• Choosing A Breeder

    Ok, so you have decided that a hedgehog is a suitable pet for your family, and you have decided to purchase a hedgehog from a breeder. How do you know which breeder to choose? A good way to start is by looking for a hedgehog breeder near you. Be aware that "near" may easily be 2 hours or so. The best ways to do this is by looking at sites with breeder listings. If you can't find a listing at any of these sources, contact a breeder that makes themselves well known in the internet hedgehog communities, and ask them for suggestions. Once you get a couple of options of breeders within your travel distance, contact the breeder. Discuss the following subjects with any breeders you are considering.

    Ask what is available, or how long is the normal waiting period before they do have hedgehogs available- Be aware that many quality breeders may have a waiting list, the length of the list and the time involved will depend on how many litters they have a year. A breeder with a few females will most likely be able to produce babies frequently than a breeder with only 1-2 females. Also, be aware that female hedgehogs don't always participate, so don't expect exact perfection on their time schedule.

    Ask how their pricing scale runs- While most breeders in an area will have pricing approximately the same range, sometimes there are differences. Remember however, if there are major differences in pricing, then there may be major differences in quality as well. A wholesaler who produces hundreds of babies per month may not be as particular to unrelated breedings or individual attention to babies as a smaller breeder who breeds for quality.

    If their pricing scale is rated by color, ask them for a guide for their colors. If they don't go by a color standard that is fairly universal, then color pricing comparison is NOT going to be accurate, because you may get a Brown hedgehog from one breeder as a Standard (which it typically is considered) and from another breeder at a higher price for a Cinnacot, Cinnamon, or who knows what else.

    Ask if you can visit them before you decide on a baby to meet their breeding animals. If a breeder is not willing for you to do a pre-purchase visit, be VERY VERY careful. If they won't let customers visit, then I have to wonder what they have to hide. During this visit, check to make sure that the animals seem healthy and friendly, that the facilities are reasonably clean, and that the breeder properly handles the animals. If any of these things make you nervous, don't be afraid to look elsewhere.

    Ask for references to talk to other owners, breeders, etc. that can vouch for the breeder you are checking into. Make SURE that the references that you are given have PERSONALLY visited the facility and or worked with the breeder in question.

    Ask what is included with the purchase- some breeders give you a hedgehog, with no supplies, no paperwork, and no after sale support. Others provide extended pedigree, care sheets, food starters, full after purchase support, and SOME even include such things as microchipping, cage accessories, and more!

    Don't forget to ask for any guarantees- Hopefully the hedgehog you get is healthy, happy,and fits in well. However, if something shows up in the first few days after purchase, will your hedgehog give you a refund or replacement? If you realize that a hedgehog is definitely NOT the pet you were expecting, will the breeder take it back or help you find a new owner?

    If you are unsatisfied with ANY of these answers, be aware that you definitely CAN go to a different breeder. If there are no more in your area, look into breeders who are willing to ship to a nearby airport. It is better to spend a little extra money on shipping than to get an inferior hedgehog that will not be as good of a pet to you.