hedgehogs Most likely, not one exotic homeAn animal does not have as much public attention as decorative hedgehogs. Their curious, charming, smiling faces, friendly nature and their real utility in nature for man, won the sincere love of most people in all countries. Hedgehogs are in the fairy tales of the peoples of the world. Naturally, they are well known and adored by all children. Moreover, they are almost always good characters - cute, resourceful and intelligent. Thanks to the efforts of breeders in various countries today, African dwarf hedgehogs have become real home hedgehogs. They have been working on their selection since 1995, and more than 90 colors of ornamental hedgehogs have been produced, which are now extremely popular in Europe. Hedgehogs, unlike most wild animals, quite easily adapt to life in captivity and quickly get used to people. In addition, compared to rodents, they do not gnaw anything in a cage or in a room, they can be easily trained to go to the toilet only in one place, the hedgehogs have no specific smell, like ferrets, and they do not try to mark the territory like cats . As a rule, the home hedgehog is friendly to people and other pets. They are curious and active. This animal you can buy at a pet store, and this hedgehog will be specially grown for life at home. And it is not recommended in the forest to chase an ordinary hedgehog and then try to accustom him to his apartment, because your efforts will not succeed - an ordinary wild hedgehog can not get used to domestic conditions.

General description of the hedgehog

So, the African dwarf hedgehog. Unlike his fellow-hedgehogs, these hedgehogs are quite small. The weight of an adult hedgehog is about 300-500 grams. And its size is 15-20 cm in length. With the right content of a hedgehog at home and a literate diet, their life expectancy ranges from 4 to 7 years. They have a charming face with beady eyes and a funny pointed nose, which constantly moves and sniffs around the surrounding environment. The upper part of the hedgehogs body is covered with extremely sharp needles, and their abdomen with white soft hairs. The muzzle, depending on the general color, may have a black mask, and such hedgehogs are homemade like a raccoon. With a different color, the black mask is missing, and the muzzle is simply covered with white hairs. If the hedgehog is frightened of something, it turns into a tight ball covered with needles. When the hedgehog is not frightened, his dorsal muscles are relaxed, and the needles lie parallel to the body, and then it is possible to pat him calmly along the needles. Still hedgehogs have a tiny tail of a few millimeters in length, so it's noticeable only when the hedgehog is running around. These are fairly intelligent animals, they have pronounced individual behavioral characteristics. They like to play and frolic in the tunnels, as well as fingering them in the running wheel. Hedgehogs-boys and girls-girls-girls do not differ from each other in behavior or character.

Hedgehog house

home hedgehogSo, what is the correct content of the hedgehog inhome conditions. A contain such hedgehogs at room temperature from 20 to 27 degrees. They do not fall asleep during the winter. For a comfortable hedgehog, a medium-sized cage or, for example, a plastic cage-dune is suitable. The dimensions of the bottom of the cage should be from 0.4 square meters. meters. And the bottom should be necessarily integral and in no case not latticed, because in general hedgehogs have very thin legs, and hedgehogs can be injured if their fingers suddenly fall through the grate. As a rule, the cell should be very well illuminated in the daytime, but it should not be affected by sunlight on very hot days. To this, it should be placed away from possible drafts. It should also be noted that hedgehogs are usually single animals, and hedgehogs must be kept separately from hedgehogs almost all the time, except for the time of mating, otherwise they will destroy their newborn babies. But if you still want to keep several females together, then they should be kept together right from childhood. Since hedgehogs never bite their house - a cage for them can be made of wood, but the bottom should be laid with linoleum or some other waterproof material. Use sawdust as a filler on the floor of the cage. In addition, every hedgehog cage should contain:

  • Of course, the feeder. It will be best to have flat pots made of ceramics with a height of approximately 5 to 7 cm and a diameter of 8 to 15 cm, although, of course, you can use plastic feeders for hedgehogs, only there are hedgehogs who love to turn them.
  • The Drinker. The most convenient is to use the drinking bowls that sell for other rodents. For one hedgehog there will be enough drinkers approximately 250-300 ml. And if you pour water in a saucer, it will be filled with sawdust all the time, and as a result your hedgehogs will not drink enough.
  • House. Ideal is a wooden house with a riding top. Although you can use other original items, for example, ceramic jugs. The minimum size for a house of one hedgehog on the bottom - 15x15 cm
  • Running wheel. It is best to buy as much as you can find. It can not be in diameter less than 20 cm. It is extremely important to carefully inspect the grille on the rim of the wheel. Because it should be either a fine mesh, or it is necessary to sew the wheel with soft strips of fabric, so that the thin legs of the hedgehog do not fall between the bars.
  • There are hedgehogs, which are very fond of toys. In addition to tunnels, for example, they like small balls for cats and small plush toys. Also, hedgehogs like to sometimes luxuriate in a soft house for rodents, occasionally found in pet stores.
  • This is how to care for a hedgehog in terms of arranging his home.

    Nutrition for the hedgehog

    And in terms of nutrition hedgehogs should be reversedattention to such points: they need food that contains little fat and a lot of protein. In European countries there are already specialized feeds for domestic hedgehogs, and if you often go there, you can simply find them at local pet stores. If you do not have this option, then do not be discouraged, as they will perfectly suit the best quality kittens, or if you find dry food for ferrets. Also, almost all small animals make their diet: larvae, earthworms, mice, snakes, caterpillars, frogs, chicks, snails, slugs, eggs and, of course, insects (dung beetles, ground beetles, May beetles). After all, even in captivity, one must sometimes try to give the hedgehogs their usual food. Pieces of fruit and berries can also be given, but their hedgehogs will eat with less willingness. In addition, they will not give up soups, vegetables, seeds and raw meat. Even home hedgehogs can be given fish and boiled liver - they are a very valuable food for them. The fish should be of high quality and unsalted. It is extremely useful to give the hedgehogs a mixture of crushed biscuits and grated carrots, adding finely chopped, hard-boiled eggs. But the milk hedgehogs can not be categorically given in opposition to the widespread myth, since hedgehogs do not have enzymes that digest lactose. The same applies to all other dairy products. In addition to milk, hedgehogs are contraindicated: raw pork, cold or frozen food, spicy or sweet dishes, fish with bones. In addition, you can not feed your hedgehog with "domestic" cockroaches, so that he does not accidentally become infected or poisoned with various household insecticides. Meat for hedgehogs should always be of average room temperature. It is not recommended to wash your hedgehog often. Best once every three months. Your hygienic means for this use is not worth it, get a special shampoo in the pet store. After bathing, it is necessary to wipe the animal dry, and not to start immediately on the floor - in order that he could not catch a cold. In general, caring for these animals is not at all complicated, just need to know how to care for hedgehogs. The manual hedgehog, of course, is not afraid of people, he is distinguished by sociability and curiosity. It is with great pleasure that you can sit on your lap while you, for example, watch TV or read a book. For all questions of general content, feeding or treatment, it is best to seek the advice of a veterinarian, because only he can provide real expert help to your pricked pet. We advise you to read: