AOH :: HEDGE-1.FAQ|
Hedgehog FAQ #1: About the Hedgehog FAQ
Keywords: faq pet hedgehogs
Last-modified: 21 Dec 1995
HEDGEHOG FAQ (part 1 of 5) -- ABOUT THE HEDGEHOG FAQ
Compiled and edited by Brian MacNamara (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Additions, corrections, and suggestions for this file are welcomed
(in fact, desperately begged for, is probably closer to the truth)!
This document is copyright 1995 by Brian MacNamara. See section 0.5
for authorship information and redistribution rights. In short, you
can give it away, but you can't charge for it.
The basic Hedgehog FAQ has five parts, all of which should be available
from wherever you obtained this one. A complete table of contents for
all five parts is given below.
Please note: I am not a hedgehog expert (in fact I am a relative novice),
and I did not write, or verify, all the information in this FAQ. I have
done my best to include only accurate and useful information, but I cannot
guarantee the correctness of what is contained in this FAQ, regardless of
the source, or even that it will not be harmful to you or your hedgehog in
some way. For advice from an expert, I recommend you consult the books
listed in part 2 [2.1], or, especially in the case of a suspected medical
problem, a veterinarian who is familiar with hedgehogs.
Subject: CONTENTS OF THE HEDGEHOG FAQ FILES
Part I: ABOUT THE HEDGEHOG FAQ (this file)
0. *** About this FAQ ***
<0.1> Notes on formatting
<0.2> Where to get the Hedgehog FAQ
<0.3> Goal of this FAQ
<0.4> Credits and editor's notes
<0.5> Information I would like to track down and add -- please help!
<0.6> Copyright and redistribution information
1. *** Revision history of this file ***
Part II: FINDING MORE INFORMATION
2. *** Where to get more information ***
<2.1> What books are there on pet hedgehogs?
<2.2> What other hedgehog books are there?
<2.3> Is there any other information available on-line?
<2.4> How can I find a hedgehog breeder/contact in my area?
<2.5> Where are hedgehogs illegal?
<2.6> North American Hedgehog Association
<2.7> Other Hedgehog Organizations
<2.8> Miscellaneous Hedgehog stuff and sources
Part III: INTRO TO HEDGEHOGS AS PETS
3. *** Introduction to hedgehogs ***
<3.1> What are hedgehogs? Should I get one? What's good and bad
about them as pets?
<3.2> Are hedgehogs wild animals?
<3.3> What's the average hedgehog lifespan?
<3.4> I'm allergic to cats. Will I be allergic to hedgehogs?
<3.5> Do hedgehogs smell?
<3.6> Do hedgehogs have tails?
<3.7> Hedgehog monikers -- what do I call a hedgehog?
4. *** Getting a pet hedgehog ***
<4.1> Which types/colours are there? Male or female? What age?
<4.2> How many should I get?
<4.3> How can I introduce my hedgehog to my (dog/cat/bird/fish/
rabbit/etc.) with the least trouble?
Part IV: HEDGEHOGS AS PETS
5. *** Things you'll need ***
<5.1> What will I need to take care of my new hedgehog?
<5.2> Do I need a cage? How should I set it up?
<5.3> The pet store uses wood shavings as bedding. Should I?
<5.4> What kind of litter should I use?
<5.5> Hedgehog Handling
<5.6> Any suggestions on toys?
6. *** Basic hedgehog care and training ***
<6.1> How can I best hedgehogproof my home?
<6.2> What should I feed my hedgehog?
<6.3> What are good treats?
<6.4> I'm having problems litter-training my hedgehog. What should
I be doing?
<6.5> Any suggestions on bathing, cleaning ears, and clipping nails?
Part V: HEDGEHOG CARE AND UNDERSTANDING
7. *** Things hedgehogs say and do ***
<7.1> Self-anointing. What is it? Why do hedgehogs do it?
<7.2> My hedgehog snuffles and hides a lot. Is that normal?
<7.3> Is he just asleep or hibernating?
<7.4> My hedgehog sneezes. What should I do?
<7.5> My hedgehog's gone ballistic? Is this normal?
<7.6> Basic hedgehog repertoire
8. *** Basic health care ***
<8.1> Do I need to spay/neuter my pet?
<8.2> What health risks should I worry about?
<8.3> Vaccinations, etc.
<8.4> Mites (or mites, not?)
9. *** Problems to watch for and related information ***
<9.1> What warning signs of disease should I watch for?
