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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, after hours and hours of arguing with my dad to keep Spike in my room, I can finally raise an animal all by myself formally. I'm 14 years old, I wanted to try being more responsible and I have an obsession for exotic animals so I got a Hedgehog. I owned 2 guinea pigs previously and we kept them at the backyard, They lasted for 2 years. Anyways he's an amazing Algerian Gray who's 2 months old. I bought him yesterday from a breeder. I have a lot of questions for you guys to answer.

1. I know that he's still shy and stuff, but how come I see other hedgies with their feet clearly visible? Spike likes to keep his eyes and legs concealed when walking around. Is that normal?

2. By "handling daily" what do you mean? When I touch one of his quills he shakes or something. And they obviously hurt.

3. Why is it that he keeps sleeping? I got him 4 in the afternoon and it was already 12 am last night and he was still asleep.

4. The breeder gave me this type of water bottle:
(Not sure if I can post external links, so sorry)

http://www.zebrafinch.com/zebrafinch/Supplies/water.JPG

But Spike doesn't seem to notice the fact that there's water there. I don't think he's sipped even a bit since yesterday. Should I switch to a more convenient type of bottle?

5. The breeder also said that it was tame, So does that mean he lied? Or am I doing it wrong? I use a towel to pick him up from the belly.

6. How come it doesn't play with the toys I put inside his plastic bin? I put an empty tissue roll and a baseball but all he does is sleep in the cardboard house I made him.

I hope I get answers soon! I'm really enthusiastic about being an owner. Thanks in advance! :)

Also, I can't take pictures because when I face him upside down he hides his face, So yeah. haha.
 

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Welcome to HHC!
Will take time for him to adjust to his new surroundings and you as well.
Hoglets do tend to sleep all the time. Water bottles are not the best try a ceramic crock.
Most hedgies don't care a thing about toys other than a good wheel to run on.
You should read all the stickies in each section and a must for any new owner is LG's book;
http://www.hedgehogbook.webs.com/
 

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darkestz said:
2. By "handling daily" what do you mean? When I touch one of his quills he shakes or something. And they obviously hurt.
5. The breeder also said that it was tame, So does that mean he lied? Or am I doing it wrong? I use a towel to pick him up from the belly.
Handling means to spend time with him. Depending on his personality, it can mean just sitting in your lap sleeping while you do homework or watch TV. Or climbing all over you. It sounds like you have a young hedgie, so they do sleep alot. Also, he's probably quilling. That's when their little quills fall out & bigger ones grow in. It can be a bit painful.
It does take a while for them to feel comfortable. So just be patient. And Larry gave some great advice about reading the stickies & LG's book. That will help alot.
 

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darkestz said:
1. I know that he's still shy and stuff, but how come I see other hedgies with their feet clearly visible? Spike likes to keep his eyes and legs concealed when walking around. Is that normal?
My boy, Basil, always hides his feet. Your hedgie will start to raise his visor (his forehead) once he's more comfortable with you. Handling him in a room with low lighting may also help.

2. By "handling daily" what do you mean? When I touch one of his quills he shakes or something. And they obviously hurt.[/qoute]
The noise and the jumping is called "huffing" and when they're really agitated they'll "pop". Daily handling means to take him out every day and spend time with him. I take my boy out after eight in the evening and watch tv with him in my lap. (FYI they don't like loud noises, like gunshots and stuff.) If he's balling up and getting all spiky, it is safer for you and him to carry him in a baby blanket or towel for the first while so that you don't drop him. That is a very serious injury including broken bones.

[quote:357wbbqv]3. Why is it that he keeps sleeping? I got him 4 in the afternoon and it was already 12 am last night and he was still asleep.
Moving to a new home is stressful. He was probably wide awake all afternoon. My hedgie doesn't wake up until 10:30 pm.

4. The breeder gave me this type of water bottle:
(Not sure if I can post external links, so sorry)

http://www.zebrafinch.com/zebrafinch/Supplies/water.JPG

But Spike doesn't seem to notice the fact that there's water there. I don't think he's sipped even a bit since yesterday. Should I switch to a more convenient type of bottle?
You shouls get your hedgehog a water dish, preferrably one he can't knock over. Water bottles can damage teeth and cause tounge lascerations. NOT FUN.

5. The breeder also said that it was tame, So does that mean he lied? Or am I doing it wrong? I use a towel to pick him up from the belly.
He needs to getused to you. Be patient, give him time.

6. How come it doesn't play with the toys I put inside his plastic bin? I put an empty tissue roll and a baseball but all he does is sleep in the cardboard house I made him.
Hedgehogs are animals that are most active at night. He plays while you sleep.

I hope I get answers soon! I'm really enthusiastic about being an owner. Thanks in advance! :)

Also, I can't take pictures because when I face him upside down he hides his face, So yeah. haha.
[/quote:357wbbqv]

Do all the research you can. Tons and tons and tons of it. I'm getting the feeling that you didn't do much before you got your little guy, but no worries, we'll help you through it. What is your boy eating?
 

