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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I thought I would update on my situation so other members can comment and learn. I got two hedgehogs in May. A brother and sister that I set up in two cages so that we would not get babies. I got the cages all set up with fleece and CWS wheels, heaters, good cat food mixture, etc. I began to handle them and feed them mealies, clip nails etc. We went through quilling and there was a pleasant drop off in poop production. All was fine. I looked forward to a good relationship with both.

Unfortunately, I had to return one of them the other day. :(

The female makes firm poops in the corner of her cage behind her wheel. She pees on the wheel but it is very easy to clean. I only have to clean the entire cage once per week.

The male pooped all over his wheel. I know this is normal but the amount of poop was just horrible. He was healthy but if I did not clean the wheel every day I had a disaster. There were times that I just could not get a chance to clean the wheel that often due to work schedule or being ill. When that happened I could not have anyone in my apartment because the cages were in my living room. (one bedroom apartment)

I hope I won't be judged harshly here but I returned the hedgehog as this problem was causing me to handle them less. I was getting upset and did not want to neglect them in any way. Now with the one hedgehog I feel less stressed and am interacting with the remaining female more.
 

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I think you made the right decision. Sometimes we can go over our level of care ability unknowingly.

I have been taking in unwanted herps (reptiles and amphibians) for years now. A few years ago a friend-of-a-friend dropped off a baby bearded dragon to me and it had all the wrong stuff and was pretty emaciated. I fed him 500 phoenix worms the first weekend and got him eating greens and veggies. Upgraded him into a bigger tank (twice during his stay with me which was about a year and a half) and bought expensive lighting, fresh organic veggies 1,000's of crickets, pw's, super worms, silk worms, roaches, etc... He grew HUGE and needed another tank upgrade from the 55 gal he was in. It seemed never ending. Also I can relate with the poo. I'm used to little leopard geckos which are naturally potty trained to eliminate in one area. The beardie would let out this gnarly stinky poo, run through it and proceed to 'surf the glass' or climb the walls of his tank and smear it all over the place. Now I'm sure you can imagine that grotty mess! All in all I decided he was beyond my level of commitment and rehomed him to a nice guy with a huge custom enclosure and he sends me pix often and updates.

I'm glad you were able to recognize when to say when. Good luck with your girl!
 

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To be quite honest I know how you feel. I was actually getting massively judged on here or so I felt, when I brought my little dude home. The breeder forgets to tell you that hedgehogs actually ARE a bit of work...daily work. I took have a very busy schedule. I work full time and then usually stay at my boyfriends weekly so I have time to spend with him. Well I didn't know Egon's pooping would wake me up.

The first and second night I had him home the poop smell woke me up out of a deep sleep. IT WAS HORRENDOUS. I took the wheel out of his cage the next two nights and when I placed it back in he didn't seem to go as much on it. Well I posted that on here and got ripped apart. So Then I started putting two towels over the cage and a fan blowing on me to help decrease the odors, as his cage was at the foot of my bed. Did not do much. The noise of him chirping plus the wheel doesn't bother me, its actually kind of relaxing. Its that HORRIBLE smell. So I started feeling like I made a big mistake by buying him. I did refuse to think about selling him to someone else because I thought he would be heartbroken since he is used to me already.

I decided to buy a storage bin and treat it as a second cage.I keep that cage in the hall outside of my room and have his wheel in that, a small storage bin inside of the big one with a hole cut in it with bedding for him to sleep and a food and water bowl. I also put a ball in there for him to play with. So he is in there during the night time so he can poop and run and chirp as much as he wants. Now I dont feel so guilty. I also bought a third storage bin and tiny cage for travel to bring him to my bfs when I sleep there. I go for 2 or three days at a time. He does not have the wheel during this time but we take him out most of the day so its ok.

I don't think you did a bad thing. You probably, like me, were not informed about how having a baby hedgie is like having a new born baby. Egon would wake me up every night and i would have to wash his wheel at 2am. No more of that ****. I also disregarded any comments on here that made me feel as if I were being neglectful. I am trying my hardest and my little dude seems fine so yeah, you do what you have to do.
 

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Morel3etterness - The people on this forum have very strong opinions on the way that hedgehogs should be raised and cared for. Sometimes this comes across in the wrong way. But keep in mind that they have a lot of experience and they have these animals' best interest at heart. I remember your post, and I believe that I responded to it. I hope that I was clear in my opinion without being spiteful or mean.

In your post you stated that you had a problem with excess poopiness and wheeling and the fact that it was disturbing you, and that your solution was to remove the wheel at night. Hedgehogs need their wheel like they need food or water. If they are deprived of a way to exercise they can literally drive them selves crazy and harm themselves. If you look back at other posts you will see that there are many cases where negligent or inexperienced owners have done this same thing (or didn't even have a wheel at all) and then make a frantic post asking for advice about their stressed out and often bleeding hedgehog. It's heartbreaking.

I am glad to hear that you found a solution to your problem that allows you to get the sleep you need and your hedgehog the exercise and peace of mind that he needs.
 

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Morel3etterness said:
To be quite honest I know how you feel. I was actually getting massively judged on here or so I felt, when I brought my little dude home. The breeder forgets to tell you that hedgehogs actually ARE a bit of work...daily work. I took have a very busy schedule. I work full time and then usually stay at my boyfriends weekly so I have time to spend with him. Well I didn't know Egon's pooping would wake me up.

