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angriesthedgehog

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PostSubject: Handrearing. ...   Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:39 am

Two destroyed litters in three days... not sure why but recently the neighbours have been drilling so I'm wondering if there was more while I wasn't home. Both had been perfect mothers before.

The second mum left me this little guy (named Ghost) who has serious attitude for a newborn. I've never successfully raised a hoglet especially not from birth.. but here he is anyway. Day 4 and I'm knackered already!




And any advice is welcome too! I'll need it
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Nellie
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:55 am

What are you feeding on Hayley?

The best formula is the Royal Canin Puppy formula, they tend not to suffer bloat when using this powdered milk or any extra vitamins.

It isn't easy but it can be done - a little and often, we have a tendency to flood the babies with milk causing bloat.

I used to pack a shoe box with fleece pieces and place a small heat mat on the outside and then stand the whole lot in a large cardboard box as they can and will get out if you out not careful and it was feeding every 2 hours.

Let me find the feeding guide x

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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:59 am

One of the most difficult times for hedgehog owners comes if a new mother hedgehog rejects some or all of her babies, or otherwise can't manage to provide for all of them. Unfortunately, it is fairly common for hedgehogs to eat their babies, and/or reject them, especially if it is a first litter, or if the mother was disturbed (mother hedgehogs need considerable peace and quiet). Many hedgehog owners are bothered quite badly by these actions on the part of the hedgehog, as they are extremely foreign concepts to humans, but they are (sadly) perfectly natural and normal amongst hedgehogs.

Before deciding to hand feed, try returning rejected babies to the nest (using a spoon to avoid getting your scent on them), or if possible by fostering with another mother who is nursing (rub the babies in bedding from that mother's cage to have them smell familiar). Many breeders will purposely breed two females at the same time for this purpose, though I caution that fostering does not always work.

All that having been said, what do you do if you decide you need to hand feed baby hedgehogs? The first thing is to convince yourself that sleep is an undesirable luxury, as you will be feeding the babies every 2-3 hours (yes, that means night and day) for about 3+ weeks. If you're still up to trying, what do you feed them, and how?

I'll address the easy part first -- how. For this, among the best items are plastic syringes (without needles), eye-droppers, or plastic pipettes (the type with the suction bulb at the end). The idea is to be able to provide a minute but reasonably available stream of 'milk' to the baby in a controlled manner.

Next is the question of what to feed them. Generally, the rule about avoiding or limiting cows' milk for adult hedgehogs also applies to babies, and maybe even more so. That having been said, I have heard of one little tyke who wouldn't drink anything else, and at last word was doing just fine.

Caring for the young is simple enough as long as you have a good milk to feed them. I have discovered that sheeps' milk is the closest in composition to hhog milk and acts as an excellent substitute when mixed with raw egg. It may for the first few days cause swelling of the anus, but as soon as they start teething (3 weeks) you can add mashed banana for fibre and their problems clear up. It's a very high protein diet but one must watch for a vitamin B deficiency which can be caused by too much raw egg. I had my two hoglets suckling on a syringe for the first week and 1/2 until their teeth erupted (this takes three days for a full set to emerge!!) then simply start using a saucer and they will naturally feed from it themselves.

Using goats' milk is also a good subsitute. I do need to caution, however, about the use of raw eggs, as they can cause problems of their own, this, however, may be one situation where bending those rules is worthwhile.

Goats milk can be found in our Nursing department.

Please make VERY sure that you follow the steps to induce them to defecate afterwards -- not doing so will certainly cause bloating and lead to tragedy.

One thing to watch out for in feeding baby hedgehogs, is that after each feeding you must stimulate them to defecate and urinate, otherwise their bladder and bowel will swell up and can even burst. To do this, simply stroke along their tummy towards the anus, which simulates a mother licking and grooming her babies. You can also do this with a warm damp tissue or cloth. The idea isn't to squeeze anything out, just to stimulate the baby to do it's business.

Remember that hand raising baby hedgehogs is very difficult, and if you try and meet with tragedy, remember that you gave them much more of a chance than they would have had without you. Whatever happens, don't give up and decide that hedgehogs are bad, or that it's not worth having hoglets -- it's just hedgehog nature, and next time may well be nothing short of magical.

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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:02 am

This applies to wildies - pro rata the feeding to the weight of your hoglet x

How to provide warmth for them

The hoglets will benefit greatly by being put in a warm room. Theyshould be placed in a small cardboard box or similar container, linedwith plenty of newspaper. For beddinguse some old (but not threadbare)towels. Place a hot water bottle, filledwith hot – not boiling water - wrappedin a towel or warm material, in thebottom of the box (a reptile heat mat orheated propagator may be used instead)Put the hoglets on this and cover withfurther bedding. The hot water bottlewill need to be changed every few hours to keep the hoglets warm.

