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Hedgehog Size: How Big Does a Hedgehog Get?

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Hedgehogs average 23-25 cm in length (9-10 inches) and weigh 750-800 grams (26.5-28 ounces). They are small enough that most people can hold them in their hands. They have small heads and short tails, making up the minority of their size.

Hedgehogs are objectively small animals. The majority of their appearance is made up of their characteristic spikes.

They are born small and don’t grow to be much larger than a handful. But how big do really get? And how big can they get as full-grown hedgehogs?

This post will give you all the must-know information about hedgehog size.

How Big Does a Hedgehog Get?

Hedgehogs average 23-25 cm in length (9-10 inches) and weigh 750-800 grams (26.5-28 ounces). They are small enough that most people can hold them in their hands. They have small heads and short tails, making up the minority of their size.

Hedgehogs’ bodies can be split into three parts:

  • Head
  • Torso
  • Tail

The majority of their body is made up of their torso (upper body and belly), which connects to their head, tail, and legs.

On almost the entirety of their body, both their body, behind, and head, hedgehogs have small, prickly spines covering their backs. These spines are modified hairs. 

When a hedgehog feels threatened, it will curl up into a tight ball, using its spines as protection. The spines also help to deter predators from attacking hedgehogs.

How big do hedgehogs get

Hedgehog Growth Chart

Hedgehogs are born small, but they grow fast. They reach their adult size after 6-12 months, depending on the individual. Some hedgehogs grow fafster than others.

AgeWeight Length
Newborn1 to 3 ounces1 to 2 inches
2 months old7 to 9 ounces2 to 4 inches
4 months old13 to 15 ounces4 to 12 inches
6 months old16 to 48 ounces6 to 12 inches

When Are Hedgehogs Fully Grown?

Hedgehogs reach full size at around 6 months old. At this point, they will have stopped growing and reached their adult weight. Fully grown hedgehogs weigh between 0.5 and 1 kg, averaging around 780 grams. Males tend to be larger than females.

Once they are fully grown, hedgehogs can live for up to 5 years in captivity. In the wild, their lifespan is usually shorter, due to predators and other dangers.

While their bodies stop growing, they continue to grow new quills throughout their lifetime. These occasionally fall off, constantly being replaced by new ones.

When Are Hedgehogs Fully Grown

When Do Pet Hedgehogs Stop Growing?

For the most part, pet hedgehogs reach their full-grown size by the time they are 10 to 11 months old. This is the case for both male and female hedgehogs.[1]

There are instances where hedgehogs continue to grow after the 11-month mark. If your hedgehog is still growing after 11 months, it is best to consult with a veterinarian. The vet will make sure there are no underlying health concerns.

While 11 months is the average age at which hedgehogs reach full maturity, this does not mean they stop growing. 

Hedgehogs continue to grow throughout their lifetime, but the rate of growth slows down considerably after they reach maturity.

Even though your hedgehog doesn’t grow more in terms of height and weight after they reach 11 months old, they grow in other ways. For example, their quills continue to grow and they continue to develop new quills throughout their lifetime.

Hedgehog Size Depending on Species

Hedgehogs have different sizes depending on the species. The African pygmy hedgehog is the smallest, while the European hedgehog is the largest. Some baby hedgehogs stay small their whole life, while others keep growing.[2]

TypeSize
European hedgehog9-10 inches
African pygmy hedgehog6-7 inches
Algerian hedgehog7-10 inches
Egyptian hedgehogs5-10 inches

How Big Does a Full-Grown African Hedgehog Get?

On average, full-grown African hedgehogs will measure somewhere between 6 to 7 inches in length. This includes both the body and the legs. 

Some specimens have been known to reach up to 10 inches in length. 

When it comes to weight, these small mammals usually fall in the range of 1.5 to 2 pounds.

While their size varies depending on the specific subspecies, African hedgehogs generally stay small. This is one of the things that make them such popular pets. They are also low-maintenance and relatively easy to care for.

If you’re thinking about getting an African hedgehog as a pet, it’s important to make sure you have enough space to accommodate one. They need a decent-sized enclosure and plenty of toys and enrichment items to keep them busy.

How Big Does a Full-Grown African Hedgehog Get

What Is the Smallest Hedgehog?

The smallest hedgehog species is the african pygmy hedgehog. They can grow beyond seven inches, but are often six inches long or smaller.

