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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! Two days ago we met a few kids who were playing with a baby hedgehog. They said that they had him for a few days and that mama hedgehog didn't come back to take him (they were keeping him outside on the driveway). Since I don't really trust kids with baby animals, I asked if I can take him and their parents were very happy to give him to me. Now my problem is that this baby is a wild hedgehog and in Romania there is no ONG or rescue team for them and I have to rely on the internet and other animal lovers. The hoglet is around 80 grams and has a very nice appetite. I live in an apartment with a balcony. Would it be alright to keep him outside during the summer while I try to give him enough food so that he reaches 800 grams for the winter. I believe he is too tiny to be released somewhere more safe. Or what is the best thing to do with this little guy? Are there chances for him to have diseases?
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Holly is a female African Pygmy Hedgehog. She weighs about 463g and was born May 28, 2019.
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First off, he is very cute. If it is warm during the summer, I believe it would be okay for you to set up an outdoor enclosure for him on your balcony. Since he will have been mostly raised in captivity, you may want to consider keeping him inside and not letting him hibernate during the winter. There is always a possibility that wild animals may have diseases and if you have a vet near you, you could take him there and hope they can just test him for a few things and see if he is okay, even if they don't normally take hedgehogs. He is very tiny, I would try asking the kids where they found him and trying to see if you can find any other hoglets or the momma's nest or something. If not, I would keep him outside if it is nice, maybe give him a bath, and eventually, any diseases he may have picked up should dissipate? I am not sure if that is how it works, but maybe lol. What are you feeding him? Good job trying to give him a good and safe home. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First off, he is very cute. If it is warm during the summer, I believe it would be okay for you to set up an outdoor enclosure for him on your balcony. Since he will have been mostly raised in captivity, you may want to consider keeping him inside and not letting him hibernate during the winter. There is always a possibility that wild animals may have diseases and if you have a vet near you, you could take him there and hope they can just test him for a few things and see if he is okay, even if they don't normally take hedgehogs. He is very tiny, I would try asking the kids where they found him and trying to see if you can find any other hoglets or the momma's nest or something. If not, I would keep him outside if it is nice, maybe give him a bath, and eventually, any diseases he may have picked up should dissipate? I am not sure if that is how it works, but maybe lol. What are you feeding him? Good job trying to give him a good and safe home. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have :)
I don't know what is considered warm for them, but the temperatures rarely drop below 20° Celsius. I have the money to raise him, but I sort of lack the space. Can they live on a multi-layered cage since I don't have a lot of space on the ground? On the balcony though I do have more space than in the apartment. I did talk with my vet (I also own 2 chinchillas) and he said that he is too small to make tests on him, so for the moment he is in quarantine until he gets a little bigger. Since I have 2 chinchillas, I wash my hands and change my clothes often to avoid any type of contact between them. Is this too much?
The parents who agreed to give the little guy to me said that they found 4 hoglets in the driveway and since we live in an central area of the city, they put them in some bushes and waited 3 days for mama hedgehog to take them. Each morning they had to look for them as they each went separate ways. By the 4th day (when I arrived) they found only this little guy at the base of a tree, right next to a parked car. The block were they live has a small garden and maybe the others hid themselves so well that they remained undetected. I also think about the others and I did walk by that area to look for them, but I didn't found them. I can only hope that mother nature protects them somehow.

So for the little guy my boyfriend made a meter long enclosure out of cardboard and I filled it with blankets so that he can burrow and hide. I am giving him water in a ceramic dish, but I don't really notice him drink and I am feeding him cat wet food and shrimp. I don't think this is the best food out there, but this is what I could get from friends. I don't know if I am giving him too little food, but he always eats it like he is racing againts someone else. I also gave him a carrot, but he wasn't interested in it. I tried to give him a bath using a toothbrush, but he did not relax so I just poured water over his back and tried my best to get rid of the dirt (he looked clean when I got him, but man, that water was nasty after I was done with him 😅). I gave him some wood balls to push around and a itty bitty terracota vase. Any tips on safe toys? Also, when I am feeding him shrimp I hide it in the blankets since the shirmp is dry so that he still has the instinct to search for food. And is it normal for them to bite? Any advice on how to stop this behaviour?

Sorry for the long reply, I am very new to this and I can't really find a lot of details on wild hedgehogs. I believe he is a Northern white-breasted hedgehog as he has a small white patch right below his chin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I also forgot to mention two things. One, his poops are all different types. Some are wet and soft, some are hard, some are dry. Is this normal? I asume the wet ones are because of the cat food and the dry one because of the dry shrimp. Two, will his size vary acvording to his food input? I am a bit scared that I don't have the space to have a 35 cm long creature inside the apartment for the winter.