<9.2> My hedgehog's had funny-looking stools for a couple of days.
<9.3> My hedgehog's not eating. What should I do?
<9.4> How did I get fleas in my home? How can I get rid of
10. *** Wild hedgehogs ***
<10.1> Caring for visiting hedgehogs
<10.2> Hedgehog housing
<10.3> Hedgehogizing your garden
<10.4> Wild hedgehog health
<10.5> Watching out for hibernating hedgehogs
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0. *** About this FAQ ***
Subject: <0.1> Notes on formatting
The answers in these files are given in a "digest format," which should
make it easier for you to scan through them for the information you want.
Each question begins with a line of hyphens, followed by its number and
the question itself, as given in the Table of Contents above. In many
newsreaders, including rn, trn, and strn, you can jump from one
question to the next by hitting CONTROL-G. You can also look for a
particular answer by searching for its number or for words from the
Cross-references to other questions are in square brackets; for
example, [2.2] means that more information may be found in section
Subject: <0.2> Where to get the Hedgehog FAQ
This FAQ is posted once a month (usually on or around the 20th) to the
rec.pets, rec.answers, and news.answers newsgroups. It is also available by
anonymous FTP to either:
(That is, ftp to ftp.pci.on.ca and cd into the directory
/pub/misc/hedgehog-faq). The files themselves are called part1 through
or at the main news.answers repository:
(That is, ftp to rtfm.mit.edu and cd into the directory
pub/usenet-by-group/rec.pets). The files themselves are called:
If you cannot ftp and have no WWW access, send me (email@example.com) email
and I'll be glad to email you a copy.
Subject: <0.3> Goal of this FAQ
This FAQ is intended to cover many of the basic questions about hedgehogs.
Primarily, it deals with pet (African Pigmy) hedgehogs, but also contains
information about wild hedgehogs (in particular, European hedgehogs). I hope
to extend the coverage of the FAQ to address both groups reasonably, and
since there is considerable crossover in how the information applies, much
of what is said about one group is applicable to the other, with a little
common sense used in the interpretation).
The number of books and other sources for information is finally getting to
be reasonable, however, there is still relatively little information
available on caring for and understanding hedgehogs, at least compared to
most animals, and while this FAQ does not intend to be an in-depth
dissertation on hedgehogs, it is expected to provide some basic information.
I should also point out that I expect to keep the comments fairly light, so
as not to make the bulk of this FAQ qualify as a cure for insomnia. If you
start to find it boring, tell me -- I probably fell asleep while typing that
section, and messed up on the what I was saying.
I do have to admit to one pang of guilt. When I discovered there was so
very little information on looking after hedgehogs, I desperately wanted
a FAQ to refer to. Since there wasn't one (Sorry Nathan, I didn't even
know about your efforts then) I figured the best way to get all the
information I wanted was to write the FAQ, and hope the comments it managed
to get would provide all the missing bits and pieces. 'Nuff said, let's
get on with hedgehogs.
Subject: <0.4> Credits and editor's notes
I can take credit for little of the contents of this FAQ, virtually
every bit of useful information deserves thanks to others. I have tried
to give credit to the right person in the right place by indenting
specific comments by others and citing the authors. My sole real
contribution has been to cobble together the many useful pieces of
information on hedgehogs that have appeared on the Internet into a
Of all the contributors, I would like to extend a special thanks to
Nathan Tenny whose unofficial hedgehog FAQ formed the basis for much
of the information below. Nathan deserves the lion's share of the
inspiration on this FAQ, and should be considered the father of the
hedgehog FAQ. Thanks Nathan -- without you, I'd be filling most of this
FAQ with hedgehog anecdotes, instead of good information.
I would also like to thank Katherine Long for the encouragement to
actually try and pull this together, and Pamela Greene for allowing me
to use the ferret FAQ as a guide for the topics and sections below, and
many other useful tidbits of FAQ formatting.
I have a special thanks for Cathy A. Johnson-Delaney, DVM, who as one
of the few veterinarians who has owned (or is that owned by?) hedgehogs,
has offered to sort of try and keep me honest and provide some medical
info for the FAQ from time to time. Thanks for the help Cathy, and for
making me feel a lot better about this pile of babbling.
Thanks to Peter Captijn, who almost single handedly kick-started me into
finally adding the information on European hedgehogs that I've been meaning
to for ages (and who actually contributed most of it) -- may your garden
be overrun by prickly little visitors.
