2024: New Year Updates!

Happy new year to you all and your hedgies! We're excited for the busy year ahead here at Hedgehog Precision and wanted to give a brief overview of what we have coming up. 

2023 Recap:

Last year was our 6th year in business, if you count our first year (or two) of primarily research and development! While we continued to have some trouble stocking items from our suppliers / some inconsistencies in quality, we powered through in a wonky post-covid economy on a very lean budget and even managed some upgrades in the process! We worked extensively on hedgehog nutrition and husbandry research, which we'll touch on below. 

2024 Plans: 

Staple Diets

We currently have Standard well stocked, and a bit of Weight Control left. We are making small improvements to our formulas and plan to produce new Standard and Weight Control this year! The biggest hurdles to this process are finding a new contract manufacturer who can meet our specific requirements, and switching to a new source of our main ingredient, because our former partner (who we loved) went out of business. 

What about High Calorie? Most likely our new Standard formula will continue to fill the gap our High Calorie batch left. Based on our current research and production costs, making a separate High Calorie batch isn't the most effective way for us to support weight gain in hedgies. A High Calorie formula isn't off the table, but we are focusing on non-kibble alternatives that we hope to finalize and offer which will be more effective than a separate kibble formula. 

Appetite Support

We have been so pleased with how popular and effective you've found our Appetite Support food topper to be! Our January 2024 restock will feature an improved formula, which includes calcium citrate as a high quality, gentle-on-the-stomach calcium source. We know that many hedgehogs who go off their staple diet (which should have balanced calcium and phosphorus) will still eat some insects, which is great but can very quickly leave them calcium deficient. Ensuring that our Appetite Support topper includes a safe level of quality calcium will hopefully help support hedgies who are not currently eating an appropriately balanced diet. 

Wheel Upgrades

After 16 years of not loving washing poop off PVC stands (or finding litter boxes that fit), I hope that this is the year I finally manage to have slim alternate stands made to offer! This is a work in progress with local partner businesses.

Hedgehog Research - Nutrition and Husbandry

We have learned and validated quite a lot over the last two years of data collection and research with our own hedgehogs here at Hedgehog Precision / our sister business Telos Exotics! Much of what we have learned is in line with the current understanding of hedgehog care, but there are things that will go "against the grain" of the current status quo and may upset some owners who are used to a very specific way of doing things. We conduct research so that we can learn and improve, rather than hold onto old assumptions. We will do our best to present our findings in clear, non-judgmental way so that we can all understand and care for our hedgehogs to the best of our abilities!

Some topics where we have data and results to share this year:

  • Effect of caloric density on total caloric intake (for supporting weight gain)
  • Effect of supplemental food items (in addition to staple diet) on total nightly caloric intake
  • Impact of enclosure style and enrichment on wheel activity
  • Hedgehog wheel use preference based on wheel diameter
  • Chart and stats on adult hedgehog weights vs body condition

Improving Inquiry Response Times

Lastly, an area of improvement I sincerely hope to address is my personal inconsistency or delays in promptly responding to customer inquiries - whether related to specific orders, or product questions, or hedgehog care help in general. As the owner and manager of Hedgehog Precision, my email inbox is (quite frankly) a horror to behold. Part of the trouble currently is that we have two HP email addresses (one directly to me, and one to the office in general) and I'm not good at sifting through and delegating emails that come directly to me that Nathan (my husband / person who keeps HP afloat) or our assistants can help with. I also struggle with checking multiple social media message inboxes for non-email inquiries. These are all "me" problems, and while my ADHD and anxiety is not your problem, I just wanted to acknowledge that I know it's something that can be frustrating! Over the past few months I've hired two new assistants, and am working on training/delegating so that we have more hands on deck, both to help with customer inquiries as well as to free me up so that I can stay on top of things better. 

Speaking of adding to our team: Nathan and I are expecting our first human baby in May! We're so excited to have her join the family, even if she won't be fulfilling orders or answering emails any time soon. ;) 

With love and appreciation,
Kimberly Halzen
Owner and Manager of Hedgehog Precision