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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a few questions answered would really alleviate some issues for me.
1. My "Sugar" will be with me for the 3rd day tomorrow. Can I pick her up now?
2. If she huffs at me can I pick her up anyway? Will she bite me if I pick her up when she is huffing?
3. What about the large exercise balls? Is she too young for it at 9 wks old?

I did hold her briefly while in the pet store but have not attempted to hold her since bringing her home 3 days ago. I speak with her but she huffs at me when I put my hand in. The only way the cage sets up is that her igloo fits underneath a raised platform and bridge that houses her food and water above. She accesses her food and water by walking up the ramp. With the igloo being below it means that if I try to hold her while she is in her igloo I have to move a lot of stuff around to try to get her out and afraid to make her mad. Should I wait until she is out and then reach in to get her during the time she is eating, etc.?
 

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Congrats on your little one! ^_^ I just got my lil Shinjy just over 2 months ago ^_^

1)Heh, I started holding my hedgie the next day after I got him. I didn't do much with him, I just put him in my lap with a fleecie and let him sleep, or sleep on my bed.

2)Even now, after just over 2 months, Shinjy still huffs at me when I wake him up. He's nipped me once lightly, just to tell me how annoyed he is at being woken up(I had him snuggled up with me on the bed, with his fleecie and under my covers). But, I usually just keep petting him and he'll slowly relax and I'll smooth down his spines at the same time. Truthfully, I bribe him out of his bed a lot :) I actually take his whole bed out of the cage and set it on the floor, leave him about a min, then uncover him, then get his favourite treat. I take use tweezers to hold a mealie just out of his range, and he'll follow it right out of bed, and out into the open. You can try that way, though still inside the cage, to get her out of her igloo.

3)The general consensus is no exercise balls. Because of the small "breathing slits" their little toes and nails can get stuck while running. Though there are some hedgies that love to push balls around. That's also why there are lots of wheels that are inappropriate for hedgies as well.
 

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I think it is a good idea to start handling your baby now. You should take her out of her cage every day for an hour or more to begin the bonding process. Like Immortalia said you can put her on a blanket and hold her in your lap while you watch tv, lay in bed, etc. Try to get her out at the same time each day to start a routine with her.

She will probably huff at you for a while until she gets to know you. Some hedgies warm up fast while others can take months. My Bruce still huffs and quills up at me every time I get him out of his cage. He has never tried to bite me but all hedgies are different and some will bite. Hedgehogs main defense is their quills though so thats why they huff and get all prickly, to try and scare you away. You can't let that discourage you, you still need to get her out and hold her everyday so she can bond with you. If she is really prickly you can use a blanket to pick her up so you don't get poked.

I don't know if its an option but you may want to try and make it easier to get her out of the cage if she is in her igloo. If I waited until Bruce was out of his house to pick him up, I would never be able to. He is always in his house and I always have to remove him from it to take him out of the cage. Your hedgie may be different however, if she is an explorer and is quite often out of her house roaming around that may be an option. Also as Immortalia said you can try and lure her out with a mealworm, if she thinks they are really yummy. Bruce loves mealworms but will not follow after one, it has to be right next to him.

I have heard that the exercise balls can be dangerous because of the slits and hedgies getting their nails caught in them. I know some people do use them and I believe I recall someone saying that they covered the slits with tape or something. I believe the slits are there for ventilation and so that fresh air can get into the ball so I don't know that covering the slits would be a good idea. I don't have one so I'm not really sure what they look like.

I hope you enjoy your baby and feel free to ask any questions that may arise!
 

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You mentioned that her food and water are accessible from a ramp that leads up to the platform. Does the ramp and platform have walls around their edges? Hedgehogs can become injured from falling even very small distances. You would think that they'd ball up if they started falling, but it seems like most of them just let themselves fall, and they can easily break a leg that way. If the ramp/platform don't have walls around them, they're not very safe for your hedgie. Also, is it possible to shift the things in the cage around so that the food/water aren't over her bed? If it isn't, it sounds like space might be a little cramped. Hedgies need at least two square feet of room to move about in their cage, since they move around a lot in the wild. If you can move the food/water from over her bed, though, it should be easier to get her out of the bed.
You can start holding her now, three days seems like it should be a nice bit of time to get used to her new home. Just remember that even when she huffs and pops at you while you're reaching for her, just scoop her up anyway. It'll just make her more nervous if you keep hesitating and drawing the moment out. Also, if you keep pulling away every time she huffs at you, she'll learn that that's all she needs to do for you to leave her alone. Most hedgies won't bite just because you're disturbing them, I don't think. Their main defense is just rolling into a ball so their quills can protect them. However, make sure you wash your hands with scentless soap beforehand. If you have any tasty smells on your hands, she may take a nibble to see if it tastes good too. :lol:
And both of the other people were right about the exercise balls. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, so I finally held my little hedgie tonight! She did huff and puff a lot. She did not ever curl up in a ball, she simply just ran from me! It was funny! After I did pick her up she was really full of energy and wanted to just run around. Do you think this is because she had just woke up from sleeping all day? I was looking more forward to being able to just hold and look at her, but nooooo she wanted to run around the floor! Anyway, maybe try it earlier in the day when she is still sleepy and more willing for me to just hold her?
 

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Yeah, some hedgehogs really enjoy moving around and exploring when they're out of their cage. If they don't want to sit still in your lap, you could lay on the floor and watch her explore. Just be careful to hedgie-proof the room she's in. Once she gets more used to you, she may start coming back to you when she's sleepy to cuddle up. They usually seem to think you're good for at least being a heater. :lol: Glad she behaved pretty well for your first bonding session. :)
 
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