10-22-2015, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
11 Mind Blowing Hedgehog Facts
11 Mind-Blowing Hedgehog Facts
Hedgehogs are down with a little (or a lot) self lovin', they stay away from the dairy aisle and they foam up… for no reason at all. We've put together a list of 11 mind-blowing facts about this adorable pet. Feel free to use them at your next trivia bar night or astound your friends with your amazing hedgie knowledge!
Photo credit: JanPietruszka/Bigstock
- Male hedgehogs like to masturbate… and some like to do it a lot! They don't care if they have an audience, which makes for interesting conversation the next time you have friends over for dinner. If you're a little embarrassed about the self-pleasuring show, just set him down or put him in a hedgie bag until he's finished – it's really not as big a deal as many people think.
- Hedgehogs can be trained to use a litter box. Some take to it, while others don't mind pooping and peeing anywhere they can. Almost all hedgehogs will still pee and poop on their wheel, so place the litter box underneath the wheel to catch what runs off.
- Hedgehogs are frequently referred to as hedgies. For more official terminology, males are called boars, females are called sows, and babies are called hoglets.
- Hedgehogs are ready to breed as early as eight weeks for females and six weeks for males. Females should never be bred before five months, so be careful! They can and will breed with their own mother or siblings, and inbreeding greatly increases the chances of genetic diseases (such as Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome) appearing in the offspring.
- Don't buy store-bought Hedgehog food. Instead, choose high quality cat and dog foods to feed your hedgie. Foods should have less than 35% protein and less than 15% fat.
- An obese hedgehog will have a double chin and "ham hocks" for legs… and sometimes even rolls of fat under the arm-pits.
- Hibernation can be lethal for pet hedgehogs, and the temperature and light of their environment must be carefully controlled to help prevent it. Special heating set-ups are almost always needed to keep a hedgehog healthy and happy.
- Hedgehog quills are modified hairs, they aren't sharp and don't have barbs. The average hedgehog has 5,000-7,000 quills. Quills are hard on the outside, filled with soft air pockets on the inside. There are two large muscles on either side of a hedgehog's back to raise and lower its quills and curl into a ball. This is a hedgehog's main defense (along with biting, like most animals!).
- Hedgehogs are mildly lactose intolerant. Never feed them milk or most cheeses. Cottage cheese and yogurt are considered okay in small amounts.
- Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome (WHS) is a genetic disorder that causes progressive paralysis similar to the human form of MS. There is no cure and the afflicted hedgehogs eventually become totally paralyzed. The disease appears to be carried by a recessive gene making detection and eradication difficult.
- Hedgehogs like to do something called Anointing or Self-Anointing. When you see it, you made think your hedge is possessed! It involved the act of frothing at the mouth, arching the head back over the shoulders and depositing the frothy saliva onto the quills. It's usually triggered by pungent smells and new tastes, and we humans still don't know why they do it (probably to freak us out and keep us on our toes!).
Last edited by Lilysmommy; 10-22-2015 at 06:16 PM.
Reason: fixed two typos