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Baby Hedgehogs: What They’re Called, Facts & Pictures

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Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets. They weigh between 0.5-1 ounce at birth (15-25 grams) but grow quickly. They are born deaf, blind, and spineless, but get their first set of spines within days.

Hedgehogs are found all over the globe, and are typically solitary animals. But they do come together for mating.

After mating, the female hedgehog then gives birth to a litter of baby hedgehogs: hoglets.

In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of hedgehog babies, from birth to adolescence. 

What Do You Call a Baby Hedgehog?

Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets. Hoglets are born blind and deaf and rely on their mother to care for them.

What Does a Baby Hedgehog Look Like?

Baby hedgehogs are small and have soft, spiky fur. They are born with their eyes closed, opening them within a week. Hedgehogs are born without visible spines, as they hide under their skin. These can appear within hours of birth.

Hedgehogs are born small, defenseless, and without their signature spikes or quills.

They grow fast, getting the initial small set of quills within hours or days of birts. After about 3 weeks, the still small hedgehogs develop larger quills. 

They continue to grow until they are about 6 months old. At this point, they are fully grown and ready to start having babies of their own.

What Does a Baby Hedgehog Look Like

Baby Hedgehog Lifecycle

Hedgehogs are one of the most popular pets in the world. They’re small, independent, and low-maintenance, which makes them ideal for people who don’t have a lot of time or space for a pet. But like all animals, hedgehogs have a lifecycle that must be understood before taking one home.

StageCharacteristicsSize
GestationThe gestation period takes 35-45 days.0 ounces
NewbornNewborn hoglets are deaf, blind, and spineless, unable to do anything themselves.1 ounce or less
4 weeks oldStart to explore their surroundings, foraging with their mother, and are covered in quills.4–6 ounces
6 weeks oldHedgehogs start foraging alone, becoming much more independent. They can be removed from the nest at this point.7–10 ounces
8 weeks oldThe hedgehogs that didn’t leave the nest earlier are now ready to set off.11–14 ounces
3 months oldAt three months old, the male hedgehogs are soon mature. The females are halfway.14–16 ounces
6 months oldAt this point, most hedgehogs are fully grown and mature, though it can take up to 11 months.23–27 ounces

Hedgehog Litter Size

Hedgehogs typically have litters of four to six hoglets. While the average is between four and five, they can have up to twelve hoglets at a time.[1]

Hedgehog Gestation Period

Hedgehogs’ gestation period lasts from 35 to 45 days. During this time, the female hedgehog gains weight and her belly swell as the baby hedgehogs develop inside of her.[2]

While the gestation period is a crucial time for the baby hedgehogs, it is also a time of great stress for the mother. 

Pregnant hedgehogs need to eat more food to support their growing babies. They tend to become aggressive to protect the nest. 

It is important to leave female hedgehogs alone during this time and provide them with plenty of food and water.

Newborn Hedgehog

Newborn Hedgehog
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Hedgehogs are born blind and deaf. At birth, they are about the size of a jellybean and weigh about half an ounce. They have soft, white spines that harden within a few days. 

The mother will clean them and nurse them until they are old enough to eat solid food. 

4-Week-Old Hedgehog

Baby hedgehogs go through a lot of changes during their first few weeks of life. At 4 weeks old, they are starting to explore their surroundings and grow more independent. 

The baby hedgehogs are already 10-15 times their birth size at this point, weighing a minimum of 4–6 ounces. They will have all of their quills and start to shed their baby quills.

6-Week-Old Hedgehog

At six weeks old, hedgehogs are considered juveniles. When they reach the 6-week mark, most hedgehogs start becoming more independent. While they foraged with their mother before, some start foraging alone.

At this point, many hedgehogs leave the nest, as they set out on their own.

6-week-old hedgehogs weigh a minimum of seven ounces (200 grams).

8-Week-Old Hedgehog

8-Week-Old Hedgehog
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After eight weeks, hedgehogs are exiting their juvenile stage. The late bloomers that still hang around the nest now leave, setting out on their own.

At the 8-week mark, hedgehogs weigh about 11-14 ounces (300-400 grams).

3-Month-Old Hedgehog

During the 3-month-old hedgehog stage, baby hedgehogs are starting to become more independent. They become active and begin to explore their surroundings more. 

During the 3-month-old stage, baby hedgehogs wean off of their mother’s milk. They start to eat solid food and drink water on their own. 

They will still nurse from their mother, but they will also start to eat insects, baby food, and other small prey. 

As they start to eat more solid food, their stools will become more solid as well.

6-Month-Old Hedgehog

6-Month-Old Hedgehog

At the 6-month mark, most hedgehogs will be fully grown, or close to it. Some hedgehogs continue to grow until they are 11 months old.

Once mature, they head out on their own, as they are fully independent. They also start mating and having babies of their own.

What Sounds Does a Baby Hedgehog Make?

Hedgehogs are quiet creatures, but they can make a few different kinds of noises, including grunts, squeaks, hisses, and chirps.

Grunts

The most common sound that hedgehogs make is a soft grunt or snuffle. 

This is usually heard when they’re exploring their surroundings or looking for food. It’s a relatively unassuming noise, and it’s not likely to startle you or your other pets.

Chirping

Hedgehogs make a chirping noise when they’re happy or excited. This is usually heard during playtime, or when they’re being petted and scratched in just the right way. 

