- Home Where is the best way to buy a hedgehog and how to understand that it is healthy?
After you have weighed the pros and cons for yourself and still decide to make such a responsible decision as buying a hedgehog, you will have a number of important questions.
“Where and from whom is it best to buy a hedgehog?” “How to understand that he is healthy?”
We have prepared and sorted out for you the most popular options for buying a hedgehog. We suggest that you carefully read them and choose the best place for yourself.
Buy a hedgehog from a breeder.
It is widely believed that by buying a hedgehog in a specialized nursery from a breeder, the future owner will protect himself from a sick and not manual hedgehog. Unfortunately, this is not so.
Not every nursery treats their wards properly and generally understands how to properly care for hedgehogs (large and small).
In order to at least partially protect yourself from buying a "pig in a poke" and make sure the competence of the breeder, you must adhere to the following rules.
Firstly, when searching for a nursery, do not stop your choice on one, choose from several.
Secondly, make sure that the breeder has authority and extensive knowledge regarding all aspects of the hedgehog’s life (you can be guided by the information in the articles on our website).
Thirdly, read reviews about nurseries and talk with people who have already bought hedgehogs there, find out about the health status of pets, whether the breeder helps his customers after acquiring animals and how well he does it.
In a good nursery, all animals are kept in the correct conditions, eat right, are observed by a veterinarian.
Do not hesitate, if possible, to ask for a visit to look at the conditions of the hedgehogs.
Before purchasing, the breeder is obliged to provide you with complete information about the animal and its parents (living conditions, diet, pedigree), give a guarantee of the absence of genetic defects and health problems (passport, medical certificates on the official form with a mark about the passage of the medical examination), as well as Contact the veterinarian directly.
Another important clarification. Do not buy a hedgehog that has not yet reached the age of two months. Hedgehogs of an earlier age, not so long ago weaned from their mother’s milk, have not yet fully formed and strengthened in order to withstand the transfer to a new place of residence without any particular problems. Unfortunately, not all nurseries follow this rule. Very often, the hedgehog begins to give at the age of 4 to 6 weeks.
Remember! The nursery should not be a place where animals are sold only for the purpose of earning, and the breeder himself must be competent, take care of his pets properly, try to raise contact and friendly individuals, be ready to help with advice and transfer his knowledge so that he can sell it the animal lived in comfortable conditions and did not need anything.
It is interesting.
In the United States, most breeders are registered in the so-called International Hedgehog Registry (MEP).
And in order to obtain a compulsory license from the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), the breeder must confirm the health and comfortable conditions of his wards. Nurseries with more than three females for breeding are required to check their hedgehogs with a veterinarian every six months to a year to prevent breeding of animals with acquired and hereditary diseases.
Of course, the presence of all the above documents cannot guarantee the authority of the breeder. All licenses of the Ministry of Agriculture and MEP are necessary only for the correct workflow and registration of all hedgehogs in the country. Although by far the majority of licensed breeders try to improve the breed, increasing physical health and introducing more friendly individuals.
I would like our country to have adequate state bodies that are able to regulate nurseries in terms of health and maintenance of hedgehogs, and breeders treat their wards with due respect and do not see in them only a source of income, popularize competent care and maintenance of prickly babies, and minimize competition and tried to work together.
Buy a hedgehog from the former owners.
This option for acquiring a prickly friend can be fraught with many problems.
An indisputable advantage of such a purchase is the opportunity to purchase an animal at a lower price or to pick it up completely free of charge, without spending sometimes extra money to buy a cage and other vital accessories.
As for the cons, there are many more.
Firstly, a potential pet may be sick, and in this case the cost of a veterinarian will cost you much higher than the cost of a healthy hedgehog from a good nursery.
Secondly, when buying or taking an adult hedgehog, you may encounter the following difficulties. An adult animal already has its own established habits, which will be very difficult to break, and in this case, at first, the hedgehog will not adapt to you, but you will follow it.
And finally, if the hedgehog has objective problems with his character and his upbringing, no one was involved, then the process of taming will take more than one month, and the result will never be 100% positive. Initially, a wild animal can never relate to a person with full confidence.
When purchasing a hedgehog from your hands, be sure to find out why the former owner is leaving the pet, get as much information as possible regarding care and maintenance. Only after you have a complete picture before your eyes, make a decision and prepare yourself for the problems that you may encounter.
Remember! Free cheese happens only in a mousetrap.
Buy a hedgehog at a pet store.
The pet store is perhaps the last place where you should buy a hedgehog and there are a lot of reasons for this.
First of all, it is worth noting that at such points of sale of pets there are absolutely no conditions for the correct and comfortable maintenance of hedgehogs (noise, bright light, constant worries from visitors, improper nutrition, etc.), and the staff does not always know how take care of such exotic enough pets.
