Hedgehog Central banner

1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

[ Hester Sue ]

Time to introduce my second hedgehog, Hester Sue. She arrived in the middle of my Vera Lee's illness so I didn't have the time to interact with her. Of course she was kept in a seperate room and I changed my clothing and even showered between visiting her and Vera who was kept in the Hedgehog Mansion (ferret nation double decker) in my room. Since Vera passed yesterday and after a major cleaning of the cage with bleach water followed by the vinegar mix with extended airing time, she has now taken up residence in my room.

Her story in part is told in the rescue section, I found her and her brother up on eBay Classifieds, which I see now was Kiliji, apparently eBay took them over. After talking to the woman via e-mails, I thought it was someone who knew what they were doing with hedgehogs, but in fact turned out to be the opposite, someone who has many pets and does animal shows with other people. I met her in Alexandria Bay to pick up this girl, so she came and wanted to show me both of them. I arrive, she's in a white mini-van, there is a Mastif Dog with her in the front seat, which of course starts barking his head off the second I pull up, get out, a little introduction, and then she pulls the bin out of the back with two really ticked off hedgehogs balled up in a corner, yeah, together, one bin. We talked for awhile, I did mention pregnancy and she said oh no, that she listen at night for the sounds of them making whoopie, I said very little, and in short I'll be holding my breath for at least 60 days. I hope she's right and that Hester isn't pregnant for various reasons, the obvious being a litter of inbred hedgehogs.

She's 17 and very large, Vera was a petite hog so I'm suprised by the size and of course, thinking preggers though from the sounds of it, there is no way of telling until a litter appears. She has had little handling, so she is a giant bull of clicking, hissing, popping fun, and actually to me it is kind of fun since Vera was so tamed and out going, I'm experiencing the true hedgehog experience. But she is slowly coming out of it, getting use to her surroundings. Sound seems to be a major issue, just about everything like the hiss of a soda bottle opening makes her twitch and semi-visor her face. But she is coming around, at first even the TV had to be muted before she'd become active, but now she's being out more with it on, and other sounds like fans since its been hot here.

She's also a climber, something Vera never attempted. When I cleaned her cage I put her in the pen I had built for Vera which was out of pine boards, 4 inches tall. I turn around and she's got herself half way over the top of one corner, I run over before she escapes and of course balls up and drops down. So I'll be investing in the ones I've seen around here on HHC. She loves her wheel and does about 90 on it.

Tonight was our first bonding session, picked her up with fleece cause she turns into a very sharp spikey ball, but I sat here at the computer for a good two hours and after maybe 15 minutes, she finally unballed and then proceeded to snooze on me. So its been a trip, now for the cute pictures.




- Annoiting with the ball, she's been doing this constantly, but well, new smells.


- Her Cage Setup, was built while she was secluded, this was her first night in it, she decided to sleep in the entrance of the second level tube, you can see her fat behind. When I got up this morning, she decided sleeping under the liner was more suited to her taste.


- The Hedgehog is not pleased.


- Wait, is that a mealworm?


- Hester at 12 weeks in her classified ad.


- Hester at 12 weeks in her classified ad.

PS: She is licking her nose a lot, but not sneezing, nor any mucus of any kind coming out, but either way we're on URI watch for the moment, I'm hoping its just allergies as the pollen is thick like butter around here, plus she stopped after about a half an hour of being fully awake. I got an air purifier that I haven't been running and the windows have been open 24/7 due to the heat, so we'll see. Purifier will now be on 24/7.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Re: Hester Sue

Need some suggestions here, I've been working on socializing her but she is one mean mofo, not biting but giant ball of hissing, clicking, popping, totally enraged hog. I just tried to get her out of the cage to snuggle as that is what she has been doing and just totally got spiked in my fingers, through the vent tube that goes to her loft. Its where she chills at night until about midnight, sleeps until about 9:30, gets up, eats and drinks some kibble, then chillaxes in the tube until about 11:30, then its a whole night of on and off rampaging around the cage itself, lots of wheeling.

Main question, should I totally rip her from her bed to bond with her, seems to me like she'd not enjoy that and associate me with having her peace and quiet sleep disrupted night after night. In the end I'm thinking she might be one of those hedgehogs that might not want anything to do with me, thanks to the people who had her before that didn't bother to do anything with her. I'm fine with that in general, I know she's in a better place, but man oh man.

And yeah, I know its only been a week, mainly wanted to ask about getting her up while she is sleeping, only time will tell with this one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Re: Hester Sue

I was told by the breeder I got Winston from that you should get them out for bonding regardless how grumpy they are about it, otherwise they learn that huffing and clicking and being extra pointy gets them their own way, and so they're more likely to act that way. You have to handle her for her to get used to you, so, unfortunately (for her) you're going to need to wake her up. I find, with Winston, he's grumpy at being woken up, but if I hold him covered up by his fleece blanket, he'll just go back to sleep on my lap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Re: Hester Sue

congrats on sue :) hope things get better
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Re: Hester Sue

She does the same as Winston, though never actually goes to sleep. Like I said in her original description, she kind of watches me with one eye, but she's a very paranoid girl.



That's her being snuggly or at least saying "I give up, I'm just going to lay here". She wins tonight cause she's held up in the tube. I'm thinking maybe I should design a different ramp for the loft that would allow me to be able to grab her out of it. Anyone got any suggestions on what to use as the ramp floor itself? Its a Ferret Nation cage, so it has that wire type ramp, its being used to hold the vent tube at the moment. The sides are easy, I can get plexiglass from work and scrub it down, but just unsure of what to use for the ramp floor besides wood. Maybe wrap it in fleece?

Also would help since she's got the habit of going to the bathroom in the tube itself, and at the moment its zip tied down and hard to clean out. I'm thinking wrapping the ferret nation ramp with fleece, then attaching high walled plexiglass on either side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Re: Hester Sue

I just wanted to check cause I can't find the right answer or well, a general answer through my forum searches. Whats the general age range for quilling? Hester I think just hit 19 weeks or so, I'd have to check (I put her birth around Feb 1st) and I do believe has gone into probably the final quilling phase. Put it this way, I cleaned and changed her liners out Sunday night and when I got her out monday, there was a good 20+ little quills kicking about her sleeping area (she sleeps under basically one of her liners). She's still too, umm, "lovely" to get a good check, and she is extra "lovely" since this started. But I think I read it can happen anywhere around this time, give or take a few months.

Besides that bonding is going, well kind of fine, she's going to be one that takes time, that is for sure, but she is a cutey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
Re: Hester Sue

The fact that you've already gotten so many pictures of her opened up and laying out on you says to me that she will socialize well. It took me months of handling before Quigley would even unball for more a second or too. In all of my early pictures of him he is either balled up or hiding his face with his visor Quills. His quills rarely lay flat like a relaxed friendly hedgehog. He is also sensitive to noise but over time I discovered which noises are more likely to set him off and so can try to avoid them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Re: Hester Sue

Yeah I got no doubts with time and effort she'll become a well rounded hedgehog, its just the home she came from was so rough with sound and she wasn't handled much until I got my hands on her. Even so she comes out of the ball within a minute, except right now but I'm sure that's cause she's gone into quilling.

Her things are noise and shadows, S sounds kind of like hissing or say the shadow of my arm moving across her face will prompt her to drop visor, and at the moment any contact makes her raise her quills, picking her up prompts the ball and much noise. But in the end, she's totally cool and evil acting hedgehog. Main thing is Vera my first hedgehog who was only with me for such a short time was such a well socialized thing, never balled, clicked, pops or hissed. Would huff at me when I went to pick her up and right near the end she even stopped that. The norse gods graced me with her just to show me what a well social hedgehog can be like. She didn't even ball up at the vets. Then Hester comes along and has shown me what a hedgehog can do, but she is a cutey.

