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Breeding basics

69173 Views 64 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  Petlover500
A female should NOT be bred under the age of 6 months, nor bred for the first time over the age of one year. The gestation period is about 35 days, but can be as long as 49 days. If you happen to find that your female has given birth, DO NOT disturb her for 2 weeks, with the exception of giving her food and water. How do you know there are babies in the nest? You will hear squeaks or chirps. Take out the wheel. Do not try to clean the cage until babies are weaned. Babies will start to eat out of mom’s food dish at about 4 weeks old. Babies will need to be weaned at about 6 weeks old. The males need to be separated from mom and sisters by 7 weeks of age.

How old should a male be before breeding? Males should be about 4 months old. But males and females alike, are capable of breeding at 7 weeks, but it is not healthy for them.

It only takes a couple of seconds for a male and female to breed, so never allow a male and female playtime together. Never house a male and female together. If they are housed together, the male will constantly be mating with the female. If they are together when she has babies, they will eat them.

Don’t breed your hedgehogs, because you want to experience babies, or you have friends that want a baby hedgehog. Breeding is not an easy, fast, money making proposition. You risk the life of your female, everytime you breed her.
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Kobe said:
So you guys wouldnt recommend breeding them for the first time after one year? Is that simply to get them used to breeding when they are kindof young (between 6-12 months) so it doesnt negatively affect them after they are 1 year old and relatively stable?

The reason why i ask is that I have a lot of stuff going on right now and will for the next while, but eventually would like to expand my litter by breeding my girl (I do not have a male but thats a whole seperate issue). This would probably be at around 1 year from her birth (currently 8 weeks old).
The female's pelvis starts fusing as they grow older, so breeding after 1 year is dangerous and usually fatal, as her pelvis has pretty much fused.

Where did you get your girl from? Is this your first hedgehog? Why do you wish to breed? Are you planning just 1 litter? Do you have a mentor to help guide you? Does your girl have a pedigree?
Did you buy her from PapilionRu(on this board)? She is the only real reputable breeder in Toronto right now, and she's the only one with hedgehogs that would actually be considered breeding quality. So it may be wise to contact her directly and talk about whether your girl is actually breeding quality or not. Or perhaps just have her as just a pet for now, and then think about breeding by the time you are ready for a second hedgie.
And, as you can see from her post here http://hedgehogcentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=8958&p=76042#p76042 it gives a brief sum of how much it can all cost, obvious not nearly as much since you seem to only want 1 litter, but either way, still good to have a few thousand dollars on hand(or by credit) for emergencies if you wish to breed.
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A good breeder will have everything on file. The breeder should have your contact information as well as the hedgehogs identification and registry number if they register their hedgehogs. But either way, good breeder will have the information.

Good ethical breeders do not make money. It's not a get rich quick scheme. At any time you may lose the mom and babies or even the male. And if you wish to save them, it'll be expensive vet care. Good breeders just get by. Enough to break even and maybe have some extras. But they will never be rich just by doing this, which is why they have other jobs.

Also you will need at least 2 more extra cages. Most good breeders will wean the babies before letting them go to new homes to ensure they are eating well on their own. So you need at a minimum 2 more cage setups for the male and female babies.
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