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Old 04-12-2004, 06:46 PM
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help me decide: chinchilla or hedgehog

Would like to hear from owners of both these pets, so I can be swayed to either camp. I personally like them both equally from my limited experience handling them. It would help if they can tolerate my dog, a small shih tsu, but I doubt I'd ever let them hang out unsupervised anyway.

I was going to get a ferret, as I've had them before and they were great pets. But I don't think I can deal with the smell in the small apartment I have now.
Old 04-12-2004, 06:50 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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Oh . . .

I was going to say that a hedgehog stole would be awfully uncomfortable . . .
Old 04-12-2004, 06:56 PM
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i had 2 chinchillas. opposite ends of the spectrums.

greystoke loved to sit with you, enjoyed being stroked and ear scritches, fresh veggies. he would sit with me in my chair for hours.

akenaten did not like to sit with you, only liked being touched on her nose, wanted only dried fruits and veggies, she loved apple and pear stems, i would get her trail mixes. she never sat with me.

they both loved their dust baths, i would let them run loose in supervised enclosed rooms. they could squeeze themselves into really small holes.

i would think that hedgehogs wouldn't be as nice to cuddle up with, although they are rather cool looking.
Old 04-12-2004, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eve
Oh . . .

I was going to say that a hedgehog stole would be awfully uncomfortable . . .
Wouldn't have to worry about weirdos invading your personal space.

(And I'm trying to figure some way of punning 'pickpocket'/'prickpocket' without it sounding too obscene.)
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Old 04-12-2004, 07:03 PM
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Honestly, I've never heard of anyone having a hedgehog as a pet. We get them in our back garden and as much as I love to watch them, I think they'd make terrible pets. They're very shy animals and prone to disease and ticks. They're asleep for half the year, you can't pick them up and pet them (those quills are sharp) and my guess is that while they make look cute, they're essentially outdoor animals and aren't going to be happy in an apartment.

I would think that chinchillas are going to be more affectionate and easier to deal with.
Old 04-12-2004, 07:07 PM
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Francesca, the hedgehogs sold as pets in America aren't the same species as those that run wild in the UK. They're smaller and more domesticated (and cuter).

Rocking Chair - I noticed you mentioned your chins in the past tense - dead?

Eve - what about hats?
Old 04-12-2004, 07:32 PM
Eve Eve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Headcoat
Eve - what about hats?
If you wear a hedgehog hat, you run the risk of being mistaken for William Shatner.
Old 04-12-2004, 07:34 PM
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I don't know anything about chinchillas, but our African Pygmy Hedgehog Nellie was the coolest. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so you really don't get to interact with them much unless you stay up half the night. They are also very sweet, amusing and have absolutely no odor that I could detect.

Disclaimer: They also aren't terribly bright. Nellie could go round and round on her industrial strength hedgehog wheel for hours on end. You can imagine what the wheel looked like in the morning. Even so, I still miss her.
Old 04-12-2004, 08:03 PM
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While I'm sure every animal is different, I always hear that chinchillas are too nervous and skittish to ever truly bond with owners, and never get comfortable as caged pets. I imagine they'd be like trying to hug wild squirrels, although maybe not as fast. However, maybe you'll find a really friendly and cuddly one!

A friend of mine kept a sugar glider for many years, and that was a fun little animal. Kinda like a nocturnal flying squirrel that had too much caffeine!
Old 04-12-2004, 11:38 PM
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Chins and quills is a messageboard about chinchillas and hedgehogs, and several of the members own both. You should be able to get good information there.
Old 04-13-2004, 01:15 AM
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I've always wanted a chipmunk for a pet. They're so cute and perky. I have no idea if they make good pets, or if they can be happy indoors, even if they could be caught.