So is Loki in solitary from what I've seen, he's keeping himself pretty hidden from me, I think last night was the first time I actually saw his face.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,559 Posts
Re: Hester Sue

Yeah when I bought Quigley I had no idea what he looked like, or if he was male or female. It took a few days of sitting with him in the dark before I got a peak at his face and a few more before he opened enough to sex him. Good luck with both your little hedgehogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Re: Hester Sue

So it seems Hester's sudden quilling has stopped, was like a layer of her tiny baby quills from the looks of them. Have seen changes in personality in the last few days, good ones.

- Up until tonight her cage had been 3/4th covered, leaving maybe a 4 inch space at the bottom so i could see her in general move around, but also made the cage darker. Zero cover tonight, minus a towel I have pinned on the right hand side of the cage, this is namely to block off the general light of the tv at night (remains on all night).

- She was less aggressive with me, less jumps towards noises and this includes the addition of me installing the AC on friday, which produces a fair amount of noise. She was running on her wheel and stopped for a moment, even kind of laid and stared at me. I moved across the room to her cage (roller chair + wood floors = fun and yeah lazy) and was able to basically open the door and rest my chin on the cage, we stared for awhile and then she ran with me right there.

So things have improved, I think this is the three week mark with her. She's now laying down in a tube (4 inch vinyl vent tube). This seems to have become habit with both. She naps either in her loft tube or a second piece I have just in her cage during the night, more or less naps and I know she's up at different times at night. Going now to see how she reacts to me.

Loki on the other hand has taken up residence in his loft tube, guess he had a fight with his hedgie bag... :roll:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Re: Hester Sue & Loki of the North

Well I had something totally different posted tonight which includes a few questions, but then I had a turning point with Loki that kind of said "this one will be easy", so I deleted what I had and restarted.



Behold, Loki of the North, named so since there is already another Loki hedgehog on this board (Sela). This is the name given to him by his previous owner, I liked it so i didn't feel the need to rename him.

Since after the joy that was my Vera, I decided to see how two were. Of course this falls into Vera's story, as several days before the arrival of my 20 week old Hester Sue, Vera became sick, and soon passed away. So for only a short period of time my house had two hedgehogs, one who was very sick and being taken care of, while the new arrival was just left to the wind. Of course after Vera passed, I began the social work with Hester Sue, which as you can read in her thread, she's a piece of work.

I've developed the bad habit of watching Craigslist, eBay Classifieds (which was the US version of Kijiji), and have posted a few rescues up on HHC from what I find, I came across this guy. What really caught my attention was the fact he was only a couple of towns over, Vera came from Oswego New York, which is a good 3+ hours from home, and Hester Sue came from Cape Vincent New York that was 2+ hours away. There is only a couple of breeders here in New York, in Western NY which might as well be the south pole to me, so I became interested in Loki due to the fact he was only two towns over.

So i struck up a conversation with the guy. The story is simple, and it seems I've become the frat house of college hedgehogs. Hester Sue was a hedgehog who's owner is going to college in the fall, sadly she came from a bad home who's owner did not socialize with her and the girls mother became the 'caretaker', and not an overly good one for hedgehogs. She was more or less sold just to be 'rid of'.

Loki on the other hand came from a caring owner, who is also going to college in the fall and pets are not allowed in the dorms, and he didn't want to 'sneak him in' just in case of being caught, and just the general stress of strangers all around. Sadly the college he is going to, one of several local, has also had some 'pet problems' involving other dorm members and more or less animal abuse. Someone had a small finch which was bought as a joke for one friend, who grew sick and annoyed at it, so they proceeded to torture it with sound, ended up in a trunk with a big booming stereo and killed it.

Loki was described as a cuddler when woken up in the afternoon or early evening, enjoys snuggling armpits and just being held. Loves to wheel and plays tug of war, said was friendly to people and would lower his quills quickly once he got a good smell.

