People are impressed by hedgehogs, because they look cute and it's interesting to watch them. But if ordinary (European) hedgehogs that we are accustomed to, whom you can meet in the forest, in the park or in the country, are usually not very friendly and affectionate creatures, then the African dwarf white-bellied hedgehog is a very cute creature both outside and inside.
The African dwarf hedgehog does not occur in nature - it is an artificially bred species of hedgehogs. It appeared relatively recently and immediately gained popularity among admirers of home exotic in the whole world. This hybrid breed was created specifically for home keeping as a result of crossing Algerian and other representatives of the African hedgehog genus. Breeders set a goal to get a small animal with a friendly disposition and not hibernating. And they succeeded! Mini-hedgehog easily fits in the palm: the length of his body usually does not exceed 20 cm, and it weighs no more than 500 grams. It concerns females, males are even more subtle. African hedgehogs are practically odorless and do not cause allergies.
Appearance dwarf hedgehog
Externally, the African dwarf hedgehog is similar to the usual hedgehog, but significantly smaller in size. The upper part of the body of a mini-hedgehog, like all its fellows, is covered with needles. By the way, when the hedgehog is in good spirits and is relaxed, the needles of him are not at all prickly, soft. And the hedgehog has soft fur on the muzzle and tum, shiny curious eyes, beads, pointed nose, round ears, a short tail and very touching tiny legs with claws.
What color are African hedgehogs?
Mikroezhikov began to breed purposefully more than twenty years ago in America. During this time, the breeders managed to do a lot, especially in terms of the variety of colors: the once modest gray color, today African hedgehogs delight the eye with a rainbow of colors. Now you can find colors such as "chocolate", "apricot", "cinnamon", "champagne", as well as spotted and albino. And on this enthusiasts are not going to stop.
Is it difficult to care for African hedgehogs?
Caring for these thorny creatures is not too complicated. For happiness, a hedgehog needs an open-air cage or a spacious cage (the more the better), a bowl, a drinker and a house for privacy. As bedding usually use a usual diaper, straw or sawdust.
And it is also necessary to take into account that miniature hedgehogs are heat-loving animals. They will feel comfortable at a temperature of + 22- +25° C. At temperatures just below these values, hedgehogs become lethargic. If the thermometer in the room where the pet is kept, shows +15° With and below, then for a hedgehog it is downright cold, in which he still strives to hibernate. It is impossible to bring this up in any way - there is a high probability that an African will not simply come out of hibernation.
Dwarf hedgehogs are usually neat: the toilet is arranged exclusively in one place. You just have to put a tray there and clean it daily.
And another thing: in order for the miniature hedgehog to not turn into a kolobok, and not to be bored by long nights, it must have the equivalent of a treadmill - a running wheel. By the way, obesity in mini-hedgehogs is a fairly common problem: they love to eat very much. The normal weight of a dwarf hedgehog is 300-400 grams. However, you can easily feed it up to a kilogram, but is it really good for a hedgehog? Feed them dry cat food, lean boiled meat, various insects. Read more about what and how to feed African dwarf hedgehogs, you can read in this article.
Important: take care of your hedgehog from a cold: do not let drafts, do not water with cold water. Water for rare water treatments should be warm.
Although by nature these are nightly animals, they are unlikely to cause much concern to their owners at night. Unlike their forest relatives, these crumbs do not even stamp. And with a certain perseverance, you can somewhat change their natural habits: to teach them to stay awake during the daytime and sleep at night.
What do dwarf hedgehogs like?
The mischief of these prickly, puffing and slightly awkward crumbs do not hold - that and look will climb somewhere and hide. In general, hide and seek - their favorite fun. And in spite of its spiny appearance and independent character, these pets are usually quite sociable. Many hedgehogs love toys - rattles, tweeters and the like, and some do not even mind running after the ball. And when they get tired, they can, like cats, curl up on the owner's lap and take a nap.
How to choose a place for the cell
The African hedgehog is a night animal and the peak of its activity falls on this particular time of day. In order for it not to interfere with rest, it is worthwhile to find a place for a cage, which will be located at a sufficient distance from the bedroom.
Before you bring a hedgehog into the house, you should decide in advance on where his house will stand. The place must be comfortable, otherwise the animal may get sick and even die.
