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Hi all! I've been lurking these forums for a few months (since I started seriously considering a hedgie), but I've just joined now because I brought home Dagny last week. She's an adventurous and brave little girl, about three months old, and she's everything I could have hoped for in a hedgehog. I expected to spend a lot of time coaxing her out of her shell and a few uncomfortable weeks before we got used to each other, but she's totally fearless (as far as hedgies go!) and loves people in general. One of her favorite things to do is run around my arms and lap and then burrow into my hoodie and take a nap. I love her so much, and it's only been a week! I just have a few questions about her that have been puzzling me:

1. The other night I put Dagny back in her cage after socializing time. She snuffled around for a few minutes, and then climbed into her litter box. Instead of pooping or digging, she flopped onto her side and kicked her legs, then jerked into a ball. After a second or two, she uncurled, still on her side, and did it again! She did this about five time before climbing out of her box like everything was fine. I was completely bemused. What was she doing? Does anyone else have a hedgie who does this?

2. How much out-of-cage time is too much? Dagny loves to sleep in my hoodie pocket, and sometimes I'll just leave her there while I move about the room or sit at the computer; she spent about three hours there last night before she got restless. Is it okay for me to do this? How much time on average do you guys spend with your hogs outside their cages?

3. She loses a lot of quills, in and out of her cage. By a lot I mean maybe around fifteen a day - they just fall out onto her cage liner, or they get stuck in my clothing while she's snuffling around. Is this okay? I know it's natural for hedgies to lose quills, but is this something to worry about?

Thanks everyone! I'm so excited about little Dagny, and sharing my excitement with a whole board of hedgie enthusiasts makes it even better. :)
 

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sounds like you found a very good hedgie, Congrats!

1) Vex used to do this as well, not to the extend of kicking, but he would dig in his litter box and lay on his side for back for a few hours, then run off to his fleece. He stopped doing this a few days about, once he actually started using it for the washroom, which i am very proud of him for.

I think he did it just because he was unfamiliar with the surroundings, and having changed him from carefresh to liners, i think he wanted something he could dig a nest type thing in. One way to stop him from digging in it and laying in it is to take his stool from his wheel and placing it in the litter. Show that you placed his poop there and give him a small treat, hopefully he will catch on that poop goes there, and will begin to do it himself.

What type of bedding and litter are you using?

2) I usually have vex out of his cage for 2-3 hours a day on average. 1 hour is general cleaning in the morning, and he just curls up on my bed and sleeps and when a syringe feed him at lunch to get his appetite up. In the afternoon depending on when i get home he explores my room for about an hour and a bit, and then comes and lays on my lap for 30 minutes before clawing at his cage to get back in and then starts running on his wheel.

3) She is probably going through quilling. Do the quills have a little ball attached to the bottom of them? If so she is most likely losing them naturally (there is always a chance it could be fungal). If they appear to be "broken" off, it could be a problem with mites. If she often kicks when you pick her up in a ball, and seems considerably cranky when you touch or put something on her quills, it may be quilling.

I wish you the best with little Dagny (i really like the name, very original) and once again, welcome and congrats!
 

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Welcome to HHC, katie. And congratulations on your little lady. Dagny sounds like she's a wonderful hedgie. :)

1. Maybe she was taking a dust bath. Some hedgies like to roll around in the dust from litter. Are you using a dusty litter?

2. A few hours out of the cage is fine. All day isn't the best idea, because hedgies do need some privacy, but 3 hours is acceptable. :) Something like 12 hours out of the cage I wouldn't recommend because that's like being up all night for them--and who wants to be jostled around all night? I know I don't! I get mad if my boyfriend comes to bed and wakes me up more than one time (sometimes I even get mad about the one time :lol: ). The constant moving around that most people do wouldn't be suitable for having the hedgie out all day like that.
I usually spend 2-3 hours a day with Quentin.

3. She's 3 months old, so she's right at quilling age. Most hedgies quill between 8-12 weeks. This just means that her new adult quills are coming in, so she's losing some of her baby quills. You might be able to see some new ones poking through the skin if you look at her back. As long as she doesn't have any bald patches showing up, there shouldn't be anything to worry about. This can last a few weeks up to a month or two. After that is over she should be losing very few quills.
 
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