I did a Baby Check yesterday afternoon and found Calliope in the process of giving birth! These photos of are the proud mum and her brand new babes!
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Within the span of about 12 hours (nearly 18 in this case) the hoglets are already starting to look like miniature hedgehogs. They have tiny little hairs where their quills will be. You can already see some of their colouring-- both of them are taking after their mother who has splotches of white and grey.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I am offering Bruce, who is extremely sweet and well mannered, up for sale. His adoption fee is $100. I hate to see him go but after two consecutive tries at mating him with our females he has not been able to impregnate them despite the obvious fact that he was mating with them. Obvious, of course, because mating sounds were heard when each female was introduced to the more secluded and wheel-free mating pen.
I am unsure as to why he suddenly has lost his ability to produce effective sperm but, with our new male Nigel hitting his six month mark and ability to breed, we will be able to produce a healthy and timely set of babies for the Summer Quarter.
If you were assigned to the Spring 2014 Quarter then you have now been moved to the Summer 2014 Quarter. I apologise again for this inconvenience. This is as frustrating for me as it is for you. I understand if you wish to find another breeder. There are several on hoobly.com who probably have a baby ready for you right now. If you need a refund then just let me know. I appreciate your patience and apologise again for the inconvenience.
If you are in the new Summer 2014 Quarter then you have first dibs on adopting Bruce instead of waiting another two and a half months for the babies to arrive and be weaned. I will keep a careful watch on the behaviour of the females to make sure that they are, indeed, pregnant and not just "being hedgehogs". Hopefully everything will work out just fine. I do not see why they would not with a young, veril new male.
Please contact me at email@example.com if you are interested in Bruce. Please put "Bruce Adoption Request" as your subject line so that I do not lose your email.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
I am still sick. I wish that the doctor had a magic pill but, contrary to the American ideal of how medical science *should* work, quick fixes are few and far between.
EDIT/UPDATE: It turned out that there actually was a magic pill to cure what ails me! I turned out to be iron deficient and two iron pills per day have fixed me up pretty well :-) Hopefully I can get back to being less prone to stupid health junk and more receptive to fun things like playing with cute baby hedgehogs (just a few days away!).
- Araceli B.
- Erica M.
- Julie P.
- Elizabeth G.
- Angel P.
- Timothy N.
- Elizabeth C.
- Jessica L.
- George ?
- Erika C.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
- Breathing Holes-- Your hedgehog enjoys many different activities that make them seem like little roly poly, squat, spiky humans such as eating, sleeping and, most importantly, breathing. In order to afford them this essential part of life, you will need to give them enough ventilation in order to breath:
a) Charge your drill or put batteries in it.
b) Take the top of the box and use the permanent Marks-A-Lot marker to indicate the places on the top where you will drill. You should have at least sixteen (16) holes of a large enough diameter that you can almost fit your little finger through.
Tip: More holes means more ventilation and a less stinky cage.
c) Sweep or hose off the top to remove any remaining plastic dust.
- If Using A Box Cutter-- You can, with a considerable more effort, make slits in the top of the box. The slits should be about a half inch thick and, for the sake of structural stability, you should make them short and on the shorter side of the box top. If you make them on the longer side of the box top then you probably get really frustrated and end up cutting yourself. I speak from experience, friends.
Make six to eight of these slits. If it looks like you can fit more and still have a stable box top then go ahead and live like there's no tomorrow!
- Adding Bedding-- Your choice of bedding will ultimately be influenced by your personal preferences. I will do a post this week that focuses specifically on bedding and why certain kinds are better than others. But, for the sake of brevity, here is how to "install" the three kinds of bedding that you will ultimately be choosing from:a) Aspen-- It comes in shavings and has a mild odour. There is no specific brand that I recommend, just make sure that they are purely Aspen and not mixed with other kinds of wood. Cut open the bag and pour enough bedding to make a half-inch to an inch thick layer inside the entire box.
b)Paper shavings-- These come in different colours and are very absorbent. They have very little smell. Put them into the box in the same manner as the Aspen shavings.
c)Fleece blankets-- You'll need at least two small blankets. You can get them for quite cheap at Walmart, Target, or any drug store chain. Fold them loosely a few times and lay them inside the cage, somewhat overlapping each other.
- Placing Your Igloo-- The best place for it is in a corner of the cage. This will be important later when we install the heater.
