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Hedgehog Discussion Huffing & puffing, curious noses, balls of quills, and all else hedgie.

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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2003, 02:20 PM
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Post interested in getting into hedgies

as many of my crazes have started, this one started at noon at my LPS.

the same as with my ferret and my bettas and my frog, it was my LPS.

i swear they're becoming millionairs off me!

yes, at noon today i fell in love with a little boy-hedgie. i held him a bit, he chittered incessantly and told me his name started with a 'G' before i was torn away from him by my mother. =) i've read a big hedgie FAQ and found out i have all the nessacary ingredients to be owned by a hedgie already! all the stuff to make a proper hedgie-proof cage, all the food, the bowls and toys, the time, the bedding, everything was lying right in front of me all along!

i've always loved porcupines because of their spikes, i love spikes, and now i find a miniautre porcupine in a pet store, for sale?! ohmygod, it's a dream come true! xD

first, before i go about putting together his nice new cage i'd like to ask the owners how high maintenance a hedgie is, how sociable, what to expect, and etc etc. i'd prefer getting it straight from the owners rather then from a random hedgie FAQ.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2003, 03:45 PM
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I am still fairly new the the hedgie community myself... BUT from my experience so far... they are very low maintenance, they are noctournal so you won't see him much at all during the day. Really they are kinda antisocial persay, but once they warm up to you & relax they will crawl all over you. So far my hedgie doesn't like to be bugged much... (we are still getting used to each other though, so that is not going to discourage me!)

Jodi, Scarlette & Cait are way more experienced than I though... so I think their thoughts & opinions shouhld be valued at this point Good Luck!
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2003, 06:33 PM
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just realized that no one can tell me if his cage would be good unless i describe what i planned on doing o_T

at first i wanted to buy him one of those ridiculous Hagen Space Habitrails, and realized it's way to small! so i've settled on a big red bin my dad got from work, the top is a bit hard to figure out though. it isn't like tupperware, you can't take the lid off and it sort of locks when closed correctly, i can't drill holes in either so i'm going about finding a nice hunk of wire that i can use to cover the top. the bottom would be shredded newspaper (which we have-- in abundance!) and he'd definately be spoiled to death with a big ol' fuzzie blankie and a 'cave'. i'm still trying to figure out an excercise wheel though, which he'd definately need as he'd be on a diet of Actrium and Iams Kitten and Iams 1 year food along with my ferret, Boo. don't want a fat hedgie now do i ^^

would this be a well enough cage for him? we have a monster 50 gallon tank used to house fresh and saltwater fish, two guinea pigs and a ferret at various times and no matter ho whard you scrub the dried pee won't come off and the silicon is peeling, but i'm positive my dad wants to keep his tank. perhaps i could find a nice ten-twenty gallon tank and use that for a hedgie? if not would the tub be a nice home for him?

=) dankse!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2003, 07:11 PM
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Definitely do not put him in a 20 gallon tank. That is way to small. The red tub sounds much better if it is bigger. You can also go to your local discount store and get a really big Sterilite tub. I used 2 96gal ones and attached them using a plastic ferret tube. You can use a dremmel or drill to drill air holes and I didn't even use a top on mine, the walls were high enough so she couldn't climb out. If she was unsupervised then I would put the tops on. SuperPet makes solid plastic wheels in a 12" size that are reasonably priced and you can find them at Petco or Petsmart, I think that's the one Fstybrat has. Hope this helps you.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2003, 11:29 PM
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First off, i suggest you hold off on getting the hedgie for now. In 1 day you probably only know one eighth of what you should. I had wanted one for 4 years, and researched for over a year before i got one. These are not the type of pet that like to be held and cuddle and be petted. They are better off left alone.
PLEASE do more research.
They need a living space of a MINIMUM of 2x feet. A tank is not good because there is no air circulation. They need a solid wheel like Dena mentioned.
They need to be fed HIGH quality hedgie food and cat food. Do a search on foods and there will be lsits of GOOd foods, which are notn ones found in the Pet isle of a grocery store. Like 8in1, Spikes delight are some good hog foods, and welness, california natural, chicken soup for the cat lovers soul, and some good cat foods. It may be hard to find these in your area, but i dont know.They also need fresh foods everyday, mealworms, crickets ect. You must find an exotic vet in your area that has EXPERIENCE with hedgies. Research on WHS(wobble hedgehog discease SP?) And other diseases they can get. It costs ALOT just for a check up, and for an emegency you must be prepared to spent over 200 dollars on them(minimum)
They are also very messy. The wheel needs cleaning everyday becasue they poop so much.
please DONT use shredded newpaper. It can harbor mites, the dye from it can irratate their skin and the dye will get all over then. They will also probably try to eat it.
Also for their Behavior, be preparedto have them click, hiss, pop, curl up, and do everything they can to prevent you from handling them.
Hedgies are good climbier so please dont use wire for the top. They can get claws or toes ripped off if they get stuck in the wire.