Sort of a quick separate thanks to all the hedgehog-happy readers of the
rec.pets newsgroup who have unknowingly added volumes to this FAQ, and
especially to Patty-Anne Lea for boosting my ego above and beyond measure
and letting me know for sure that this creation is appreciated.
In a general sense, I would like to thank all the people at the N.A.H.A.
for their help and encouragement.
Finally, last and far, far from least, many thanks to the contributors
who all deserve a round of applause for what they have contributed:
Tom Buzzwo; Chingur/Lani Richey; Wayne W. Clendenin; Kathleen Close; Bill
Corner; Peyton M. Creadick; Doug Dorer; Dave Ehrnstein; Christi & George
Lewis; John Lester; Mike McGary; Elizabeth Jane Monroe; Willard B. "Skip"
Nelson, DVM; John Ofner; Vanessa Purvis; Seabury Salmon; Jon Santarelli;
Richard Saunders; Ken Steigenberger; Chuck Stoup; Barry Turner; Chris Twedt;
Tom Weston; Johnny M. Williams; Woobie; Kathy & Donald Zepp; and Znofyl;
and last but not least, my resident editors-in-quills Velcro and Sprocket.
One last thank you that deserves separate note to my wife Betty Gunn for
happily sharing and encouraging my hedgehog addition, presenting me with
Velcro, and for repeatedly translating this whole thing into english, from
what ends up being little more than a mis-mash of spelling mistakes and
punctuation that bears no resemblance to any language from this planet.
If there is anyone I have missed, you have my apologies, and please let me
know. I hope that the list above will continue to grow over the coming
Subject: <0.5> Information I would like to track down and add -- please help!
This is your chance to help add things to the FAQ. Some of the specific
information I'm trying to track down is listed below, but please don't limit
yourselves to this -- I'm very open minded about taking any kind of
information I can get ahold of.
- Further information on any hedgehog related organizations and charities.
- Further information on places where hedgehogs are not legal as pets.
I now have information from the N.A.H.A. and hope to add it in soon,
but this is always an on-going process.
- Any questions you think the FAQ should answer or discuss -- even if
(especially if?) you don't know the answer.
- Additional information on varieties of hedgehogs as pets.
- Information about hedgehog food. What brands/types are available and
- Additional information useful to people dealing with wild hedgehogs,
especially those in Europe.
Some of the things I hope to add over the upcoming releases are:
- A section on breeding, and hoglet care.
Subject: <0.6> Copyright and redistribution information
This compilation, is copyright 1995 by Brian MacNamara.
It may be freely distributed by electronic, paper, or other means,
provided that it is distributed in its entirety, including this notice,
and that no fee is charged apart from the actual costs of distribution.
(For-profit service providers such as CompuServe and America Online
are granted permission to distribute the files provided that no
additional fee beyond standard connection-time charges is levied.)
Those portions of this file written by others remain the property of
their respective authors.
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1. *** Revision history of this file ***
Subject: Revision history
The most accurate description of the version of this FAQ is the date
at the top. For really minor changes, I won't necessarily change the
version number, but I'll always change the date.
Version 2.8 - 21 Dec 95
Revised sections 0.4 (even more helpers), 1. (as always), 2.3 (corrected
URLs and added info on hhog mailing list), 2.7 (added info on the
Version 2.7 - 20 Nov 95
Revised sections 0.4 (more helpers), 1. (as always), 2.7 (added info on
Hhog Fanciers Society), 3.5 (added notes on smell), 4.2 (hedgehog a
la orange), 5.2 (added more notes on heaters), 5.6 (another wheel
idea), 7.3 (more thoughts on warm hhogs), 7.6 (hedgehog howling).
Version 2.6 - 20 Oct 95
Revised sections 1. (again), 2.1 (added notes on books by Nigel Reeve and
Joan Baydala), 2.8 (added info on Exclusively Hedgehogs), 3.1 (added
bit on blowing in face of biting hedgehogs), 5.5 (added information
getting aquainted with your hedgehog), 5.6 (added more on B.I.),
10.4 added note about rabies.
Version 2.5 - 20 Sep 95
Revised sections 0.2 (made email offer more willing), 0.4 (the list of
helpers grows again), 0.5 (asked for more Euro-hhog info), 1. (always)
2.2 (more books), 2.7 (added a bit on BHPS), 2.8 (added FAX number for
ANCR, and hhog boxes), 4.2 (added note on M/F pairs), 5.2 (added
warning about socks), 5.3 (added info base material), 5.5 (added notes
on handle often), 5.6 (updated BI's address, and added new DIY wheel
ideas), 7.2 (added comments on familiarization).
