Vocalization & Noise

Jun 7, 2013 by

Vocalizations Hedgehogs have a wide range of sounds that they use to communicate.  You must listen carefully and observe the hedgehog’s behavior to clearly understand what your pet is trying to communicate. Different people can describe each noise that a hedgehog makes in different terms. Some sounds require little or no attention on your part.   For example, the squeaking or chirping of new babies lets you know babies have arrived and as long as momma isn’t stressed there is nothing you need to do.  Other sounds such as clicking or popping should be a clear sign to you that your hedgehog is in defense mode, and you need to change how you are handling your pet. Chirping This sound is also referred to as “squeaking”. This sound is often the first indication of new babies. Leave your mother hedgehog alone if she is in her nesting box. If you hear this sound and your hedgehog does not have a nesting box, you’ll want to give the new mother a box right away. Be sure to disturb her as little as possible when she has newborn young. This sound can also be an indication of male hedgehogs breeding and trying to court a female hedgehog. Clicking (Kissing Sound) This soft clicking sounds similar to kissing. Some hedgehogs do this when they are happy and content! Clicking (Popping) This sound is an aggressive/defensive sound that is...

Huffing, Puffing & Popping

May 27, 2013 by

Understanding Huffing, Puffing, and Popping When you first pick up your hedgehog, it may have its spines erect, and it may make some defensive noises. Huffing and puffing is a way for a hedgehog to say, “I’m big and bad”. It is a sign that your hedgehog is threatened and scared, nervous, or possibly unhappy. When a hedgehog huffs and puffs, it is trying to intimidate whatever is making it feel defensive. Big Scaredy Cats Hedgehogs are usually shy when introduced to something new. They are often born like scared cats and need to learn that they are safe. So, it is quite natural for the hedgehog to be scared or nervous; the huffing and puffing noises are an attempt to scare you away. Hedgehogs still have many of their wild instincts – including a fear of potential predators (and this includes humans!) due to the fact that they have a limited defense system and poor eyesight. Until your hedgehog knows who you are and that you have good intentions, it is simply trying to communicate its uncertainty with you. When you take your hedgehog from its home and move it to a new environment, it has to relearn that it is safe in the new surroundings. Bed Heads Keep in mind that your hedgehog may have woken up and therefore be uncertain of its surroundings. Daytime for us is actually the middle of...

Picking Up Your Hedgehog

May 25, 2013 by

Hand Washing It is always a good idea to practice proper hand washing techniques before and after handling your hedgehog. Proper hand washing can help to protect your hedgehog from potentially dangerous bacteria or other substances on your hands. Hand washing protects you from having your hedgehog take a sample bite of you!  It is only critter nature to want a sample if your hands smell like food or something tasty. An unscented or lightly scented antibacterial soap is best.  Some scented soap such as fruit varieties might smell appetizing to your hedgehog. Avoid alcohol based hand sanitizers as the hedgehog may lick your hand. Speed When picking up your hedgehog, many prefer the “JUST DO IT” method. The more confidence you have with your hedgehog, the more secure the hedgehog will feel with you. It is important to move steadily and confidently.  Certainly picking up a hedgehog doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as getting a shot, but the spines are sharp and they are going to prick you to some degree.  How you handle your hedgehog will determine how much they prick you. Compare picking up a hedgehog to a nurse giving you a shot.  You don’t want her to ram the needle into you, but at the same time, you don’t want it to be drawn out and extremely slow.  Steady and confident are characteristics you want in a nurse and a...