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Discussion Starter #1
ok so at the vet today, i felt as i was doing everything wrong?!?!? food (made a post in that section) and temp. & bedding.........

for temp...
yes he agrees with the temp 75-85 depending on the hedgehog, but he said that supplemental heating in one section of the cage like with a digital heating pad on one side of the cage up to 90 degrees so he can get as close to it as he needs & when he needs....

for bedding...
he said i should have about 5 inches of bedding where he sleeps so he can burrow. and the other bin can have the fleece liner if i want.( i have 2 bins connected)
 

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he is way off about temp.....over 80 degrees causes aestevation (sp?) which is kind of like hibernation. Most recommend a temp of 74 - 80
 

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I know a lot of people do not bother with a lot in cages for hedgies to burrow in and i started out myself not putting much more than fleece liners in the enclosure when i started and a few cardboard inners,wheel of course and sleepy pouch.
A year on i keep my hedgies far differently to what i started out,and more in keeping with their natural basic instincts,i no longer keep them in zoozones or vivs and instead use all wire plastic bottomed cages.I use either dust free shavings or shredded pet bedding from [email protected] and have at least 4-5 ins in the bottom of the cage.I use igloos now as apposed to sleepy pouches and give them much more of an insect based diet and no longer feed fruit or veg.I also started using heat mats underneath the sleeping quaters and allow temps to drop slightly at night.Since i have done all that all my hedgies have been much much healthier,before i saw a few bacterial skin infections but now i have not had 1 issue since changing things around and not being so sterile in the way the cage looks.
 

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You could use bedding in one bin and a liner in the other if you like. Most people use liners because they can't harbor mites and don't have dust that can irriatate hedgies eyes, ears, nose and privates. Also liners save you money in the long run because you just wash them when they get soiled, no need to buy new bedding all the time. What most people do that use fleece liners is to cut up strips of fleece and put it in all the hidey places so the hedgie can burrown in the fleece strips.
 

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heavenlyhogs said:
I think the max temp is 85,but then im pretty sure temps in africa are way higher for their wild relations.
APH are a domesticated breed, they have never existed in the wild. It is safe for them to hibernate/aestivate in the wild, but not in captivity.

Also in the wild they have an average lifespan of about 2 years, id that what you want for your pets?
 

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A temp of 85 is safe and the max to my beleif.Thats all i meant.
And it's much higher for their relations in the wild ie,cross of species,i didnt suggest it would be safe for our to expirience higher temps.
I have a couple of hedgies that would not thrive at 74 and some who would manage it just fine.They are all very different in that department i have found.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i think its good to talk about the difference options because not all hedgies are the same. and i agree, i want my hedgie to be closer to their natural instincts, like we all know yes hedgies (wild or domesticated) like to burrow, and warm temps., and insects... we can not get comfortable where you are, all things have room for improvment and that includes the way we care for our pets...
 

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APH really shouldn't be compared to their wild genetic ancestors.
As stated APH is a completely domesticated breed, and as such many of the things that apply to wild four toed, or algerian, hedgehogs may not apply to APH.

YES APH are insectivores, which is a high protein diet containing a lot of chitin, which seems to act as a dietary fiber, regulating bowl movements and cleaning the intestinal track. We feed them cat food because it closly mimics what we "think" they should be eating, and by expanding their life span from a 2 year max to a 10 year max, i think we have done a pretty good job. Fruit and veg are given as treats because the hedgehogs like them. Personally if it will not hurt the hedgehog and he enjoys it, i will likely feed it to him as it will make him happy.

YES APH are capable hibernate, but in the wild hibernation occurs seasonally, and thus the wild european hedgehogs "get fat" before hibernation season so that they can survive the hibernation. APH do not gorge before a hibernation, and have no extra fat stored up to make it through a cold month like european hedgehogs. Algerian and Four-Toed hedgehogs on the other hand do not hibernate often in the wild, as the climate is much warmer in Africa. Instead they aestivate, which is a form of hibernation for high temperatures. Aestivation lowers the hedgehogs metabolism so that it doesn't use much energy. The hedgehog will hide somewhere cool and try to move as little as possible.

NO hibernation is not good for APH
NO aestivation is not good for APH

Both of these lower their metabolism and are suggested to lead to illness, with hibernation being more dangerous than aestivation.

heavenlyhogs is right, different hedgehogs need different temperatures. As hedgehogs get older they will often need a higher temperature. I do not however agree with lowing the temperature at night as that is when they are most active. If a hedgehog is perfectly fine at 74*F, but one day you crank it up to 80*F and then lower is back to 74*F it can trigger a hibernation attempt.

Although a 1* change may not be that big of a deal, it is not ideal to advise new owners who may come read this that changing the temperature rapidly is OK. A lot about care with hedgehogs is personal opinion, and the guidelines are their for you to choose. Most hedgehogs will try to hibernate under 70*F and aestivate over 80*F. While some may be fine under and over these temperatures, they are few and far between. That is why it is said in multiple places to have them between 74*F and 78*F to make sure they are not to cold or hot.
 
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