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Old 02-13-2013, 03:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Arrow Breeding Question

Okay please don't jump down my throat. I'm NOT breeding them. I got a female hedgehog recently, kinda by accident. (She was in horrific condition and I decided I could not leave her where she was.)
Anyway, I have always been curious as to why breeding is so frowned upon here? If breeding is constantly restricted by caring hedgie owners, wont genetic variation and thus eventual inbreeding have a problem?

The woman I bought Pindsvin off of said if I ever wanted advice she would be more than willing to provide it, put that it really wasn't difficult as long as your hedgie was healthy. (She has genuinly never had any problems with breeding and all her hedgies have beautiful tempers.)

Anyway, like I said I'm just purely curious about it.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeding Question

I'm not a breeder but... I think the general concensous is that unless you are prepared to watch the babies and the mother perish, you shouldn't be a breeder. Because it can happen.

Unless you are prepared for emergency costs, you shouldn't breed.

If you're looking for a cute fix or easy money, you shouldn't breed.

Just what I've picked up around the boards. I'm sure our resident breeders will chime in.
<3 Proud hedgie momma to Mr. Archibald Q. Prickles <3
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeding Question

I would venture to say that the biggest reason why hedgehog breeding is frowned upon is due to their being USDA controlled. They are an exotic animal, and of course special consideration should be taken.

As for the other reasons being care, expectancy of strife, risking breeders, monetary costs, and moral reasoning behind breeding - those are considerations one must take in breeding any animal. I tend to agree that most people should not be breeding, especially if they don't do research. I'm sure if you asked anyone they'd say they had a mouse/hamster/rat that had babies, and it's so easy/they got eaten. Clearly that is irresponsible ownership in the first place for allowing an unwanted pregnancy, but it happens. More caution is taken in places like this, especially when the animal is exotic and is considerably expensive. The price of a hedgehog makes a lot of people think about breeding for profit, as with any more expensive animal. This is seen in all sorts of communities.

I myself keep and breed many species of reptiles and amphibians, and my family has bred other animals including cockatiels as I was growing up. Because of my exposure to animals and experience with many sorts, I would say that hedgehogs really aren't much different than other sensitive species of animals. Any animal has a danger of pregnancy complications, some species more than most. The considerations I see in hedgehogs are the same as I see in many species.

But the reasons behind users of this forum being so adamant - I find that to be because of their investment in hedgehogs, emotionally and financially. Breeders would not want the market flooded with unhealthy, unchecked, and unregistered hedgehogs breeding willy-nilly with inexperienced owners. That's not for the good of the species, and certainly does not bode well for their legality as a pet. Since they are banned in some places, and very controlled, nobody should be crapping in the salad lest they endanger the responsible breeder's ability to continue working with the species.

Logically, I don't think the reasons recommended to consider before breeding are too over-the-top. They make sense. I think they might be exaggerated sometimes, and I do agree with the concern about how one introduces new bloodlines - though I have seen some breeders state their process for it. I think the breeding should be a little more accessible in terms of providing a larger pool of genetics - I'd hate to see registered hedgehogs turn into weak purebreds (which is noted in many species with little genetic variability - I see these weak breeds in reptiles as well as the common purebred mammals we think of!), but I leave it to the current breeders to deal with that.

I personally do not wish to breed hedgehogs at the moment due to my preoccupation with them as pets, and my workload with caring for my true love in genetics - that being reptiles and amphibian breeding. But I do hope that if and when I felt ready to add hedgehogs to my list, after considerably time owning and caring for them, that breeders will be open and accessible to me as a knowledge base in order for me to abide by the same standards that they do.

I apologize for the long winded response, but I think that your question was best answered by the philosophy of responsible breeding in general. There are of course specifics for any animal, and that simply takes experience and research in owning the pet first long before breeding them.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeding Question

No thank you for replying ^.^

I live in Ireland, we barely have laws at all, let alone animal welfare ones!
The only legitimet hedgehog breeder in this country is the one I bought Pindsvin off of. The rest are brought in from England/Europe and sold(legally-but not humanly might I add, hence getting Cindaquil, whose parents were German import.)

What type of reptiles do you breed if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeding Question

I believe most breeders on this site are American, though I may be wrong. Thus they are subject to the laws here, and to the recent news happenings with hedgehogs that can be detrimental to keeping them (salmonella outbreaks blaming them, etc.)

As for my animals, I think this is best answered by my recent post on the other pets thread, haha. viewtopic.php?f=18&t=21849&start=10#p183307
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Breeding Question

I was going to comment when I first opened, but then eskye covered it pretty well. I just want to add that basically, we're very overreactive about breeding on here because of how common backyard breeders are in the US (defined as those who are breeding non-registered hedgehogs with health not guaranteed, don't care who their babies go to, not breeding to better hedgehogs as a breed, etc.), and just how much responsibility breeding requires. We just want to be 110% sure that anyone considering breeding knows just what they're getting into, and is doing it right so that we can add another responsible, ethical, careful breeder to the group of them out there, rather than another person who's being slipshod about their methods, care, records, etc.
~*~*~ Kelsey ~*~*~

RIP my sweet Lily ~ 6/12/08 - 1/20/12
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