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Author Topic: New owner of 3 year old African Pygmy HH - Any advice pls.  (Read 683 times)

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Offline Bammbulance

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New owner of 3 year old African Pygmy HH - Any advice pls.
« on: Friday 16 December 2016_ 14:57:47 »
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Hello! I am new to this forum and I am also a new owner of an African Pygmy Hedge Hog.

I don't know a great deal about his past, he was a rescue animal, who went to a rescue home, so at the very least he had one previous owner before the rescue home, he is currently 3 years old (So I'm told) so may have had more owners, my sister decided to take him on (She has 3 kids and it was quite a loud / bright environment and they kept him in the highest traffic area of the house).

After 6 weeks It got a bit much for her and I decided to take him purely to help her! (This was 3 weeks ago), so he has been moved 4+ times in the last 12 months (From what I know it's not great for his stress levels). So I am at the very least his 4th owner.

After I learnt about his past which can't have been fun I've decided to devote myself to giving him a better one! As much as he poo's everywhere I can't just give him to the next person, as I know I am the kindest most caring owner he will find, he is now mine. I renamed him Herbie (Hebe for short), he was called Sonic by my sister's kids. Talking of poo, I did get him a litter tray but I can't find any suitable litter filling! I got some for a cat but I'm concerned you are not meant to use this? (Which I am not) Is there any litter filler types you might suggest?

He has not got a cage, I got rid of it (Stored), rather I keep my floors clean and he has the run of the whole living room and kitchen, he has a nice bed area (In a purchased hedgehog box, which has a heat pad placed under it for warmth), his food/water is beside the bed along with his wheel and a big tree branch for him to explore (I normally scatter some dried meal worms over and under the branch for him to find, along with a few around the home), at night he is constantly running around my home (wow he's fast) but he also goes directly to his bed area for food/water, and still uses his exercise wheel, but appears to enjoy running around the house more (Hopefully not looking for an escape route).

At first I was feeding him individual meal worms by hand, but he bit my finger twice (Not during eating, but after, when my hand was empty), I read this means he wanted more food, so now my hands aren't associated with food cos it kinda stings!

So that's what has gone on in the past 3 weeks since I got him, I Think he is happy, but he is still in the settling in phase, I have only handled him about 7 times, he normally gives me one little hiss when I go to pick him up but I think that's more him being startled than upset, as he's quite happy on my lap, he loves my armpits and the back of my neck (No idea what he does around there but he likes scratching my neck with what feels like all 4 paws, I'm quite hairy back there, like a hedgehog perhaps?)

He ordinarily does not wake up until around 10pm, so sometimes he is awake when I'm about to go to bed. although I often stay up late myself, my main concern is making him social, as if he wakes up so late he won't get used to my presence, should I be waking him up earlier? Should I be ensuring I handle him once every day? Or shall I just let him settle in for now and not really interact at all?

My sister gave me a book Elliott Lang's African Pygmy Hedgehogs facts and information, so I've read that all and am pretty sure I'm looking after him well.

One last question, I try to hold my hand close every day so he gives it a sniff for my scent (He often goes for the palm of my hand and licks a couple of times), which raises the question, how hygienic do I need to be, I have been washing my hands obsessively after any interaction with him or his stuff but have no idea if they carry anything nasty?

Thanks for any advice or tips, I'd love to hear him purr or chatter one day (I've read they do when happy).

Calbum (A species of human just slightly less nocturnal than a hedgehog)

Offline Bammbulance

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Re: New owner of 3 year old African Pygmy HH - Any advice pls.
« Reply #1 on: Friday 16 December 2016_ 15:01:04 »
p.s. In terms of health, he drinks A lot, he eats A lot, he Poo's A lot, and when he's running around the house I see nothing bad, he looks very healthy, when he uses his wheel it can be as much as 30 minutes of solid running! And that's after running around my home for a few hours, I weighed him when I first got him (420g), I weighed him a week ago and his weight had not changed, he never runs out of food but is not gaining weight due to this.

Offline hedgielover101

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Re: New owner of 3 year old African Pygmy HH - Any advice pls.
« Reply #2 on: Friday 24 February 2017_ 18:35:14 »
On terms of how much you should be handling him, you should try to handle him every day even if it's only for a few minutes. This will get him used to your picking him up. If he's having a hard time settling in giving him a smaller area may help it to not be so daunting. I usually feed my hedgehog straight from my hand and if he bites me I take the food away for a while and then bring it out later. This will teach him that biting means no goodies. Also you can give him different kinds of treats, such as small bits of fruits or vegetables. My hedgie LOVES bananas. As for waking him up earlier, you could start a schedule where you handle him every day at the same time so he gets used to your schedule. But you shouldn't just get him up super early. If he usually gets up at 10 then try getting him up at 9:45 for a week. Then 9:30 for a week and so on. Don't pull back his awake time too much though. Hedgehogs are still nocturnal.

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