Categorically it is not recommended to place the cell on the windowsill. The direct rays of the sun are harmful, as the hedgehog can get a heat stroke. In the cold season, in the presence of drafts, catarrhal diseases occur if the windows are not airtight.
Choosing a house
Before buying the animal, you need to take care of where it will live. As a house can serve as a cage for rabbits, as well as a glass or plastic terrarium. The size of their bottom must be no less than 60 X 60 cm. The house must be closed from above, otherwise the hedgehog will run away. If you want it to be open, then the walls of the future dwelling should have a rather slippery coating, and their height should be more than 30 cm.
It is necessary that the bottom of the house was solid. The floor consisting of rods is strictly forbidden, since the small legs of the hedgehog will always hook on them. The distance between the rods should be small. Given the size of the animal as a child, it can easily escape or be stuck between them.
Toilet for a hedgehog can be arranged in a box filled with sawdust. This animal is very clean. He goes to the toilet only in a specially designated place. As filler fit birch or aspen sawdust, but cedar can not be used. The essential oils present in its wood adversely affect the health of the animal. Paper flakes, often used for cat litter, are also suitable for the toilet.
It is necessary to clean the house at least once a week. The detergent used for this should not contain any aggressive ingredients.
African hedgehog, photos of which are presented in this article, loves various toys. Most often, he gets things like cats play. Ideal - ringing plastic ball.
Since the animals love to eat well and often overeat, and besides they are not active enough, they are in dire need of physical activity. For this purpose, a special wheel used by them for running is placed in the cage. The devices are different, but you need to choose a product, the surface of which will be solid and without crossbars. Wheel diameter must be at least 30 cm.
We can not say that the African hedgehog loves to sleep. Its daylight hours can range from 12 to 14 hours, and it does not depend on the time of year. In winter, when it is very early darker, you will need to turn on the lights in the house.
As is known, the African dwarf hedgehog is bred specifically for home keeping and in the wild it simply does not exist. That is why they require more attention to themselves than other species of this animal. To create the most favorable conditions for the hedgehog to live, the temperature in the room should be comfortable: be around + 22-25⁰ С during the day, and 2-5 degrees lower during the night.
At lower temperatures, the animals hibernate. The way out of this situation may be the use of a special heated mat. It is placed under the bottom of the house.
Walking around the apartment
As mentioned above, for hedgehogs it is necessary to equip special houses in which it is convenient for them to live. But sometimes you can let them out for a little walk around the apartment. At this time, you can not lose sight of them. They run fast and can jump under any furniture and lie low. Then they will be quite difficult to find.
In addition, dust is always collected under the furniture, and it is very harmful to the health of the animal, as it can inhale it. Also, the animal is not insured against injury. In order not to endanger him, you need to be on the alert all the time.
Walking on the street
Like all living creatures, African hedgehogs, whose content is not burdensome for its owner, also need fresh air. If it's a fine day outside, but without the stuffiness and exhausting heat, you can walk with the animal.
It should be remembered that they are very nimble and can run out on the grass and eat an earthworm or some kind of insect. This should not be allowed in any case. The fact is that after eating a worm, hedgehogs can get sick with capillary disease. Street insects only harm. You should give your pet only those that were grown by artificial means. In addition, various microbes live in the grass, from which it is necessary to protect your pet.
Despite the fact that African decorative hedgehogs are infinitely cute and charming creatures, it is nevertheless necessary to limit the communication of young children with these animals. The fact is that animals can be afraid of screaming or careless handling of them and bite the baby. In addition, their needles are also unsafe and can be hurt.
It is worth paying special attention to the bowls for food and drink. Both containers should be capacious, stable and rather heavy so that the hedgehog does not turn them over. Ceramic bowls are great for eating. Their height should not exceed 5 cm, and diameter - 8-15 cm. Nipple drinkers are very convenient, but, unfortunately, not all hedgehogs know how to use them.
You should not particularly think about what the African hedgehog eats. For him is perfect cat food premium. It is natural, does not contain any flavors and other harmful additives. It is also necessary to ensure that the feed does not contain starch-containing ingredients, for example, corn or potatoes.
Since cat food is largely complex, it’s good if it has meat. It can be chicken, beef or turkey. But do not forget about fruits and vegetables.
In addition to meat and vegetable products, sometimes you need to indulge hedgehogs and such unusual gifts as crickets, grasshoppers and the off-bus.