The first and second night I had him home the poop smell woke me up out of a deep sleep. IT WAS HORRENDOUS. I took the wheel out of his cage the next two nights and when I placed it back in he didn't seem to go as much on it. Well I posted that on here and got ripped apart. So Then I started putting two towels over the cage and a fan blowing on me to help decrease the odors, as his cage was at the foot of my bed. Did not do much. The noise of him chirping plus the wheel doesn't bother me, its actually kind of relaxing. Its that HORRIBLE smell. So I started feeling like I made a big mistake by buying him. I did refuse to think about selling him to someone else because I thought he would be heartbroken since he is used to me already.

I decided to buy a storage bin and treat it as a second cage.I keep that cage in the hall outside of my room and have his wheel in that, a small storage bin inside of the big one with a hole cut in it with bedding for him to sleep and a food and water bowl. I also put a ball in there for him to play with. So he is in there during the night time so he can poop and run and chirp as much as he wants. Now I dont feel so guilty. I also bought a third storage bin and tiny cage for travel to bring him to my bfs when I sleep there. I go for 2 or three days at a time. He does not have the wheel during this time but we take him out most of the day so its ok.

I don't think you did a bad thing. You probably, like me, were not informed about how having a baby hedgie is like having a new born baby. Egon would wake me up every night and i would have to wash his wheel at 2am. No more of that S***. I also disregarded any comments on here that made me feel as if I were being neglectful. I am trying my hardest and my little dude seems fine so yeah, you do what you have to do.
You should invest in a Air Purifer ;)
Here is the one I use it's so great that even with 5 hedgies the air is nice and clean :)
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product. ... id=9189156
 

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Morel3letterness-From what I remember from the post you are talking about is that you were asking for advice about the smell in the cage and told everyone about taking the wheel out. I don't remember anyone "ripping you apart" or implying you were neglectful. You were told it is not recommended to remove a hedgehogs wheel because they need it. No one was making judgements on you and I'm sure everyone on this site knows that people can get incorrect information and that it doesn't mean the owner is neglectful....its how you handle the situation after you find out. Would you have rathered people just smile and say thats great and have a problem arise later from it?
 

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No, your all right. You are all helpful. but I take things personally. I felt people on here were accusing me of being neglectful with my hedgehog.. but I am also a first time owner. I got that whole "attack" vibe from some of my posts. I know there were two I can recall. The wheel was one (and at the time I did not know how important keeping it in the cage at night was) and newspaper for bedding. I appreciate people's advice on here, its very helpful. I just don't like to feel like an idiot. Owning one of these animals for the first time without every bit of info first isn't easy.
 

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Morel3etterness said:
Owning one of these animals for the first time without every bit of info first isn't easy.
Exactly. Hedgehogs are exotic animals who have a lot of special needs and requirements. I wish that every new owner was handed a pamphlet on their care. When I was buying supplies for Quillbert I picked up a copy of a book about hedgehogs and their care. Some parts were accurate and had good advice but the majority of the book was either outdated or just plain wrong. For example, it recommended feeding fruits like strawberries or grapes to your hedgehog, but most of the experts will say that grapes and raisins are toxic to these little guys. If I hadn't joined this forum I never would have known not to feed him grapes or dried fruits.

I'm glad that even though your feelings were hurt that you have continued to utilize this wonderful website. The knowledge here really is invaluable.
 

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Well this website has helped me maintain the little guy quite well. I admire everyone's knowledge and advice on here. I guess its just hard to judge how someone is talking to you through the computer. Maybe it came off as a big much to me but was not intended that way?

Either way, sorry if I was offensive jumped too fast. :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After about a week I have to say that I know I did the right thing. I am relating to my other hedgehog much better with having only one and that being the one that poops less. I know that it is better for me to care for one correctly than to head toward being a resentful owner and neglecting one or both.

I want to be clear that I read a great deal on HHC about care, behavior etc. And I did everything that all of you recommend gladly. But I was just not prepared for the amount of poop that the one particular HH put out. I am wondering if this happens often to new owners. Maybe real pics of a poopy wheel would prevent people having to give HH back.

Morel3etterness it sounds like you are doing wonderful by your little one.

Thanks everyone for being understanding. I will try to post new pics of my girl Tanya soon.
 

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I think it is a good thing that you posted this.

One hedgehog is a lot to handle for a new owner, nevermind two. So hopefully this will be a lesson for all soon to be hedgie owners thinking about getting two hedgehogs initially. Start with one first.... see how you like owning one / if you can handle it and then go from there.

Hedgehogs aren't like cats, rabbits or ferrets, where it is often recommended to get two because they enjoy the company/play time. So there's nothing wrong with only having one and I think you made the right choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you Snufflepuff. That is exactly why I posted. I wanted others to learn from my experience. You are absolutely right about starting with one rather than two.

I was given bad information when I got both. I was told that they could be in one cage because they were brother and sister. Then I found HHC and learned correct information so I got a second cage and created two identical set ups.

Two was more work than I could handle. This was a difficult decision for me because I am very loyal to any pet that I take on.
 
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