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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our hedghog had babies and one survived. It is now 4 weeks old and moving around on its own. At what age can it start eating kibble? Should i only put out ground up kibble in the mom and baby's cage cuz the baby might choke, or is this not a worry?
What age can the baby play in a ball?
Can I take the mom out for playtime without the baby or will it still stress her out too much. (we didn't do it yet because the baby was so young and was feeding so often but we are dying to play with our hedgehog(s).)
Thanks for any advice you can give us. We were not expecting our newly acquired hedgehog---whom we thought was a baby herself--to have babies.
Jess
 

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Just wondering, have you been able to sex the baby?


***I am not a breeder, and a Real breeder may be able to confirm/deny what i say, Always take a real breeders advice over my own as i may be wrong. All i write is what i have read/heard from other breeders, and something may be lost in translation.***

As far as i have read, a baby hedgehog will begin eating its moms crumbs some time after 3 weeks of age. usually the mom will chew up the whole kibble and make crumbs for the baby to gobble up. There is no reason to grind up kibble for them i don't believe. (Unless the mom is a vacuum and eats all her own crumbs.)

Ideally, an adult hedgehog should not play around in a ball, much less a baby. Balls can cause ripped nails due to slips in the balls, as well as not allowing poop or urine to escape. Even under supervised play, i would probably not put a hedgehog in a ball until it is full grown at 9 weeks old.

As for separated play time, i know you can begin to handle the baby at 2-3 weeks, and now by 4 weeks, the baby is almost at weening age (6-7) weeks. As far as i have heard by talking to other breeders, it is rare for a mother to reject a hedgehog at this age, as it most likely is already eating mothers kibble. I would wait for an experienced breeder to tell you the specifics of play time at this age. Have you started handling the baby yet?
 

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Baby is most likely eating the crumbs of the kibble. You could crush some up if you like. You can start handling baby and mom. If the baby is male, you need to separate them at 7 weeks. If the baby is female, you could possibly house them together indefinitely. Be sure to have 2 of everything in cage.

As for the ball, I don't use them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for both of your replies.
I THINK it is a boy baby, but only got a quick glimpse of his underbelly last week, so i am not positive.

I think the mom sometimes give him crumbs or regurgitates even(?) It seems like she is doing something in the nest with her back to me but right in front of the baby's nose.
Do babies eat the other food as well---like mealworms and eggs, and fruit and veggies? When do they start eating those?!
We have tried to touch the baby and pick it up--we waited until shortly after 3 weeks--but the mom had a really panicky reaction and it scared me. Because i don't know enough about their natural behaviour, i didn't want to touch the baby again! She was carrying him around the cage not knowing where to go. And he was struggling the whole time.
Also, the baby was very stressed out by me picking him up and didn't come out of the ball for over an hour!
Since then i have merely tried to stroke his back when he comes out or i put a little wet kibble on my finger and let him sniff it. he sometimes licks and tries to chew my finger. Very cute! When i stroke his back, he hisses and puts up his spikes. He is definitely not comfortable.

That's too bad about the ball...there is even a picture of a hedgehog on it! I guess i will use it sparingly and only supervised. I was thinking of using it now, while the mom's wheel is out of the cage because she hasn't had any exercise since the baby was born and i was worried about that. I was told by others not to put the wheel back in until the baby is totally weaned as she may carry it and it may get hurt.
Any other advice you have regarding moms and babies would be much appreciated.
 

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Deneen will be able to give you better advice on this, and i wouldn't do it until you get another breeders okay. This is strictly what i have read so far, and you should start socializing the baby so it becomes a good pet.

As explained by some other breeders, when the baby is out of the house you should give the mom her favorite treat and tell her she has a very beautiful baby and you just want to make sure he is health. Pick up the baby for 2-5 seconds then put him back. The mother should look concerned after she finishes her treat, and this shows signs of good motherly instinct, but do not stress her for to long. Do this every day holding him for a little longer each day, and eventually he should get used to it, and the mother will be less nervous about it. After a while (a week maybe, depends on the mothers progress) you should be able to handle the baby for 10 minutes at a time, just keep talking to the mother and give her treats. Eventually you will be able to play with him and the mother for closer to an hour at a time (when you get closer to the end of 6 weeks). At 7 weeks you will need to separate him if he is indeed a male, and then you should be able to begin using treats to help socialize him. By this time he should be able to eat completely on his own, and should have a separate home set up for him.

You should start socializing it as soon as possible so that it doesn't become an unsocial pet, but again, wait for instructions from a real breeder would be best. I believe there is a page somewhere were you can call breeders for advice, or even PM Deneen (hedgiepets) and she should be able to describe it to you, or provide you with her phone number.

Also you probably should not feed the baby any treats or food other than it's mothers kibble as it has a very sensitive stomach at this age and can get an upset tummy from a dietary change. It is safest to just crush up some kibble from him and leave it in the mothers bowl.
I also do not believe hedgehogs regurgitate food, she could be cleaning him.

Once again, you should be able to begin socializing him, as he will have to be separated from the mother by 7 weeks. If you think the mother is harming the baby in any way call Deneen and ask for advice. You can successfully hand rise a baby from 3 weeks if it is threatened by the mother. If you work constantly with the baby and mother you should have no issues.
 

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Im definitely not a breeder, but i believe the biting and chewing of your finger should be stopped...this could have a negative effect since he will belive that biting is ok. once again this is the opinion of a hedgie owner, not a breeder. but i would deter this behaviour in my girls imediately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That is very wise advice...I would never have let my puppy bite my fingers when she was young, so that makes perfect sense.
And i have good news, we have been able to socialize with the baby every day since our postings. He is still a little shy but doesn't roll up in a ball anymore. Just sometimes hisses at us. Thanks for the great advice.
He is still nursing but is already out eating the kibble from the bowls.
Just one week and what a difference!
Jess
 

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Actually letting babies gum our fingers is quite normal and it does help in the socialization process. Once the little toofy's start coming through then they are gently discouraged from chewing fingers. It doesn't encourage biting as long as it is not allowed after the teeth come through.

Sounds like he is doing great. :)
 
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