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Hedgehog Discussion Huffing & puffing, curious noses, balls of quills, and all else hedgie.

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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-23-2002, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Hedgehog Information

Hedgehogs are indigenous to Europe, Africa and Asia. Two distinct hedgehog species are available to the pet trade: the African or White-bellied hedgehog, which is the most common in the United States, and the European hedgehog. Free-ranging hedgehogs are hardy animals that live in scrub, deciduous forests, rocky grasslands and deserts. Hedgehogs eat very little plant matter, preferring instead insects, spiders, slugs, snails, worms and grubs. They nest under shrubs and rocks or in burrows. Their sense of smell is highly developed. The body and crown of hedgehogs are covered in short, smooth spines while their underside is soft white fur. The spines of young hedgehogs are sharper than those of mature animals. To reduce the potential risk of Salmonella infection, clients should wash their hands after handling a pet hedgehog and avoid the animalís contact with human food or cooking utensils.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-23-2002, 11:20 PM
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Here is a site I found that I really liked http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/ I especially like the color guide

Last edited by Dena; 03-23-2002 at 11:24 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 11:48 PM
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Hello :-)

I just read the article that was posted, but I feel I should clear up a few discrepancies. I have been breeding and rescuing hedgehogs for over five years and I have always tried to educate people along the way. I don't want to offend anyone, but if you want to flame me please do so privately...

1. The hedgehogs that are available in the North American pet trade are actually both from Africa. The white bellied hedgehogs and the Algerian hedgehog were both imported here, and have since been bred to each other. As a result, the common name for these pet animals are African hedgehogs or African pygmy hedgehogs. The larger European species is actually protected and the are not kept as pets.

2. Although hedgehogs will readily eat most insects, they should not necessarily be fed them. They could have been exposed to many toxins.

3. Most hedgehog owners will agree that their pets are not completely nocturnal. Mine seem to be awake at dawn, noon, dusk and midnight-2am.

4. Not all hedgehogs are timid and nervous. While it is true that hedgehogs have not been domesticated as long as other pets, they do respond well to socialization if done properly.

5. I do not recommend leave a pan a pan of shallow water in the enclosure for swimming. Bathing/ Swimming should be supervised.

6. Wire rodent wheels can be modified with a number of materials to make a solid running surface. Some things to try: plastic place-mat, craft foam, fine screen/ mesh etc.

7. Cedar should never be used, but kiln-dried pine or aspen is suitable.

8. I have had two dogs (shepherd/labs mixes) and two cats (one stray alley cat) and guinea pigs almost as long I have had had my hedgehogs with no incidents. In fact they are all afraid of them. Obviously use your common sense- provide safe habitats and supervise floor time etc.

There are a lot of highly informative sites out there from fanciers and breeders. Here are some GREAT links :-)
General Information

Hedgehog Associations/ Organizations

And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. If I don't the answer, I'll find someone that does!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-16-2002, 11:56 PM
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We don't have a "flaming" problem here. To all of us here knowledge is power and you are allowed to disagree at any time! I have found that many articles are not updated or have misinformation in them so please do not hesitate to give what information you have!

Thanks for your clarifications
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-17-2002, 12:08 AM
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Although I am new to this forum, I have been on a few others as well as several mailing lists. I have seen others get flamed for less ;-)

I don't claim to be an expert, but I feel that part of responsible pet ownership is education. I have always tried my best to keep an open mind and learn from as many different people and sources that I can find.
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2002, 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by afnss
2. Although hedgehogs will readily eat most insects, they should not necessarily be fed them. They could have been exposed to many toxins.
I disagree with this. I think it's important to feed hedgies insects. No one said anything about going out to your garden and catching them. If that were the case, I would totally not reccomend that either. But I just go to my petstore an buy a dozen or so live crickets, Diggory just loves em! You can also get freeze dried mealworms and crickets, which I have yet to try with him, but from what I hear they tend to be a little more fatty.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-19-2002, 06:07 PM
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Re: Hedgehog Information

Many hedgehogs dig in carpets or in house plant dirt, if accessible, and will forage for spiders and insects in the home.


You have misunderstood my post (although I wasn't quite clear enough.)

Hedgehogs are insectivores and as such I also believe they should be fed insects. The insects I was referring to in my post were actually household/ outdoors insects that may have been exposed to toxins. My post was in response to the article at the beginning of this thread. The article, as quoted above, suggests it is okay to let your hedgehog eat household bugs.

Thank you for correcting me anyway...

PS- My hedgehogs all love the freeze-dried crickets, very easy & convenient! Of course they still get their mealies :-)
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-20-2002, 03:27 AM
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Yes, thank you for clearing that up! I was ready to stop Isobella from eating her mealies. Actually she eats almost anything. I couldn't stand the thought of buying those freeze dried ones either -they stink to high heaven! I read one site that said you can dig up some worms from your backyard and cut them into small pieces. I can't give you the name of the site because I didn't stay on there long enough to notice I was too busy gagging after I read that!
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