Itís not just about cute babies
A lot of people have an interest in learning more about breeding hedgehogs. Thatís great. Before you even consider breeding, research and learn as much as you can about it. Hedgehog babies are wonderful, but there are a lot of things to consider before you become a hedgehog breeder.
- Donít think you can do it alone. In addition to reading up on breeding, having an experienced mentor is a must. There are a lot of things that can go wrong and a lot of situations that you may be unsure of as a beginning breeder. An experienced mentor can teach you a lot and will be there to help you through the good times and the bad. Thanks Kelly, Becca, Stasi and everyone else who has helped me out. You are the best!!
- Do you have adequate veterinary care? The more hedgehogs you have, the more often you need vet visits. In addition to your regular vet, you may also need an emergency vet who is available during off-hours. Are they comfortable treating a breeding herd? Will they be available when you need them?
- Do you have the money to support a breeding herd? There are times when everything is going great, all the hedgehogs are well and cash flow is good. There are other times when hedgehogs get sick, a few wheels break and need to be replaced, you are short of food and bedding, your car is in the shop and needs major workÖ and the rent is due tomorrow. You get the idea-life does not always go smoothly and things happen when you least expect it. Usually when your wallet is empty.
- Are you emotionally ready to handle anything that can come along? Babies are cute. When everything goes right, it is great and wonderful. Thatís the easy part. Can you handle losing the mom before, during or after childbirth? Itís happened to us. Can you deal with losing babies either right after birth or further on down the line? Itís happened to us. A lot of people say that you should wait to breed until you have owned one hedgehog through its entire life. That is a good idea. In addition, I would recommend waiting until you have dealt with at least one major medical crisis with your hedgehog so you know whether you are up to caring for sick hedgehogs, multiple rounds of medication, multiple vet visits and all the stress that goes along with it.
- Is your family ready to support you in your breeding endeavor? Itís not all about you. When you are a hedgehog breeder, you are bringing your family along in all your experiences, good and bad. You need the support of your family and you need to know that they will be able to help you when you need help and that they can handle the stressful times as well.
- You will need a lot of time to take care of your herd. In addition to daily handling, food, water and spot cleaning cages and cleaning wheels daily, you will need to clean cages thoroughly, shop for food and supplies, socialize babies, clip nails, give bathes, go to the vet, and more.
- You will also need a lot of time to provide good customer support. Hedgehogs are still relatively new as pets. You will spend time before and after the sale providing information to your customers about proper handling, supplies, food and a lot of other things that they will need to know to have a good experience owning a hedgehog. You have to have a bit of time available almost every day to respond to questions or issues that may come up.
- You may make plans, the hedgehogs may have other ideas. Be prepared at any time to modify your breeding plans. You are dealing with live animals and you have to expect the unexpected. You may buy hedgehogs to add to your breeding herd that do not behave as expected. Females may not become pregnant or may destroy babies. There may be behavior, health or temperament issues that make a hedgehog less than desirable as a breeder.
- It takes time and effort to build up a breeding herd. Rescues and pet store hedgehogs are not suitable breeding animals in most cases. Knowledge of the background of your breeding animals is needed too breed responsibly.
- Do you have a reason for wanting to breed other than experiencing cute hedgehog babies? I hope so. If you want to see cute babies, contact a breeder. They will let you visit and see hedgehog babies as soon as it is safe to do so. All of the fun and none of the responsibility. Not a bad deal.
- Hedgehogs are exotic animals and are regulated by the federal government in the US by the USDA. There are also state and local regulations in some places. You will have to keep up on these regulations in your own area and your customerís locations as well.
Hedgehog breeding can be very rewarding. Otherwise nobody would do it. There are a lot of things to consider before becoming a breeder and I hope this has helped give you some things to think about before you take that first step.
Home * Articles & Information * Policies * Questionnaire * Available * Links.
Copyright © 2007 Connecticut Hedgehogs. All Rights Reserved