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1. I know that he's still shy and stuff, but how come I see other hedgies with their feet clearly visible? Spike likes to keep his eyes and legs concealed when walking around. Is that normal?
I would call it a cautious/defensive type of walk, since he's in a new home with new smells and of course a baby, he is being careful. He's protecting his underbelly and face while exploring, and like other said, over time he'll probably stop doing it, once he gets to know that he's pretty much safe from everything around him, or he may always walk like that, each hedgehog has their own personalities, I know some will always walk high while others will walk low to the ground.

2. By "handling daily" what do you mean? When I touch one of his quills he shakes or something. And they obviously hurt.
Does he kind of jump at your hand and make a "HUFF" sound at you? If so, then welcome to Hedgehog Huffing, it is basically a way of saying "get away" but as his owner, you can't let him win at it, otherwise he'll learn anytime he does it means you'll go away. Every hedgehog does it, even the most tamed when startled. After much bonding time he may stop. My first hedgehog did nothing major except huff at me, and after a month or so she had stopped doing that, as long as she smelled my hand.

Others have already explained how to bond, sit and watch tv, a movie, do homework, put him in a blanket or something that he can hide in and just sit with him. You see people who will pet their hedgehogs, some really like it, most typically don't. You'll find out if he's an explorer (common) or cuddler (rarer). An explorer will want to check you out and everything around him, while a cuddler will sleep on you and snuggle up. He's a baby so he'll probably just sleep on you. Handling Daily doesn't mean spending countless hours with him, if you can that is a good thing, but even just 20 minutes goes a long ways.

3. Why is it that he keeps sleeping? I got him 4 in the afternoon and it was already 12 am last night and he was still asleep.
Everyone else got this, he's a baby and he will sleep, and sleep, and sleep some more. To bond and handle him, you'll have to wake him up to get him out which is fine, its what most people do, otherwise he'll sleep until the late hours of the night, will get up and be active on his own, typically wheeling. But when bonding, setting a routine time to wake him up is a good idea.

4. The breeder gave me this type of water bottle:
(Not sure if I can post external links, so sorry)

http://www.zebrafinch.com/zebrafinch/Supplies/water.JPG

But Spike doesn't seem to notice the fact that there's water there. I don't think he's sipped even a bit since yesterday. Should I switch to a more convenient type of bottle?
Like LarryT said, water bottles are not recommended for hedgehogs. For them to drink from it is an un-natural position, they might not be able to get enough, they can chip teeth or even catch their tongue in the bearing. Water dishes are recommended, change water twice a day.

5. The breeder also said that it was tame, So does that mean he lied? Or am I doing it wrong? I use a towel to pick him up from the belly.
Hedgehogs are not a fan of having their homes changed, it causes them to stress a bit and go on to the defensive side. Many owners will have this very fun and out going hedgehog while at the breeders, and like you, get them home and find they're not so friendly. You have to build a bond and trust with him, while letting him get use to his new home. Over the course of time (short time since he's from a breeder), he'll become friendly. Using a towel is fine, beware though some towels with really loose threading can catch their finger nails and such, folded up fleece or flannel works great. Over time once he gets settled in, you should be able to scoop him up without anything once he is awake. They can also have grumpy days, or since he's young (like others said) if he's quilling, they can be very grumpy during that process.

6. How come it doesn't play with the toys I put inside his plastic bin? I put an empty tissue roll and a baseball but all he does is sleep in the cardboard house I made him.
And like many said, toys are iffy with a hedgehog, most will just want to wheel and care nothing for anything else, but you can always try out things. My Hester cares for nothing except her wheel, while Loki seems to like to push things around in his cage, he's got a small sleeping tent he came with and I always find it not where it was left.

Last, the two things I always say (cause I was unaware of them myself) is make sure you keep him in a 73'F to 78'F temp range, he needs 12 to 14 hours worth of light, nothing special just a desk lamp or the room light on (don't depend on the sun), both to keep him from attempting to hibernate. Also if he doesn't have a pitch black room to play in when not with you, might cover his cage up, many hogs like to have almost total darkness when playing (just learned that for a fact a week ago).

Welcome, Congratz and Good Luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow thanks for the info guys actually I did research for a whole week before getting them. But when you get them, It's kinda different hehe. Anyways, I learned a lot from all of you, I am always looking to find more about my hedgie. I tried letting him eat and drink in his little cardboard home so yeah it worked. He's really shy. I've been handling him for about 2 hours a day while doing homework. He still huffs and jumps at me when I touch his quills, and When I try picking him up with my bare hands He balls up. Hopefully he won't be this grumpy after a month with me. Both of my parents were against me getting one, And we were arguing non stop. When I showed them lots of info on the internet, I finally convinced them. I still won't regret getting myself one though. He's probably just quilling so I'll give him an oatmeal bath this Friday. If you guys have any more info, please post them here. Thanks!
 
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