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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I recently purchased my first hedgehog yesterday, from a family who no longer wanted him.

From what I can interpret, the hedgehog is about a year old and was purchased at a pet store. To my knowledge, he has probably rarely (if ever) been either played with or out of his cage.

I so far haven't wanted to bother him too much....the car ride home was probably a lot of excitement for him. I put a shirt that I worn in his cage today...and I'm just wondering - how long should I wait before starting to expose him to 'life' outside his cage?

He has a 'blankey' that he sleeps under...and if I go to left up the blanket to see if he's ok and what not, he gets pretty 'testy'. He snuffs alot...and kinda jumps a little...I'm sure he is just startled and scared. ;) - but is this pretty normal for new hedgehogs?

I am in Canada and purchased some 'Complete Nutrition Hedgehog Diet' food for him. The ingredients seem to have a pretty wide variety of both vitamin and meat contents. Is this going to be a sustainable food for him? I know he was on a fairly 'normal kitten food with cat treats add'd to his food. I know that fruits, veggies and insects are also good treats for him.

Any help provided would be great and I look forward to many great years with my new friend.

Thanks!!!
 

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Congratulations on your new little guy. Most hedghog specific foods are not very good for hedgehogs and some are actually dangerous to them. I don't know about the one you bought but if you could post a copy of the ingredients list on the package that would help us tell you more about it. Most people feed a mixture of high quality, low fat, cat food to their hedgies. There is a really good list of recommended foods posted under the nutrition board.

Your hedgie seems to be acting like a normal, unsocialized hedgie in a new home. I would give him a couple days to settle in then start holding him with a blanket covering him. You can also talk to him quietly for the next couple of days so he gets more used to your voice before you start picking him up.

good luck with your new little guy:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the positive feedback....actually, it's funny you mentioned the talking thing - I have noticed that I'm talking to him really softly...and simply just placing my hand in his cage...kinda treating him like a baby at this point. :)

Ok...here we go with the ingredients :

Poultry By-Product Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherois, Rosemary Extract and Citric Acid), Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Digest, Wheat Flour, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, Taurine, Iron Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, d-Calcium Pantothenate (Iodine Supplement), Pyridoxine Hydochloride, Copper Proteinate, Menadione Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Sodium Selenite.

Guaranteed Analysis (Minimum values unless otherwise stated):
Crude Protein (Min).............30.0%
Crude Fat (Min).................8.0%
Crude Fiber (Max)..............5.0%
Moisture (Max).................10.0%

This is EXACTLY what is written on the back of the book. This sound ok? Problem with 'most' websites and their 'listed' foods...is most sites are located in the UK (seems hedgehogs are pretty darn popular there) - so finding information for Canada is pretty tough. I have thought about Iam's Cat Food (which is pretty HIGH quality) as an option also...

Another question...if you don't mind...what about Cage Liner's??? I have found a site where I can order an accessories set - but I'm wondering if there are any real 'cons' to cage liners - compared to normal shavings.
 

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Iams actually isn't that great of a cat food; quality brands include Wellness, Royal Canin, Solid Gold, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul, and Innova. Another thing you might want to consider is mixing foods, instead of offering just one.

Cage liners are great! I use them, and I know a number of other members of this board also use them. They don't harbor mites, don't create dust, make it easy to monitor bodily functions and are inexpensive to keep. If you do go with liners, it's best to have some back ups, so you don't have to do wash constantly.
 

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The ingredients you posted are not very good at all ....anything that is a "by-product" can be made from otherwise unusable parts of the animal...feet, feathers...beaks...hair....etc. Also corn is just a filler and provides no nutrients at all to hedgies as they can't digest it.

Iams isn't good for hedgies and is actually believed to contain cancer causing ingredients. Some good foods in canada are, Royal Canin Lite, Acana, Wellness, and there are some other too. You may have to look at ordering them online if you can't find them where you are. Just keep in mind that the cat foods that are sold in grocery and department stores are very poor quality foods. The food list on this website has foods available in both Canada and the US, none from the UK or Europe.
 

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As to the food, no I don't care for it either for the same reasons already mentioned.

As to timing. Some hedgehogs become very stressed from a change in environment. And the 'testy' behavior is very normal. He may change and he may always be testy if his prior environment was bad. Take your time with exposing him to his new environment. If he is eating and drinking ok start slow. By that I mean sit in a quiet room, with a blanket, snuggle bag or something else for the hedgehog to hide in/under. Don't talk or talk in a very low voice and let the hedgehog adjust. Keep in mind that hedgehogs reaction to being scared is to curl up in a ball, hiss, click and pop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone for the great info - I will start the my hunt for some good quality food for my new friend....

Ok..another question....to wake...or not to wake? Alright, my little guy sleeps most of the day away (duh!) - is it really suggestible to wake him for some 'quality time' or is it better to wait till closer to his normal awake hours? Is it really dependable on the hedgehog?

Seems like a lot of hedgehog raising is a lot of trial and error - as each hedgehog has it's own personality...it seems really hard to say for sure what you hedgehog is like.

Any information is appreciated...thanks again!!!
 

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For me, I wake mine around 7:30-8:00 each night and keep them out of the cage until 10pm. At 10 I clean cages and give fresh food and water. Then I wake them again in the morning to weigh and do a quick check to ensure no health changes occurred over night (no hairs on legs, etc.). Mine expect this routine. If I am late I usually have a grumpy hedgehog.

I don't typically wake mine during the day, or at least keep it to a minimum. Some are ok with it, but others get very grumpy. After all you are interrupting their normal sleeping time... I get grumpy too if mine is interrupted a lot too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok....I woke Spyke up this evening - he was pretty ok with it.

I did notice 'something' though - he's quills seems to have 'dirty' patch's. From what I saw (he was pretty **** scared, so he didn't let his quills down much). Any thoughts on giving him a bath?

Also, I not sure if this is 'normal' but he ears look a little strange. They almost look 'dry' and cracked, around the top of his ears are like cuts - it's very strange and difficult to describe. Any thoughts?
 

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I would hold off on the bath until he has settled in and started to trust you. Most do not like
baths and this could cause more stress than he's already had from the move. For the ears, I'd use a little shea butter or vaseline. Since they are a bit cracked, that won't change, but you can help with the dryness.
 
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