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Thread: Radcliff the Bitter

  1. #1
    Junior Member PJack's Avatar
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    Exclamation Radcliff the Bitter

    Willis and I are first-time hedgie owners. Our little baby Radcliff (who is now 9 months! AHHH! Time flies!)came to us about 2 months ago. We have loved every minute of playing with him, doing homework while he snoozed in our pockets, and just getting to know him.

    However, we're having a lot of problems with Radcliff. When we first bought him, he was a little timid about being held, but warmed up to us right away, letting us hold him and play with him for at least half an hour a night. His previous owners/ breeders did not play with him ever, but played only with his sisters.

    Lately, Radcliff has been biting us almost every time we handle him. The only turning point we can think of it that we gave him a bath about a month ago (which was when the biting started) and we changed houses about two weeks ago. He curls up every time we even enter his cage and chomps down hard whenever we hold him. He isn't looking for food or thinks we smell good; he is mad about something and we don't know what.

    We have no idea what to do. We have tried everything we have found on how to stop the biting (most of which resulted in tears from us because we were so upset about making him upset). Nothing has worked and has possibly only made it worse.

    Radcliff is a sweet and curious little boy. We love him to pieces and we only want to do what is best for him. Please help us.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cardianharle's Avatar
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    He might be in his quilling stage, or starting. Quilling is a rough time for any hedgie. Someone on here told me that it's basically hitting puberty and teething all over your body all at once. That would make anyone mad. As far as the biting, I don't know too much on how to stop that. Try giving him a little space, if you guys just moved, it's possible that he's frightened by the unfamiliar smells. Give him some space, make sure he's got food and water and try again, but don't let him win. Don't show him that you're scared of him, hedgies are VERY manipulative.

    I wish you luck and hopefully someone on here can answer how to stop the biting.
    ~Sam, the always worried Mommy~
    ♪♫ My 'lil Reia ~ 11/27/11 - 12/15/12 RIP 'lil girl ♫♪
    "There are no hedgehogs in captivity... instead, we are held captive... ... ... by the hedgehog."

  3. #3
    Junior Member PJack's Avatar
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    But he's 9 months old... I haven't seen any quills in his cage or lost on his body. Plus, he's 9 months old. Shouldn't he have gone through quilling by now?

    I wish we would have had him as a baby... Then we would have known if he had reached this stage yet.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cardianharle's Avatar
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    They go through quilling twice. The second time happens usually about a year, he might be an early bloomer.
    ~Sam, the always worried Mommy~
    ♪♫ My 'lil Reia ~ 11/27/11 - 12/15/12 RIP 'lil girl ♫♪
    "There are no hedgehogs in captivity... instead, we are held captive... ... ... by the hedgehog."

  5. #5
    We have had some go through quilling at nine months-if he is losing quills and you see new ones poking through, that may be part of it. The other thing is that they ARE really smart and he may not be unhappy, just trying to get you to not pick him up. Don't ever put him back in his cage when he bites-that will teach him that biting will get him what he wants-to go back in his cage.
    Ann
    Connecticut Hedgehogs
    A USDA licensed African pygmy hedgehog breeder located in CT. We serve the tri-state area of CT, New York State and NJ as well as Western MA (and anywhere else you happen to be) Visit our website for more information

  6. #6
    Junior Member PJack's Avatar
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    Oh! I didn't know they quill twice. I'll keep a look out for that.

    We made the mistake of putting him back once, but then we read not to. He is a smart fellow... He definitely knows how to manipulate us! Sometimes I wonder if we own him or if he owns us...

    Thank you so much for the help! We really appreciate it!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cardianharle's Avatar
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    Oh no, hedgies own us, that's the way the world works.
    ~Sam, the always worried Mommy~
    ♪♫ My 'lil Reia ~ 11/27/11 - 12/15/12 RIP 'lil girl ♫♪
    "There are no hedgehogs in captivity... instead, we are held captive... ... ... by the hedgehog."

  8. #8
    Junior Member PJack's Avatar
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    Update on Radcliff... It's been about a month and a half since the biting started. We've used the blowing on face and saying no trick and he's doing much better! He is much more social and only nips on occasion, and it is not near as hard.

    I really do think he was an early bloomer in terms of quilling. We started to give him oatmeal baths, which he still hated, but seemed to relax more after being out of the water.

    Thank you so much for your help!
    Willis and Ashley, proud parents of Radlciff the hedgehog and Amelia the hamster!

  9. #9
    has he stopped now? (been that its been a while) that sounds very similar to my situation except he never really stopped quilling in between his first and second time. if thats the deal then maybe he will stop biting when hes done quilling (which i dont know how much longer will be)

  10. #10
    I am a big believer in fleece blankies for hedgie snuggling time. Hedgies love to sit on laps in their blankies and it can be a really good de-sensitization opportunity. You can pet him from behind and just have some quality quiet time with him.

    Hedgies do hold grudges LOL They also try to psyche you out. Most owners go through at least one phase of ''my hedgie hates me".

    Good luck!

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