A lot of people have asked if their hedgehog needs a companion. The short answer is no, they are solitary animals. However we do house our females together and they seem to enjoy the companionship. Yes, I know other breeder friends are reading this shaking their heads in frustration and would not agree BUT in all of my years breeding I have yet to have a female fight with another female. However, our hedgehogs are raised around each other from birth. I am not saying go out and buy a baby hoglet, put it in the same cage as an elderly hedgehog and expect a perfect friendship. If you do decide you'd like to adopt another hedgehog, it is best to house 2 FEMALES together and to introduce them at a young age. Better yet, it is best if you can adopt sisters or a mother/ daughter together.
Male hedgehogs should NEVER EVER be housed together. They may seem like they are best friends and getting along great, but 99% of males are going to be territorial and extremely aggressive towards one another once they are older. You may ask "how on earth can they hurt each other if they're both covered in quills"? EASY, they will lunge at each others ears or underneath their bellies where it is soft tissue. Housing males together is not recommended, and housing a male and female is NOT recommended unless you are an experienced breeder. I have been asked if male hedgehogs would mate with their sister or mother. The answer is YES; They will mate with any female hedgehog they can find. As with any other animal, male hedgehogs have no idea what incest is and will seek out a mate starting out as young as just 7 weeks old (sometimes even younger)!
Please be a responsible pet owner. If you decide you want to adopt a male and female be prepared to always keep them separate from each other, no excuses. No cute playtime, no baths together, they must be completely separate.
If planning on adopting 2 females, please be prepared to provide them with their own supplies in their cage. This means you need one hideout per hedgehog, one wheel per hedgehog, and one food and water bowl per hedgehog.
Sorry if this gets a little emotional, but hedgehogs were a big part of me overcoming postpartum depression and have helped me cope with anxiety. On September 20, 2013, I welcomed my daughter (Abbigail) to the world. All 7lbs 13oz of her were absolutely perfect, even her crooked scrunched up little nose. We had 2 boys at home and she was the last baby I would ever have, the missing little piece to our family. I looked at her face and loved her from the very start, but instead of feeling happy, excited, and ready to go home, I was terrified and felt an overwhelming sadness that I can't even explain... and then I felt embarrassed and selfish for feeling this way.
A few months before Abby was born, my brother in law committed suicide. It ripped my family apart and that gaping void and sense of loss is still there even 6 years later. Looking back I think a lot of my postpartum depression was from that immeasurable loss and heartache and hormones. Whatever it was, it took months for me to feel normal.
Abby was still a little baby when we brought our first hedgehog home. I remember feeling so happy and full of joy with this remarkable and different new animal, I thought it was so unique that they oftentimes bond with a certain person, and that little hedgie (Kate the Great) loved me! After I put the kid's to bed I would get her out and watch TV with her, it made me relax and brought me so much joy to see her happy little nose sniffing around. She would curl up in my lap and sleep, and I wondered to myself if I could help others struggling with anxiety or depression with these pokey little animals. Fast forward 6 years and I am shocked with how many people adopt hedgehogs and mention they will be therapy animals to help them with their own anxiety or depression. (See, we are not alone in this!)
I am not saying go off of your anxiety meds and get a hedgehog instead, or that they will solve every problem, but I do believe that pets have a HUGE effect on our emotional well being. Hedgehogs may not be as in tune with your feelings compared to a dog or cat, but for me they do remind me to slow down and enjoy the little things in life.
Here's bit more on anxiety if you're interested https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety
If you're interested in learning more about therapy pets, check out https://petpartners.org
***Please keep in mind that if you are struggling from anxiety or depression, things DO get better!!! Don't be embarrassed or ashamed to feel anxious or depressed, reach out and get help. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org
I have had several texts and phone calls from new hedgehog owners frantically explaining a "problem" with their hedgehog foaming out of its mouth. Please don't panic, this is normal and is called "self annointing". What is self annointing and why do hedgehogs do this? No one knows for certain (and we can't exactly ask and get a response from our hedgehogs;)
So what is self annointing? If you see your hedgehog licking a new or unfamiliar object and then they start twisting their little body like a contortionist and licking themselves, this is self annointing. It is thought that hedgehogs are trying to camouflage themselves with the new scent or just really enjoy the smell. Whatever the reasoning behind it, it is normal hedgehog behavior even though it looks quite strange and comical.
(We once gave our hedgehogs cut up strawberries as a snack and had to bathe them shortly afterwards. They annointed with the red strawberry juice and I had several red tinted hedgehogs!)
*Check out this adorable video of Stumpy self annointing :) Stumpy's mother overgroomed her when she was a tiny hoglet, so she is missing the tips of a few of her toes.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas time is a wonderful time full of joy, excitement and wonder. We have a lot of requests around Christmas time for hedgehogs for Christmas presents. As parents, we always want our children to have the best Christmas and want to watch their eyes glow in excitement as they open up that perfect gift they've been dreaming of. (As a mom of 3 I have been there and that joyful look on their little faces means more to me than receiving gifts myself!)
We do sell hedgehogs as gifts, but please be mindful of the person receiving the hedgehog. Ask yourself:
If you're on the fence about adopting a hedgehog yourself or adopting a hedgehog to give as a gift, please take a few moments to browse our site for care information. I am ALWAYS willing to answer any questions you may have before and after you adopt a baby from us!
My love for hedgehogs began in 2014 shortly after I had my daughter, Abby. My son begged for a hedgehog as a pet, and as much as I did not want another pet to take care of, he agreed to do most of the work. When we brought his hedgehog home, I realized how truly awesome and fascinating these pokey animals really were! We slowly expanded and became USDA licensed.
I naively thought that breeding hedgehogs would be as easy and rewarding as our first litter. Kate the Great was an excellent mother and gave birth to 5 perfectly healthy little spike balls but this was just beginners luck. No matter how hard I try to be the best owner and breeder I can be, I can not control every situation. We have had babies born dead, eaten, abandoned...and after breeding for several years we have learned A LOT! We have attempted to hand feed several babies that have been rejected by their mother and unfortunately have not been successful with it. Hoglets usually die from bloat when being bottle fed, and no matter how hard I try they never seem to make it. Sure, realistically I knew that we would have babies that die, but to have a helpless, weak little hoglet die in your hands is heartbreaking. It is hard to put into words how devastating it really is to pour hours of time into feeding and nurturing a rejected baby and then have it pass away. There have been several sleepless nights, tears, and times I have wanted to quit because of the emotional toll it has taken on me. But it always seems that at the moments I want to quit that I receive a picture of a baby in its new home, or a sweet text, or a card. These small little gestures of kindness never go unnoticed and it's why I continue breeding these amazing animals!
Here are a few pictures of Bubblegum's babies. She killed 2 of her babies and was trying to kill the remaining 4. I quickly took them out and tried bottle feeding them but unfortunately they did not make it.
(Please note that we do NOT handle babies until they are 2 weeks old unless it is for the health of the babies or the mother).