- Adding Your Food and Water-- Never use a hanging bottle like a hamster or gerbil would use because the metal from these implements can harm your hedgehog's tongue. Instead use:
a) Ceramic or plastic food bowl-- It should be about an inch deep and three inches in diameter. Partially bury it in the shavings or place it on top of the fleece blankets.
b) Ceramic or plastic water bowl-- It should be identical to the food bowl. Do not partially bury this one. There is a legend that has been handed down from mother to hoglet for generations regarding the strange little pond in the cage. They call it Fills-Without-Rain. In order for a hedgehog to come of age, he or she must tempt the spirit of Fills-Without-Rain by playing a simple hoglet's game called "How Many Shavings Can I Fit Into Fills-Without-Rain Until It Gets Cleaned, Filed Up Again, And Put Back In My Cage?". Young hoglets, before they leave the nest, are told to play this game until Fills-Without-Rain is surely guaranteed to return no matter how many shavings are kicked into it or how many times it is dumped over. Then, younglings, you will know that you have truly entered a place of plenty.
Well, either that or some hoglets are just little jerks who rebel against their separation from mum and their siblings by making you change their water five times a day.
- The Wheel-- You've hopefully bought a wheel like the one mentioned in Part One of this series. It doesn't have any metal rungs on it that might hurt hedgehog feet or break their legs if they get them caught in between the rungs. Your wheel has a flat, smooth surface but it also is not one of those Flying Sauce brand wheels because those take up a lot of room. I recommend the Silent Spinner brand but Petco makes a much cheaper version of this style of wheel that is just as effective, cheaper, and is readily available. Sometimes you have to order the Silent Spinner. If you do, make sure that you get the largest size that they offer because what hedgehogs lack in height and length they definitely make up in girth.
To install the wheel, connect it to its metal standing base. Then dig out a square-ish area where you can put the wheel. Secure it in place by putting a lot of shavings over it's base. If you have a fleece blanket set up then just go ahead and put it atop the fleece blankets. If you are worried about it tipping over then you might want to secure it with some small rocks or something. Just make sure that you do not put anything in the cage that you would not want your hedgehog to touch like putty, glue, or things with sharp edges.
One interesting fact about hedgehogs and wheels is that most of them love them as much as they love their igloos but that they all grow into using their wheel at different ages. So if your six week old hoglet has no interest in the wheel at all just give him some time. My first hedgehog, Scout, did not use her wheel until she was six months old while some of my customers have reported their hoglets using the wheel as early as 2 months old.
- Installing The Heater-- When you remove your heater from the package you will notice that there is a one side that is black with a small square casing at one end that houses the power cord and a white side that is slippery and flat. The heater should also come with four tiny plastic bumps; these are feet which can be used to elevate the area where the heater will come into contact with the surface that you put your cage down upon. Put those little bumps aside and do not lose them.
You should have figured out where your igloo is going to be by now. Ideally, you should put it in a corner or up against a wall so that your hedgehog will have more room in their cage to frolic and whatnot. You are going to place the heater right beneath the igloo:
a) If you have not already done so, position your igloo where you want it to be.
b) Move the igloo back and fourth to make an indentation in the bedding and remove it from the cage.
c) Remove anything that might fall over when you lift the edge of the cage including the water and food bowls and the wheel. Do not remove the bedding unless you plan to get fancy and want your heater to fit perfectly beneath the igloo.
Tip: It won't.
d) When you have a good idea of where you are going to put the heater, remove the plastic white backing to reveal the adhesive below.
e) Lift up one side of the cage and stick the heater onto the bottom. Do your best to stick it on as flat against the bottom of the cage as you can. If you have to remove it and try again that is okay: the adhesive is relatively strong and will not wear out if you have to make a few attempts.
f) Remember those little plastic bumps? Place them right next to each corner of the heater in order to elevate it off of the surface where you will be keeping the cage.
g) Place everything back in the cage and put the cage where you plan to keep it. I will discuss cage placement in another post in this series because it depends on many different factors from drafts to other animals to other people living in the home and more.
- Litter Tray-- You may wish to potty train your hedgehog. If so, you will want to buy a little tray that goes into the corner of your hedgehog's cage. I am going to be honest in that I am not the foremost authority in potty training hedgehogs since I never have had the real need to do such a thing with any of mine. However, you can consult other websites such as hedgehogcentral.com for tips on how to do this. All I can really tell you is that you should get a rather large litter tray, that it should be made to go in the corner for the sake of saving space, and that I have no idea if you should use cat litter or if just using your current bedding (except, of course, the fleece) is acceptable. I will research this further at a later date as I do get quite a few questions regarding this practice.
- Odds and Ends-- I mentioned a linen towel in the last post. You will want that so that you can hold your hoglet in your lap without getting pooped on, so that you can pick up your hoglet when he is angry, and so that you can give him something else to play with in his cage if he seems kind of bored to you and is not yet using the wheel.They love to burrow and towels are great for that. I must stress that it be a linen towel because the tiny loops on a terry cloth towel could injure your hedgehog. If you do not know the difference, a terry cloth towel is a bath towel and a linen towel is usually used for dishes.
A box of non-latex gloves that can be used to pick up poop and other clumps of waste. These are also great for changing out old bedding or litter and for putting the new stuff in since all of it tends to be a bit dusty.
