When I first entered the hedgehog breeding community ( Made an online profile and joined their online group) I was shocked and saddened to discover that not one other breeder in the USA was observing and tracking color genetics.
Understanding color genetics is super important when breeding animals. I helps you discover which genes carry illness.
I have worked hard over the course of several years to better understand color genetics in hedgehogs and their interaction. This discovered knowledge has greatly benefited my herd. For example, after one genetic related illness discovery, I retired nearly 1/3rd of my herd. I refuse to breed animals that are more likely to develop illness and I strive to understand their genetics.
* Understanding which genes can increase illness chances, does not 100% prevent illness, but it does help reduce the chances.
In 2015 I purchased a puppy from a man who claimed to be a licensed breeder. This puppy ended up being very sick. After several months of stress and extreme financial struggle, we lost our puppy. After investigation we learned that the breeder wasn't even licensed.
When I became USDA licensed I decided that I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to breed quality hedgehogs and offer them for a fair price, reducing the temptation of the illegal breeder's cheap prices. .
Hedgehog nutrition is a subject that has had very little official study. I have partnered with another breeder in offering my herd more natural food items. I have noticed a great improvement in my animals since offering a diet primarily of natural meats and insects. My animals still eat kibble, juts to a lesser extent. I adore natural nutrition so much that I have included it in my Care Plan.
I enjoy providing information about how owners can offer a more biologically appropriate diet to their animals. I contribute to the wonderful website gwww.hedgehogownersusa.com
I firmly believe that the animals we keep as pets, are more than just pets. These beloved creatures touch our lives in so many ways. Their the companions we come home to after a stressful day, they're the ones who accept us as we are when the world challenges us. They deserve the best!
As a breeder, I do things differently. I consider my hedgehogs family members. I want to see them succeed. I strive to understand them. They give me so much in return. I spend time with my hedgehogs, I bond with them and get to know them for "who they are". Each hedgehog here is a unique individual.