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Hedgehog Valley- Quality African Pygmy Hedgehogs =)

Whatís Better, A Boy Or A Girl?


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. Iíve raised over 100 litters now, and I have never
noticed 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 itís
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 canít guarantee theyíll 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 donít
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 judges 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.

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Page was initially posted 1/17/02. Copyright 2002.