Is a Hedgehog Right for You?
The four-toed hedgehogs (African pygmy) can be found in the savannas of central Africa. An appropriate heat source is essential for their wellbeing and to provide proper husbandry. Hedgehogs are natural burrowers so they will need plenty of hides in their enclosure to feel secure. They are incredible long distance runners which means they require a wheel and/or a safe space in your home for them to explore. IF you are planning on keeping your hedge in the bedroom please consider the noise coming from the wheel itself. Purchasing a well made silent wheel will make a difference to the noise produced at night while your hedgehog is running a marathon. Small mammals tend to have a faster metabolism which means they need to eat enough to maintain their energy use on the wheel. This means what goes in must come out. Hedgehogs are notorious for Poop Boots and poop-covered wheels. This means daily cleanings and weekly baths. This type of mess is not ideal to some but its a labor of love we hedgehog people do for our lap cacti.
African Pygmies are considered to be omnivores, which means their diet includes both plants and animals. Many people classify them as insectivores, due to insects being the main part of their diet. In their natural environment a hedgehog may come across crickets, worms, slugs, berries, or various smaller mammals such as pinkie mice. These animals have a varied diet and should be taken into consideration when picking the type of pet to bring home. It is important for them to be given live insects that can be purchased at local pet shops or online.
As we are aware, hedgehogs are mostly solitary nocturnal creatures that have spines as a defense mechanism. That being said, those spines may not feel safe to a small child or someone who is has sensory issues.. Please keep in mind that though they may not shoot out their quills in hopes to impale you- they can and will spike up if they feel threatened or uncomfortable. Due to their poor eyesight, hedgehogs have a keen sense of smell and good hearing. These are clues, for us humans, on how we can better communicate with this species. Many hedgehogs are responsive to their owners voice and some can even understand their name. Soft verbal communication is crucial in letting your hedgehog feel they aren't in danger. Owners have also had success by adding an old piece of clothing into their pets daily routine. This familiarizes your hedgie to your scent in its daily life while you are at school or work.
Hedgehog Temperament Scale
Our scale rating is based off the interactions we have with an individual hedgehog. Due to hedgehog behavior we cant guarantee they will act the same with every person. We do try our best to make the best judgement as possible to be able to pair our hedgehogs to the right person.
1/5 Surly- "bad tempered and unfriendly"
Erect quills, huffing, will not un-ball, popping noises
2/5 Aloof- "cool and distant"
Erect quills, huffing, curious but still defensive, some popping
3/5 Amendable- "able to be influenced"
Firm quills, huffing, will come out but quickly retract, no popping
4/5 Amiable- " friendly and agreeable"
Slightly defensive but quick to relax, some huffing, some sniffing
5/5 Amicable- "friendly and peaceful"
Quills flattened, occasional huffing, little to no balling up, lots of sniffing