Monday, December 31, 2007

Your Cage Awaits

I put all the finishing touches on the cage. The wheel is mounted on the side, with additional mounting holes so I can later reconfigure it later if I so choose. The green bin is shorter, so I think I will be keeping the lid on there (which has holes drilled out) to prevent potential escapes. Now to clean all the tiny pieces of plastic off the floor!

Tunnel Construction

Tomorrow is not only the start of a new year, but also the start of my hedgehog ownership! To prepare, I had to finish the cage. Above are my tools: power-drill (thanks Simo!), exacto-knife, and space heater. The heater is for keeping my hedgehog warm, but also useful for keeping the plastic warm while making holes into it - I unfortunately managed to still get some cracks in the plastic. After tracing an outline of where the tunnel would be, I used the power-drill to make holes along the edge. With the exacto-knife, I cut between the holes, and cleaned up the edges.

After cutting out the hole, the tunnel is wedged in. I used a 4" PVC connector pipe bought from a hardware store. Ta-da, tunnel complete!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I am heading home tomorrow for Christmas, and when I get back I'll be picking up my hedgie baby! So I shall leave you, my friends, with this small Christmas project: my advent calendar.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cage Starters

So I made my first shopping trip to Target and Petco to get some (many) of the things I needed. I even found a natural wood shelter that I think my hedgehog will like - refuge from the world of plastic. As I started putting everything in the plastic bin, I realized that the exercise wheel takes up a lot more space than I expected! Now I must use my engineering skills to make a tunnel between the main plastic bin and the secondary (green) plastic bin. According to my measurements, these two bins should still fit in the HOL storage cube from IKEA. I also realized that the small animal corner litter pan is too big to be in this size of a cage - so I plan on exchanging it for the smaller version, and I will try it out to see if it'll work (if not, I guess I'll get a small rectangular one).

UPDATE: I got the HOL storage cube from IKEA today!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Shopping List

Now that hedgie-hood is coming up soon, I need to start my shopping list. First off, the cage (or hedgie-home):
  • Plastic Storage Bin
    • The clear plastic storage bin has been raved about as the best cage for a hedgehog on multiple websites. They are about the right size, can't be climbed out of, and are safe for small hedgehog feet. An additional bonus for the engineers out there, you can craft your own multi-bin estate by cutting holes and adding tubes.
    • size: at least 54 quarts, with tall walls
    • UPDATE: I got 2 plastic storage bins, connected together by a PVC tunnel
  • Heating Pad
    • In case it gets too cold in the room, a heat source in part of the cage lets the hedgehog get warmer if they feel cold (but can also move away if it gets too hot).
    • option: small pet safe heating pads
    • option: the hand warmers from places like REI work in a pinch as well
    • UPDATE: I got a space heater to keep next to the cage
  • Bedding
    • Aspen shavings
  • Water Bottle or Bowl
    • An idea from some folks in Michigan is to drill a hole for just the nozzle of the water bottle, and hang it on the outside of the cage to reduce the possibility for the hedgehog to climb out of the cage.
    • The water bowls meant for reptiles are resistant to being flipped over.
  • Food Bowl
    • I still have my food bowl from when I had a hamster, and I plan on using this for now, however I may need a slightly larger one for the future.
  • Hiding/Sleeping Place
    • One of the many available igloo like domes from pet stores may work, but PVC pipe and cloth-bags have reported as being favorites for some hedgehogs.
  • Exercise Wheel
    • An 11 inch wheel with a solid surface to avoid a fat hedgie. This I'll likely need to order from online unless I plan to make one myself.
    • UPDATE: I was able to find an appropriate wheel from Petco
  • Litter Box
    • I hope that my hedgehog will learn to use the litter box, in which case a corner based one would be on my shopping list.
    • Non-clumping, preferably non-dusty cat litter.
And other items:
  • Traveling Carrier
    • A small cat carrier for traveling with my hedgehog, especially on his car trip home from the breeder.
  • Food
    • Dry cat food (though apparently the IAMS brand is not recommended)
    • Other treats to be discussed later
  • Toys
    • Toilet-paper rolls are popular, along with various things to push around and explore
  • HOL Storage Cube from IKEA
    • To house the above plastic bin cage, and store other hedgehog belongings, my plan is to get a HOL storage cube from IKEA. It has plenty of ventilation, while allowing for a more sophisticated look than a plastic bin ;)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Update : Baby Hedgie Waitlist

The latest news is that I'll be getting my baby hedgehog in early January. He's already born and will actually be ready to be taken home on Dec 16th, but because of my holiday plans, I want to wait till I am back in town to pick him up. There are three male hedgie babies, two grey and one cinnicot, and my guess is that I'll be getting a grey colored one.

Now this means that I have to get started on preparing a hedgie home, and a hedgie welcome home party!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Decorations

I wanted to share some of my Christmas decorations, as hedgehogs have been craftily incorporated :)
As you can see, this hedgehog has a prime location near the top of my Christmas tree.

Below is Antero holding his own red tree standing in the glow of the lights beneath my coffee table.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What's in a name?

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet

It took me a good while to find a good name for this blog. I wanted to share some of the suggestions given to me:
  • cutelittlespinythings
  • erinaceinae (the scientific name for hedgehogs)
  • ball of spines
  • hogspot

The back-story

I tell people "I'm getting a hedgehog!" and they give me a crazy look and ask why I want a pet with spikes (note: hedgehogs don't have spikes, they have quills). Hence, the back-story.

A long time ago, when I was a little girl, my father gave me a toy stuffed-animal hedgehog, who I named Antero. Despite being a quirky and unusual choice for a stuffed-animal, Antero instantly became my favorite toy who has moved with me back and forth between the East and West coasts.

While in college, I looked up hedgehogs on a whim, and became fascinated with the world of hedgie pets. Of course, at the time I was living in a state that didn't allow hedgehogs, so my dream of having a hedgie was put on hold. That is, until now.

I am now living in a state where owning a hedgehog as an exotic pet is legal, and I am on a wait-list to get a hedgehog baby sometime in early 2008.

This blog is a place for me to share my journey as a hedgie owner with my family and friends, as well as provide tidbits of useful information to others who dream of having a hedgie pet.