The guy himself is going to college with the idea of becoming an exotic vet that would be capable of taking care of the really strange ones, such as hedgehogs and for around this part of New York, even ferrets to a degree. Closest good vets are 1.5 hours west of my location and there's no interstate around here. (I'm in the northern most part of New York, across from Cornwall Ontario right on the border).

So he came home a week ago Saturday. Isolation from Hester is being done in the same room, I have the cages seperated at maximum distance, air filter box between the two, and I don't cross handle them daily unless I take a shower, and have been dedicating every other day to one or the other.

One funny thing that caught my attention was I had asked about age several times in our e-mails back and forth, and never got a straight answer, until I was there to pick him up. Turns out he is 2 years old, and this is his second rehoming. Doesn't matter to me, yeah I want a baby at some point in my 'hedgehog career' but the older ones need homes too. So I took him.

[ March of the Hedgehog ]

I picked him up a rainy Saturday morning (June 5th). Guy lives out in the country on a horse farm, also had learned that his mother is a vet who teaches the vet tech courses at the local college, thus very proper animal oriented people.

We talked for a bit, he had Loki in a shoe box with his hedgie sack and little pop tent (thats the same size as he is). He gave me that, and his old cage, and off we go home. I check a few times on the short drive, 30 minutes maximum, and he kind of bounces around in the box from his sack to his tent. You look one time and just saw the sack filled up, look again and his butt was sticking out of the tent (he fits in, like a glove).

I had originally written this post as more of a record of questions I had, I was unsure if I was socializing with him correctly, Hester Sue's sessions are totally different since she is a beast, a nice beast, but since he was suppose to be socialized well, I know it would be a different path. All his days this week have involved him in his sack, sleeping on me while I sit at the desk.

When he arrived here Saturday, he stayed in his sack until Sunday Night / Monday Morning. He came with a Comfort Wheel, and was living a storage bins with some sort of wood bedding, he was changed over to my own bins and fleece. But I attached the Comfort Wheel to the side of the bin with the base on, and it seemed kind of tall, took it off and then just secured the wheel with no base. Went to bed early, which my room is kind of an apartment too, so its my tv, computer, bed, cages, etc. The cage itself is on the other side of my night stand, so close to me while sleeping.

Not sure what woke me up that night, roughly 3am, had gone to bed at midnight. For some reason turned on the light, and found him in the wheel. He is a big fella, first time on the scale tonight and he's 456 grams. I thought Hester was big at (420 grams) while poor Vera was a mere 295. Sadly his bulk had made the wheel press against the side, and no longer function. I felt bad for him, reached in which of course made him run at 90 for his sack, took the wheel out, put the base back on, put it back in the cage and then take a small tool kit for computers I had laying around, wrapped it in fleece and made a step in front of the wheel, went to bed.

Wake up Monday, I find him in the bottom of the wheel, I think shocked cause the second I wake up, the lights come on in the cages (6:05am). I open the cage and put my hand near him, and of course visor down with a big huff and some clicking. I check his food and water (and Hesters) and go do my morning routine. Checked on him again before I left for work (12 hour shift).

That night I decided to put up a cover over the front of the cage, he hadn't come out the previous nights, so I felt maybe with the whole change of habitat and surroundings, maybe it'd help if he was kind of hidden. Did the trick, did that and turned off the lights, about an hour later I hear the wheel start going.

Did this all week. His days have been Monday - Wednesday - Friday for socializing which as said, involved him in his sack, laying on my stomach here at the computer desk. Every once in awhile he'd spin around, take a look at me, and spin back in.

Now I had been contemplating trying to dump him out of the sack to socialize with him, but the first night I did find green poop in the cage, didn't want to stress him out too much. But last night, he was actually out and about in his cage, and I decided to reach in and grab him. Balled up, made lots of noise, did come back out quickly but was very cautious. Spent maybe 10 minutes on my bed, he explored just a little but visored up to everything.

