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  #1  
Old 02-18-2013, 04:59 PM United States
akane akane is offline
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Default hedgehog cage revamped

The main hedgehog cage has gone to fleece. Smaller cage to follow but it's currently empty since the hedgehogs are in together for breeding. We are also waiting on hedgie bags and might get some igloo covers instead of stuffing them with tshirts.
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2013, 06:39 PM United States
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That's a beautiful fleece. In addition to the pattern and colors, it's great how the majority is light so you can pick up on health issues more quickly (blood, messy poops, etc...). Nice find on the silver/grey igloo too. I haven't seen that color before. I'd swap the t-shirts out and put some fleece in as a replacement. Their little nails can get caught in the threads/stitches in the t-shirts.

So, right now, they're both in that one while you fix up another? My thoughts run in two directions at once: (a) it's early in your hedgehog ownership, so probably not the best to be breeding yet, pull her out now and hope they haven't mated and (b) well, they've probably mated, so let's set those concerns aside at this point and make sure all bases are covered.

Thinking about the cages, Momma-to-be should be on a substrate... like shavings. NOT pine. Because once she has her babies, you cannot disturb the next for ~6 weeks and leaving fleece for 6 weeks is going to get pretty rank. Are you planning on moving her to the smaller one? Or moving "dad" there and swapping out the fleece for substrate bedding in the big one? Either way, you'll want to make that transition sooner than later so she feels comfortable in her new environment before giving birth.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:18 PM United States
akane akane is offline
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I have a chunk of fleece that needs washed and then I'm going to cut it up to replace the tshirts. I thought I would have to go with substrate for a pregnant female but I was told by others to just clean the fleece with a damp paper towel. I was going to see just how easy fleece is to clean and decide what to do. So far I've found poop smashed in to their tshirts making me think this won't clean as well as guinea pig poop. I may move her to the small cage which is just about 4 sq ft since she won't need a wheel anyway. Loki acted like he'd never seen shavings in his life so I don't know. I didn't see that breeder's full setup since he came to us second hand after 2-3weeks with those people who didn't have a clue. I only talked with her.

Then I have to get a hoglet weaning cage built. I have a 48x30" cage with a single guinea pig in it that I might split the other guinea pig cage and move her so I can use it too. I also found this awesome drawer system which is about 3 sq ft a drawer and has ventilation holes all the way around so a little small but you could put 3 young hedgehogs in a stack, one per cage, without the ventilation problems of a normal storage container and usda requirements are only 2sq ft each. I might just tear down the 48x30 which is taking up most of the room and do containers like that instead of building all my own cages. I wish I could find some that were 4sq ft or more each though but I highly doubt most of the big breeders actually make that size of cages for all their hedgies either. These would just be temporary for weanlings up for sale or emergency use.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:27 PM United States
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Makes sense to keep Loki on fleece in the big cage and shift her to the little one on a substrate bedding. I can't imagine trying to spot clean momma's fleece. Other than changing food and water, you can't touch momma's cage for 2 weeks post birth, then it's still pretty dicey after that. And, of course... spot cleaning dried urine? Might be an interesting experiment to try this week and project your results out 6 weeks into the future.

Miss Bella prefers to pee on the fleece behind her wheel... while I put extra fleece back there to soak it up, some goes through to the liner. I change the extra fleece out daily and blot up anything else that I can. Even so, by ~day 4, it's stinky. Maybe you'll have different results... though I have a hard time imagining it.

Yeah, piggie and hedgie poops are quite different. I had piggies before my first hedgie. I brought baby Satin home... she was 6 wks old; ~200g. I was expecting something a bit bigger than a piggie poop, then she lifted her tail and out came this huge log. I find if they poop overnight and it's not squished into the wheel, I can picked the logs up easily enough.

You'll want a wheel in the smaller home prior to birthing... not immediately before, but I'm picturing she'll move over there and be there for a few weeks before her due date.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:50 PM United States
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I was told not to give wheels to pregnant hedgehogs after the first couple weeks so they rest and put all their energy in to the babies they are creating. It's actually in the FAQ on this site as well.

Last edited by akane; 02-18-2013 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:13 AM United States
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Yes, quite true... I was thinking about her wanting a wheel between now-ish and when it's time to pull the wheel.
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