babyhedgehog

BabyHedgehog: Pregnancy, Birth, Diet, Growth & More!

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One morning, when you wake up, you notice that your beloved pet hedgehog is not alone in her bed. There are tiny babyhedgehogs lying beside your pet. Yes, your little pet has given birth to babies! 

This isn’t actually surprising because female hedgehogs, most of the time, give birth to a baby unexpectedly. Sometimes, when people purchase a pet hedgehog, they don’t realize that it is pregnant. That’s why sometimes it’s hard to figure out what needs to be done as these tiny creatures are sensitive. 

Baby hedgehogs are so tiny, cute, and adorable but taking care of these little creatures isn’t as easy as it seems. According to pet experts, “ A domesticated baby hedgehog has an unstable life, from their birth until the time they are weaned.”

There are so many things that you have to take care of; otherwise, many things can go wrong even without your knowledge during this time. 

Hedgehogs are popular for their prickly spines, but the baby hedgehog doesn’t have any spikes when they’re born, and they’re also blind with their eyes closed. That’s why it’s extremely important to know how to take care of baby hedgehogs in the right way.

So, whether your female pet has recently given birth or you have found baby hedgehogs on the road or park, or you just want to know more about them, keep reading this blog.

This in-depth guide will tell you everything about baby hedgehogs. We’ve included everything from hedgehog pregnancy and birth to their appearance and what to feed them. At the end of the post, we’ve also gathered up some of the fun facts about hedgehogs. So, keep reading till the end!

Here’s a brief summary of a Hedgehog:

Scientific name: Erinaceus
Family name: Erinaceidae
Classification: Mammal
Lifespan (in wild): Around seven years
Weight: Up to 1.1kg
Size: Five to eight inches long
Top speed: 9.5km/h bursts
Diet: Carnivore
Habitat: Grassland, hedgerows, woodland, and meadows

So roll up your sleeves, get your favorite drink, and get ready to grasp all the information.

What Is A Baby Hedgehog Called?

babyhedgehog

Source: freepik.com

Baby hedgehogs, also known as hoglets, are little mammals with spiky quills and furry tummies.

Initially, hedgehog’s babies were usually called by a series of names, including urchins, pups, or piglets, and in books, they were mentioned as ‘baby’ or ‘young’ hedgehogs.

In the early 1990s, the words ‘hoglet’ and ‘hedgehoglet’ were introduced. 

Do you know? 

These little buddies are one of the most popular exotic house pets globally. 

Why? 

Just look at their cute faces and also because they’re astounding, complex animals.

Now you know what to call the babies of a hedgehog; now, let’s move on to the topic: how to care of a baby hedgehog. 

Hedgehog: Pregnancy & Birth

babyhedgehog

Source: wildlifeonline.me.uk

So one of the most asked questions is: When is Baby Hedgehog born? 

Female hedgehog typically reaches sexual maturity at 61-68 days old. However, according to the vets, most of the time, first pregnancies generally occur when they’re around 6-8 months old. 

However, you’ve to be aware as females can get pregnant anytime after sexual maturity.

How to know if your female pet is pregnant?

If your female hedgehog has been in contact with a male hedgehog and suddenly she started to gain over 50g in a short period of time (typically in the following 3 weeks), there are high chances that she is maybe pregnant. 

A hedgehog’s gestational time (number of days in a hedgehog pregnancy) is between 34-37 days.

Make sure to provide extra nutrition during your pet’s pregnancy and lactation period. Feed them with the vet’s prescribed food, high-calorie cat food, or a portion of high-quality kitten food.

So when to expect to have baby hedgehogs? 

There are usually 4 or 5 hoglets in a litter. Newborn hoglets are blind and tiny, weighing just 25 grams. When they are born, baby hedgehogs have no visible spines.

Generally, hedgehogs give birth in June and July.  

However, the breeding season or the hoglet seas may start in the early spring and stretch until autumn. So we can say that the overall hoglet season occurs between April and September, and the mating period is around May and June.

How Does a Baby Hedgehog Look?

babyhedgehog

Source: redd.it

Of course, just like other babies of mammals, Baby Hedgehogs also look extremely adorable and cute when they are born. 

A female hedgehog usually gives birth to 4 or 5 hoglets, but it can be as many as seven. Some females also have bigger litters, but there are low chances of making it to adulthood. Sometimes, the mother eats hoglets if she is disturbed, so the survival chances of babies are pretty low.     

So, what do baby hedgehogs look like?

When they are born, they’re blind and have no spines. Covered in greyish skin, the babies just look like a water blister. This is actually a good thing for the mother as it protects them during the birth.        

The newborn hoglets are pretty tiny, weighing only around 25 grams (one ounce). As you can see, their quills are covered with a kind of protective membrane. This layer usually shrinks with time, and then quills show up. Later they start to have spines that are present everywhere except on their face, legs, and bellies.

How to Raise a Baby Hedgehog?

babyhedgehog

Source: wixstatic.com

There are more than 17 different kinds of hedgehogs, but there are only a few that you can keep as pets. Below is the list of some of the most popular kinds of hedgehogs around the world.  

Hedgehog Specie Weight Size
African Hedgehog 24 oz (680 g) 7-9 in (18-23 cm)
Asian Hedgehogs 7-24 oz (200-680 g) 8 in (20 cm)
European Hedgehogs 80 oz (2.2 kg) 9-14 in (23-35 cm)
Wild Hedgehogs 50-55 oz (1.4-1.6 kg) 4-12 in (10-30 cm)
Bare Bellied Hedgehogs 16 oz (450 g) 10 in (25 cm)
Brandt’s Hedgehogs 32 oz (900 g) 10 in (25 cm)
Daurian Hedgehogs 16 oz (450 g) 8 in (20 cm)
Desert Hedgehogs 9-17 oz (250-480 g) 5.5-11 in (14-28 cm)
Four-Toed Hedgehogs 15 oz (425 g) 8 in (20 cm)
Hugh’s Hedgehogs 10 oz (280 g) 7.8 in (19 cm)
Indian Hedgehogs 16 oz (450 g) 6 in (15 cm)
Indian Long-Eared Hedgehogs 4.6 oz (130 g) 6 in (15 cm)
Long-Eared Hedgehogs 12 oz (340 g) 8 in (20 cm)
Northern White-Breasted Hedgehogs 28 oz (800 g) 9 in (23 cm)
Somali Hedgehogs 2 oz (55-60 g) 5 in (13 cm)
Southern White-Breasted Hedgehogs 11 oz (300 g) 7 in (18 cm)
South African Hedgehog 10-11 oz (280-300 g) 6-7 in (15-18 cm)

Here Is the Complete Growth Chart of a Newborn Hedgehog: Baby Hedgehog: Size and Weight Chart

Age Weight Range Length Range
Newborn 1–3 ounces 1 – 2 inches
1 month 4–6 ounces 1–2 inches
2 months 7–9 ounces 2–4 inches
3 months 10–12 ounces 2–4 inches
4 months 13–15 ounces 4–12 inches
5 months 1 -2 pounds 4–12 inches
6 months 1–3 pounds 4–12 inches

Baby Hedgehog: Food & Diet

babyhedgehog

Source: googleapis.com

So, what do these baby hedgehogs eat? 

Here’s the complete food, diet, treat, & snack list for your pet: 

So, in general, all baby hedgehogs also start their life by drinking their mother’s milk. However, if there is a situation where you have to feed a hoglet, you can try goat’s milk as it is the best alternative to the mama hedgehog’s milk. You can also explore some goat breed here.

When these babies reach the age of 3-4 weeks, they slowly start to transition over to meat-based solid foods.

Here’s what type of milk is safe for hoglets: 

Safe Milks

  • Mothers Milk
  • Esbilac (Puppy Milk Replacement)
  • Goats Milk (Fresh/Powder

Unsafe Milks

  • Cows Milk
  • Nut Milk (Almond, Oat, Soy, etc.)