If you hear your hedgehog chirping, it’s a good sign that they’re enjoying themselves.

Hissing

Hedgehogs can also hiss when they’re feeling scared or threatened. This is usually preceded by some loud snuffling and grunting, as the hedgehog tries to make itself seem bigger and more intimidating. 

If you hear your hedgehog hissing, it’s best to leave them alone until they calm down.

How to Care For Baby Hedgehogs

Baby hedgehogs are cared for by their mother. If their mother is not around, they need a safe place to live, with bedding, food, and water. They also need warmth. If you find a baby hedgehog, contact a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible.

One of the most important things to consider when getting a hedgehog is whether or not you’re prepared to care for the hoglets. 

Hedgehogs typically give birth to litters of four to six babies, so they can be a handful to deal with.

If you’re not planning on keeping a baby hedgehog but happen to come by one, contact a wildlife rehabilitator. They can raise the hedgehog in a safe environment until it’s ready to be set back into the wild.

Related: Hedgehog Care Guide

How to Care For Baby Hedgehogs

Safe Housing & Warmth

If you are prepared to care for hedgehog babies, the first thing you’ll need to do is find a safe place for them to live. 

Hedgehogs are active and need a lot of space to run and play. A small cage or aquarium is not going to be sufficient. 

You also need to provide them with plenty of bedding, such as shredded paper or towels.

Toys

Hedgehogs are solitary but active creatures, so it’s important to provide them with toys and other objects to keep them entertained.[3] 

Balls, chew toys and wheels are all great options.

Food

Baby Hedgehogs Food
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As hedgehogs grow, they need more food. A diet of dry cat food, vegetables, and fruits is a good place to start, but not ideal for the long term.

You can purchase special hedgehog food pellets from your local pet store.

What Does a Baby Hedgehog Eat?

Baby hedgehogs eat worms, crickets, other insects, fruits, and vegetables in the wild. As pets, they are often fed a diet of hedgehog pellets and high-quality cat food.

Baby hedgehogs are born with sharp teeth, which they use to eat their mother’s milk. However, they quickly start to lose these teeth, and by the time they’re six weeks old, they’re ready to start eating solid food.

In the wild, baby hedgehogs eat the following:

  • Worms
  • Cricketes
  • Beetles
  • Larvae
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

When kept as pets, their diet has to offer the same nutrients. 

Pet hedgehogs are often fed the following:

  • Mealworms
  • Waworms
  • Frozen or live crickets
  • Hedgehog food
  • High-quality cat food
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Cooked meat
  • Cooked vegetables

The best food for baby hedgehogs is a special diet designed specifically for them. They are high in protein and fat, which helps them grow quickly. 

You can find these diets at most pet stores[4].

In addition to their regular diet, baby hedgehogs also like to eat insects. mealworms, crickets, and other small bugs are all great options. 

You can buy find these bugs live or frozen at your local pet store as well.

Baby hedgehogs also need water. Make sure there’s always water available.

As your baby hedgehog grows, you’ll need to start giving them more food. Adult hedgehogs eat about 1/2 a cup of food per day. They like to eat insects, so make sure you’re still offering them bugs.

Related: What Do Hedgehogs Eat?

What Does a Baby Hedgehog Eat

Potential Risks for a Baby Hedgehog

While hedgehogs can make great pets, there are some potential risks that you should be aware of before making the decision to bring one home. 

Pododermatitis

One of the most common health concerns for hedgehogs is something called “pododermatitis”. This is a bacterial skin infection that can cause serious irritation and pain. 

If not treated promptly, pododermatitis can lead to permanent damage to your hedgehog’s feet and legs.

Respiratory Disease

Other potential health concerns for hedgehogs are respiratory diseases. 

Because hedgehogs are prone to respiratory infections, it’s important to make sure their cage is kept clean and free of dust and other irritants. 

If you notice your hedgehog sneezing or having trouble breathing, it’s important to take them to the vet right away.

Conclusion

Baby hedgehogs, or hoglets, are born deaf, blind, and small. They weigh no more than one ounce and are born spineless. They develop their spines quickly, and grow to ten times their size within a few weeks.

FAQs

When Do Hedgehogs Leave the Nest?

Hedgehogs stay with their mother in the nest for four to six weeks. At this point, they’ve grown to ten times their birth size, allowing them to forage alone and fend for themselves. They are still not fully grown at this point.

When Are Baby Hedgehogs Born?

Baby hedgehogs are typically born in June and July. Hedgehogs mate after hibernation. With a gestation period of 35-45 days, hoglets start appearing around start to mid-summer.

What Do Baby Hedgehogs Eat In the Wild?

Baby hedgehogs eat a mix of insects, fruits, and vegetables. They are omnivores and need both plant and animal-based foods for optimum nutrition. Their mother forages for them in the initial few weeks.

Are Hedgehogs Born With Spikes?

No, baby hedgehogs are not born with spikes. These hide under the surface of their skin but come out after a short while. The first set of quills is smaller than adult quills, which they develop later.

How Much Do Baby Hedgehogs Weigh?

Baby hedgehogs weigh between half an ounce and one ounce (15-25 grams). They gain weight fast, reaching ten times this after a few weeks.

About Misfit Animals Staff

The Misfit Animals staff consists of animal lovers, pet enthusiasts, veterinarians, zoologists, and other animal experts. Our goal is to provide people with information on proper animal care.

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