A cache of disposable paper or plastic bags for disposing of used and dirty bedding.
You may also want to purchase thick work gloves-- emphasis on "thick"-- for those times that you need to move your hedgehog elsewhere and he is just not going to budge.
If you think that I left something out or have any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or go ahead and leave your feedback in the comments section!
Ideal Cage Placement In The Home
Friday, February 28, 2014
So here is a comprehensive guide on how to build an awesome impenetrable hedgehog fortress!
You will need these things listed below, a pair of safety scissors, and permission from your mum or dad:
- A 1.5 foot high and 3 foot long sturdy plastic container-- preferably see-through plastic. And do make sure that it is thick because, out of all of the customers I've had over the last two and a half years, I have had one who must have bought the wrong kind because he said that the heater (which we will get to in a minute) was starting to melt the plastic. Bring the top along too because you'll need that as well.
- A drill or a box cutter-- I'm not going to lie: the drill is a much simpler way to go about this and will completely ensure that even the slipperiest of hedgehogs won't escape. But, if you don't have a drill and your neighbours are paranoid jerks (I returned his lawnmower! Was it my fault that it couldn't handle cutting bamboo? Bamboo is grass and your lawnmower is a fraud) then a box cutter is your next best bet.
- A permanent marker-- This is really really important. Get one of those big fat Marks-A-Lot brand ones. You know, the kind that kids use to write out calculus equations on bathroom walls. Little punks. When I was young we stuck to geometry, thank you very much.
- Bedding-- You can use one of three materials for bedding: Aspen shavings, paper shavings, or fleece blankets. I recommend them in that order as well.
- Food-- For the hedgehogs that I breed you will want to use this, verbatim: Purina Indoor Cat Chow. That is what I feed my hedgehogs and they are the epitome of health.
- Two small, interchangeable plastic or ceramic bowls-- One for water and one for food. Or you can have one for food and one for water. The order isn't as important as I'm making it sound.
- A wheel-- Brand is not extremely important here but it must not be made of wire. I don't think I can stress that enough. Your hedgehog will break his little legs in a wire hamster wheel. If some crazy company makes a plastic version of these then don't buy those either (what kind of sadistic company would even DO that?). You basically just want your wheel to have a smooth surface. I'll discuss this more in Part Two.
- A Zoo Med brand stick-on heating pad-- Get the smallest one possible. If you get a large one then you will probably melt the plastic that your habitat is made of, like that one guy who did that. I mentioned him earlier. I hope you were paying attention because there is going to be a test. Oh aye, cheeky, you think I'm kidding? Ask the last class that was here; one kid cried when I got to the part about ceramic bowls. Tricky, those things.
- A plastic igloo-- There is the largest size which is shaped like a wonky oval and then there is the size right below that which is shaped like a proper circle. It looks like a little sand castle mould but with a little foyer. Go ahead and get whichever colour suits your fancy. I recommend getting a see-through one of these as well.
- A small linen towel-- Arthur Dent didn't go anywhere without one and your hedgehog shouldn't either. Ten extra points if you buy one that has roosters on it. One hundred extra points if it has 42 of anything at all on it.
- A cat-box poop scooper -- So that your hedgehog can try his paws at digging to China. Or you can use it to take out his larger-than-you-thought-they-would-be droppings.
- Bottled water -- You may not drink it but your hedgehog does. Never give your hedgehog tap water. If you have a super awesome water filter on your 'fridge or a Brita brand-like filter then that is fine too. You don't have to buy Evian (but I bet little Spike would like it every once in a while) but you can at least get the store brand of water if you're on a budget and don't have a filter.
- Other junk -- If you bought your hedgie from me then I have probably given you a little cat ball that has a bell in it. They like to push those around. If I didn't then shame on me. You can buy a set of four of them for, like, 99 cents so try not to get too bummed out.
You can also buy a little litter tray where you can potty train your hedgehog if he or she shows signs of intelligence (another post for another day).
Treats are also kind of fun... hedgehogs are insectivores so you can give them little to medium sized meal worms. If you hate touching bugs then don't go this route as it will not make them love you more and it will not get them to perform special feats of daring-do like sitting up, rolling into a ball on command, or doing a triple kick-flip on their tiny little skateboards. Meal worms are really squirmy and they have tiny little feet near their head because they are, essentially, beetle larvae. In fact, if you leave them in the cage too long, they may turn into said beetles and fly off. Gross. I grew up keeping turtles so they don't bother me much but, like I said, if you are even a little bit squeamish about bugs, these are not going to be fun for anybody.
Consequently, if all of this sounds confusing and scary and you'd rather that I collect and assemble all of these things for you I will gladly do so for an additional fee. I won't tell anyone either and you can be all like "Hey! Look at this neat-o thing I built with my bare hands! Raw power, baby! Oh and there's a hedgehog in there somewhere too...".