Pet shops, sometimes, do not often think about who they sell and have the most superficial knowledge, often using outdated or completely incorrect information. Along with misinformation, employees of pet stores do not pay due attention to their “living goods”.
In most cases, heterosexual individuals lodge together, and this in turn leads to constant fights (hedgehogs are solitary and territorial animals), as well as uncontrolled birth and devouring hedgehogs (females, among which there are also not reached puberty, cause irreparable damage your health).
In conditions of unsanitary conditions, hedgehogs often acquire a whole bunch of diseases.
What hedgehogs are sold in pet stores?
Most often these are animals purchased at a minimum cost from divorces that contain hedgehogs for the sole purpose of selling them quickly.
Such individuals are often the result of inbreeding (closely related incest), which indicates potential congenital health problems.
Even if you are told that the animal is from a private good nursery and has all the necessary medical certificates, request documents, although you should not rely on their authenticity.
It is worth noting that a hedgehog bought at a pet store will give you a lot of trouble in terms of taming and adapting under normal conditions, because no one was engaged in his upbringing.
We urge you - do not buy the animal out of pity.
When you take a hedgehog in such a place, you only give an incentive to the pet store to import more hedgehogs, condemning them to a painful existence. With each new batch of animals imported, the conditions of their maintenance and attitude towards them will not change. You will indirectly burden the thorns for suffering and enable the shadow market to flourish.
Do not expect that in the store you will be provided with all the necessary information regarding care and maintenance, they will be given contact details and guarantee the health of the hedgehog.
Buy a hedgehog at the Bird Market or online.
The purchase of a hedgehog at the so-called “Bird”, comparable to the purchase of a hedgehog in a pet store. The chances of buying a healthy animal and getting adequate content recommendations are nil.
As for the sale of hedgehogs via the Internet, here are no less problematic issues.
Let's start with the nurseries. Some of them offer the delivery of animals to cities different from their residence, sometimes without thinking about the availability of everything there necessary (food, veterinarian, etc.).
Hedgehogs are usually sent by train or by an automobile transport company, placed in a small box that resembles a coffin, with a small supply of food and a nipple drinker, without the possibility of leaving its borders and moving comfortably for several days (for example, sending a hedgehog from Moscow to Vladivostok). Under such conditions, it is not difficult to guess in what condition the animal will arrive at the destination and how many problems the newly made owner may encounter.
Along with nurseries, some pet stores also offer hedgehogs for sale, which is compared to sending a hedgehog to another city for stress and lack of comfortable conditions.
Buying a pet through the Internet, you may not get what you expected. The animal may be sick or sick during transportation. Instead of a young hedgehog, you may already be sold an adult. Returning the hedgehog to the seller, in turn, can be very difficult or impossible at all.
Remember! Regardless of the place you choose to purchase the prickly pet you choose, you must first of all be prepared to purchase it. Learn as much information as possible, make sure that you can provide your future friend with everything you need (from food and water bowls to food and a veterinarian).
We urge you not to take a hedgehog and not break his life if you do not have the opportunity to keep it as it should.
Choose a hedgehog.
A healthy, active and friendly pet is the desire of every potential owner.
There are several obvious signs that will help you, at least visually, to determine whether the animal is healthy or not.
We offer to disassemble each of them:
Eyes - clean, clear, not sticky, without mucous secretions, swelling and redness (not to be confused with the ruby color of the iris in hedgehogs of a light color).
Nose - cold, wet, clean, without adhering crusts.
A healthy hedgehog should whistle slightly with his nose, but not sneeze and / or choke in his own snot.
The ears - smooth, clean, without irritation, crusts, redness and mucus (inside and out).
Sometimes, it happens that the hedgehogs that have not yet been separated from the mother, can bite each other's ears in the game, or the mother, in a fit of excessive care (and hedgehogs are not the most accurate mothers), can damage the baby’s lobe. In this case, small wounds and scars can form on the ears, which are not dangerous and do not affect the subsequent life of the hedgehog, but only on condition that they are not inflamed and healed.
Dry crusts and torn ears in an adult hedgehog can be associated with an improper diet, temperature and humidity in the premises, as well as a lack of vitamins.
Teeth - clean, even, white, without yellow coating.
Hedgehogs, like all children, tend to lose their teeth, i.e. change dairy to indigenous. The lack of teeth in an adult hedgehog may be due to the presence of a large amount of solid food in the diet, as well as the aging of the animal.
Mouth and gums - natural pink color, without inflammation, bleeding and unpleasant odor.
Breath - smooth, without extraneous wheezing and hoarseness.
Leather - without redness and blemishes (not to be confused with dark or light pigmentation), scratching, irritation, signs of dryness, dandruff, unpleasant odor and parasites (light or dark moving dots).
