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Bloomin Hedgehogs

 
Basic Hedgehog Facts
Classification CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Eulipotyphla
Number of Genus 5
Number of Species 16
Domesticated Species Four-Toed Hedgehog
(Atelerix albiventris)
Average Life Span 3.5 years
Maximum Life Span 9 years
Common Life Span 3-5 years
Heat Cycle Ovulation induced by male
Estrous:  2 - 5 days
Diestrous:  2 - 5 days
Gestation period 35 days (up to 50 days to rule out pregnancy)
Litter Size: average 4, up to 9
Eyes open 14-16 days
Weaning age 5-7 weeks
Time to remove from mother: 6-7 weeks
Complete Physical Maturity 10 - 11 months
Average Adult Weight 9 - 19 ounces
200 - 600 grams
Recommended maximum number of litters per year per female hedgehog 2
First Sexual Capability  
Male 6 weeks
Female 8 weeks
First breeding best 6-7 months
Female fertility ends Approximately 3 years
First quilling 4 weeks
Second quilling 6 weeks
Third quilling: 9 weeks
Adult quilling 12 weeks
Adult color quilling 9 weeks
Best Room Temperatures 73 - 80 degrees Fahrenheit
23 - 27 degrees Celsius
Hibernation Hibernation can be lethal for pet hedgehogs
Sexes Males and females should be housed separately
Quills Quills are modified hairs, they do not 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 2 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 only defense.
DIET
Diet in the Wild Insects (beetles, beetle larvae & pupae, ants, termites, grasshoppers, crickets, moths, moth larvae & pupae, insect eggs, etc.)
Other invertebrates (centipedes, millipedes, earthworms, spiders, snails, slugs, scorpions, etc.)
Meat (rodent young, bird nestlings, carcasses)
Mushrooms & plant roots
Berries & fruit
Diet in Captivity

Dry cat or dog food

Diet Supplements (treats) Insects (mealworms, crickets, etc)
meat, eggs, assorted fruits and vegetables
Dairy Products Hedgehogs are mildly lactose intolerant. Dairy products should be fed sparingly or not at all 
Suggested Nutritional Requirements Protein
Suggested requirement - 28-35%
Fat
Suggested - 10-15% (15-20% for babies & underweight)
Fiber
Suggested - 15%
Calcium
Suggested - 0.9%
Phosphorus
Suggested - 0.9%
Iron
Suggested - 75 ppm
Copper (mg/kg) 4-23 7-16 3-7
Manganese (mg/kg) 11-146 11-70 5
Zinc (mg/kg) 20-175 100-190 30 
Recommended Caloric Intake 70-100 calories per day
HOUSING
Min. Recommended floor area 8 sq feet
0.74 sq Metres
Cage Floor Solid - NO Wire
Exercise

Hedgehog Wheel (solid running surface, no wire)
Toilet Paper Tube (for hedgehogs over 3 months of age only!)
Small child-safe toys
Daily Handling

COMMON AILMENTS
Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome (WHS) A genetic disorder that causes progressive paralysis similar to the human form of MS. There is no cure and the afflicted hedgehogs slowly and eventually become totally paralyzed. The disease appears to be carried by a recessive gene making detection and eradication difficult. Breeders should avoid using hedgehogs with any WHS in their family lines.
Cancer Hedgehogs are prone to a variety of tumors and cancers. Common ones include reproductive cancers (females more so than males) and oral cancers (fast-growing and difficult to surgically remove).
Eyes Eyes can be lost to quill pokes, most commonly when multiple hedgehogs are housed together. Infection is common if not treated immediately.
Teeth Tooth loss and wear can occur in older hedgehogs. Weight loss can occur in extreme cases. There is some speculation that an all-hard food diet can cause premature tooth wear. Hedgehogs with poor dentition should be fed a soft food diet to compensate and prevent weight loss.
TERMINOLOGY
Males Males
Females Females
Young Hoglets or pups
Breeding Group Herd
Quills Quills or Spines
Anointing or Self-Anointing The act of frothing at the mouth, arching the head back over the shoulders and depositing the frothy saliva onto the quills. Triggered by pungent smells and new tastes. The exact purpose of anointing is unknown.

 

 

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