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African Pygmy Hedgehogs
(aka: the white-bellied, four toed, East African, or dwarf hedgehog)
Babies Available Now !
Hedgehogs are remarkably cute little animals.
Hold one on it's back and watch it peek out from beneath its quills,
and your heart will be captured once and for all.
They have shiny little eyes, busy little noses and round little bellies.
They are poky on top with soft fur on the underside.
They make a good beginner pet as they are easy to care for and just plain fun.
Despite their effective display of little quills they are easily tamed,
and when secure, there little quills feel like hairbrushes
Hedgehogs should be provided a cage or container that is draft free, easy to clean and escape proof. We use a 122Qt. Sterilite Container with the center of lid cut out to easily access our hedgehogs and to secure the water bottle holder (guard) in place. Because hedgehogs are by nature nocturnal they prefer conditions that are not too bright, which makes a dark colored storage bin an ideal habitat. You can use a smaller container if space is limited.
Use a fluffy pine wood shavings for bedding. NEVER USE CEDAR!
Fresh water should be available at all times. An 8oz water bottle used with a bottle guard hung from the side of the container or bin is easily accessed for re-filling the water bottle. You can also use a shallow water dish but remember to use a shallow heavy pottery type dish as it is more difficult for them to flip over.
We use brown lunch bags folded down for them to sleep, hide and play in. Hedgehogs love to play with these bags and if the bag gets dirty they are easily replaced with a new lunch bag. Hedgehogs are solitary critters by nature, however several females can be kept together as long as a larger habitat is provided.
Hedgehogs love to play and run around. They can play for hours with a toilet paper tube on their heads like a periscope (even watching you through it), pushing things around, and investigating things such as boxes or bags. Hedgehogs love to tear, crumple and roll up in sheets of newspaper tossed into their cages, and since brown paper lunch bags, toilet paper tubes and newspapers are easy to change out, using them avoids the chore of soaking, scraping, and washing sleeping/hiding items and toys each week.
The wire mesh exercise wheels are safe for hedgehogs, and they'll spend countless hours running on them. Hedgehogs generally potty while on the run so the wire mesh exercise wheel is recommended. Hedgehogs love critter balls ~ Allowing your hedgie to free roam in a critter ball is stimulating and provides lots of exercise for a hedgehog. ( Don't forget to wash & rinse the critter ball after every use)
Hedgehogs are insectivorous and carnivorous. Our hedgehogs diet consist of a dry premium kitten food, mealworms, and crickets. We offer apples, oranges, or berries occasionally as a treat. Use a small heavy weight pottery type dish as it is more difficult for them to flip over. DO NOT OVER FEED YOUR HEDGEHOG. Hedgehogs should weigh no more than 16oz as adults. Weigh your hedgehog periodically to check weight. As a guide the average adult hedgehog will eat 3-5 small mealworms and a level tablespoon of a good quality kitten food daily (use 2 level tablespoons of kitten food if not supplementing with live food).
Preferred temperature 70F-85F.
Average life span of an African Pygmy Hedgehog is between 4-6 years, but may live longer under ideal conditions and health.
Hedgehogs will chose a area in their habitat that they will consistently use to potty. We use a small cat type pooper scooper to remove the "poop" about once a week and re-fluff the wood shavings in that area. We replace the entire habitat wood shaving about once a month.
FYI: The quills of a young hedgehog are sharper than the adult quills.
Hedgehogs do not shed/release or shoot there quills when they are scared or feel threatened.
Hedgehogs have a very good sense of smell. Strange scents or chemicals may induce the pet to self anoint or spit a small foam like saliva on their flank or back. This habit generally stops once the hedgehog is familiar with its surroundings and owners.
The only color a hedgehog can distinguish is yellow. Found this information in a Ripleys----Believe it or not newspaper clipping
Keeping hedgies is easy! Providing a easy to maintain habitat, fresh water and dry kitten food daily along with some daily stimulation by holding, providing toys and/or exercise should keep your little hedgehog happy and healthy.