And since he is wild, should I maybe see if I know someone with a closed garden to let him live there and then maybe release him? Even though I don't really know where I can release him and be content with the decision. I want to give him the best chances to live a happy life, in the wild or not.
 

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Holly is a female African Pygmy Hedgehog. She weighs about 463g and was born May 28, 2019.
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Normal temperatures for a hedgehog are between 22-26 C, but it's okay if it isn't always there. Yes, a safe multilayer cage is better than a small cage. I'm glad you talked to the vet, I don't think there are a lot of cross-species diseases, but it is always good to be safe :) You can give him veggies and other types of meat, just do a quick internet search to see if it is good for hedgies, or ask on here. This is what I found on shrimp
Hedgehogs can eat shrimp. However, shrimp has a 1:0 calcium-phosphorus ratio, which can affect the blood ion balance. ... Just like fish, cooked shrimps will cause your hedgehog's poo to smell bad. Some pet owners try to reduce this smell by feeding their pets frozen rather than fresh shrimps.
Any small things that won't get dusty or rot with pee or poo on them is good for them. I commonly use catnip-free cat toys for mine. Yes, biting is normal, especially with a hedgehog that was wild. It just means he isn't happy at the moment. Not sure about the poop, but yes, he will grow if he eats better quality food and maybe not as much if he doesn't. But he will get bigger. Yes, when he is bigger, I would suggest doing some research and slowly letting him go to an enclosed garden. He will get quite big.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Normal temperatures for a hedgehog are between 22-26 C, but it's okay if it isn't always there. Yes, a safe multilayer cage is better than a small cage. I'm glad you talked to the vet, I don't think there are a lot of cross-species diseases, but it is always good to be safe :) You can give him veggies and other types of meat, just do a quick internet search to see if it is good for hedgies, or ask on here. This is what I found on shrimp
Hedgehogs can eat shrimp. However, shrimp has a 1:0 calcium-phosphorus ratio, which can affect the blood ion balance. ... Just like fish, cooked shrimps will cause your hedgehog's poo to smell bad. Some pet owners try to reduce this smell by feeding their pets frozen rather than fresh shrimps.
Any small things that won't get dusty or rot with pee or poo on them is good for them. I commonly use catnip-free cat toys for mine. Yes, biting is normal, especially with a hedgehog that was wild. It just means he isn't happy at the moment. Not sure about the poop, but yes, he will grow if he eats better quality food and maybe not as much if he doesn't. But he will get bigger. Yes, when he is bigger, I would suggest doing some research and slowly letting him go to an enclosed garden. He will get quite big.
In the apartment the ideal temperature would be 20° C, since my chins don't like it warm and they need the AC on all summer long. Should I buy a heater for the little guy, who we now call Mister, or would a blanket be enough for him? I will try to diversify his diet and see what he likes. Once he gets big enough to visit the vet, then I will probably know what is the best things to do with him. I gave him a whole walnut (shell included) and it is his favorite thing to push around. He tries to bite it, but his mouth is too small to even grab it. He loves to look for hidden shrimps under the folds of the blanket.

Thank you very much for your help!
 

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Holly is a female African Pygmy Hedgehog. She weighs about 463g and was born May 28, 2019.
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That might be okay as long as he gets lots of warm sun. Make sure what you are feeding your hedgehog is not poisonous for them before they eat it. I read that because of their mouth shape, nuts are not good for them. I looked online and found a website that you might find helpful. I bet there are a bunch of resources on hedgehog central as well. What do wild hedgehogs eat? - Hedgehog Street
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That might be okay as long as he gets lots of warm sun. Make sure what you are feeding your hedgehog is not poisonous for them before they eat it. I read that because of their mouth shape, nuts are not good for them. I looked online and found a website that you might find helpful. I bet there are a bunch of resources on hedgehog central as well. What do wild hedgehogs eat? - Hedgehog Street
Well, my apartement is on the sunny side so I have the sun shining all day long. He did not ate the walnut, as it is still in it's shell and he doesn't have the power to crack it. I am not giving him anything before researching if that is good or not (except for the carrot as I knew they can eat legumes, but apparently carrots should be avoided). Little Mister gained 10 grams since I got him.
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Holly is a female African Pygmy Hedgehog. She weighs about 463g and was born May 28, 2019.
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Good job! He looks cute.
 
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