Here‘s a general guide on what to feed a baby hedgehog according to their age and weight:

Age Hedgehog Weight (Grams) Feeding Amount Food Type
Birth – 3 Days Old 15-25 g 1-2 MLS 1. Mothers Milk/

2. Kitten or Puppy Milk substitutes/

3. Goat Milk

3 Days – 1 Week 25-30 1-2 MLS 1. Mothers Milk/

2. Kitten or Puppy Milk substitutes/

3. Goat Milk

1-2 Weeks 30-85 g 2-3 MLS 1. Mothers Milk/

2. Kitten or Puppy Milk substitutes/

3. Goat Milk

2-3 Weeks 85-110 g 3-5 MLS 1. Mothers Milk/

2. Kitten or Puppy Milk substitutes/

3. Goat Milk

3-4 Weeks 110-170 g 5-6mls

Leave a small, shallow dish of solid feed to encourage baby to lap

1. Mothers Milk/

2. Kitten or Puppy Milk substitutes/

3. Goat Milk/

4. Canned Cat Food/

5. Canned Dog Food

5-6 Weeks 200-260 g Phase-out hand feeding and provide a small dish of milk (5ml) and liquid food mixed together 1. Kitten or Puppy Milk substitutes/

2. Goat Milk/

3. Canned Cat Food/

4. Canned Dog Food

6-7 Weeks 300-500 g As much as they need.

Hoglets at this age will stop feeding during the day and start to only eat at night.

Mashed

meat and milk substitute.

At 6-7 weeks the milk substitute can be stopped.

So what are other things that you can give to your beloved hedgehog?

You can also feed:

  • Mealworms (Live or freeze-dried)
  • Waxworms
  • Crickets
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Cooked eggs & meat
  • Hedgehog or cat kibble

Now you know what to feed a babyhedgehog, but when to feed it is still a question, right?

No worries, follow the below schedule  

  • Birth – 3 Days Old: Every 2 Hours
  • 3 Days – 1 Week: Every 3 Hours
  • 1-2 Weeks: Every 3 Hours
  • 2-3 Weeks: Every 3 Hours
  • 3-4 Weeks: Every 3-4 Hours
  • 5-6 Weeks: Self Feeding
  • 6-7 Weeks: Self Feeding

Also Read: 5 Guinea Pig Cages: A Guideline on Features for an Ideal Cage (Bonus)

Top 10 Fun Facts About Hedgehogs

babyhedgehog

Source: wikimedia.org

Here are some of the fun and interesting facts about these spiky friends: 

1. A group of hedgehogs is known as an ’Array.

2. These little creatures can live in many places, including forests, deserts, savannahs, parks, and home gardens.

3. Hedgehogs have really poor eyesight; that’s why they mostly rely on hearing and smell. 

4. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant.

5. They can run over six feet per second. 

6. They sleep all day and are only active at night.

7. Unlike other spike animals, hedgehog spikes are not barbed. They have around 5000 to 7000 spines on their back, but they’re not poisonous.

8. Along with bats and dormice, hedgehogs are one of only three mammals in the United Kingdom that hibernate.

9. In some cities and states like Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, New York City, and Washington, D.C., hedgehogs are not allowed to be kept domestically.  

10. Do you know that a cat gives birth to hedgehogs?

Yes, a cat named ‘Muska’ adopted eight orphaned hedgehogs after their mother died in a lawn-mowing accident. 

Final Words

So this is all about baby hedgehogs.

Now you know everything when it comes to taking care of hoglets. Baby hedgehogs are cute, helpless, and defenseless when they are born. You can also give your pet a hedgehog soother and toys to make them comfortable. Even though their mother is there for them, sometimes she feels tired, which is why the mother is unable to take care of her babies. 

And in some cases, mothers reject their own babies or die in some unfortunate incident; then, you have to take care of the baby hedgehogs. I know taking care of babies without their mothers seems tiring and intimidating, but if you follow the guidelines described in this blog, the entire process will become easy. 

In short, just follow the below four steps:

  1. Keep the hedgehog warm
  2. Provide adequate house setup
  3. Learn how to handle the hedgehog safely
  4. Take care of the babyhedgehog diet, and that’s it!

If you like reading this blog about the baby hedgehogs, do share it with your friends and family and let them know how easy it is to take care of these cute and adorable hoglets. 

For more information on pet care, breeds, or pet foods, visit PetsNurturing.

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