Hygiene

It is important that the hoglets, their bedding and feeding equipment
are kept scrupulously clean. The bedding should be changed regularly
and the feeding equipment sterilised. After dealing with each litter,
hands should be washed and weighing equipment cleaned.
Weigh the hoglets daily and chart their growth. Mark them by
painting a few prickles with nail varnish – each hoglets mark will be
in a different place.

How to feed them

This will depend largely on the age and weight of the hedgehogs, and
the following schedule is a suggested guide: -
Up to 2 weeks old (Weight about 1-3ozs, 30-85gms) - Very regular
“force” feeding of about 1-3mls approx. every 2-4 hours (or on
demand!). Cimicat or Esbilac (kitten and puppy powdered milk
substitutes) are often used as is goats’ milk, but a lactose free or low
in lactose milk like that sold in pet shops or supermarkets for kittens
and cats can be used in the short term. Multi-vitamin drops (Abidec)
should be given daily (4-5 drops) in one of the feeds especially if
frozen milk is used. Warm the milk substitute before feeding.


The mixture can be given using a small syringe, dropper or pipette,
with a small piece of soft tubing attached to the end. The hoglets
will accept sustenance best if lying on their backs in your hand with
head facing upwards and tail to the floor. By weighing daily you can
check they are gaining weight.

Their eyes open at 2 weeks enabling the hoglets to see their food.
If problems with the eyes occur, they should be bathed with warm
water using a separate piece of cotton wool for each eye. A jam jar
lid of milk substitute can be left in the box from now on, but keep
feeding using the syringe etc. A little Heinz Baby food (meat variety)
can also be added to thicken the milk substitute. By two weeks they
should be fed every four hours. If their weight gain levels off add
well-mashed meat to the milk substitute or add it anyway at above
two and a half weeks of age.

3-4 weeks old (Weight about 4 to 6ozs, 110-170gms) - Frequency of
feeds will be four hourly and food should be varied by adding small
amounts of protein e.g. tinned pet food mulched in quantities of milk
substitute. Lower front teeth appear at three weeks. Around three
and a half weeks you can stop toileting them and they will probably
be feeding themselves. From 4 weeks on the heat could be removed
but check that the hoglets can stay warm without the extra heat.
5-6 weeks old (Weight about 7 to 9oz, 200-260gms) – By now the
hoglet should be feeding well. Provide a dish of roughly mashed up
meat and milk substitute and a dish of water – as they become more
nocturnal they will stop feeding during the day so will only require
food at night. At 6-7 weeks the milk substitute can be stopped.
In captivity hoglets put on weight much more quickly than in the
wild. Weight guides given are for wild hedgehogs, hand reared
hedgehogs can weigh 500 or 600gms at six weeks.

How to toilet them

Mothers usually lick the hoglet’s tummy to stimulate it to pass urine.
In care we use a cotton bud dipped in olive oil or baby oil. This is
vibrated as light as a feather over the anus and vulva or penis in an
up and down, head to tail direction. The hoglets should relax, stretch
out their back legs and urinate (they will also defecate). This should
be done on arrival and after every feed until the hoglet is about 31
/2weeks old.

What to do after feeding them

It is important that all parts of the hoglets should be kept as clean
as possible. After each meal wipe them over with cotton wool,
moistened with warm water and olive oil, or a drop of baby oil or
lotion. This not only cleans off any spilt food but also keeps their
skin moist. As hoglets are very prone to infections, the cleaning
process also acts as a regular health check.

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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:39 am

I am so very sorry you lost your litters love, bloody drilling!! Good luck with raising the cute little one who I gather is quite feisty. That will go well towards his growing up to be a strong boy because he would have probably been the strongest in the litter. Please keep us updated. Smile

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Snufflehogs
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:12 pm

Having seen a video of Ghost yesterday, he is one feisty little man. I'm keeping everything crossed for him. The boy has attitude in spades so he is definitely a fighter! Smile

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angriesthedgehog

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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:03 pm

Ooh thanks so much for all that. .. at the moment I'm using goats milk mixed with esbilac (spelling) and feeding with a small dropper every 2 hours. I've been toileting him with my finger and he wees and poops most times with neon green poop. Last night I weighed him and he's a full 5g. I've got him in a plastic rub with airholes a snugglesafe with a fleece and some ripped up newspaper.
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:34 am

Poor little guy didn't make it... his bottom got blocked with poop and I couldn't get him to pass it but I tried
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:09 am

Aww I'm so sorry, it's such a hard job but you gave it your best shot x
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:09 am

Oh darling I am so very sorry to hear this. I am sending lots of comforting cuddles.

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Jo xx
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:32 am

I am very sorry to hear this. Many hog cuddles from Bruce and I.
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:48 am

Im so sorry xx
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PostSubject: Re: Handrearing. ...   Fri Aug 19, 2016 12:55 pm

So sorry Hayley. You did all you could for him. I'm gutted for you. x x

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