During the period of active molting, the hedgehog may have a slight peeling of the skin, which is normal. An adult healthy animal should not have skin problems at all. Large, dry pieces of skin can indicate subcutaneous parasites, improper diet, washing too often, violation of temperature and humidity in the room.
Coat - shiny, soft, not greasy, does not climb in shreds and does not form bald spots on the body of the animal.
Needles - smooth, strong, sharp, not curved and without an unhealthy yellow coating at the base.
From birth to about 4 months of age, the hedgehog actively fade, gradually replacing children's needles with adults. Therefore, the loss of needles is a normal and natural process during this period. However, with adequate molting in a healthy animal, bald spots should not form and new ones should grow in place of old needles.
In adults, the periodic loss of several needles is permissible, but their spontaneous loss indicates health problems (parasites, poor diet).
Complete set - a visually healthy animal should resemble a pear or an even oval in its shape.
By the age of two months, the hedgehog should weigh 180-230 grams. By the year the body weight should increase to 350 +/- 20 grams, and gain a foothold in the animal forever.
Underweight hedgehogs always have sunken sides and ribs are well palpated. A thick hedgehog cannot curl into a tight ball, and there are fat deposits (folds) on the legs in the shoulders and hips.
Gait - without reeling, shaking, dragging of limbs, blocking, convulsions.
A feature of the hedgehog's gait is a little transshipment.
If the animal walks on fully extended legs or crawls on the contrary, falls over, misses the bowl, trembles, cannot lean on the limb or does not control them at all, this may indicate problems with the musculoskeletal system, tumors, stroke, lack of calcium, fractures and sprains.
Reaction to external stimuli - for any even the most contact hedgehog, it is normal to curl up in a tight ball and make rustling sounds when in contact with a stranger. This is a defensive reaction that does not mean anything bad.
Lethargy and the lack of a habitual reaction to an external stimulus can speak of serious health problems of any nature.
When communicating with an animal, sharp and unpleasant odors (varnish, tobacco, cream, perfume) should not come from you.
Kal (if you can see it) - solid, formed, dark brown, without a specific smell.
Porous feces or green feces, as well as diarrhea, can indicate the presence of parasites inside the animal, serious gastrointestinal diseases associated with poor diet and poor conditions.
Nutrition - One of the most important factors when choosing a healthy pet.
The basis of the diet for any hedgehog is insects and meat, not dry food. However, not all breeders and owners of hedgehogs adhere to an adequate diet.
Therefore, after the purchase, it is very important to transfer the animal to proper nutrition in order to avoid the occurrence of liver and gastrointestinal diseases.
Claws - trimmed, smooth, not twisted into a "ram's horn", without icteric plaque.
In a healthy and well-groomed hedgehog, the claws are always trimmed, and the nail plate itself has a healthy natural color.
Believe me, keeping track of all the above is easy. You can always recognize a completely unhealthy animal.
If you noticed a deviation from the norm when buying a hedgehog, then your best decision will be to choose another animal and another breeder.
You are welcome! Do not chase the low cost, it can go sideways to you. An animal is not something to save on.
We strongly recommend that after buying the animal, show it to the veterinarian to make sure that it is healthy and that there are no problems.
Be sure to take feces for a general clinical analysis to make sure the liver and digestive tract are functioning properly. Feces should be fresh (no older than 12 hours) and collected in a clean container, otherwise it may not be informative. Changes in stool will begin, and there will be a risk of making a false negative or false positive diagnosis for some serious pathology, for example, enterocolitis (a large number of decay products and under-oxidized fats that will come out of undigested food).
A timely diagnosis will allow you to avoid the development of serious pathologies in the animal and give it long happy years of life in your home.
We hope that our advice will allow you to make the right choice and get a healthy and active pet.
Where to buy a hedgehog?
It is very important - you can not buy a hedgehog under 8 weeks. Such babies have not yet formed and will not be able to withstand excommunication from their mother, and adapt to a new place of residence.
1. At the breeder in the nursery.
This is perhaps the best option. But the choice of nursery must be approached with all responsibility. It is necessary to verify the competence of the breeder, his knowledge about the content of hedgehogs, whether the breeder supports the new owners of their pets after their acquisition. В серьезных питомниках ежики содержаться в правильных условиях, сбалансировано питаются, и обязательно осматриваются ветеринаром. Уже с первых дней жизни ежат начинают приучать к рукам.
При покупке ежа заводчик предоставляет:
– родословную, в которой будут указаны данные о родителях,
– медицинские документы. The hedgehog must be healthy and not have any genetic defects,
- information on the conditions of the animal, proper feeding,
- contacts of the veterinarian.
