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Discussion Starter #1
I've been trying to handle my girl Xena for a while now, and I'm pretty sure she's not scared of me. Of course, she does the usual huff and puff and ball up when I take her out of her cage, but she unrolls immediately and starts struggling to get out of my hands.

For play time, I usually place her in a sectioned off area of the room, with me sitting as part of the "wall" (The rest made up of cages and the room wall).

Thing is, now, I'm not too sure what to make of her. She absolutely detests being touched; just the smallest brush on her back will cause her to spin around in huffs while trying to jab at me. No biting though, thank god. However, she never balls up, but she does try to press herself into the furthest corners, or try to squeeze past my knees.

I don't think she's scared of me though, as she doesn't hesitate to crawl all over my legs when she sees that I have mealworms. I'm not forcing her to interact with me, as I usually just hold the mealworm just in front of me and encouraging her to come to me instead which she does more than willingly.

But it's a bit odd because sometimes she'd just spin around for no reason and then scamper all around the area, before running back to her corner and looking at me like a little hyperactive kid. And at times she'd run right up to me to put her chin on my leg to beg for more worms, before spinning off for another manic running around.

Anyone has any insights on this? I've pretty much accepted that she's one of those hedgehogs who just flat out doesn't like to be petted in any way, but I can't make head or tail whether she really might just be scared of me or whether she's one heck of a hyperactive hedgehog.
 

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1. How old is your little girl? She might be quilling, which can be hugely uncomfortable and lead to snappy responses if you disturb their quills.

2. Sounds like you have an adventurer! If you want snuggles, you might need to catch her when she's sleepy (right after she goes to bed, first thing in the morning, or take her up early evening for her to slowly wake up on your lap). Playtime with more adventurous hedgehogs requires a lot of attention as they get into all sorts of mischief!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ah! Hopefully that's it; she's about 6-7 months old right now. I think that's about the time they start quilling?

:) And that sounds like a great idea! I can let her slowly wake up on me before letting her go scrambling around the room like a little race car, with breaks of her "I'm so cute give me worms please?" episodes.
 

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I can let her slowly wake up on me before letting her go scrambling around the room like a little race car, with breaks of her "I'm so cute give me worms please?" episodes.
I think you just found a great idea for a Halloween costume. :grin:
 

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Ah! Hopefully that's it; she's about 6-7 months old right now. I think that's about the time they start quilling?
No, generally they are done and have their adult quills fully in by the time they are about 4 months old. Mine is almost 6 months old I've been noticing he is still losing some (shorter) baby quills but he's not still quilling - you can tell when they are because you'll see lots of quills poking out about halfway through their skin. It looks pretty uncomfortable.

Huffing and puffing up is their primary defense mechanism in reaction to something that either scares or startles them or they simply don't like. Not all of them like being "pet" or brushed with stuff. Sometimes the reaction has more to do with how you are approaching them - I can't approach my hedgie from above or behind or he'll startle (even when he's in an otherwise happy/friendly mood), but if he can see my hands coming towards him he's usually okay.
 

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My little boy is just like this. I know that he isn't actually afraid of me because he'll fall asleep belly-up on the outside of my shirt, is learning to hold still while on his back for a foot inspection, and rarely bothers to raise anything other than his visor quills at me anymore. He definitely knows who I am and trusts me - he just doesn't really like my hands touching him (my lips, who cares? I can kiss him all I want).

Sounds like Xena is just an explorer who's got too much to do!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
She does definitely like roaming around and sticking her head into every little crevice she can find XD Last night I found her attempting to squeeze into my betta photo tank! I think it's that she didn't have much room in her previous home; the guy had left her along with 5 other hedgehogs in a 2 foot cage so I imagine she's never had that much space to explore, ever.

With regards to her reactions with me, she squirms even when I lift her out of her cage and shoots off the moment I put her down so I've figured she just doesn't like being touched, period. But I don't mind at all :) So long as she's not frightened of me, I'm happy.
 
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