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Old 11-20-2014, 10:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Which breeder should I choose?

So, first of all, I'm from Mexico (pardon my English ) and I'm getting my first hedgehog! I have done all the research possible, by reading several threads in HHC, around three hedgehog books, testimonials, even YouTube videos. So I know I'm ready to manage a lot of poop cleaning, foot baths, the quilling, mites, the long bonding process, etc. and I'm SOOOO excited!!!
So here's the deal: I need to choose breeder.
I have two options of breeders (PET STORES ARE NOT AN OPTION FOR ME), and I don't really know which one to choose.
The first one is a little more expensive, but I'm starting to doubt about it, since the breeder first told me he'd have available hedgies on the 15th of November. He didn't answer my questions for like two weeks, and ignored my petition of pictures. Then, he said the hedgies wouldn't be ready to go away until the 20th, and now he's telling me that he won't have available hedgehogs until the 10th of December!! (He finally sent me pictures, though)
Then the second breeder I found out about around a week ago, and all the reviews he has received are great. He doesn't have as much experience as the first breeder, and probably is not even a professional breeder, but since the first time I contacted him he was willing to send pictures of his hedgehogs (he has sent me around ten so far) and answers all of my questions. Still, he promises to have available hedgehogs all year long, which sounds odd.

WHICH BREEDER SHOULD I CHOOSE???
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think you should ask for a pedigree for their available hedgehogs. You need to make sure that the hedgehogs have a healthy bloodline. If one of the breeders does not have this available for you, you should not pick them.
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Old 11-20-2014, 10:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The second breeder showed me the bloodline. But he feeds his hedgehogs Mazuri food, which I've heard is not as good as high quality cat food(what the first breeder feeds his hedgies).
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think a healthy bloodline is more important than what the breeder is feeding (you can always switch when you get your baby).

Try to contact the first breeder and ask for a pedigree. Make sure WHS did not occur anywhere in that bloodline.

If both breeders have healthy bloodlines, then see if they have health guarantees and support for you after you receive the baby. You can also look into the food they feed and other details.
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree, food doesn't matter as much since you can change that. Personally I would hands down choose the second one. But keep in mind that things happen to baby hedgehogs and the breeder may have had babies, before the mom panicked.
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Old 11-21-2014, 01:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Any diet can be fixed. Pedigree can not. Like SC said, the biggest thing you'll want to check for is a history of WHS. Although they do not know the exact cause of WHS, there are strong speculations that it is genetic. If there is a history of it at either of the breeders, you probably want to choose another one. If one of the breeders won't provide a pedigree, say away from them!
I'm not sure the time delay is too much of an issue. He may have just wanted to make sure your hoglet was ready to leave its mommy before letting you take him/her.
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Agreed with all of the comments saying pedigree & health is most important. Another thing I'd like to mention - personally I'd be more concerned about the second breeder saying they have hedgehogs available all year long. I would ask that breeder more questions about how many breeding females he has and how often they're bred. Hedgehogs should not have more than two litters in a year. Unless he has many breeding females, I would suspect potential overbreeding of his females, which isn't healthy for them, not responsible breeding, and not something that should be supported. That said, the situation could be nothing like that, and perhaps he just staggers breedings so that he always has a litter available, but I would still be cautious.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So I got pictures of the hedgehogs the breeders were offering me. I don't have much experience with hedgehogs, but I think the hedgie in the blue sack looks grumpy, as if she's not used to contact with humans, and I don't think a good breeder would sell hedgehogs like that. Still, I would like more opinions on this. What do you think? (Here are the hedgehog pictures from the two different breeders, and both hedgies are the same age)
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Old 11-21-2014, 10:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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1. I agree with everyone on saying that bloodline tops food any day.
2. You can't judge a hedgehogs temperament through a picture.
3. A "good breeder" is someone who provides healthy, well cared for, handled hedgehogs. That doesn't mean every hedgehog is friendly. It's like with people, you can't help someone's nature. Sometimes a hedgehog just does not like to be forced to cuddle or be handled. Some prefer running free. What is important is the one you choose. That being said you need to ask the right questions.
A) how many moms are on site
b) how often does each mom give birth a year
C) ask to see the moms IN PERSON if you can.
D) ask for pedigree
E) if you're really concerned they're not being held, ask how often they're handled.
That's how I chose at least.
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Old 11-21-2014, 10:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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However, I did see that picture (of the hedgie in the blue sack) on Instagram so I'm not really sure what to tell you. Don't put a down payment online if they ask you to do that.
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