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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my first hedgie today, a beautiful gray 5-month old that I named Henry. I was just wondering what to expect the first few days and such. I've read a lot of things around this forum, in books, and through research, but I wanted to hear it directly from you guys.

One thing I am worried about though is that I think that he might not know how to use a wheel. Where I got him they didn't have a wheel in with him, I don't know if they just put it in during night or if they don't have one ever, but there wasn't a wheel. I bought a flying saucer but I might switch to a comfort wheel and put the saucer in the play pen once I get that built.
 

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I just got a hedgehog last week and he was 1 year and 6 months old and never had a wheel in his life. I put him on one of the flying saucer wheels and he played around with it often flying off from trying to run to fast then stopping. When he fell off he would try to walk away, so i picked him up and put him back on it. Once he started getting the hang of it i gave him a treat and let him go for a swim (his favorite playtime activity, but he is only allowed to do it once a month because of dry skin problems).

Now he constantly gets on it at night and runs around frantically all through the wee hours of the night, getting off only to pee and eat/drink. Just know that even if your hedgie is litter trained, he will always poop on his wheel, he may or may not get off to go pee tho.
Eventually the wheel will just become a natural thing. I really like how the flying saucer wheel works for Vex, as he is about 440g. Depending on the cage size a bucket wheel may take up less floor space, and is just as effective, only you have to be careful cleaning it as not to get the bearing wet. Daily use petroleum jelly to keep the bearing silent. Some hedgehogs may never use their wheels, it all depends on the hog. Rewarding him for running on it properly will help him associate it with fun, but don't feed him treats constantly for running on it, because once you stop, he may stop running.

Just try to count his kibble, make sure he is eating properly, and check his poop to make sure it is a brownish color. For the first couple days green poop is normal, but prolonged green can mean other sicknesses.

Keep the room warm, between 74 and 78 is what i keep my room at, and i like the added warmth. Make sure he has fresh food and water everyday, as he may not drink or eat if it is contaminated or out for more than a day. Daily check to make sure he doesn't have any strings wrapped around his legs, as this could be dangerous and be cause for amputations.

If your hedgehog is about 5 months old he may or may not have already finished quilling. If quills start to fall out check to make sure they still have the little ball on one end (the folical) and treat him with an oatmeal bath/vitamin E oil to help relieve the pain of the quills breaking through the skin. During quilling he may be very cranky and not want to bond. Be careful to not touch his back, and don't put and cloth on top of him. If he is a cuddler, just let him lay on something soft, and don't put it on his back or it will hurt him. He may be grumpy during this time, and may not want to be with you as much until its over, but try to keep bonding with him but leave his back alone (let him run around you in a play pen if he is an explorer or sit on your lap if he is a cuddler.)

Some male hedgehogs like to masturbate, so if you ever seen anything along that line it is completely normal, he is just playing with himself.

Of course all this information is from my 1 week of experience and me 3 years of reading up on hedgehogs, as well as reading this forum for the past few months. If another owner says something that conflicts with my advice, they are right, and i am the one who is wrong, as they all have more experience with this than i do.
 

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Congratulations on the new little guy. Pics are required here. ;)

He'll figure out the wheel on his own, don't worry. Sometimes it takes a few days/weeks, but they eventually figure it out. Just leave it in the cage and hope to wake up to a poopy wheel one morning. You can also try sitting him on it--sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.
Mine had a bucket wheel and then I switched to a flying saucer, which totally confounded him because he was used to running full force into the bucket wheel and he can't do that with the saucer He soon figured it out, though. :) If you want to use the saucer, I would definitely suggest starting him out with it first so he can get the hang of it because it is a little different from a comfort wheel.

There may be green poop for the first day or two, and that's perfectly normal because it's stressful moving to a new home.
You can try putting a shirt that smells like you in the cage in an effort to associate your scent with a good hiding place, which helps with bonding.
He's probably not going to sleep in the sleeping spot you provided for him--if you have liners, he may even end up under them instead of on them. They are very creative when it comes to finding sleeping places you didn't intend to have as sleeping places. :lol:
This website is a wonderful resource. Be sure to read all the stickies and browse the forums. :)
I put a page together on my website with a few pointers that I learned after getting my hedgie. You might find it helpful. http://sinister-intentions.net/hedgieinfo/daily-life.html

Welcome to Hedgehog Central! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you!

I will post pictures tomorrow, I want to let him adjust before I start taking some.

As for his name, Henry, we'll see if it stays like that. My Mom and brother are fighting me to change it to Sonic, but I really want something else. So we'll have to come to a compromise (not that my brother counts, he's away at college)

Also when I left him to take a nap, I came back to check up on him, and he had gotten a piece of tissue that I had put against my chest while going to get him, and snuggled up against it and it was apparent that he had self-anointed because he had foam on his quills, so I think he did it to my scent on the tissue.
 

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Zalea is right about the liners. I have an igloo for my hedgehog but I always wake up to a little lump under the th liner right under his wheel. It seems like a silly place to sleep because he doesn't quite fit but what can I do if he wants to sleep there that's where he will sleep. :D
 
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