Although there are many different types of hedgehogs in Africa, Europe and other areas of the world, none are native to the United States. In the early 90s the importation of hedgehogs from Africa ended, so any that are here now have been bred as pets. The hedgehogs you find here are African white-bellied hedgehogs. They have spines (modified hairs) with a soft, white fur underside. They will fit in the palm of your hand and will typically weigh between 1 to 11⁄2 pounds (450 to 700 grams).
Choosing A Hedgehog
Where do you get a hedgehog? There are three choices: a breeder, a pet store or a rescue. A breeder should be willing to let you see their facility when you pick up your hedgehog. You’ll have to fill out USDA paperwork (unless the breeder is very small, in which case they do not have to be USDA-licensed). The breeder should give you some type of guarantee as to the health of the animal and be able to supply you with a family history at least several generations back. Get a small amount of the food the hedgehog was fed to make the transition to whatever you choose to feed easier on the hedgehog.
For the full article, pick up the 2012 issue of Critters USA or click here to buy the issue.