African hedgehogs, the content of which still requires some knowledge, are quite unpretentious. The most important thing is that their diet should consist exclusively of natural products that do not contain any harmful additives and impurities, since the health and well-being of the pet may be impaired.
Next will be listed products that are contraindicated hedgehogs. First of all, the animal does not tolerate lactose. That is why all dairy products should be immediately excluded from their diet. Various dried fruits and raisins usually stick to the larynx and get stuck in the teeth of the animal. Avocados should not be given to them, since there are known cases when hedgehogs were poisoned by this fruit. Pineapple is also on the list of prohibited foods. In its composition there is an acid that eats away the soft mouth of the animal. For the same reason, onions, garlic and citrus fruits should not be given to hedgehogs.
As for nuts and seeds, their shells can injure the animal and spoil its teeth. Also, he should not be given fast food, chips and chocolate. But cedar and tea tree oil in general should be kept away from them, because even their smell can be dangerous for this animal.
African hedgehog, reviews of which indicate that it is quite easy and pleasant to maintain them, will become a favorite not only for children, but also for the whole family.
Climatic conditions of dwarf hedgehog
Care and maintenance of African dwarf hedgehogs is to create a perfect animal environment.
The residence of the hedgehog (its cage or terrarium) should be well ventilated. In no case should be allowed drafts and ingress of hot sunlight. The ideal temperature for a hedgehog is 20-25 ° C.
Having bought a hedgehog and putting it in a new cage, do not touch it for a while, let it stay alone the first day.
Hedgehogs are playful creatures and they need to be given toys, it is best to use toys designed for cats, such as plastic balls with a bell in the middle and others.
You need to clean the cage often. Sometimes it happens that the hedgehog chose a corner for his toilet, then it needs to be cleaned once a day and a couple of times a week to do a thorough cleaning of the entire cage, wash out the pan and wipe the bars. The water bowl and the feeder must always be kept clean.
Home hedgehog does not fall into hibernation, so there is no need to change the conditions of its maintenance in winter and summer. It is impossible to change a hedgehog food and temperature condition. In cases of emergency (frost or overheating), it is necessary to provide the hedgehog with additional light, heat or, on the contrary, artificial cooling, but overheating or overcooling should not be allowed, as the animal can get sick and treat the hedgehog at home rather troublesome.
In nature, all hedgehogs are omnivorous, they can eat animal feed, and even carrion. There are also stories where hedgehogs feed milk, and what to feed an African dwarf hedgehog so as not to harm him?
Since this species is derived by man for home keeping, it is not difficult to feed him. Ideal for this premium class cat food, in which the first ingredients should be meat products, and then vegetables and fruits. There should be no products containing starch. There must be water in the cage.
As an extra treat, hedgehogs can:
- Steamed or cooked without salt and any spices, lean meat.
- Fruits and berries without seeds: bananas, watermelon, cherries, pears, cantaloupe, apricots, pumpkin, banana, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, Jerusalem artichoke, kiwi, cranberries, peaches, cranberries.
- Vegetables: carrots, zucchini, asparagus, pepper, peas, cucumber, spinach, green beans.
- Steamed fish without bones and salt, but fish can change the smell of feces and urine.
- Insects: tortilla, crickets, grasshoppers, woodlice, zoofus, cockroaches, silkworm pupae.
- Boiled eggs or cooked like scrambled eggs without salt.
- Baby food without the addition of dyes and preservatives.
You can not give:
- Products containing essential oils such as garlic or onions.
- Potatoes and corn.
- Milk and milk containing products, as hedgehogs do not tolerate lactose.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Pineapple, which has high acidity can cause irritation and wounds in the mouth of the hedgehog.
- Raisins can get stuck and stick to the palate.
- Dried fruits, as they can stick to the palate and larynx.
- Avocado, as it is toxic.
- Any citrus.
- Chips and other fast food.
Remember, an African dwarf hedgehog is an unpretentious animal, but he does not like to change his habits and the slightest changes in his content or nutrition can lead to stress and illness.
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African Home Dwarf Hedgehog
Everybody loves hedgehogs, but they are afraid to make a copy of the spiky animated charm at home. Therefore, in this article we will tell you about the miracle hedgehog, which is a pleasure to contain. He does not stomp, hardly smells, does not show aggression to man and lives, by the way, much longer than most small cellular pets (for example, ornamental rodents, and a hedgehog is a representative of the insectivorous order).
