Extra Extra Read All About It!!
Why are hedgehogs so expensive?
There are many reasons! Raising these chicken wings isn't inexpensive. I find trusted and educated breeders to get our herd from. Most of my herd is transported to me from other states so that I can get quality hedgehogs with amazing and lengthy pedigrees. Often times transportation is the same price as the hedgehog or even more. I have to drive to the airport (1.5 hr drive one way, usually in the middle of the night) to pick up the hedgehogs.
There are multiple quality foods that we mix for proper nutrition, along with buying feeder bugs, and food booster for overall herd health. Multiple beddings, hides, wheels, heating, toys, dishes, etc. Not to mention vetting for all of our herd. Everything adds up quickly.
Female hedgehogs can only be bred from the age of 6 months to about 2.5 years but I only keep my beans (males included) for 1.5 years as I do not believe any creature's whole existence should be spent "producing". Although my hogs here live a very stress-free cushy life and are by no means treated as "producers", I strive to be ethical in my practices in whatever ways I can be. This is true for the babies brought in for genetic diversity and the babies born here. I believe they should get to experience life in a single hog home, getting all the attention they could ever fathom, they'd be sick of being the start of the show!
Furthermore, not all the litters are successful and "hogmoms" need at least 6 months to recover before having another litter. Sometimes I give longer breaks where I see need as the health and quality of my beans come first!
Often times, being ethical is not always the most economical option and I want my pineapples to be comfortable and healthy.
How long do hedgehogs live?
With proper care, the average lifespan is 4-6 years.
Are hedgehogs good pets for children?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. You know your child better than I do. I can say that hedgehogs have sharp quills and occasionally bite. I wouldn't recommend them for small children.
Do males or females have better personalities?
There is absolutely no difference in personalities between males and females. Each hedgehog has their own individual personality. Some are grumpy but can be worked with, some are sweet from the start.
My hedgehog is lonely, does he need a friend?
NO. Hedgehogs are solitary animals and prefer living alone. SOMETIMES two females can live happily together as long as the living space is large and there are two wheels, two hides, two sets of dishes, etc. But I recommend having just one per cage.
My hedgehog is losing quills, is that normal?
Hedgehogs go through stages of quilling for the first six months. They shed baby quills and grow adult quills. They shed quills throughout their entire life, much like we lose hairs. If your hedgehog is experiencing massive quill loss after 6 months of age or has balding spots, your hedgehog will need to see a veterinarian for a skin scrape to determine the cause.
My hedgehog is spitting all over itself, why?
It's called anointing. It's thought that anointing is their way of camouflaging their own smell, with their surroundings. Anointing is completely normal and quite comical.
Are hedgehogs good with dogs or cats?
I don't recommend having your hedgehogs out and around your other pets. They could cause injury to your hedgehog.
How do I trim their nails?
The easiest way to trim nails is during a bath. Place the hedgehog in a shallow bath, and use small cat nail clippers or cuticle clippers to trim the nails. The hedgehog wont be able to ball up while in the water.
Are they easy to handle?
This is a tough question. Their quills are sharp! They can be extremely uncomfortable to hold. Scooping them up under the belly is the best way to pick up and hold a hedgehog.
Do they bite?
Anything with a mouth can bite. Hedgehogs aren't usually biters but they certainly can be. Some also bite while they're anointing, not to be mean, but by accident. They do have sharp teeth and their bites can hurt, so it's always something to take into consideration before getting a hedgehog.
How do momma hogs give birth? Ouch!
Hoglets are born without quills. The quills do not emerge from their skin until after they are born.
How do you socialize a hedgehog?
You must hold your hedgehog daily. Do not react to their sniffles and jumps. If you are intimidated by your hedgehog, he/she will continue to be grumpy. Scoop them up from under their belly and hold them. Hang out with them on your lap while you watch TV. Move them from hand to hand to get them used to be handled.
Do hedgehogs smell bad?
No. Proper bedding will play a roll in how "fresh" your hedgehog smells. For example, newspaper would not be good for odor control or cleanliness, Pine shavings have great odor control.
How do I keep my hedgehog warm when the electricity is out?
I always keep hand warmers in bulk amounts. Place the hand warmers in a sock and put it in the hedgehogs hide. It will keep them nice and toasty for about 8 hrs.
Can my hedgehog be free-fed?
Some hedgehogs are absolutely fine having full dishes at all times. If you start to notice your hedgehog is getting overweight and cant fully ball up, its time to start measuring food and maybe even get a lower fat diet.
Are hedgehogs rodents?
No. Rodents have continuously growing incisors on both the top and bottom jaws. Hedgehogs are insectivores/opportunistic omnivores and are more closely related to moles and shrews.
My hedgehog has a bald spot on his head!?
It is caused by the separation in the muscle under their skin. This is what they use to control their quills! It space allows them to fully ball up.
Do hedgehogs need vaccinations like cats and dogs?
No they don't, but they should still have yearly check ups.
Why does my hedgehog have dry skin?
Hedgehogs are prone to dry skin. Vitamin E oil and coconut oil can help moisturize your hedgehog. Do not bathe too often, this will strip the skin of natural oils and cause dryness.
What's wrong with my hedgehogs ears, they look crusty and uneven?
Sometimes hedgehogs get a collection of oil and skin cells on their ears, it forms tatters. Vitamin E oil and coconut oil can be applied to the ears to fix the tatters. Consider the shampoo you are using or how frequently you bathe your hedgie. That can be caused be dry skin.
How do hedgehogs get mites? What should I look for?
Hedgehogs can get mites from bedding. To avoid mites, all bedding (except fleece) will need to be frozen for 48 hours to kill off mites.
Hedgehogs with mites will scratch often, get extremely dry skin, and have excessive quill loss that can lead to bald spots. If you suspect your hedgehog has mites, you will need to see a veterinarian for a skin scrape and Revolution medication.
Why is my hoglet biting me?
There are a couple reasons for biting.
Anointing is definitely #1. The scent of food, soaps, lotions, perfumes, cigarettes and even rings can be super interesting to a little hoglet. They may bite and even tug on your skin.
Before handling your hedgehog, wash your hands thoroughly with an unscented soap.
Another reason a hoglet may be biting is quilling. Hoglets go through some very painful stages of quilling as they grow to adult size. Think of it like teething, the smaller quill has to fall out and the larger quill needs to push through the skin. It can be quite painful for them. Pain could also cause some biting.
Aveeno oatmeal bath may help soothe the skin.
If you are over handling, try handling less and slowly increase your handling time.