Enclosures

There are many choices for enclosures for your hedgehog. The one that we use here at GLHH for our herd and recommend to our customers is a large 50 gallon Sterilite tote. We buy ours at Home Depot. These are very easy to clean and heat. (Being able to heat your hedgehogs cage is very important!) We do not recommend anything smaller than this, your hedgehog needs room to run and play. 

There are also options like a rabbit cage, or Critter nation. These are harder to heat, but still good options. Be sure that these have vertical bars to prevent climbing. Climbing can cause injures, so this is very important to be aware of. 

Heat Sources

**We cannot stress this enough, having a heat source is not optional. **

 

African Pygmy hedgehogs cannot regulate their body temperature like their wild counterpart. If their body temperature drops too much the hedgehog will attempt hibernation, which can be fatal. This is why the heat source is the most crucial component of the enclosure! Hedgehogs need to stay at a constant of 72-80*. The best way to do this is to have a heat lamp with a CHE bulb (ceramic heat emitter) and a thermostat. Hedgehogs require ambient heat, which means the air around them needs to be warm. This is why we discourage the use of a heating pad.

Remember,  just because your home thermostat says 75* that does not mean that your hedgehog's enclosure is the same temperature. Michigan is a cold state,therefore keeping our prickly friends cold is essential! 

Bedding

There are numerous options when it comes to bedding for your hedgehog. We have tried them all here at GLHH and have found a few pros and cons to each of them. 

 

#1 Fleece

Pros:

*You can choose cute patterns and themes for your hedgehog's enclosure.

*Fleece can be changed out easily when dirty.

Cons:

*Fleece does not allow hedgehogs to burrow like they naturally want to do.

*We have found it to be very stinky after only a few days.

*Bedding has to be washed.

#2 Paper Bedding

Pros:

*Absorbs smells

*Allows burrowing

Cons:

*Bedding changes can be messy

*Not cost-effective for some

*Bedding can get into water bowls. Bowls need to be cleaned daily. 

#3 Shavings 

(These CANNOT be cedar. Cedar shavings can cause respiratory issues. Please use pine, aspen, or softwood bedding)

Pros:

*Great for absorbing smells

*Allows burrowing

*Cost-effective

Cons:

*Bedding changes can be messy

*Shavings can get into water bowls. Bowls need to be cleaned daily.

These are the most common bedding types used, this is not an exhaustive list. It is based on our experience as breeders. What works for us, might not work for you! Here at GLHH we use softwood bedding for our herd. Our hedgies are happiest with this type of bedding. Feel free to try a few different types of bedding out to figure out what works best for you and your hedgehog.