African dwarf hedgehogs attract not only with their playfulness, mischief, amusement and enchantment, these thorny little living creatures (their size is only a quarter of the size of an ordinary hedgehog) quickly get used to the owner and home, behave themselves and do not carry diseases or fleas. In addition, they are new and very unusual pets, in contrast to the usual rodents.
Tiny hedgehogs like to be stroked, and they very rarely fold into a protective spiny tangle.
Pocket hedgehogs are very simple and easy to care for and even cheaper than, for example, a cat. However, we should not forget that African dwarf hedgehogs, like any other hedgehogs, are carnivorous, therefore, their diet must include meat of an animal or bird.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, so there must be a wheel in their cages so that they run at night. At night, they are full of strength and energy, so they definitely need a simulator.
Hedgehogs are born pink and then turn chocolate brown. But various skin tones are also possible, if the hedgehog is albino.
The average adult African dwarf hedgehog weighs 300-700 grams, and its height is about 20 centimeters. The average life expectancy of a pocket hedgehog is from 5 to 8 years.
Fashion for African dwarf hedgehogs
In Europe (especially in the UK) it has become fashionable to start as a pet not a hamster, but an African dwarf hedgehog. You could even say that in a rainy and conservative UK a real boom began. Because of the rarity and unusualness of such a pocket hedgehog, the British are lining up to purchase it for a considerable price (about $ 300). Many have to expect a fashionable pet for about a year.
The fashion for dwarf hedgehogs is just beginning to gain momentum, but, undoubtedly, this charming pet has a great future. Perhaps you will order your first hedgehog in Moscow or abroad, but it will take several years, and hedgehogs can be found in a good pet store or seen at the exhibition.
African pygmy hedgehog not found in the wild: it is a species artificially bred by man. For the first time, these cute and funny animals began to be bred in the USA about 20 years ago, crossing an Algerian hedgehog (Atelerix algirus) with a white-breasted hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor). These animals have a very similar genome, exterior, ecology and lifestyle. They differ only in the size of the “mask” on the muzzle, the shape of the ears and a slight difference in size. Through both intraspecific and interspecific crossbreeding of Algerians and white-bellied men, they managed to get a lot of bright and beautiful morphs (colors) of the African dwarf hedgehog.
In Russia, the fashion for hedgehogs reached from the USA and Canada. The breeders say that really African dwarf hedgehogs have become very popular lately. However, due to the fact that these tiny hedgehogs do not often produce offspring as we would like, huge queues are lined up behind them.
It is important! Useful information
● A good hedgehog, like a good car, cannot be cheap! Price hedgehogs varies depending on the rarity of color. If you want to have a healthy, beautiful and affectionate pet, get ready to fork out and say a firm "no" to bird markets, resellers and dubious ads on the Internet. The adage that the miser pays twice is fair to hedgehogs: while dreaming about free cheese in a mousetrap, you risk buying an old or sick animal from dishonest people, later splitting up on a vet and disappointed in your dreams and hopes.
● Now in our country there are very few good nurseries of dwarf African hedgehogs. Therefore, you may have to choose a pet, guided by photos on the Internet and look for an opportunity (train conductor, long-distance bus driver, etc.), or go to another city to work on your own.
● Hedgehogs need prophylactic treatment from ecto-and endoparasites.
● With all the ease of care and good-natured disposition of the pet, the African pygmy hedgehog is not a “childish” animal. Buying a hedgehog for a child, remember about your personal responsibility for the one who was tamed. It is possible that some animal care activities will be overwhelming for the little man (detection of disease symptoms, visits to a veterinarian, mating, care for a pregnant or lactating female, feeding a hedgehog with insects, etc.).
● When buying a spiny pet, find out in advance if there is a veterinarian in your city who has experience in dealing with exotic animals. Many treatments and some drugs used for dogs and cats, are contraindicated and even deadly for hedgehogs!
● Hedgehogs do not eat cereal feed like rodents and birds. All year round you will have to buy a super-premium pet cat food, fresh meat (fillets), vegetables, fruits and forage insects. Cat food is basic in the diet of the hedgehog, but you can not do without delicacies, additives and vitamins.
