Hedgehog Central banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone

I just got my new adorable hedgehog. My boyfriend named him Quigley after a character in All in the Family (old show main character Archie Bunker).

Anyway I have a quick question. Quigley is an adult at least two years old. I got him for the price of the cage and accessories from a store that couldn't sell him. For an unsocialized adult he is doing very well so far (we've had about two weeks). He comes out of his ball almost right away when I sit with him and he takes treats from me. He is also not too afraid of movement happening around him (for instance my boyfriend or I can walk past him exploring in the hallway and he doesn't even cringe).

My concern is that he seems to think I am food. Occasionally when we are sitting together he will find my fingers and lick them all over until they are quit slobbery and eventually he'll start gently nibbling and biting. He never does it hard enough to break the skin but this is exactly the way he eats his treats and it had me sort of worried.

Is this normal for a hedgehog? I've never heard of one doing this before. If it is not normal do you think it is something to worry about? What should I do about it?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
3,602 Posts
My question for you... what is on your hands? That behavior (lick lick nibble/bite) is typical for a hedgehog if you have something that smells interesting on your hands. Have you eaten recently? Used hand lotion? Smoked? Used scented soap to wash your hands? Or otherwise touched something that may be leaving an interesting scent on your hands? Any of these things can cause your hands to have an interesting scent. And a normal reaction for a hedgehog who smells something interesting is to lick, nibble and possibly even anoint afterwards.

Oh and even if you are using a unscented soap, it may still have a smell that she can detect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
My hedgehog does that to me sometimes too. It's just something tasty on you. I don't use scented soaps or lotions most of the time, but he'll lick me if my hands are a little sweaty. I think he does it for the salt. He'll start anointing after that, too. Just watch for the nibbling, because if he's anything like mine he'll chomp down on anything he's anointing with and tug--and that can hurt! Just keep an eye out. He doesn't think you're food, he just thinks you're tasty. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't know what could be on my hands. I always wash my hands before I handle him so maybe it's the soap. My boyfriend uses the same soap though and Quigley never tastes him.

Thanks for the answers. I thought it was really weird. I have one more question. When he nibbles sometimes he does it a bit hard and it makes me jump or move away. When I do this he gets a little puffy again (he doesn't usually curl up all the way but puts his head down and hisses). Because I'm still bonding with him I don't want to do anything that will make him scared or uncomfortable and I don't know how to handle the nibbling except by moving away a bit. Do you think it will have a negative impact on our bonding?

Thanks again for the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
You should probably try to keep the nibbling to a minimum so it doesn't turn into a biting problem. Try moving your hand away when he starts licking you, because when it's for anointing/tasting purposes, they'll usually lick a few times before biting/nibbling (if it's aggressively, there's usually no lick). I'd say let him have a lick or two then move your hand away slowly. There should be no negative impact.
I've had my hedgie for a few months now, and he still hisses and balls up if I move too quickly. It's just a natural response because it's like a blur to him, and you have to admit that anytime you see Superman go streaking by it's frightening until you realize what happened. ;) Just kidding about Superman of course, but I think you get what I mean. You just need to be careful not to move too quickly above him (because most predators come from above), and just keep having playtime with him. It sounds like you guys are bonding well already. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well thank you for the input. I definitely don't want him to have a biting problem. My last hedgehog bit me once and it was not fun.

We are bonding really well already, you are right. I was really surprised too because I was not expecting him to come around like this so quickly. He's adorable though and I feel very lucky to have him. My boyfriend still thinks Quigley is smelly and weird but boyfriends are not as easy to train. :D lol

Anyway thanks again for the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
414 Posts
hedgielover said:
My boyfriend still thinks Quigley is smelly and weird but boyfriends are not as easy to train. :D lol
I very much agree. It was actually my boyfriend who wanted to get a hedgehog in the first place and his interest got me interested. Quentin was supposed to be a joint pet...and he IS, but he's definitely more mine. My boyfriend will only hold him for a little while because he doesn't like getting poked. It took me a month to get him to hold Quentin without a bag, and that was for a total of about two seconds. :roll: So my hedgehog is actually probably better trained than my boyfriend is...but he's making progress...slowly, but it's progress. :lol:
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top