• What is Better- A Boy or Girl?

    Written by Antigone Means-Burleson

    For many species, males are more aggressive than females. Thus, females are typically viewed as more desirable pets than males. I would argue that this belief does not apply to hedgehogs. Males and females show no temperament difference in how they react toward humans. I've raised over 150 litters now, and I have never observed any trend toward one gender or the other being easier to handle or generally more friendly than the other. There are, however, several things to consider when deciding to go with a boy or girl for your pet.

    If you want to house two hedgehogs together, it has been our experience that it's extremely rare for two males to get along together. We experimented with this several years ago when it was first suggested that hedgehogs might not be entirely as solitary as early literature stated. The experiment was as disaster and we abandoned it after one poor male was eviscerated by his roommate. It has been our experience that many females enjoy, or at least tolerate, a roommate. This is not always the case, so one should keep in mind that any time you have two hedgies, you can't guarantee they'll get along. That said, it is a terrible idea to house a male and a female together indefinitely. You might not see babies, but unless one is infertile there is a strong chance that they will have them and eat them. You don't want to see what that looks like, believe me.

    There is often a concern about scent marking with male critters. In a normal household environment without females around, a lone male is unlikely to do much scent marking. If he gets a whiff of other hedgies, especially female, you may see some occurring- the judging table at a hedgehog show is a great example of that. Overall, I have not found that one species is smellier than the other.

    In conclusion, if you are just looking for a good pet, gender of the hedgehog should not be your primary consideration. Look for a hedgie that is friendly and seems to like you, and you and hedgie will be happy.

    Note: If you aren't sure if hedgie is a boy or a girl, check the underbelly. If it looks like it has a "belly button" then it's a male. Males have a large urogenital gap, while females do not.