Then tonight is when I felt, everything was going to be good with him. Again snatched him out of his cage tonight, balled up and popped and clicked at me. Picture above is us at the desk with him under my desk lamp. But tonight he actually explored, was less grumpy once he came out of the ball, did get into my armpit but wanted to annoit, and I didn't feel like having my flesh bitten (she's bit me once after much licking and me knowing it was coming). It was cool and of course the pictures below is from our quick 30 minute session.

Well what kind of told me everything was going to be alright, was the fact that he let me pet him (minus any face or underbelly touching) with minor or no hissing. And well, not to be gross but when I put him back in the cage, he seemed cool enough with his new home to basically make 'love' to his hedgie bag aka "boy time". I felt if he is comfortable enough to do that, without the cover over the front of his cage, that he'll bond quickly and well with me. He's sleeping (of course) right now, and then he'll be back up and wheeling at 3am. The other thing was there had been a lack of poop in the cage, and well I found a man size one after a short period of wheeling, before we had our session.

So I present, Loki of the North, of the Hedgehogs of Saint Lawrence County. Can anyone roughly guess his color, cause this was an issue with the owner. He wasn't exactly cheap for a 2 year old, but from what I see proper rehoming price range. But he was described as a "Liver/Chocolate" hedgehog, and that he had more browns than the traditional salt and pepper, which of course I know he's confusing the colors that people like to call S&P, but since those are rare.

I can work on more pictures if needed. He has no pinto markings, the quills are uniformed with no patches.









Mask is very light, white around his eyes, and his nose is a brown grey color. Not the best of pictures, but concidering even I didn't know what he really looked like until last night.
Renamed this topic to include both my hedgehogs, as since I'm usually bored about this time of night on Sunday, planned on posting updates on their progress and such here and there, so I figured I'd dump Loki's story into here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Re: Hester Sue & Loki of the North

Hester Sue I've grown slightly concerned about. She has that whole "might have inbred babies cause she was housed with her brother" situation over her head, and maybe I'm just crazy but it seemed like she's shifted personality wise. Besides being friendlier as said last week, though she is still the heavy clicking, popping ball of joy when I take her out of the cage, there's just been a few other things. Nesting is one, she's at least several times formed a nest in the fleece, rather than just a nice sleep cave. Noticed this her last cage change, and she seems to be doing it now with the cage liner itself. She's abandoned sleeping under the extra liner in the corner, and back to sleeping on the plastic under her actual liner. Built her a quick nesting box attempt, shoe box with an opening at one end, filled and lined with fleece. I think she's in it right now, but she won't be to bed until 5am. When I pull the liner back to get her out or after she's awake and eating, been really careful just in case...

Loki is slowly coming along, more active than I had realized. I unfortunately had a four day weekend (doesn't help money wise), so I've been around a lot, up at later hours. He gets up around 10pm, eats and uses the bathroom, have taken note his bathroom use is always inside the igloo (has no fleece in it cause he doesn't like it), so he's obviously a shy boy who wants a roof over his head. He no longer sleeps in his hedgie sack and is now totally living in the vinyl tube that went to his loft. Removed it mainly because he was sleeping in the tube, giving me zero access to him, nor did he like the loft. Kibble count good, I need to get him on the scales again, forgot to do it tonight when he was out. He is up at random points in the night, but he seems to like the dawn, which sucks because the house lights come up at 6am, and he's always awake. I look in on him and you can see that frozen expression on his face, like "oh crap". Need to get him that good wheel, that comfort wheel is just too narrow.

PS - If this is annoying, I can just start a journal site for them, probably should anyways but I got enough domains going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,368 Posts
Re: Hester Sue & Loki of the North

I don't think it's annoying at all! I read all the newposts every day & stuff like this is good to know. It helps me to see if my hedgie is acting odd and also gives me ideas of things I should be noticing. I don't think there is such a thing as too much info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,417 Posts
Re: Hester Sue & Loki of the North

I never tire of the stories and the pictures. Your stories are of real life and progress of your hedgies; this could never be boring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
Re: Hester Sue & Loki of the North

Agreed, please don't stop posting these stories, Puffers.

