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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
i just got my hedgehog on Friday (04/09/2010) and he's so friendly. But
just started quilling so he's a little more grumpy then when i first saw him.
He also loves to climb. First I'll show you his photos:

http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p105 ... eeping.jpg
http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p105 ... ilburr.jpg
http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p105 ... hflash.jpg
http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p105 ... lburrr.jpg

I have a few questions.

1.) He hasn't yet found his food bowl or water bottle. He knows how to use both
a water dish and a bottle for water. But he does eat. I had put some food in
front of him and he came back to that later. But he doesn't yet know about the dish.
or the bottle. I had put the water bottle in front of him on my lap cause he didn't
drink anything the day i brought home.

http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p105 ... etup-1.jpg
This is my set up. Anything wrong with it?

2.) When can i start giving him mealworms? he is roughly 10 weeks old (born 01/27/2010).
my mom says to wait a while because the trip home was rough on him. He threw up a few
times, and ended having to take a small bath when he did get home. Poor guy. My mom
believes the worms will upset his stomach.

For the lamp, i'm using a clamp lamp with a 60 WATT CHE + rheostat. The temp of the cage is between 72-75. Yey.

---

I had left him in his cage for about 5-6 hours after he got home with only handeling him a little to make sure he was okay. He slept most of the night except when i got him up at 3am to check on him (i thought he would be up since he is nocternal)... He went back to bed until 6pm tonight. He mostly climbed a lot on me. I won't let him get all the way up to the shoulder cause of my hair. I also keep both hands near him when he does climb. I'm thinking about leaving him in his cage for tomorrow night to let him get more used to his cage... SO hopefully he will find the bowl/bottle.
 

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~ I would err on the side of caution and offer BOTH a water bottle AND a dish of water and see which one HE prefers.

~ Yes, giving him some space and time alone to explore his home would probably be a good idea. Have you actually counted the kibble to know that he really hasn't gotten up while you were sleeping? And the bin is small enough that he should be ok finding everything.

~ What kind of food was the breeder feeding? And are you feeding the same food?

~Have you left the lights completely off at night? And turn them on during the day?

~ What kind of shavings are you using?

~ That bin needs a lid. It is escapable, and the last thing you want is to try and find an escaped hedgehog. This means modding the lid with the center cut out and lined with mesh, as well as many MANY holes drilled throughout the bin for ventilation. I know there have been a few members here who have had hedgies escape from bins, when there didn't seem to be any possible way of escape. I think Nancy had one.

~ You need a thermostat, not a rheostat. A thermostat controls the actual temperature and knows when to turn on and turn off. A rheostat will constantly pour out heat, meaning that if it's warm, it will continue to warm the cage up even more, possibly overheating your hedgehog. Same with being unable to adjust the temperature if it's too cold. With a thermostat, you set the dial for (example...) 75F, and it will automatically turn on and off to adjust the temperature according to the probe. A rheostat does not do this. You have been told before that you MUST have a thermostat, otherwise you risk either hibernation, or burning your hedgehog.

~ It is also advised not to change food or give treats within the first few weeks of bringing the hedgehog home. Only after the hedgehog has settled, poop is perfectly normal, will it be ok to start giving treats in moderation. UNLESS, the breeder has already been feeding mealworms. Then and only then are you able to give mealworms sooner, but again, I agree with your mother to wait awhile first.
 

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Beautiful hedgie :)

1. For the food and water he may not be coming out because its a new environment for him which is common. He probably won't want to come out and eat in front of anyone while everything is still new. Plus a lot of times they won't come out if there is light in the room. Best thing to do is to make sure he has darkness and count the food so you know how much he is eatting because it may be that he just isn't eatting while you are watching. He may be afraid to come out so you can try putting some food in his bed with him or pushing the bowl close to the opening but still allowing him space to get out of his house. I drapped a blanket over the entrance and bowl and it made a tent and my hedgie loved it. Water dishes are preferred over bottles, a search will show the benefits of a bowl over a bottles.

2. For the mealworms you may want a wait a couple of weeks to allow him to settle in so he won't get a stomach upset. After he's settled in you can slowly incorporate treats or new foods into his food mix. Important to make sure you are only introducing one thing at a time and giving time in between to observe if theres going to be a problem.

Your question about the set up---Is there wholes drilled into the bin for ventillation? There may be but I couldn't tell with the angle. You'll want to make sure the hedgie has plenty of ventillation wholes drilled into his cage. Also you'll want to make sure their is a top and that there is ventillation in it as well. You may have already did this but wanted to say just in case.

What kinda bedding is he on? You may find that fleece liners offer a lot of benefits over other beddings. Mine was kept on wood bedding before I got him and it made his skin itchy. I was also worried about him getting something in his eye and trying to scratch at it. He was definately happy with the switch.