What Is the Largest Hedgehog?

The northern white-breasted hedgehog is the largest. This is a subspecies of the European hedgehog, which is considered the group with the largest hedgehogs.

Hedgehog Life Cycle & Size

Hedgehogs go through a couple of different life stages:

  • Newborn
  • Hoglets (still rely on their mother for food)
  • Juvenile (starts heading off to their own foraging trips)
  • Young adults (not an official stage, but they start being more independent)
  • Adults (mature and fully independent)
Life StageSize
Newborn (0 weeks)1-2 inches
Hoglets (1-8 weeks)2-3 inches
Juvenile (9-14 weeks)4-6 inches
Young adult hedgehogs (14-26 weeks)6-8 inches
Adults (26+ weeks)8-10 inches

How Big Are Baby Hedgehogs?

New-born hedgehogs are 1 to 2 inches in length. They reach their adult size of up to 9 inches after 6 months. 

Hedgehogs are born with quills, but they are soft and not sharp. It takes about two weeks for the quills to harden. After a few months, the quills are fully grown in and sharp. 

Baby hedgehogs have a hard time moving around with their prickly quills, so they wait until they are a older to start exploring.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, so you will usually only see them at night. If you find a baby hedgehog during the day, it is best to leave it alone. The mother will usually come out to care for it once it gets dark.

How Big Are Baby Hedgehogs
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How Big Are Adult Hedgehogs?

Adult hedgehogs grow to be between 9 and 10 inches in length, but it does depend on the species. Some species stop growing when they reach 6-8 inches. Hedgehogs are also quite slender, so their size can be deceiving.

Despite their small size, hedgehogs are hearty creatures. They are known to live for up to 10 years in the wild and even longer in captivity. 

The oldest recorded hedgehog lived to be 16 years old.

Hedgehogs are native to Europe and Asia, but they have become popular pets in recent years[3]

If you’re considering getting a hedgehog, it’s important to make sure that you have enough space to accommodate one. They may be small, but they need plenty of room to roam and explore.

How Big Are Adult Hedgehogs

How Big Do Pet Hedgehogs Get?

Pet hedgehogs range from 4 to 12 inches in length (10 to 30 cm). Most pet hedgehogs are small, as the African Pygmy hedgehog is the most common pet species. They are around 6 inches long. 

Hedgehogs have a wide range of sizes because they come from different parts of the world:

  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Asia

There are no hedgehogs native to Australia or America.

Depending on which one you buy as a pet, its size will vary.

It is difficult to predict how big pet hedgehogs get, as there is variation among species and individuals.  Some hedgehogs grow to be a few inches long, while others grow to be over a foot long. 

In general, the size of a hedgehog depends on the breed and the individual genetics of the hedgehog.

Hedgehogs that come from Africa are usually small, while those from Europe tend to be larger. 

The size of a hedgehog also depends on its diet and habitat. Hedgehogs that live in the wild have to compete for food, so they tend to be larger than pet hedgehogs.

Pet hedgehogs average the same size as their wild counterparts, but they can be smaller if they don’t have enough to eat. 

To grow big and strong, hedgehogs need a diet high in protein and fat. These nutrients help them grow to their full potential. Diets too low in calories stunts their growth.

How Big Do Pet Hedgehogs Get

What Do Hedgehogs Weigh?

Hedgehogs range between 1 and 2 pounds in weight in the wild. This largely depends on the sex, species, availability of food, and habitat.

There is some variation in size depending on the specific species of hedgehog. 

  • The African pygmy hedgehog is the smallest species of hedgehog and weighs between 0.5 and 1 pound. 
  • The European hedgehog is among the largest species of hedgehog and weighs up to 3 pounds.

While size varies depending on the species, all hedgehogs generally fall within the 1-2 pound weight range. 

If your hedgehog is significantly larger or smaller than this, it can be a sign of health problems. Obesity is a problem for hedgehogs. Overweight hedgehogs have difficulty moving around and keeping themselves clean.

On the other hand, if your hedgehog is underweight, this could indicate that they are not getting enough food or nutrients. 

If you are concerned about your hedgehog’s weight, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.

What Do Hedgehogs Weigh

How To Tell If A Hedgehog Is Overweight

Hedgehogs are normally very good at self-regulating their weight. If you think your hedgehog might be overweight, there are a couple of things you can look for.

