USDA Information

Dec 3, 2013 by

We are often asked who needs to be licensed to sell hedgehogs and if they want to get licensed what is the next step. The breeding and selling of all wild and exotic animals is governed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Welfare Act. USDA Program Aid 1117 is entitled “Licensing and Registration Under the Animal Welfare Act – Guidelines for Dealers, Exhibitors, Transporters, and Researchers”. What you can  find this guide at  www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/ Contact Information for USDA APHIS USDA Program Aid 1117 Animal Welfare Act Information Page Application Request Form Program of Veterinary Care Information Here are a few tips that we have found useful: Always send anything to the USDA APHIS with a return receipt signature card.  This returned card might come in very handy. When communicating with any regulatory agency (IRS, USDA, etc.) it is important to have a hard copy of all information and correspondence in a file.  Record the time, date, and name of the person you spoke to on the phone. Allow two weeks for information exchange.  Request information via another route if your request has not been acknowledged. Your Program of Veterinary Care (PVC) is one of the most important things you will need for your inspection.  Have it filled out thoroughly and completely. You will need a visit by an attending veterinarian.    Many veterinarians are intimidated by the request and may not want...

Where To Purchase

Jun 30, 2013 by

Hedgehogs can be found in a few pet stores, through brokers at flea markets or animal sales, or they can be purchased directly from breeders When buying animals, we recommend that you check out the source. Observe the health of the animals, the sellers’ knowledge, and their reputation and experience. Compare buying hedgehogs to buying strawberries. It is possible to find great strawberries at your local super-store. On the other hand, these strawberries are mass-produced, artificially ripened, and probably do not have the wonderful flavor as some of your other options. The stock person may not be as knowledgeable as other vendors as to how they were produced, the quality, or other information. Another place to buy fruit is from a local fruit market or a roadside stand. These markets can be more selective in the quality and freshness of their products. This retailer tends to have more invested interest in you, as a customer, and is probably a little more educated in the product. Finally, you can go to a strawberry farm and pick your berries yourself. Your tasty treat may be a little more difficult to obtain, will take more work, but you will have a completely different product in the end. urchasing animals should not be a matter of convenience and lowest bottom dollar. It may be well worth going out of your way to select a hedgehog that is right...

Breeding & Production Potential Recommendation...

Jun 17, 2013 by

Millermeade Farms carefully selects our animal for our breeding program. When we are aware that an animal is being selected as a breeder, we will help our customers identify animals that we believe are ideal for a breeding program. Some of the things we look for when we choose our breeders we look for animals who: Come from a mother who nurses her babies well without complications or baby growth delays. Come from a large litter and from a male who has a good reproduction history. Have nice confirmation and balanced body...

Hedgehog Breeding Challenges

May 24, 2013 by

Problems Not Specific to Hedgehogs Growing up on the farm I’ve been around the challenges of breeding a variety of animals since a very young age. I remember the sadness from seeing tiny hooves of a baby donkey sticking out of a feed sack.  The baby was born breach and didn’t make it through a difficult delivery and mom required surgery to ever delivery successfully again. At the age of nine my dad spared me the sight of my first litter of rabbit babies that were born on the wire of the cage instead of the nest box and as a result died in the cold. Through my animal career I’ve learned not all male or female animals will reproduce, not all mothers instinctively know where to deliver or how to care for young.  Mothers can die at birth or shortly after birth from complications and babies can die because the mother can’t or won’t nurse them properly. As a human mom I’ve personally learned what a miracle it truly is to conceive and carry a baby successfully through birth.  Even with all the knowledge available in human medicine there is still fertility problems, miscarriages, and infant death. Starting With Good Stock Infertility in Males Male hedgehogs have a much higher successful breeding rate than females but even so there are no guarantees that all males are going to be good producers. One lesson...

Mentoring Questions For New Breeder

May 23, 2013 by

When we mentor new breeders we encourage new breeders to learn as much as possible.  There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet and sometimes it is hard to decipher all the different opinions.  Below are some questions we encourage the breeders we mentor study, think about, and respond.  We will be sure to comment on the answers so that all points of view are represented. Some of these basic breeding questions will help new breeders to get off to a new start. Do you have a veterinarian that has seen your hedgehogs and is willing to see your hedgehog on an emergency basis? If so who and have you spoken with them? How will you decide when your hedgehogs are ready to breed? How will you decide when your hedgehogs are ready to be retired? How will you find homes for your retirees? Describe three reasons why females fail to conceive. Why would a female need Caesarean and how would you tell? Why would a female reject her babies and what should you do? Why would a female cannibalize her babies and what should you do? What should you do if your female fails to nurse or lactate and how can you tell? What are some of the most common problems with pre-weanling babies and how do you treat...

Our Breeding Program

May 23, 2013 by

Life Expectancy We do our very, very best to produce happy hedgehogs that exceed the average life expectancy.  Most breeders and enthusiast agree that the average pet life expectancy is approximately three years.  When hedgehogs were first introduced into the pet industry hedgehogs were reported to live 8-10 years.  Hedgehog owners, breeders, and enthusiasts all would love to determine what has caused an overall drastic decrease in pet longevity and how to ensure that each hedgehog lives to its full life expectancy potential. Factors Involved in Longevity Breeding and Genetics – please refer to our plan for more information on this topic. Diet – at the time of this writing no long-term scientific studies have been published related to hedgehog nutrition research. Recommendations from owners, breeders, enthusiasts and experts vary widely with little scientific evidence to nutritional hypothesis for the best captive-bred hedgehog diet. Water – this is especially important with babies but water consumption can greatly impact overall animal’s health. Temperature – it has been our experience that hedgehogs can survive at cooler temperatures but are more prone to problems.  Hedgehogs seem to thrive at 75 °F to 80 °F. Bedding- some bedding can cause impaction if eaten and respiratory stress due to phenols. Exercise – lack of exercise can lead to obesity but excessive exercise can also lead to increase in metabolism and excess free radical formation/damage. Freak accidents or illnesses. Promptness...