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Hello!

I finally got a hedgehog after months of research, consideration, and longing. She came home with me four days ago. She's a wonderful little lady - haven't named her yet, cause nothing fits - and is behaving, from what I've read, beautifully for the most part. She's about a month and a half old, super cute, really smart. She uncurls almost immediately when I pick her up, lays her quills down after half a minute, doesnt startle as easily anymore. She likes to explore and smell everything, and will curl up in my hand when she's sleepy and take a little nap. She's affectionate and friendly to everyone who holds her. I think I got really lucky.

But, I have a few questions as to her behavior. Nothing serious at all, just small things I'd like to possibly work on with her.

1. She really, really likes to relieve herself when she's being held or played with. Is there a way I can discourage or prevent this? Or will she grow out of it in time?

2. She can't seem to figure out her wheel, and I'm not sure how to teach her how to use it. Will she just get it herself? I've tried gently placing her in there, but won't go any further as I don't want to scare her or anything.

3. She eats her dry food, and I give her plain cooked chicken as a treat. I can't find mealworms anywhere around, and she seems disinterested in all the fruits and vegetables I've tried with her (apples, carrots, bananas, cucumber.) Is there something else they particularly enjoy?

4. I live in a large, old, drafty house. The room she lives in is above the furnace room, and only has two small windows on one side, which I've insulated with the weird plastic-wrap type stuff. I have a space heater, which I use when I'm at home. I won't leave it on when I'm gone, but I worry that she's going to get cold on days when I leave. I bought one of the snugglesafe heat disc things, a little hot water bottle type thing that can be microwaved and will stay pretty warm for a long time. Is that enough for her? or is there something else I can do for her so she stays warm? I can't turn up the thermostat - I live in a co-operative house, and share it with 28 other people, and we can't afford high heat bills, so that's not a possibility.

Please give me a hand. Thanks so much for reading, I'm so excited about the little lady and want to keep her as happy and healthy as possible.

She's a complete joy and I love having her around.
 

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I think big answer to your questions is she is just adjusting to her new home and be patient. The one big trait you will learn with hedgehogs is to be patient as it just takes time.

1. Baby hedgehogs like other baby animals go potty more often than adults. Get used to this behavior for now. As your hedgehog ages it should get better.

2. Give her time to settle in. You'll probably find evidence that she was running on her wheel one morning. Also keep in mind she's nocturnal so if she doesn't go to the bathroom on her wheel you may never see evidence that she's using it.

3. Keep trying with the fruits and veggies. Sometimes it just takes time for them to figure out what is going on. Favorites in my house are apples, peas, watermelon, and mushy green beans. However, there are those that just won't eat them. I had Riley from the age of 7 weeks. He only would eat mealworms and occasionally sweet potatoes or a bite of apple and even then it had to be just right. He was persnickety.

4. My personal preference is to keep the air warm. I do so by leaving an oil filled radiator style space heater on 24/7. Some use a ceramic heat emitter with thermostat/rheostat attached. Do a search on heating and I'm sure you'll find lots of options.
 

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I'm not experienced enough yet to answer most of your questions, but if you're looking for mealworms, my hedgie loves the Fluker's Freeze-Dried worms. I bought mine in Petco, but they're also available on the Petco website. Shipping is a little ridiculous for just the one item, but it doesn't go up too much if you start adding on other products (bedding, etc.), plus it's somewhat offset by the fact that the internet price right now is about $2 less than in store. I've also seen them on other websites (including amazon, where they're $10 with free shipping on orders of $25+).
 

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baby hedgehogs just potty a lot they don't really understand the whole master and potty is a no no . Once she gets to know your smell and gets a little older she will stop.

My hedgehog still wont use a wheel and its been months! She just doesn't like it. I would just keep it in the cage just in case.
I would try baby food as a treat its good for them and they seem to enjoy it. Sage also wont eat bananas or other fruit. So, scrambled eggs and baby food it is!
For heating i would just make sure a thermostat is in the cage and i use a heating pad. It is auto shut off to prevent fire and also if you are going to be leaving then maybe you should stock up on hand warmers. Little ones that stay warm for 24 hours. Wrap them up in blankets and stick em in the cage!

I really hope you enjoy your new little girl and on another thread we all came up with wonderful names if you need some help!
 

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Annabelle uses the restroom a minute or so after waking up.
I keep this in mind when getting her out, especially because she wont litter train :)

I also bought my meal worms freeze dried at petco in the reptiles section.

As far as the wheel problem, are you using a bucket wheel? I transitioned Annabelle to a Flying Saucer because it is much quieter...but the first night it was in the cage she just looked at me like " MOM what is this thing!? Where is my wheel?!". She did some investigating and lots of sniffing, and decided she didnt like it.
:roll:
 

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Some hedgehogs will wheel on anything. Others have their own particular preference in wheels. My Lexie who is a big gal, prefers the comfort wheel. She will run on buckets but runs more on comforts. Both Pebbles and Marley loved the flying saucer but Maggie May either has decided not to poop on it, or she isn't running on it very much. It does take them a while to figure out the flying saucer. Pebble figured it out the quickest but she was a marathon wheeler and would have tried to run on anything. :lol:

Here is an article on the dangers of feeding freeze dried mealworms. http://www.hoodpetz.com/freezedried.html I rarely gave them freeze dried bugs but won't be at all in the future.
 

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There are places on the net where you can order live worms if you don't mind shopping online for them... I *just* today ordered some silkworms and have been thinking about maybe trying butterworms in the future as well. (I've read that the butterworms are really high in calcium and have a pretty darn low fat content too...Now I'm wondering if anyone else has tried these!)

I'll report back when they come in next week and let you know the condition & whether or not our hedgie actually likes the silkworms. (She loves mealies!)

I bet you could ask around and see if anyone on here orders their mealworms and see what sites they prefer... I know there are a lot of places that have them available...

The silkworm place I ordered from apparently ships them on dry ice... and, well, the real drawback is that the shipping cost is a bit expensive. :(
 

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I understand your hedgehog new mom syndrome. Lol, I myself am a new mom to a beautiful girl named Bella.

I have the flying saucer wheel from petsmart. At first, I didn't hear or see any evidence of wheeling, but as the two weeks have gone on, now every morning the wheel is COVERED in poopies (hurray!).

Also, I haven't tried veggies and fruits yet, but I'm so eager. I have four separate dishes. One water, one dry food, one wet food (which needs to be removed every morning and rinsed out) and one for mealies and treats.

I got my fluker's freezed dried worms from petsmart as well, but she hasn't eaten any. I offer, but I think she's used to live (shudder) so we might have to try that.
 
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