Please dont take this the wrong way. I am NOT trying to stop you from getting a hedgie, its just that you need to do way more research before you even consider it. I suggest going to Chins N Quills, because they have a VERY large hedgie section and there will be more info in that specific animal(the site is for chins and hogs)
If you have ANY questions at all please just post them, and i would love to help, and im sure the rest of the hedgie ppl would too. I would love to see you eventually get a hedgie, but from your post i already know that you have taken in some misleading info.
talk to you soon!
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2003, 09:47 AM
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ee. long post o_O

i've switched the tub for a better one that's more like tupperware and quite large, i could barely fit it on the monster shelf i have in my room. it won't need wire and can be drilled, better for hedgie-toes =)

thank you cait for all your help =) i'll definately try to get much better cat or hedgie-food, but i'm in a really dinky town and it doesn't have much. three stores stocking maybe 7 different kinds of cat food and two kinds of ferret food, no hedgie diet. this is excluding the no name brands. i can definately find crickets, they are everywhere around here and seem to enjoy using our home as their home, we always have them chirping and buzzing away.

i've read any scented wood chips are no hedgie-friendly, my neighbor always has mounds of cedar chips so that was my first idea, but after reading i decided on newspaper. now... i'm not sure if anywhere around here stocks any other kind of wood chips, perhaps i could find something else like wood-stove pellets or, since they look identical to the pellets, could rabbit food work? i read hedgies will nibble on their bedding, would the rabbit food/pellets affect him in any way?

i'm prepared to clean constantly now, i have a ferret who is convinced the little box is his bed and fish and frogs who make such a big mess of their tanks it's insane, and i happily clean it out whenever i must. if hedgie needs a clean wheel every day hedgie would get a clean wheel =)

i think that's it, if i come up with anything else i've found i'll post it up. thanks for all your help!
post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2003, 12:59 PM
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Yes, im in a very small town too and it it hard to find any foods. The only available ones are Pricklypets and Welness so it travel to the next biggest town(about 4 hours) For my 8in1 and other kinds.
Ok, CEDAR is a NO for any animals. Im glad you found that out. Put kiln dried Pine is fine, i use it for my girls's litter boxes. Also Cell-sorb is i think one of the best litters out. You only change it about every 3 weeks, and just spot clean it everyday, and it does odor and wetness well. Many hedgie owers(including me) use Liners. Try For some GREAT liners and hedgies bags. I use liner and a liter box, becasue if they are not litter trained then the liners get very dirty.
And for a cage, yes those sterlite containers are good if you drill holes in for ventilation, but hedgies can climb so you will need to use a lid. You may want to try these cages though(or jsut take a look) . I use these cages, along with many other hedgie owners and they work great. I get a box for only 16$ at Costco. The only difference between the ones thown on those pages and the hedgie ones is hedgies are great climber like is ai, and you need tobuild a top(wich is very easy and works well) Using these you can always buy more and expand them. When i first started i had Bridget in a 2x2 cage, then 2x3, now 2x4 and Penny will also be ina 2x4 cage.
Ok, do you have an exotic Vet in your area? Please phone the vets in your area and ask aobuot there expeireince with hedgies. Please dont think taht you will be able to find a vet when the situatuin comes up, you should find a vet BEFORE you get a hedgie, and make sure they are knowlagable enoough to tend to them.
Oh, nd no, rabbit pellets are not a good choice as they will nibble them.
Please check out these links for some GREAT hedgie info that will help you out alot:
There are a few more but i cant think of them right now.
Can you list the types of Cat food that are availible at your store there?
Also, by crickets i dont mean the wild black ones. PLEASE dont ever feed outdorr wild bugs. They can be very harmful. Even if you dont spray pesticides, your neighbors or their neighbors mgiht and you dont know where those bugs have been. I mean crickets froma petstore. Most have them along with emalworms.
Oh, and how old are the hedgies in the petstore you have been looknig at? Are they all togther(males and females)
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2003, 08:02 PM
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thanks for the links! actually yes, we have an exotic vet in the region, surprisingly. i brought my ferret in for his last distemper and rabies vaccinations about a week ago, she's quite good. she actually keeps all kinds of fuzzies; from chins to ferrets to ratsand even, yes, a hedgehog pair =) she works with her own animals for vaccines and the like, so i'm positive she can do hedgies, but i'll doublecheck.

food brands. hrrrrm. well, there Iams, Actrium, i think we have got 8in1, but otherwise i haven't checked many. my dad buys the no-name kind since our cat prefers that over anything, and i just buy Iams and Actrium for my ferret. since the buggers picky i haven't looked into the others foods, but i'll check them the next time i'm out which should be tuesday.

