WE periodically test our animals to be sure they are free of a Salmonella outbreak. We report all symptoms of illness to a medical professional immediately. All herd members are examined by a vet routinely and are issued health certificates by a licensed medical professional. The vet care we supply to our herd exceeds federal requirements!
We proudly practice a progressive care plan that includes salmonella testing and a full protocol. Vet care is important to us! Remember that all animals carry Salmonella, even humans! This is why hand washing , universal precautions and a clean cage are so important with any pet.
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.
As a breeder I have expressed dozens of color genes and identified multiple gene interactions that. This very important yet previously unknown information is helping breeders I work with produce healthier hedgehogs in unique coloration.
We have produced many unique color lines including; calico, lavandar, black mask, silver, and freckle expression, among several others.
An example of what my work has been discovering: Did you know that the dilute gene was highly sought after ? Breeders working with this gene seemed to be producing weaker smaller animals. This peaked my curiosity and I wanted to know why these animals were so "fragile". After much study and pairings, it was determined that the dilute gene must never be paired with certain other genes. When dilute is paired with a few other specific genes, it creates weak animals! mystery solved! Knowing this allows us to better understand and treat dilute gene animals that have the other "no no" genes in their lineage. It also helps breeders avoid pairings that will result in such serious issues!
MY TOP HEDGEHOG BONDING TIP FOR NEW OWNERS=
Due to hedgehogs being prey animals, it is important to understand that when held "belly-up" hedgehogs may become very nervous. The belly up position is very unnatural for hedgehogs. In the wild a hoggo with it's belly exposed would be an easy meal for a predator. When working with your hedgehog, always start handling belly down until confidence and trust is achieved.