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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! My name is stephanie and I am 30 years old. I just got my first Hedgehog, Michael about 1 week ago. I got him from a local breeder in Chicago. He is a wonderful hedge. He never balls up, however he does huff and jump up when I go to pick him up. He never bites or anything and stops as soon and I lift him out in his blankie. My question is will he ever outgrow the huffing and jumping or will he always do this? Thanks and I look forward to getting to know all of you! Here are some pics of Michael I thought Id share...




 

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Welcome to HHC! Michael is a cutie.

The hissing and jumping you describe is pretty normal. Some hedgies are friendly enough where they won't do that (or at least not often), but a lot of them stay skittish and take a minute to wake up and become friendly.
 

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Oh my god he is absolutely precious!

Bella did that for about a week after getting her and then grew out of it. I just handled her a lot and put one of my shirts in her cage to sleep on so she could get used to my smell and not be so afraid when I would go to pick her up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you everyone! His color drew me to him, although I was looking for a friendly hedgie first off. I am not breeding him, so I was more interested in his temperament than anything....

@ sara&marshal- I will do that! I never thought of anything like that and since today didnt know a forum existed, and the books never suggested that... Thanks!

@nikki- I feed him a mix of foods, recommended by my breeder until hes 6 months old- they are royal canin baby cat, iams kitten, eukanuba, science diet, zoo vital hedgehog and spikes delight.... I am also giving him 4 mealworms everyday and every other day his water is blended with a couple drops of vitamins... is that not okay? I will switch to whatever is healthiest. I am also a hamster owner so I know that being healthy is more important that price of food...

Also, Michael is in a 120 quart bin. I use fleece for the lining, as the breeder told me that was best also. I made him my own sleeping bags, but he isnt interested in them. Hes more interested in burying himself under the liners. He has a huge comfort wheel (I think 12")- bigger than the hamster ones, and a ushaped wood hidey spot which he loves. I use a heating pad to maintain his temp around 75 degrees.... :)
 

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You'll probably want to take the Zoo Vital food out of the mix. It's got raisins and things that are harmful for African hedgies. I'm not sure about the rest of those cat foods, but I don't think Science Diet is one of the better ones to feed them...
The heating pad is good, but don't forget to make sure the air temperature is warm too. You can use a ceramic heat emitter or a space heater for that.
 

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Lilysmommy said:
You'll probably want to take the Zoo Vital food out of the mix. It's got raisins and things that are harmful for African hedgies. I'm not sure about the rest of those cat foods, but I don't think Science Diet is one of the better ones to feed them...
The heating pad is good, but don't forget to make sure the air temperature is warm too. You can use a ceramic heat emitter or a space heater for that.
I agree please take out the zoo vital it's realy bad! Also take a look at the food section of the forum to make sure the cat food is the best to be feeding him! Oh and welcome!!!!
 

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the royal canin is the only one you have that is even close, and it is probably a little high in fat. I would go to the dry cat food list and pick from there, the rest of the ones you have are a lot of artificial ingredients, high in corn and by products and the like
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
hmm... I cant believe a breeder wouldnt feed her hedgies properly. :( I will go and remake his mix... however I already mixed all his stuff and put it in a sterilite container. I do that for my hamsters mix too. What do I do with that? Just throw it all away? I will definetly check on those foods, maybe I can donate this mix to a shelter for cats? The zoo vital - which is impossible to pick out of the mix- shouldnt be bad for cats right?

My house is always at least 70degrees and I actually have a thermometer in my room - where michael is kept- to make sure of it. I would hate to have him hibernate. :mrgreen:

last night we were sitting on the couch watching tv while MIchael was out, and he crawled onto me and fell asleep... it was the cutest thing ever! Im hoping, based on how he was sleeping, he trusts me and is okay. He huffed a little, but it isnt as much as the night before. I also cut up a shirt I used to wear and put part of it in his hidey with him.
Here is Michael sleeping


 

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Giving the mix to cats would be fine! The reason you can't give zoo vital is that the grapes and seeds are toxic to the hedgie also they can choke on the the raisins. But a mix of two good cat foods would be so much better for your baby and he will love you for it!!!!! By the way he is soooo cute I miss when bella and eddy where that little.
 

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As stated above the dry cat food list is very handy.

Personally (some may agree), the best dry food to feed your hedgie would be Wellness. It has a primary ingredient of chicken, and a secondary ingredient of chicken meal. It contains no corn (which hedgie's can't digest easily) or artificial preservatives or coloring. It's pretty much as natural as you can get. It also contains a whole slew of other stuff like Omega Fatty Acids, and pro-biotic cultures (i think, not certain) that will help keep you hedgie's skin from drying up

Some breeders find that their hedgehogs favorite food is one that may not be as good for them, but also isn't bad for them. Many hedgehogs fall in love with Natural Balance Green Pea and Duck. While this doesn't have a main ingredient that is meat, it still isn't bad for your hedgie and he may absolutely love it. I know it increased my Vex's hunger.

Another good cat food to include in the mix is Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul Light. This contains two meat and two meat meals as the first 4 ingredients and is high in protein and low in fat.

My Vex gets a mix of all three of these foods, and he absolutely loves it, and it is probably the best diet i could be feeding the little guy. In the mix i also dry bananas, apples, cranberries and strawberries and bake them in the oven. I then add a little bit of this dried fruit to his food every day. Some days he will eat all the fruit, other days he will stick to the kibble, he can be real picky when he wants to be >.<
(i also supplement it with insects, fresh fruits, eggs and yogurt)

Just a note: Grapes are poisonous to hedgehogs, and raisins are dried up grapes. While they may not have the same chemical structure, they still cause harm to hedgies by getting stuck in the roof of their mouths. There have been hedgies who have clawed and scratched their face to get the food out causing sever damage. It's not worth the risk.
Nuts are also bad for hedgies as they are high in fat, but also get stuck to the roof of the mouth just as easily.

Whatever you plan on mixing for your hegie, make sure it is high in protein and low in fat, as a hedgie needs a high protein diet.

If your hedgie has an appropriate diet, you should not have to be adding vitamins to his water, that will just make him have very expensive urine. (if he is lacking a certain vitamin, then it may need to be substituted.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
k- I am going to contact a shelter that is local and donate the food to them, then I will go back and buy kitten food for him... I would never want to do anything to hurt him :|
 

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since hesdgies can be picky littel buggers, i suggest going to petco to get their food...they have a policy that allows you to return any unused food within 30 days with your recipt for a full refund. This way you can find out what he likes without it coasting you a fortune. And try to stay away from kitten foods, they are alot higher in fat, just kinda stick to the list that is in the diet and nutrition forum. also only introduce one new food at a time and slowly mix in others, one at a time after a couple of weeks...i personally keep all but a couple of days worth of rations separate so if she decides she doesnt like something i have added to the mix i can just return it.
 

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if you can look for light or senior foods. I just bought a fresh bag of pea and duck today and vex anointed over it ever where. I mean there is mushed up food all over him and his cage and his blankets. I had to clean the little buggers cage completely and i just did it yesterday. He did it the first time i gave him chicken soup for the cat lover's soul as well, but he always anoints over fresh pea and duck. (i buy little bags that last a week in case he decides he gets picky. I don't have a PetCo. here and i can't return unused food anywhere.

If you do buy new food i suggest not mixing the whole bags if he does get picky. I mix enough for 2 days and then feed it to him. I usually use 2 parts wellness, 2 parts chicken soup, 1 part pea and duck and 1 part dried fruits.

as dora said, mix in new foods slowly, and take away old food slowly. Start by doing a 10% new 90% old mix, and every couple of days add 10% more new and 10% less old. We do this so we don't upset their sensitive stomaches, and sometimes they will pick out the newer foods and eat those first.

If you do end up buying something, get something with % fat less than 15, and a % protein over 20 (closer to 30 is better). Omega Fatty Acids as well as ingredients such as flax seed are an added bonus.
 

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azyrios said:
if you can look for light or senior foods. I just bought a fresh bag of pea and duck today and vex anointed over it ever where. I mean there is mushed up food all over him and his cage and his blankets. I had to clean the little buggers cage completely and i just did it yesterday. He did it the first time i gave him chicken soup for the cat lover's soul as well, but he always anoints over fresh pea and duck. (i buy little bags that last a week in case he decides he gets picky. I don't have a PetCo. here and i can't return unused food anywhere.

If you do buy new food i suggest not mixing the whole bags if he does get picky. I mix enough for 2 days and then feed it to him. I usually use 2 parts wellness, 2 parts chicken soup, 1 part pea and duck and 1 part dried fruits.

as dora said, mix in new foods slowly, and take away old food slowly. Start by doing a 10% new 90% old mix, and every couple of days add 10% more new and 10% less old. We do this so we don't upset their sensitive stomaches, and sometimes they will pick out the newer foods and eat those first.

If you do end up buying something, get something with % fat less than 15, and a % protein over 20 (closer to 30 is better). Omega Fatty Acids as well as ingredients such as flax seed are an added bonus.
Yes but take out the zoo vital right away!
 
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