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Old 08-08-2012, 03:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow In need of Mentor , Advice givers , and experienced breeders

My hedgehog is soon going to give birth to her first litter <expected in a couple weeks> and I have been trying to get everything prepared but I still need to hear from other people what I need to have done before and after the babies are born and throughout their lives. The babies are not for sale , they are for strictly personal pet purposes. Could Someone give me a list of items I need , A good brand of food for the mother and food for the babies during their weening , and any other information no matter how crucial . Also , I need to be prepared for better or worse so could you tell me risks and things that could go wrong and tips on what to do if it does happen . ANY hypothetical situation that is realistic that you can think of happening needs to be addressed . Even things I could find on other threads or online I would like to be mentioned here so I can have all information in one place which can be discussed. I would like someone I could call with questions and advice in case of emergency ( I do have a vet , but even if they know about the needs of hedgies they are likely not "experienced" with it first hand. ) This will be the only litter I have so I will not be in need of constant help or a bother to you , I just need guidance through this one although I might need numbers for a day when something goes wrong as an older hedgehog. emails are appreciated as well. Things NOT to do are just as important as things to do . Please give me your advise and time. thank you.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of Mentor , Advice givers , and experienced breeders

Are you a breeder or not I seen different post and am a ill confused
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of Mentor , Advice givers , and experienced breeders

I will be honest, I personally think you should've done all this research before breeding your hedgie, not once she's already pregnant, especially because neither parent is pedigreed. However, what's in the past is in the past, and I am glad that you have been so receptive to advice.

You need a nest box, first off. If you have a large igloo that should work, that's what I use for my moms. Moms can't stay on fleece with babies because it gets too gross (you can't change the cage until the babies are weaned), so pick up either some aspen or some CareFresh. I know a lot of people use aspen, I use Carefresh. One of my mamas likes to line her nest with fleece strips as well, so you might want to cut up strips of fleece for nesting materials (I put the strips in about 2 days before the due date and she does what she wants with them). I like to start my moms on Royal Canin Babycat about a week into pregnancy, they need the extra nutrition to help grow the babies in their belly, and then after that they need it for nursing. Babycat is ideal for babies to wean onto as well, because the pieces are so small and has more protein and fat in it than other foods. I'm assuming you already have a CHE (if you don't, get one now). You'll need proper set ups for each of the babies for once they're old enough. Be aware that she may have many more than you're planning on... one of my girls has had three litters of 6, 7, and 6 babies. I have seen litters of 8 and 10 in the past. That means you need to be prepared to care for a lot. You will need a quiet room for mom where she will not be disturbed.

As for a list of what could go wrong...
Mom has breach baby get stuck, dies.
Mom hemorrhages, dies.
Mom gets stressed, kills babies.
Mom gets tired, kills babies.
Mom gets an ectopic pregnancy, mom and babies die.
Baby gets injured while being born, dies.
Babies are born deformed, die.
Babies are born with WHS, die at a few months old. (Because the parents are not lined, you will want to watch closely for genetic problems in the babies that can occur with unintentional inbreeding, etc.)
Mom has too many babies to feed (hedgies only have 8 nipples, and they are not all always accessible to the babies when their siblings are also trying to nurse) and the litter dies/mom rejects them/mom kills them/you take half and have to attempt to handraise them)

There are many things that can go wrong. Of course, a vet visit can help in some situations, but not all. Some things you can't catch until it's just too late (ectopic pregnancy, for example, can't be seen without an ultrasound, which they don't do for hedgies). You need to be prepared to spend lots in vet bills, and also be prepared to lose not just the babies but also their mother. Every time you breed it is a risk to the mother's life, as Nancy always says.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something on the list of things to get, but there's a starting point. I suggest you read religiously the posts in the breeding and babies section!
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of Mentor , Advice givers , and experienced breeders

No I am not a breeder. I do not sell babies. I am having one litter to keep as pets and that is all.