If this information does not scare you - congratulations! Perhaps it is you who will become the first breeder of the African dwarf hedgehog in your city. But even taking a pet “for the soul”, you will get great pleasure in observing his habits, admiring his beauty and communicating with like-minded people on the Internet.
The content of the African dwarf hedgehog at home
Cell for a dwarf hedgehog should be spacious: the more the better. Use commercial sawdust or wood filler for rodents as a filler. You can not use cedar sawdust, sawdust resinous trees and any litter materials containing essential oils - they are toxic to hedgehogs!
In the cage for a hedgehog should be shelter, "toilet" corner, feeders, drinkers, and certainly - running wheel. The diameter of the wheel for a hedgehog is at least 28 cm. The hedgehog is nocturnal, so he needs to run around in the wheel and move a lot. He needs active games that cannot be replaced by walks around the room. The wheel must be solid, solid (plastic) and in any case not have a cellular or lattice structure in order to avoid injuries of the paws. It is also contraindicated to keep hedgehogs in a cage with a slatted floor! All hedgehogs (African and others) are adapted to walk on a flat surface.
The cage (or terrarium) must have good ventilation. Avoid drafts, merciless direct sunlight (hedgehog should be able to hide from them). The optimum air temperature in the room should be from + 20 ° С to + 25 ° С. Overheating is extremely dangerous for the health of the hedgehog.
Cage cleaning should be made frequently. If the hedgehog has chosen a certain angle for your toilet (which is not always, but it happens), clean it every day, and 1-2 times a week you should do a general cleaning in a cage with washing the pallet and wiping the rods. Feeding trough and drinking bowl must always be clean!
If the hedgehog does not drink, then this phenomenon has two reasons:
1) he is sick and you urgently need to run to the veterinarian,
2) he is accustomed to drinking from a bowl and is not accustomed to drinking bowl. Call your breeder and find out if the pet can drink from the drinker, and in what conditions he was kept before. “Retraining” a hedgehog is possible, but difficult. This applies not only habits, but also the diet. Cases are described on the Internet when a pet brought to a new home does not want to eat or drink, not only from stress, but also due to the slightest changes in feeding and maintenance.
African dwarf hedgehog does not fall into hibernation. His "summer" lifestyle should not be very different from the "winter" existence. In no case do not break, do not impoverish and dramatically change its food and temperature conditions. Additional lighting and ultraviolet hedgehogs are not required. However, in crisis situations (frost or heat struck, batteries disconnected, etc.), the hedgehog will need artificial sources of light and heat or, on the contrary, cooling. In no case do not put the cage or terrarium near the radiator or fan, so that the animal does not overheat or, on the contrary, does not catch a cold. It is quite difficult to inject, rescue from dehydration, heatstroke or treat a hedgehog with antibiotics at home, especially if you do not have relevant experience.
Myths, legends and facts about hedgehogs
Myth 1. “My hedgehog is drinking milk from a saucer ...” Stop. Leave this to writers and multipliers.
Adult African dwarf hedgehog categorically does not tolerate lactose. Try to feed him “like in a cartoon” - and in the easy case you will get rid of diarrhea, and at the worst - diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and even death. Dairy products (except for breast milk during the suckling period) are not recommended for hedgehogs.
Myth 2. “The hedgehog loves apples and mushrooms. He carries them on his needles and makes stocks ... "
Again - fiery greetings to children's writers and artists of the USSR.
Giving fruits to hedgehogs is both possible and necessary - it is a source of vitamins, plant fiber, and just a delicious, tasty delicacy. But about any mushrooms or dried fruits (some storytellers brought their creativity to complete marasmus and claim that the hedgehog supposedly dries fruits and mushrooms strung on needles, or drags them into the burrow and dries there) can be no question. About what you can and what you can not feed the home dwarf African hedgehog, will be described below in the section "Feeding the African dwarf hedgehog."
And in no case do not string different objects on the hedgehog's needles. Hedgehog needles - not the turtle shell. They really serve as a hedgehog for self-defense, but are not its privilege or the rarest species characteristic. Porcupine (rodent), echidna (marsupial), and other animals also have needles. Ezhinaya needle is a cornified epidermis - the same as the hair or nails, only a slightly different structure. Inside the needle are hollow, contain transverse partitions and are constantly updated (not in the form of intensive molting, but constantly, throughout the year, 1-2 needles at a time).