Pick up your hedgehog and feel along its sides. You should be able to feel its ribs without too much pressure. If you can’t feel the ribs, or if they feel buried under a layer of fat, your hedgehog is likely overweight.

Another telltale sign of an overweight hedgehog is that it won’t be able to roll into a tight ball. Instead, it will look more like a tube with legs sticking out to the sides. Fat deposits might also be visible under the chin, in the armpits, or on the legs and knees.

If you think your hedgehog is overweight, take it to the vet for a checkup. The vet can confirm whether or not your hedgehog is overweight and make recommendations for how to get it back to a healthy weight.

How To Help An Overweight Hedgehog

If you have an overweight hedgehog, there are a few things you can do to help them slim down:

  • Check your pet’s weight regularly.
  • Feed it the right diet.
  • Help your hedgehog exercise.
  • Reduce the amount of treats you give it.

Check Your Pet Hedgehog’s Weight Regularly

Check Your Pet Hedgehog's Weight Regularly

As a responsible pet hedgehog owner, it’s important to check your pet’s weight regularly.

Invest in a quality digital scale that can measure in grams. You’ll need to weigh your hedgehog every few weeks to keep track of his or her weight. 

Keep the following in mind when weighing your pet:

  • Size (larger hedgehogs should weigh more)
  • Size of quills (does your hedgehog have abnormally large/small quills?)
  • Sex (males weigh more)
  • Age (baby hedgehogs weigh less)
  • Pregnancy (if you have a pregnant female hedgehogs, it will weigh more)

Feed Your Hedgehog The Right Diet

Feed Your Hedgehog The Right Diet

When it comes to addressing an overweight hedgehog, diet is key. 

While there are a variety of factors that can contribute to a hedgehog being overweight, diet is often the most important aspect to focus on.

There are a few things to keep in mind when creating a diet plan for an overweight hedgehog: 

  • Avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar. These can contribute to weight gain and health problems down the road. 
  • Focus on lean protein sources, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.
  • Portion control is critical. It’s easy to overfeed a hedgehog, especially if they’re smaller in size. 

Measure out appropriate portions and don’t let your hedgehog free-feed.

Provide Opportunities For Exercise

Provide Opportunities For Exercise

Hedgehogs are notoriously lazy creatures. In the wild, they spend most of their time lounging around in the sun or sleeping in their nests. 

While pet hedgehogs aren’t required to forage for food or build homes, they still tend to be relatively inactive.

This can pose problems for overweight hedgehogs, as they are more likely to suffer from health problems associated with obesity.

One of the best ways to encourage your hedgehog to be more active is to provide opportunities for exercise. 

Aside from creating a “play area” in your home with toys and obstacles for your hedgehog to explore, you can also get a small exercise wheel for your hedgehog to use.

Reduce The Treats

One way to help an overweight hedgehog is to reduce the number of treats given. Hedgehogs love treats, but it is important to keep it to a minimum. 

Give them healthier options such as vegetables or fruits instead of processed foods as snacks. You can also cut down on the amount of food given at each meal. 

Another way to reduce the treats is to space them out throughout the day. 

Instead of giving your hedgehog one large treat, break it into smaller pieces and give it to them throughout the day. This will help them feel fuller longer and reduce their overall food intake.

Finally, try to avoid giving your hedgehog sugary treats. These can cause weight gain and other health problems. 

If you must give them a treat, make sure it is something healthy like a piece of fruit or vegetable.

Conclusion

Hedgehogs vary from 4 to 12 inches in length. This number is affected by many factors such as species, habitat, and sex. 

This means that two hedgehogs from the same variety may not necessarily be the same size. Additionally, environment and food availability can also play a role in how big a hedgehog gets.

FAQs

How Old Do Hedgehogs Get?

Hedgehogs can live up to 10 years. However, the average lifespan of a hedgehog in captivity is only 4-5 years. Hedgehogs in the wild typically only live for 2-3 years due to predation and other risks. The oldest recorded hedgehog was 16 years.

How Long Is a Hedgehog?

It’s generally accepted that the average length of a hedgehog is 9 inches. This measurement is taken from the nose to the base of the tail. Of course, like all animals, there is some variation in size among individual hedgehogs. Some may be a bit longer or shorter than 9 inches.

How Big Is the Four-Toed Hedgehog?

The four-toed hedgehog is one of the smaller species, with an average size of six to nine inches.

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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