And I have done research , I have looked up things. Most things anyone will tell me I have already read , heard , and discussed with a vet. Their father has a pedigree and waiting until the weekend to call about the mother's. I am simply asking in case someone can tell me something new and I am sure they can. But I did do research . Since she was about 5 months old , and she is eleven months now. I had planned to wait until a year but I didn't think it was necessary to wait that long. Since my babies are not being sold no one else will have the responsibility of getting vet care or paying for expenses . I can 100% provide any amount of money needed for it. I want someone to mentor me just in case I cannot find something on this website in case of emergency. and I already have the things I need to prepare for the birth . But I want to be completely sure I am doing it right , so I will ask for help and listen to anyone that would help me. Even if I bred for 10 years straight and has much success I would still ask for a list of needed things because everyone has input that varies in some way.

The inbred baby with no pedigree is from another mother that I did not breed but bought her while pregnant from a breeder who thought she was a male. But I am keeping a close eye on it. And thank you for the no fleece thing. I picked up a big bag of carefresh . it looks pretty comfortable. Hopefully she likes it But like I said , I did do research about this. I am new at breeding since I have never had a litter besides the one that was unexpected and not prepared for , but I did do a lot of research for months.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of Mentor , Advice givers , and experienced breeders

I actually just read the other thread where you mentioned the father's pedigree, that's great that you can get a copy! Be sure to compare the mom's ped if you can get it to the father's ped and check for the same names. Just because they are from different breeders doesn't mean they won't be related (I have to check pedigrees even when I'm buying from across the country just to make sure I don't have any lines repeated!), and if they are, then just keep a close eye on the babies for genetic issues as they mature. Another thing I thought of is dishes-- I don't know if you have a treat dish separate from the food dish, but I make sure to have a treat dish in there so that when I need to see the babies, I can bribe mom out of the nest for a moment by putting mealies in the treat cup and showing them to her. It keeps mama happy, the babies safe, and gives me a minute to do head count and a visual health check of each of them (I start handling mine at an average of two weeks old, some moms will let me handle earlier and others make me wait a little longer). Comes in handy for sure!

With the Carefresh, be sure to toss it before you put it in so that you can get rid of the dust. I open the bag, put some in a plastic tote, and toss it around, kind of like I'm sauteing something in a pan (similar motion). Then use your hands to get out the Carefresh, leaving most of the dust at the bottom of the tote instead of in the cage with your hedgies.

Where are you located (general area, I don't need specifics lol), if you don't mind me asking? I'm not sure how far you are from another good breeder, but I may be able to either help you find a more local mentor or help mentor you myself if you'd like!
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: In need of Mentor , Advice givers , and experienced breeders

Quote:
Originally Posted by DasIgelPoggie
I actually just read the other thread where you mentioned the father's pedigree, that's great that you can get a copy! Be sure to compare the mom's ped if you can get it to the father's ped and check for the same names. Just because they are from different breeders doesn't mean they won't be related (I have to check pedigrees even when I'm buying from across the country just to make sure I don't have any lines repeated!), and if they are, then just keep a close eye on the babies for genetic issues as they mature. Another thing I thought of is dishes-- I don't know if you have a treat dish separate from the food dish, but I make sure to have a treat dish in there so that when I need to see the babies, I can bribe mom out of the nest for a moment by putting mealies in the treat cup and showing them to her. It keeps mama happy, the babies safe, and gives me a minute to do head count and a visual health check of each of them (I start handling mine at an average of two weeks old, some moms will let me handle earlier and others make me wait a little longer). Comes in handy for sure!

With the Carefresh, be sure to toss it before you put it in so that you can get rid of the dust. I open the bag, put some in a plastic tote, and toss it around, kind of like I'm sauteing something in a pan (similar motion). Then use your hands to get out the Carefresh, leaving most of the dust at the bottom of the tote instead of in the cage with your hedgies.

Where are you located (general area, I don't need specifics lol), if you don't mind me asking? I'm not sure how far you are from another good breeder, but I may be able to either help you find a more local mentor or help mentor you myself if you'd like!
Thank you a lot . the separate treat bowl idea is really good! didn't even think of that. and thank you for the Carefresh information . I didn't know that either ! <3
And I am in Cookeville , Tn . If you knew one anywhere near there it would be great. I'd rather have someone suggested to me than find a sketchy person online lol.
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