In the past we have had people criticize our offering of some older animals for adoption, so I wanted to take a moment to clarify why we do offer some of our adults to good homes, as well as our standards for who we offer for adoption and who we are willing to adopt them out to.
There are several categories of older animals whom we sometimes offer for adoption. Sometimes I have gotten a little carried away (those who know me and my obsession with holding back nice babies can just stop laughing at my use of the words "a little" now!) in holding back babies from recent litters and realize that there are one or more I should have sold as pets because I have other animals from those lines who are more ideal for breeding purposes. These animals are usually under six months, and other than their age have no differences from the babies in their litters who were sold.
Sometimes I have animals who carry lines I want to continue, but who in their first litter produce babies who are more of what I am wanting to carry forward from those lines than they are. These animals are still fairly young (usually 8-18 months) and more than capable of adjusting to a new home and enjoying the benefits of being an only hedgehog in a pet home.
Sometimes we have girls who for one reason or another either don't seem to be capable of getting pregnant or who are not willing to raise their litters. Unless they carry lines or traits that I am unable to get elsewhere, I prefer to see them enjoying a loving pet home to making repeated tries at getting and keeping them pregnant, or getting them to raise the babies, and I consider it better for them also. These girls are often 12-24 months old and also perfectly capable of enjoying a new home and being the only hedgehog getting spoiled by their human. Sometimes I also have males who fit under this category and who have not been able to fulfill their part of the breeding plan. These boys are also perfectly able to adjust to and enjoy a pet only home.
Occasionally we do have older animals who have bred successfully for us but who are getting too old to safely continue, or in the case of males usually, already have their lines well represented in quality offspring within our herd. I don't always offer these animals for adoption. Some of them I don't feel would make the transition well to a new home. Others are simply too good of friends and pets for me to want to part with. However, there are times when an animal is still young enough, and is outgoing and adventurous enough, that I feel it would be comfortable making that change in it's life and I do choose to allow it to go to a new home. These animals tend to be the exception rather than the rule, and usually I require that they go to homes who either have prior experience with hedgehogs or at least prior experience with older animals.
We also occasionally have animals we have taken in from previous owners who no longer wanted them or who felt they could no longer care for them. Whether these animals live out their days here or are released for adoption is entirely up to them. They must stay here for a quarantine period, be healthy and free of disease or parasite, and have a temperament that leads me to believe they could happily make the adjustment to yet another home. These animals I also prefer to release to homes with previous hedgehog experience, but depending on their temperament this is not necessarily required.
What it all comes down to is that I am wanting to do what is best for the hedgehogs. Those who are outgoing enough to make the most of a single hedgehog home where they can be spoiled rotten, I want to give that chance if they are not necessary to our breeding program, or once they have fulfilled their role in it. The animals who would be excessively stressed by this change in their lives are welcome to stay here and be a part of our home and family for as long as they live.