2. At the pet store.
The pet store contains many different animals and birds. Therefore, creating the right conditions for hedgehogs is almost impossible. This beast is a loner, he does not tolerate company. And in the pet store, hedgehogs live for 5-7 individuals in one cage, often in unsanitary conditions, as a result of which the animals are in constant stress. Another important point is the nocturnal hedgehog. He sleeps during the day, and goes hunting at night. During the day, bright lamps are directed at the cells in the store and, in addition, customers create noise, which causes the hedgehogs to disrupt the natural biorhythm, which affects the health of the animals. In pet stores do not tame and raise a hedgehog, so you will have to spend a lot of time adapting the pet in a new house.
3. From the hands of the former owners.
This option is attractive for saving money on the purchase. Or a hedgehog can be given at all for free. But, first of all, it is necessary to clarify why the animal is given. It happens, of course, that a hedgehog is given in connection with a move or an allergy. But it may also be that the pet has a terrible character or no one was engaged in his education. In this case, it will be very difficult to tame and re-educate the hedgehog. There is also a danger of getting a sick animal from hand.
How to choose a healthy hedgehog
Choosing a hedgehog, everyone wants to have an active, playful and friendly pet at home. What kind of activity can be discussed if the animal is infected with some kind of infection. Therefore, it is important to be able to choose a healthy hedgehog, because there are unscrupulous sellers.
Signs of a healthy hedgehog:
- eyes are clean, without discharge and redness,
- the nose is clean, cold and wet,
- ears are even, clean, without mucus and redness,
- teeth are white, clean without plaque,
- the skin is dry and pink, does not peel, does not have an unpleasant odor,
- the hedgehog walks, slightly shifting from side to side. If the hedgehog walks on extended legs or crawls, then this indicates diseases of the musculoskeletal system or cardiovascular system,
- the reaction of any hedgehog to a stranger - turning into a ball and panting sounds. If such a reaction is absent and the animal is slow and lethargic, then the cause of this can be serious diseases of a different nature,
- needles are sharp, even. Loss of several needles is permissible, but a strong drop of needles indicates infection with parasites or malnutrition,
- the claws are straight, not twisted without plaque.
Since hedgehogs are becoming more and more popular pets every day, the question is very relevant: "How much does a hedgehog cost in Russia?" The decisive role is played by the hedgehog breed, as with the purchase of any other animal.
African pygmy hedgehog
Today it is the most popular breed. Its cost 5000-7000 rubles. This breed of decorative hedgehogs is artificially bred, so they are most adapted for home maintenance. It is African dwarf hedgehogs that do not hibernate. Brought about 90 colors. Outwardly, they look like ordinary hedgehogs, only much smaller in size. Its mass is 400-500 grams.
The price of ordinary hedgehogs is up to 3000 rubles. In winter, falls into hibernation, only it is absolutely impossible to wake him up - this is fraught with a violation of the animal’s health, up to the death. The average weight of such an individual is 700-800 g. These are very active animals, run very fast, jump well, and know how to swim.
Very cute animals - small in size, have large ears 5 cm in length. There are no needles on the sides, only on the back. It is the eared hedgehogs who are afraid of drafts, therefore, in the cage, a house should also be equipped for them, even from a small cardboard box. Long-eared hedgehogs are the most active, can do without water for a long time. The cost of this breed is up to 5000 rubles.
How much does it cost to keep a home hedgehog
The main costly articles in the maintenance of hedgehogs are the purchase of cages and feeding. With proper care, hedgehogs rarely get sick, they are not vaccinated.
You need to settle your pet in a spacious cage with a closed top, size from 55 * 55 cm. The cage for rabbits is best suited. Her average cost 900 rubles. You can lay fleece or paper diapers on the bottom, but it is better to use natural sawdust or paper granules. The house should be equipped with a bowl for food and a nipple drinker. Some breeds of hedgehogs are afraid of drafts, some fall into hibernation, so you still need to put a small house in the cage. In a pet store, such a house costs about 200-500 rubles, but it is quite suitable for yourself made from improvised materials - a cardboard box, a dense fabric bag.
Hedgehogs are very active animals, they are excellent climbers. Therefore, there must be a large diameter running wheel in the cage. It's price 150-300 rubles.
Hedgehogs are insectivores. That is, the basis of their diet is insects, worms, frogs, mice. In general, hedgehogs are omnivores, they can be fed with everything that a person eats, with the exception of dairy products. But the diet must necessarily contain live or dried insects that are purchased at the pet store, or bird food for insectivorous birds. Such food costs on average 180 rubles for 500 g. Insects, of course, will cost more. Hedgehogs are happy to eat meat, fruits, porridge fish.
In general, hedgehogs are pretty cute pets that may well exist next to a person. They are easily tamed, recognize the owner, respond to the name. Caring for them is quite simple, there are even breeds that do not hibernate. The cost of these animals varies greatly, which primarily depends on the breed. Before you start a hedgehog at home, you need to weigh the pros and cons and be sure to provide the animal with the correct living conditions. With proper care, decorative hedgehogs live for 5-6 years, ordinary hedgehogs in captivity live for 7-8 years.