I think Hester's behaviour signals that she did, indeed, catch the preggers from her brother. << That's definitely not good, I hope the babies will be born okay, if she's going to have some.

Either way, good luck, and keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Re: Hester Sue & Loki of the North

Thanks, just wanted to make sure I wasn't that annoying new hedgehog keeper who just won't shut up, hehe. Plus I figured if anything, might help others out, because I can see where people would get turned off really quick with a hedgehog. God the youtube comments, Oh so cute, where do you get one, and so forth. Then they get their hedgehog and don't understand why its scared, mean, balling up, clicking and popping at you, then the poor fellow ends up in the classifieds cause he wasn't a hamster. Hester is a prime example, we're one month into it, and she's come a long ways, but she's still in general a mean spikey ball, but that was lack of handling up until I got her.

Loki on the other hand, it was his night to be out with me and he is coming along quickly now. Still nervous but he actually laid and chilled on me for a few, then back to exploring me. He's also coming out of his tube without so much darkness, still got the towel covering his cage, but there's a 4 inch gap in the bottom so I can see him eat and such. I'm hoping to get him a piece of 5 inch PVC and attempt to get him from sleeping in the vinyl tube, without just taking it away.

Hester on the other hand...well. She took to the shoe box, no messed up liner with a giant lump in the center, but she just did something that's got me spooked. After I put Loki in his pen, I looked over and saw her looking out at me from her loft tube. After I went downstairs and washed my hands and changed my shirt, I opened the cage to see how she was reacting to me. Still giving me the visor when a hand gets near her, but she actually allowed me to touch her head without her freaking out, enough that I ran my finger gentle back and forth on her nose, it was enough to make me worry maybe the AC was sending her into a hibernation attempt, though its 78 (no major drafts near the cage, some air current but just general movement of the air itself).

But after I left her, she ran on the wheel for maybe 10 seconds, got off, was half hanging out of her litter box, looking like she might be going to the bathroom, slide off the side to the entrance of her loft tube (her favorite spot to go to the bathroom), could see the tail sticking out. But then she made a mad dash to the shoe box and got in it. This is unusual for her, as she should be wheeling right now. So I'm pondering, if she's gone into labor. She's never gone to the bathroom where she sleeps, and I don't think she's constipated though it seems like the amount of poop has slacked off, but it also might be dropping into the litter box under the wheel, looks like there are few in there.

So my question is right now, do baby hedgehogs squeak when they are first born, or does that occur later. And should I wait to remove the wheel until I know she's had some, or say remove it during the day just to be sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Re: Hester Sue & Loki of the North

Oooo. That does not sound good. How is she doing right now? I don't know if they make noise right away or not, but I think you should check every 1/2 hour. Just a careful, quick lift of the fleece to see if anything is there. Hope they are born OK.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,486 Posts
Re: Hester Sue & Loki of the North

If she's pregnant and close to term she shouldnt' have a wheel in her cage at all. Wheels need to be removed before the babies are born. Sometimes you'll hear squeaking but other times you wont. If the mother is taking good care of the babies and with them all the time they'll rarely squeak and they usually squeak when hungry, and when looking for mom. Just leave her alone and don't peek in her nest. If she's had them and she's staying in the nest she's taking care of them. Also they don't each much for a day or so after the babies are born so that can be a sign as well. Good luck with her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
Re: Hester Sue & Loki of the North

Oh boy. Sounds like Hester Sue has some inbred babies. << Definitely take the wheel away, and DO NOT DISTURB HER, as Nikki said. Best of luck, Puffers, let us know how it's all going. (But don't bug Hester to get us an update or I shall smack you.)
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top