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domesticating anteaters, hedgehogs, hummingbirds and other insectivores...?

 
Tony de Veyra
Posts: 18
Location: Pomona, CA
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So, I've done some research on anteaters and hedgehogs and was wondering if anyone here has ever had experience with them, owning them, trying to train them, etc. Can they be domesticated to live like a free-roaming cat, or are they too much of a risk of escaping and getting lost?

I included the hummingbirds in the topic because I know they eat tons of little insects like thrips and aphids (WIN!)too. Feeders definitely attract them, but is there a way to build little houses that they can live in? Just some ideas.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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I think the easiest thing to do is "work with nature". That is, if you provide habitat or "ecological niche" for a local predator, they will come and do the thing that they naturally do. I definitely wouldn't try to domesticate wild animals as then you become responsible for their care and, truly, they know how to best take care of themselves.

If you have a copy of gaia's garden by Toby Hemenway, you can read about ecological niches and the succession of predators starting on page 22 - great stuff. You can also read this section online here.

You also want your predators to be local to YOUR specific ecosystem. This is because they will be adapted to the kinds of food available to them. A foreign predator may end up being prey, itself! Plus there is an ethical dilemma, at least for me, in keeping exotic animals as pets.

You can, however, stack the deck a bit if you choose to. Hummers are part of your local ecosystem. Plant lots and lots of plants that put out tubular flowers during hummingbird season. If they are year 'round visitors - well then, plant a diversity of flowers that bloom in waves throughout the year. Or you can do what this guy does who's on the migratory path of hummingbirds...



Here is an article explaining more about hummingbird habitat. Apparently they will NOT live in little houses but they LOVE dense and thorny shrubs.
 
wayne stephen
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Location: Western Kentucky-Climate Unpredictable Zone 6b
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http://www.hedgehogsaspets.com/


I name all my roosters T-Rex . If I had hedgehogs I would name them all Dinsdale :




http://www.livingwithanteaters.com/

Now I want to now how someone is going to work these buggers into their permaculture sysytem . Have at it Crew !
 
Tony de Veyra
Posts: 18
Location: Pomona, CA
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^^woah that's pretty awesome! Too bad that hedgehogs are illegal in CA =(

anteaters though are legal. I know a few people are already keeping as pets, too. I just don't know to what extent they can be trained.
 
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