I'd just give him some time to settle and then he should be good. If you do find though that after 2 days he still hasn't eatten or drank you may have to scringe feed him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The breeder had him on carefresh bedding, but i have aspen wood bedding which he doesn't seem to mind. I am thinking about changing to a liner but I did put a thin fleece baby blanket under his igloo and he opted to sleep on his wheel. So i took the fleece liner out and he went under his igloo again. He likes to burror down to the plastic for some reason.But...i used polar fleece (thicker) in his carrying cage and he burrowed under it (making a mess too.)

I do have a thermometer (74.8) on the side of the cage. I am not sure if the thing i have is a rheostat or not. (http://www.petco.com/product/108340/Zil ... SiteSearch). It has autoshut off when the cage gets to the set heat. I have a 60 WATT CHE in the clamp light which is why i have the temperature controller. My room is facing east (nice view of NYC) so the room is always sunny.

His food is a mixture of:
For babies-- purina one kitten chow, purina one kitten, fancy feast turkey & chicken.
she uses a different mixture for adults. I don't think the food is that good, but will wean him off the food next week to Chicken Soup for the Cat lovers Soul (Kitten). I just counted the food and there is 35 pieces in it.

As for the top of the cage, it is off (pictured to the back of the cage). I am not sure whether or not to use it, because he doesn't try to escape. The breeder had him in the sterilite bin as well and he didn't try to escape. So i'm not sure. I'll maybe use it when he goes to my aunts in may (she's baby sitting when i go on vacation.)

Thank you so much for the help.
 

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Yes, you need the lid on. Even if he isn't interested in escaping right now I'd like to bet he'd try at some point.


...why do so many people find it so hard to use a proper top on cages? Would they really rather have 2 seconds of not having to open something more than finding a hibernating hedgie under their dishwasher or something? Nothing against you, allears.fan, but a lot of people try and get away with no cage cover when it is clearly needed.
 

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Allears.fan, I am glad you have stayed with HHC. I am glad you are asking questions. Please try to take all the info you get without getting upset. Remember we are here for the benefit of the hedgehogs.

If the breeder was using a water dish, you will need to use a dish also. It is almost impossible to switch one from a dish to a bottle. Put him in front of his food dish when you put him in his cage each time.

Lids are important, but be sure it has plenty of venilation with your heat lamp.

Hedgehogs can get carsick on the car ride home. I would only give him one mealworm a day for now. They don't need meal worms all the time. They are very fattening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks hedgiepets. I'm glad i stayed too.
Now for the cage lid question. What do you think would be the best thing to do? in my eyes i want to make a big hole on ones side for the wheel to go through and the rest of the lide a screen except for a small plastic part to separated the hole for the wheel and the mesh. I do however have a clamp lamp. With the lid on, how do i put the lamp on the cage? i don't think the mesh will be strong enough to support the lamp + che.

i recently moved the cage in the sunlight since it was too dark in the spot he was in. I know they need at least 12 hr sunlight.
 

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You can't put them in direct sunlight. Not only will it get too hot, it's not healthy for them anymore than for us to be in direct sun. They need 12-14 hours of light but not direct sunlight.

You will need to use something metal for the lid of the cage. This isn't as easy when using a bin but it can be done. Do you have any of the cube grids? If so, you can use them. Cut out an opening in the lid about an inch smaller all around than one grid. In other words, for a 14" grid, you need a 12" square hole. Drill some smaller holes and use either zip ties or pieces of wire to attach the grid to the lid. Normally, you would be able to use two grids on top but since you have to have room for the wheel to poke through you will only be able to use one.

If you don't have any cube grids, go to the dollar store and get a metal cooling rack. Looks like this. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/prod...g&cm_cat=NexTag&cm_pla=default&cm_ite=default

I would suggest since you are using a heat emitter with a bin, to drill lots of ventilation holes around the bin.

The link you posted is a thermostat. If it has a probe that goes down to the floor of the cage, it is a thermostat. If it has degrees on it, make sure that what it says is actually what the temperature stays at. Sometimes they are not accurate.

For the wheel, cut an opening for the top of the wheel to poke through. An easy way to fill that opening is to go to the dollar store and get a suitable sized plastic basket that you can zip tie to the lid above the wheel. There is a picture of someone having done that on here somewhere but I have no clue where.
 

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Yes, NO direct sunlight. Just keep a light on in the room for 12 hrs near the cage.

Nancy gave great ideas for the lid. I have never used a lid, other than over half of the cage, but I have a hedgie safe building for mine.
 

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That lid looks good but you will have to change it a little bit if the lid won't fit in over the wheel. If the wheel doesn't fit with the lid on I'd do Nancy's suggestion where you cut out around the wheel and then flip one of those baskets over the top and ziptie down. It will ensure there is no way for the hedgie to get out of the spacing around the lid where the wheel comes out of it.
 

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Yes, you can do your lid like that and cut out the opening for the wheel. You will still have to put something over top of the wheel. Because you will be putting a heat emitter on top, I would attach the wire mesh with more than just tape. You wouldn't want any risk of tape letting go and letting the emitter drop into the cage. Either use wire or zip ties to attach the wire to the lid and then once you get it well attached, you can use the tape to cover up the edge.
 
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