Swell Reptiles Review

IMG_2350In my last post I showed you how to make Hedgehog rolls, so now I thought I’d introduce you to some real ones! These two are the more prickly members of the Angel Eden Blog family.IMG_2580

If you’ve never seen them before they are African Pygmy Hedgehogs and are significantly smaller than their European cousins. They make absolutely wonderful pets, although being an exotic animal they do require specific care such as heating. A lack of adequate warmth can result in hibernation attempts which for this small hog is extremely dangerous. With colder weather on the horizon I needed to sort out a permanent and safe solution to keep my hoggies nice and cozy.

Hedgehog specific equipment is next to impossible to find, so I turned to the good folks at Swell Reptiles for help. They supplied me with:

Habistat Mat Stat

Swell Pro Heat Mat

Swell Digital ThermometerIMG_2255

The Swell Pro Heat Mat

I was quite surprised by the simplicity of this heat mat, just plug and go! As I’ve never used one before the instructions were very handy, although quite short. The mat has a built in thermostat and therefore does not require a separate device which is a good feature for a newbie keeper.

The instructions did make me chuckle when I read ‘Keep out of reach of children and pets.’ Erm… this is made for pets? I assume this is just one of those strange safety notes that has to be included, or they are in fact referring to pets like cats and dogs but it still bemused me slightly.IMG_2372

Swell Digital Thermometer 

The thermometer was my favourite of the three products. Setting it up is simplicity itself, just pull the plastic tab out from the back then hang the probe inside your animals enclosure, ta-da an accurate reading of the ambient temperature. This gives me a lot of reassurance and is so simple and clear that even the kids can read the temperature. A must have if you have hedgehogs or reptiles!IMG_2593

Habistat Mat Stat

Try saying that ten times without getting tongue tied! This is a professional looking piece of kit that provides peace of mind. It’s quite unnerving when you first attach a heat mat, the fear of overheating and pets being hurt is a legitimate concern (or at least it was for me) so a professional thermostat provides peace of mind and is an absolute essential.IMG_2635

Would you recommend these products and Swell Reptiles?

Obviously only time will tell in regards to the products but so far I’ve no complaints at all and would happily recommend them. As for Swell Reptiles, the goods arrived the day after dispatch and wrapped securely. The team are very friendly via email and they have resident experts should you have any questions. Swell Reptiles sell a huge variety of goods for exotic pets and so far I can’t fault them at all. If you are looking for a knowledgeable and trustworthy exotic store I think this is a great place to look. Swell also offer a price matching service where they try to beat their competitors which in these hard economic times is a great feature!

IMG_2394Any final thoughts or comments?

It’s perhaps not an obvious consideration but apparently the instructions included with the Swell Pro Heat Mat are delicious. Our naughty little miss carried them away and then anointed over them. Anointing is a curious hedgehog behaviour where they bite something they like the smell of and then lick themselves all over ! They really are funny little characters.IMG_2446


Visit Swell Reptiles by clicking here.

For a conventional pet store visit Swell Pets.

For pond and aquatic supplies visit Swell UK.

Hedgehog Bread!

IMG_2612Last week I posted up first attempt at making a Bento Box, which I was quite pleased with. Bento provides the perfect opportunity to make lunch fun, but what if you don’t want to spend ages moulding rice or carefully cutting vegetables? How about making some Hedgehog rolls instead!

They are a fond reminder of childhood for me but my own children have never tried them. We remedied this serious oversight this past weekend and the kids were all delighted with the results!

In a nutshell you need to make up a basic bread dough (recipe below) and leave it to rise, then break the dough into pieces and mould rough ball shapes on a tray. Leave to rise once more.IMG_2596

Next take some scissors and snip about 2/3 of the dough ball all over to make your hedgehog’s spines. Finally use some dried fruit if you want to add a couple of eyes.IMG_2599

Then all you need to do is bake them for about 25 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Warning the results are often so cute that you either eat far too many or none at all!


Once you’ve mastered your basic bread hog it’s really easy to make all kinds of variations by adding herbs or changing white flour to wholemeal. You could even make a sweet bread or a huge hedgehog loaf, the possibilities are endless!


Basic Bread Dough Recipe

1lb/500g White Flour

2 fl oz/60ml Olive Oil

15g/ 0.52 Dried Yeast Packet

1/2 Tsp Salt

9fl oz/270ml Tepid Water



Mix all the ingredients together and knead for about 4 minutes. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and cut into equal parts, shape into dough balls and leave to rise for 1 hour.

Snip and add eyes if making into a hedgehog.

Bake in the oven at 230C/450F/Gas Mark 8 for about 25-30mins or until the bottom of the rolls sound hollow when tapped.