StG
Old 04-13-2004, 01:36 AM
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I certainly enjoyed my pet hedgehogs. They may seem too pokey to hold at first, but you soon get the hang of handling them pain free, and thy grow more affectionate as you do. Plus they are adorable.
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Old 04-13-2004, 08:43 AM
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I'm familiar with the African Pygmy Hedgehog, and though I've held quite a few, I've always considered them a "look at" pet. It doesn't mean to me, they can't be fulfilling as pets, I have tons of fish and enjoy them a lot. Someone already mentioned they are more active at night, so that's something to consider, too. I did notice they settle down after being handled and a trust is built, but usually at first, they are all quills and I'd never say they exactly cuddled. They're very clean maintenance wise, and no odor like you mentioned with a ferret. My favorite thing was to offer king meal worms or crickets, and watch them get excited. You'd think such a small, roly-poly creature couldn't move that fast! High end of life span averages about 6 years, so not quite the commitment involved as your dog, but something to think about. I've also been nipped several times by frightened babies, but probably nothing worse than what you've experienced owning a ferret. Top marks for interesting pet.

Most people I've met are "sold" on a chinchilla, once they've seen it take a dust bath. The most negative thing I can think of, is that they tend to poop (sometimes I'd swear exclusively) on their wheel. Since the wheel is larger than your average small animal wheel, the fling factor is pretty great. An enclosure with solid sides to a certain height will help a lot with maintenance. They are also more active at night. If handled from an early age, they can turn out to be quite the cuddlers, but I've met a few exceptions. I know a schoolteacher who has one as a class pet, and she has nothing but praise for hers. I figure that's saying something, when an animal can tolerate that amount of interaction with elementary aged kids. I'll also add I've handled more chins than hedgehogs, and haven't been nipped by one, though I'm sure it happens. They can live a long time, I've heard as long as 20 years, but people I've known consider 15 closer to a long lifespan. The schoolteacher's oldest chinchilla (she has two now) is 12. Quite a commitment, but no more work than your dog.
Old 04-13-2004, 11:38 AM
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Before I can advise you, I need to know: Which one is more delicious?
Old 04-13-2004, 11:52 AM
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Can someone explain what a dust bath is? Enquiring minds want to know.
Old 04-13-2004, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missbunny
Can someone explain what a dust bath is? Enquiring minds want to know.
Chinchillas don't take water baths, they take dust baths. It's funny to watch. They crawl into the little container full of dust, and they have the mother of all spaz attacks as they coat themselves with the dust.
Old 04-13-2004, 07:51 PM
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yes, unfortunately greystoke and akenaten have passed on. buried in the back yard. quite a while ago. greystoke got a headcold, poor little guy. we went to the er, he spent hours in the o2 tent, all sorts of meds, but his little heart gave out from the stress of trying to breath.

akenaten died from an allergic reaction to chemicals in carpeting. apparently they were using a chemical in carpeting in the finishing process that was very toxic. the chemical has been banned. i can't remember the name of it now, but it even made the news magazines at the time. there were carpeted little shelf/rests in her cage.

the little furballs are really fun, very much like rabbits. no wood trim is safe from chins.

the dust baths are a hoot! they really go to town. they roll and roll. i would give them a rub down after with a towel, otherwise the dust would get everywhere.

i would get another chin in a flash if it weren't for the 3 cats that are in residence. winken the wonderful and akenaten overlapped for 2 months. woo boy, akenaten soon got a room of her own.

i did have a concern about them if a fire or other emergency happened. i had instructions taped to the frount door on where the cage was located.
Old 04-13-2004, 07:59 PM
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Eve perhaps a hedgehog muff and a chinchilla hat? That way if somebody tried to steal your hat, you could use the muff to fend em off. Style and utility. Now that's class.
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Old 04-13-2004, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snooooopy
Before I can advise you, I need to know: Which one is more delicious?
To cook a hedgehog, you wrap it in clay and put it in the embers of a fire. No joke. Genuine medieval English recipe.
Old 04-13-2004, 08:27 PM
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Remember:


You can bugger a chinchilla when it takes its dust bath,
and also a ferret when you're blocking its path.
You can bugger a hamster, though it is very small,
but the hedgehog can never be buggered at all.

(Sorry for the bad rhymes, but I just had to get the hedgehog song in this thread. )
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