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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First sorry for asking a question that has been asked several times, but I can't seem to find the answer I'm looking for when I search about exericse balls!!
To be begin with I'll do a small introduction. I recently got two hedgies - Harriet (almost 9 weeks) and Harry (about 7 weeks). I would love to show them this coming summer; to see if they are of good enough quality to be bred and for fun. (If they do not have good confirmation/coloring they will not be bred, I believe in only breeding the best of the species :)
I got that "Hedgehogs Strut Your Stuff" e-book to start researching and practicing for shows, and I was quite intrigued by the 'Olympic' part of shows :lol: the hedgehogs looked like they were having so much fun rolling around in their exercise balls!
So.....my question is - is it ok to have hedgehogs in exercise balls? Many people say no - the slits are bad for their feet - which I understand, but what about when they are showing? And is there a different ball (besides hamster balls) that is better for them?
Thanks!!!
 

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I think you'll find a general response on this forum that excercise balls in general are not good for hedgehogs. I can't speak directly to showing however. Problems include toes being caught, running in their own feces, running in the contained smell of ammonia, & not knowing is the hedgehog is running because they're happy or running because they're scared & unable to get out.
 

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I've always thought it rather hypocritical to have exercise balls in the hedgehog olympics when any responsible owner knows they are bad news.
 

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Maybe the hedgehogs should run in cake wheels at shows. They could be judged on form, cleanliness of wheel, artistic running style...

It would be wonderful to let them explore the house or a room and know the hedgehogs wold be safe in a ball, but I think it would take some of the fun out of it for them. What about strange smells on the carpet? How about giving 'hog-mom a panic attack when she can't find you? What about sneaking away to poop under the couch? I know my babies just wouldn't have as much fun running around the living room--but it would sure make my life easier!
 

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Does anyone know if the person who wrote that eBook is active in the hedgehog community? It doesn't seem like they really know what they are talking about at all...

I would not trust what you read in there unless they are a respected member of the hedgehog community.
 

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A little off the original topic, but you mentioned possibly wanting to breed them? Do you have pedigrees on both of them? Its much more important to have WHS free breeding stock than whether or not they win at a show.
 

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I'm curious to know which breeder in MN you got your hedgehogs from. I know a very reputable one is no longer breeding, and there really is only other reputable breeder in MN that knows pedigree's and what their hedgehogs lineage is. There are also a few iffy breeders in MN that breed mostly for profit and 2 I know even take their hedgehogs to different places such as fairs and such and set booths up to promote their hedgehogs. I would do as much research on your hedgehogs pedigree as possible before even considering breeding them.

As for your ball question, they really are a contraption that are not good for hedgehogs or any small animal in my opinion. They do have slits in them where urine could flow out, but as fast as a hedgehog or other animal can run, they would just be covered in urine and fecal matter. And the smell....who would want to do that to an animal.
 

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Ok, went to that Marty person's webpage. I don't know what's in the care booklet but please don't take it for gospel. If you look at the store, they sell all the horrible hedgehog foods.

I've been around quite a few years and have never heard of this person.
 

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HedgeMom said:
I've always thought it rather hypocritical to have exercise balls in the hedgehog olympics when any responsible owner knows they are bad news.
This confused me as a new owner, as well. I had purchased two of them only to find out what a mistake that was and then to read on here that they were discouraged. I had gotten the idea from the olympics, I forget whose hedgehog website I saw it on. They had a track and everything and I remember thinking "WOW cool! I could set that up all around the house!" Um, NO.

I discourage them to anyone that will listen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the responses! You all confirmed what I already thought - that the exercise balls are bad for them. (I really hope those hedgies aren't scared :shock: ) Guess I will be skipping that part of the showing.....
Hopefully the "olympics" will be re-looked at - it does seem hypocritical to have hedgies running around in exercise balls when they are clearly dangerous for them.
As for breeding, I don't believe in breeding animals unless they are top-quality which to me means they are healthy, friendly, have wonderful coloring and the correct confirmation. I am perfectly happy not breeding, but if it would furthur the hedgehog world I would love to do it!
My hedgehogs are registered with the International Hedgehog Registry and I will be joining soon.
 

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Unlike other species, showing hedgehogs has nothing to do with breed-worthiness. You'll compete directly with rescue hedgehogs who shouldn't be bred. Many Grand Champions aren't suitable for breeding just because they are rescues with no pedigree.

Most of the show points are in temperament with lesser points for conformation, coat/color and none for movement. Using a show as a guide for breed-ability isn't really the wisest thing to do.
 
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