Inserted section 8.4 on mites, and sections 10.1 through 10.5 on Euro-hhogs.
Version 2.4 - 20 Aug 95
Revised sections 0.2 (added info on FTPing from the news.answers
repository), 0.3 (minor cleanups), 0.4 (added more great people to the
list), 0.5 (minor cleanups), 1. (as always), 2.1 (added info on Pat
Storer's "Hedgehogs as Pets" book, and Exotic Market Review), 2.3, 2.4
(minor cleanups), 2.5 (added info on Canadian legality, and added
comments on Utah and Europe), 2.6 (minor cleanups), 2.6 (added phone
number for BHPS), 2.8 (minor cleanup), 3.1 (minor updates), 3.7 (added
info on hedgehog group names -- right!), 4.1 (minor additions on colour
and personality), 4.2 (minor additions), 4.3, 5.1, 5.2 (minor updates),
5.6 (added Chuck Stoup's design ideas and ANCR as source for wheels),
6.2 (added bit on possible hhog food problems), 6.4 (added notes a la
Sprocket), 6.5 (septic pencil), 7.3 (added notes on aestivation), 7.5
(minor updates), 7.6 (added more on sounds), 8.1 (minor additions),
9.2 (fixed typo).
Version 2.3 - 04 Jul 95
Modified headers -- it's been approved - yippie!
Revised sections 0.2 (added info on posting to posting to news.answers and
rec.answers, 1. (again), 2.3 (added Jesse Ephraim's web page URL),
2.5 (revised hhog free zones and added that Maryland and Colorado are
now legit), 2.6 (revised some N.A.H.A. information).
Version 2.2 - 19 Jun 95
Revised sections 1. (always).
Inserted section 2.8 (needed someplace to put things without a place).
Version 2.1 - 21 May 95
Revised sections 0.4 (more people to thank), 0.5 (removed request for
info in St. Tiggywinkles), 1. (I added this, didn't I?), 2.7 (added
address of St. Tiggywinkles), 6.2 (added thoughts on nutrition from
Dr. Nelson), 6.3 (add comments about raisins).
Version 2.0 - 17 Apr 95
Renumbered sections 1 and 2 reversing them to allow for splitup, and
because it made more sense to me.
Split FAQ into multiple pieces to try and avoid newsreader size limitations.
Revised sections 0.2 (added usual posting date and removed discussion of
breaking up FAQ, and added info on directory/filename changes), 0.4
(more great people to add to the list, etc.), 0.5 (new requests), 1.
(added change info), 2.1 (added info on book by Matthew Vriends), 2.4
(rearranged and added suggestion of newspaper classified adds), 2.5
(extensively reorganized and partially updated list of hedgehog-free
zones), 2.6 (updated info on N.A.H.A. registration of non-U.S.
breeders, and added more info), 3.1 (added info on tasting and biting),
4.1 (moderated bit on biting), 5.3 (added more ideas for homes), 5.3
(fixed typos -- whoops), 6.2 (added info on Hedgehog food), 6.3 (minor
changes), 7.2 (minor changes), 7.5 (corrected typos), 8.3 (minor
changes), 9.2 (added note on affect of hedgehog food), 9.3 (corrected
Version 1.3 - 20 Mar 95
Revised sections 0.2 (added warning about breaking up FAQ next time around)
0.4 (thanks to more helpful people), 0.5 (more questions, always more
questions), 1.1, 1.2 (a new book, various changes and additions), 1.3,
1.5 (updated list of hedgehog free zones), 1.6 (corrected NAHA address,
etc), 2.0, 4.1 (added information on temperment of snowflakes, and
maturity for breeding), 4.2, 4,3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 6.2, 6.3, and 8.2
(warning about overweight hedgehogs).
Inserted section 1.7, and 8.3.
Version 1.2 - 20 Feb 95 -- Not posted
Revised sections 1.6 (corrected NAHA phone number)
Version 1.1 - 11 Feb 95
Revised sections 0.4, 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 2.0, 5.6, 6.2, 6.3, 7.1,
Inserted sections 0.5, 1.6, 3.7, 7.5, 7.6, and 9.3.
Renumbered sections 0.5 to 0.6, and 9.3 to 9.4.
Renumbered, and corrected cross-references.
Version 1.0 - 10 Jan 95
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