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Hi all,

First time owner! Loving my cute hedgie.
I got her from a USDA(?) approved breeder, and he told me that it would be a good idea to let her settle into her new cage and to not handle her for a week, but in other places, I've read that it's good to pick up the hedgie every day to let her get used to your scent. Is it okay for me to try to pick her up?

Also, is it better to pick her up when she's a bit sleepy (she sleeps a lot...), or when she's exploring?
 

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Pick her up immediately, every day, as much as you'd like. One day might be fine, but really, you want her to get the idea that you are her new life and being held by you is what's the norm. Otherwise she gets all settled in, into a routine, and then freaked out again because you changed it all. Nope, holding right away is best. Also, unless you plan on being awake at 2 in the morning, you're going to wake her up. It's ok. :) She might become an explorer after she wakes up a bit, but the first moment, she will be asleep.
 

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Actually, on their first few days, you need to let them get used to their cage and sounds. After that, limit the time holding the hedgie to about 30 minutes twice a day to get them used to you. When they seem to be comfortable with you, you can hold them as much as you want.
 

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Not sure where you got that info, but you should be bonding with them from day one.

Taking them out ONCE a day is better than disrupting their sleep twice a day. I wouldn't set a limit, 30 to 45 minutes would be the minimal time.

Like Soyala said above, you don't want them to get used to no contact and then after a few weeks they have to make another change.

They will huff, puff and pop but they will be fine. Don't let that stop you.

Be gentle and patient.
 

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Not sure where you got that info, but you should be bonding with them from day one.

Taking them out ONCE a day is better than disrupting their sleep twice a day. I wouldn't set a limit, 30 to 45 minutes would be the minimal time.

Like Soyala said above, you don't want them to get used to no contact and then after a few weeks they have to make another change.

They will huff, puff and pop but they will be fine. Don't let that stop you.

Be gentle and patient.
The breeder I got him from and the hedgehog care book that I bought both told me this.
 

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Hedgehogs do best with routine. Once a day for a decent amount of time (I usually do 8-11 with occasional day time interruptions for cage cleaning or going to PetsMart) is better than multiple times a day. You have to think, they're nocturnal. You are interuppting their normal sleep cycle. Think if someone did that to you, every day, woke you up at 3 am and 5 am, over and over, how tired and worn out you would be!
You can handle them out of the routine every once in a while, just like every once in a while I'll stay up too late to do something fun like go to the theatre. But too often can make hedgie feel ill.
 
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