wild blackies are out, right. i'll keep the harmful buggies away from little boy. perhaps i can get the store to special order mealworms and crickets, they're already out and about getting me some breeding bettas and they always have to order horse supplies, i'm sure they wouldn't mind a few bugs.

the hedgie is being kept in a hamster cage, a single boy to it. he is being cared for, but it was either hammie cage or wire rabbit cage, nuh-uh. he was born july 30th, so he's actually quite young.
post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2003, 11:48 PM
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Ok thaks for all taht info
Well, most sounds ok, but Iams is not a very good kind so if you can stay away from it. And also, makle sur the bottom of there cage is solid. NOT bars.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-21-2003, 10:00 AM
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i'll get some good food for hedgie and keep it out of my ferret-food bin. the bottom of the cage is very solid, and when i held him i checked his toesies. i know impaired toes can be serious in some animals, like birds and such, so i checked the hedgie =)
post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2003, 10:07 AM
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Hi! Sorry I haven't responded quicker but I had company in town so I've been off the board for a few days. It sounds like Cait, Dena & Kay have given you some good advice though.

I'm also glad to see you are doing research on Hedgies. They are not the pet for everyone. They are not cuddly like a cat or dog. They are nocturnal and will do most of their playing while you are asleep.

Aquariums should not be used for a cages. There is not enough ventilation. The two big sterilite containers cpnnected are what most hedgie owners use.

As far as bedding....if you are going to use shavings, you should use Kiln dried pine shavings. Alot of hedgie owners don't like shavings because they stick to the hedgie, are not as absorant, etc. Newspapers are not a good bedding - the dyes can be harmful. For bedding/litter most people use is wonderful bedding and highly recommended!

As far as food...Hedgies should have a combination of high quality cat food and good hedgie food. Two good brands of hedgie food is 8 in 1 and Spikes Delight. Some good cat foods are Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, Nutrience, Premium L'Avian & Wellness. Iams is not recommended and has been known to cause liver cancer in hedgies. If you cannot find any of these foods in your local stores you will need to order them online. Its very important that your hedgie has a good diet!! They should not just be on any cat or hedgie food! If you need links where to order food online, just let me know.

Your hedgie will need store bought mealworms and crickets also. DO NOT feed crickets from your yard. They only need about 2-3 a day so its not very expensive to keep those supplied.

Hedgies can also have fresh fruits & vegies & chicken. Some hedgies are picky eaters and some will eat anything. There are a lot of foods you can add to their diet that will help them live long, happy lives.

Its also important that your hedgie as a solid wheel to exercise on (hedgies are prone to obesity). Here are some wheel links:

I would also recommend that you register at (they have TONS of great info). This is also a good page with lots of links to products:

Also, you can check in this hedgie section and read lots of advice that others have received that were in your same situation.

Just be sure a hedgie is the "kind" of pet that you want...
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2003, 08:04 PM
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Yah, i totally agree, make SURE that they are the pet you want. Ok, Well, i think it would be a good idea for us ASO to tell you the Bad things about hedgies. So that after hearing all the bad things, you have a better idea of how badly you want a hedgie, or if your not prepared for this type of pet.
--->They poo, ALOT and the wheel needs washing daily
--->It may be hard to find the Good foods in your area
--->They need a LARGE cage
--->They need a wheel*****
--->You should be able to make the time to socialize with them for an hour daily
--->If not handled when young, they may be very shy and grumpy
--->Be prepared to step on MANY MANY quills..And it hurts! They get easily stuck in the carpet!
--->Vet bills are VERY high in cost. Becasue hedgies are exotics.
--->They are nocturnal, which may be a good or bad thing, depending on the hours you are awake)
--->Hedgies are Prone to fatty liver disease and WHS(which will eventually take their life)
--->They live only around 3-7 years
--->Ok, many people ould imagine there poo's to be small like a rabbits of something..they arnt! they are HUGE!! Its weird to see something taht small poo so huge! hehe
Thats all i can think of, sorry if i already wrote that somewhere..Its just good that you dont jsut see a cute little hedgie in the store and not know waht you are getting yourself into!
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2003, 08:06 PM
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ooh, by the Way JGawana-- i LOve your new sig!! (if its even new, i jsut havnt seen it b4) It looks great!
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-23-2003, 08:03 AM
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Thanks Cait!

Good points! Just ask Kay about the poop...she emailed me one day and said.."I can't believe the size of their poop!"
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-10-2003, 11:17 PM
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Actually, rabbit pellets can make GREAT bedding. The biggest drawback is that ifyou have an area that is consistently wet (under the water bottle or bowl) it can mildew if not spotcleaned regularly. It absorbs odor very well, is very cheap (check at local bulk feed stores, I can get a 50 lb bag for about $7 US), is not dusty (except the very bottom of the bag, and just throw it out), and if eaten, is harmless and passes through in one giant poop.
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