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I have been owned by Rocket, my first Hedgehog for almost a year now. Recently, out of adoration for the animal, I acquired another hedgie, and I LOVE her so much!! She is amazing! When I got her, she was pregnant. I am going through the baby thing now, and I am nervous. Of course I'm nervous! I wasn't expecting my PET to be bred! I think with a lot more research, time to prepare, and time on these boards, I would not be nervous at all. I really want to eventually breed hedgies. Maybe in a year. Maybe in ten. At some point, I want to help bring the joy of hedgehogs to my state, as there is only ONE (licensed) breeder here. My questions are: 1. Do breeding hedgies have to be kept in breeding racks to be licensed? Could I not have cages similar to guinea pig cages and aquariums with screens with proper temperature control? I used to keep snakes, and I know that snakes are kept in breeding racks, too. I'm sorry if this sounds ignorant, but I feel like breeding racks limits their interaction with us as pets? It seems to be less loving? Again...I'm not trying to offend anyone...only understand. I know with snakes, people classify them as "breeders" and "pets". Breeders are often mean. But that's not part of the hedgie code of ethics...to breed an ill-tempered animal. So could I just have multiple large enclosures?

Also: Do multiple hedgies house together? I have my separated now (Rocket and Muffin are different genders and also pet store hedgies...it'll be a no-no to mix them!), but have read about people having same-gendered animals together. I read in a book that hedgies can poke each other's eyes out?? Is this true?? I read that all hedgies have to be housed alone unless breeding. Can anyone shed some light?

If I wanted to look at making the jump into breeding in the next couple of years, would you guys recommend talking to someone now, or having a semi-mentor now? Or would I have to wait until I'm ready to buy hedgies from licensed breeders?

How do you know if your breeders are related or not?? Even if you buy them from opposite sides of the country, there's a chance they're related, right? And I notice that the code of ethics says not to breed 1st strain relations. Is it ok to breed 2nd and 3rd? That seems bizarre to me! :)

Any information would be appreciated. I'm not doing this any time soon, I want to research, talk to people, save a lot of money, and then make a responsible decision based upon all of the above.
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