night so before I go to bed I rinse out his bowl and fill it with 1 1/2 tblsp of his food. But no matter when you fill the bowl the bottom line is that your hedgehog should have always have food available.

Also most people will feed a mix instead of one type of food. It's best to start off with one see how your hedgehog takes to it and then after a few weeks of only that food slowly add another. All changes or additions to the diet need to be made slowly and one at a time.
 
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