The needles of a hedgehog in no way cancel the presence of coat (the hedgehog is “all” fur: thin, delicate, short hairs are also found between the needles). Now imagine, if a certain alien creature, sharpening you in a cage for experiments, would attach different objects to the strands of your hair and ruffle them. The hedgehog feels about the same way, with little children and especially “smart” adults scoffing and playing with needles.
Let us return to our cartoon hedgehogs ... Indeed, in the wild, you can find a hedgehog with leaves impaled on needles. Most likely, they accidentally hit him on his back when he was lying on the ground or curled up (by the way, special muscles are responsible for the ability of the hedgehog to roll up). Apparently, this touching spectacle of a hedgehog with leaves and gave rise to so many literary delusions.
But there is one interesting fact that cannot be dismissed: a lot of eyewitness testimonies constantly discovering hedgehogs with cigarette butts on their backs. Why do hedgehogs carry this stuff on themselves? There are two versions:
● the hedgehog just lives in the forest, where there are too many summer residents and unscrupulous mushroom pickers who do not want to take up the trash,
● hedgehogs specifically search for cigarette butts and roll in them, using tobacco and other flavors, resins and other harmful "chemicals" as antiparasitic drugs. In any case, it is impossible to do this with a home hedgehog. To avoid skin parasites and helminths, take a hedgehog from a good nursery, and then, after 1-3 months, be sure to take it for inspection to a veterinarian. It is not necessary to poison a little tender crumb with all sorts of “killer” drugs. But if a hedgehog is already an adult, he may need prophylaxis, which your veterinarian or breeder from whom you buy a hedgehog will tell about.
Myth 3. “To eat a hedgehog, a fox pushes him into a stream, after which he turns around ...”
The source is the same.
Perhaps in the wild and there were such cases. However, to apply such a dubious and time-consuming process of hunting for the predator running around a little “meatball” is unlikely, unless it is very hungry. And again - for the sake of all saint - do not “try to repeat” this at home. There are many touching videos on the Internet with a hedgehog bathing in a bath (as long as his strength allows him to float, experiencing tremendous stress). And indeed, in the wild, hedgehogs develop good speed when moving (up to 3 meters per second), and also perfectly jump and swim. But does this sadism need a pet? No pet (with rare exceptions) should be bathed for fun: it takes care of its skin and coat on its own. It is worth washing a hedgehog only if it is crammed in dirt or accidentally fell into something sticky, etc. Hedgehogs not only lick their fur, but also clean needles with sharp claws on their paws.
Some sources on the Internet say that hedgehogs prefer dry (sand) baths rather than water procedures. For these purposes, a special bathing sand from a pet store and a tank (cup) for chinchillas or degu will do.
Myth 4. "A hedgehog should stomp, rustle, puff and sniff ..." Again - hello cartoons.
Probably, from the point of view of animals, we are also stomping, puffing and yelling. However, in the wild, every living organism tries to make as little noise as possible: escaping from predators or, conversely, sneaking up on prey. Calm and silence in your apartment directly depends on whether you are keeping the hedgehog correctly: whether the cage is well chosen, whether the pet is normal, and whether it has accumulated in the wheel, wasting energy. Once again, remember the proverb: "The Miser pays twice." A good, expensive, ordered or bought in the right place running wheel does not rumble and creak.
Myth 5. “The hedgehog will catch all mice and rats ...”
Perhaps this is true for the hedgehog ordinary, living in our latitudes (however, this judgment is also a myth: hedgehogs rarely eat rodents). African dwarf hedgehog is much smaller in size, so it will not replace your cat-mouse.
Feeding African dwarf hedgehog
Main meal African dwarf hedgehog is a super premium premium cat food. In its composition in no case should there be starch-containing products (corn, potatoes, etc.), as well as any dyes and substitutes. The first 3, and better than 5 components should be meat (chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, veal), as well as fruits and vegetables.
In addition to the main meal, you can give extra treats.
What can hedgehogs give extra
Lean meat (chicken, turkey, lamb, duck, etc.), cooked or steamed without salt or spices.
Fish for a hedgehog is boiled or steamed without bones, salt and spices. Basically, all types of fish are safe, but can affect the smell of feces and urine.
Fruits: apples, bananas, melon, pitted cherries, cranberries, papayas, pears, peaches, apricots, pumpkins, raspberries, Jerusalem artichokes, strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, blueberries, kiwi.
Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, green beans, peppers, peas, spinach, zucchini.
Hard-boiled or scrambled eggs without salt, sauces and spices. Quail egg can be given raw.
Baby food without dyes and preservatives.
Insects: zofobasy, crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches.
What not to give hedgehogs
Milk and any products containing milk. Hedgehogs do not tolerate lactose, and eating such foods can cause indigestion.
Pineapple - harmful because of the acidity of this fruit, which can cause irritation in the mouth.
Dried fruits - can get stuck, stick to the larynx.
Grapes - dangerous for most small pets. May cause disruption of the internal organs.
Raisins are as dangerous as grapes, and in addition to this, it can get stuck in the teeth or stick to the palate, which causes tooth diseases and inflammation in the mouth.
Tea tree oil - can cause death even from a very small dose of a substance eaten or even sniffed by a hedgehog.
Avocado is toxic, there are cases of poisoning with this product.
Nuts and seeds can stick to the palate, get stuck in the teeth and damage the eyes as the hedgehog tries to remove them from the shell.
Fast food, chips, etc.
Products containing dyes, food additives and chemical preservatives are harmful to hedgehogs for the same reason as for humans. Only on dwarf hedgehogs all the consequences of eating such food appear sharper and faster than in humans.
African Dwarf Hedgehog - some facts
This is the most popular type of domesticated hedgehogs in the world. It is a hybrid of two types - four-fingered and Algerian. The practice of domestication of these animals and their settlement next to humans as pets began in the 1980s, that is, relatively recently.
These vulnerable special animals are not suitable for families with small children. Hedgehogs, like many other pets, can bite, if they are forced to do so - obsessively disturb or offend, and therefore they should be treated with understanding, giving personal space and looking for mood and desires.
The dwarf hedgehog needs gentle, patient treatment and will definitely have to spend some time to tame his pet and give him the opportunity to slowly get used to the new environment and people.
Средний срок жизни африканского карликового ежа в домашних условиях – 6-8 лет.
Африканский карликовый еж ‒ кормление
Чтобы отлично себя чувствовать в домашних условиях, африканскому карликовому ежу понадобится сбалансированное разнообразное питание.
Хорошие качественные сухие корма для кошек, богатые белками, являются одним из подходящих и доступных продуктов питания. In addition, the cat food is varied with wet cat food from meat-based jars (not fish), boiled eggs or scrambled eggs, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables (except grapes and avocado), lean chicken meat, lamb or ground beef.
African dwarf hedgehogs are insectivorous animals, their diet in the wild consists mainly of insects. To stimulate natural nourishment and satisfy all needs, it is necessary to include food for meal worms, crickets, wax moth larvae and silkworms.
African Dwarf Hedgehog - Home Improvement
Like most hedgehogs, the African dwarf hedgehog is rather alone in nature, and in the wild, these animals tend to gather in pairs only during the breeding season, so the content of one African dwarf hedgehog is acceptable. Moreover, the settlement of two or more males or females in the same cage will invariably lead to fights.
A lonely African dwarf hedgehog will need a cage of at least 60x120 cm, if possible more. For them, rabbit cages may well be suitable, or, even better, an open-air cage with a vertical, fairly frequent arrangement of rods. Such precaution is necessary so that your pet cannot stick its head between the bars and escape or injure itself.
The horizontal arrangement of the rods is undesirable, as the curious hedgehog can climb well and can fall and get bruises. For the same reason, you do not need to acquire a multi-level cell for a hedgehog.
Not suitable for keeping African dwarf hedgehogs wire floor or hard flooring, since such a surface will damage the delicate legs, will lead to the appearance of painful corns.
At the same time, to meet the need for physical activity, you need to install a running wheel, similar to those used for hamsters or rats, but the toy must be at least 30 cm in diameter, made of solid metal or plastic, and not of a thin mesh or lattice.
African dwarf hedgehogs are sensitive to cold, especially to sharp fluctuations in temperature, so you need to heat their home with a reptile heater or other means, such as a radiator. The optimum temperature is 23-24,5 ° C.
These are nocturnal animals, which means that the pet will be sleepy and inactive during the day, and the owner must respect this natural behavior and allow the hedgehog to sleep well until he wakes up on his own.