Hedgehog Behavior – Most Interesting Facts About Them

In this post, we explore the fascinating behavior of hedgehogs and share some of the most interesting facts about these unique creatures. From their nocturnal habits to their quirky behaviors, you’ll learn everything you need to know about hedgehog behavior.

Hedgehogs can make excellent family pets, but they do have specific requirements that must be addressed by their owners. Due to various their spiky nature, hedgehogs are among the most unusual pets to acquire. Because of the kind character of the pet when it has got accustomed to you, these pets are now becoming increasingly popular. Hedgehogs are fascinating creatures that must be handled with extreme caution.

Here are all the facts about hedgehogs you need!

Hedgehogs And Porcupines Have A Close Relationship

Wrong! Hedgehogs seem to be small spine mammals best remembered for their cute opportunity to carry up into a ball. Porcupines are rodents, but hedgehogs are little spine mammals better remembered for their lovely ability to roll up into a ball. The majority of hedgehogs live alone and like to be energetic at night Hedgehog spines, unlike porcupine spines, are also not barbed or easily removed.

Hedgehogs and porcupines
Hedgehogs and porcupines

The Spines Of Hedgehogs Are Toxic

Again, incorrect, hedgehog spines (called quills) are a defensive adaptation that began with hair, which is now stiffened by a natural substance called keratin. Hedgehogs do not arrive at birth with a decent collection of adult quills; alternatively, these develop throughout the first year of life.

Quilling is the practice of developing and dropping quills unless a full set of adult quills is achieved. A hedgehog’s spines are a form of transformed hairs. A hedgehog’s spines normally fall out whenever it is growing up when it loses the first-ever set of spines and replaces them with adult ones.

spines of hedgehogs
spines of hedgehogs

Hedgehogs Are Hardy Animals

Because hedgehogs were only recently tamed and many still survive in the wild, it is reasonable to believe that they are tough animals that demand little attention and care. This is not correct. Natural habits that were successful in the wild did not transition well to domestication.

Hibernation is an excellent example. In the wild, when high temperatures made locating food difficult, the hedgehog developed the capacity to hibernate while conditions improved. This is a behavior that cultured hedgehogs still exhibit, although it is extremely harmful.

Hedgehogs Start Foaming At The Mouth, Hedgehogs Are Vulnerable To Rabies

No! Hedgehogs that foam at the mouth are engaging in a natural action known as “anointing.” What you’ll see is that a hedgehog produces a lot of saliva, something he or she then rubs all over their quills. There is significant controversy regarding why hedgehogs lubricate, but specialists believe it is how hedgehogs memorize a unique smell.

What Is Natural Hedgehog Behavior?

Hedgehogs are also both shy and curious by nature. Most hedgehogs certainly enjoy one’s house in search of interesting scents. Hedgehogs used to sleep throughout the day and explore at night inside the wild, and this is still the case for the majority of them. Hedgehogs, unlike many other creatures, prefer to live alone! In many circumstances, the alone hedgehog is contented.

Hedgehog behavior
Hedgehog behavior

There seem to be seventeen hedgehog varieties, and they have remained largely unchanged for approximately fifteen million years. Their lifestyle of consuming insects and just being active primarily at night is comparable to that of early mammals at the end of the dinosaur era.

They can be found in a wide range of environments, from forests to deserts. Hedgehogs in woodlands have very few predators, including owls and ferrets, even in more open habitats; they can be hunted by wolves and foxes.

Hedgehogs Are Known As

Hedgehogs are also known as “furze-pigs” and “hedge-pigs.” The “pig” or “hog” element of their name refers both to their pig-like snout and even the grunting sound they generate. However all hedgehog varieties can hibernate, others do not in practice due to temperature and food availability.

What Do Hedgehogs Eat?

Natural hedgehogs might eat insects, worms, and whatever else they can get their hands on, such as bird eggs, tiny mammals, and wild flora. Most people feed their pet hedgehogs a diet that is as close to nature as possible, consisting primarily of insects, great value cat food, lean cooked proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

Hedgehog Cages

Hedgehog cages should have a solid floor such that your pet’s feet or toes do not get entangled in them. Hedgehogs can be harmed by wire or mesh flooring. In addition, there must be no rough edges inside or outside the cage in case the hedgehog tries to wiggle through the bars.

Wire sides are all right as long as the bars are spaced too far away to prevent the animal’s head or legs from getting caught between them. A good hedgehog cage will provide your pet with lots of fresh air. This reduces humidity and allows scents to escape. As a result, wire-sided cages are the ideal choice.

Hedgehog cages
Hedgehog cages

Hedgehog As Pets

Hedgehogs can be maintained as pets (though this is forbidden in several places in the United States) and get along well with dogs and cats. They’ve recently become a lot more common as pets. While hedgehogs are classified as insectivores, they consume a wide range of foods, both animal and plant-based, such as snails, fruit, eggs, snakes, worms, grassroots, and so on.

Hedgehogs Are Appreciated In Gardens

Hedgehogs are appreciated in gardens because they prey on pests like snails and insects. Milk and other milk products must never be offered to them. Chemical insecticides should never be utilized in a garden whether they are present. Hedgehogs have already been eaten throughout ancient times when they were wrapped in clay and baked, but they’re still eaten in some nations today.

Hedgehogs are appreciated in gardens
Hedgehogs are appreciated in gardens

Favorite Foods Of Hedgehogs

They can’t process bread and milk, so don’t feed it to them! Caterpillars and slugs are the favorite foods of hedgehogs. They will consume earthworms and slugs as well. If you want to boost their nutrition, serve canned dog food, minced meat, or poached eggs with dog biscuits or bran. Make sure to have enough fresh water on hand.

Hedgehogs Hibernate Periods

Throughout December and April, hedgehogs hibernate for short periods. To endure hibernation, they must amass keep improving. Hedgehogs can explore a variety of gardens and therefore can travel 1 to 2 miles in search of food.

Habitat For Hedgehogs

If you want to attract hedgehogs to your garden, create a small wild area in the fall with a heap of green waste and fallen leaves that would compost and maybe give a habitat for hedgehogs. Because all garden insecticides, including slug pellets, are possibly toxic to hedgehogs, consider using a biological pest control approach in the garden.

Hedgehogs Detect Very Well In The Dark

They don’t hunt through their eyes since their eyesight isn’t very excellent. Because they can detect very well in the dark. Instead, they hunt mostly with their hearing and scent even though their eyesight isn’t very good.

There Is Just Not One Type Of Hedgehog

Type of hedgehog
Type of hedgehog

There are 15 types of hedgehogs on the globe. Each is similar but has subtle character and habitual distinctions. The European Hedgehog is the sole native species in the United Kingdom. Baby hedgehog Hoglets are born nude with their eyes closed, and hedgehog mothers typically have 4 to 5 infants at a time.

They Have More Than 5000 Spikes

Hedgehogs’ backs have between 5000 and 7000 spines. These can be raised and lowered in response to potentially dangerous conditions. Each quill/spine has a lifespan of roughly a year before dropping out and needing to be replaced. Hedgehogs have spines on their bottom and sides and will curl up into a ball if they feel threatened. Males’ backs can now have up to 500 spines.

Hedgehogs Are A Gardener’s Best Friend

Because of their feeding habits, hedgehogs have earned this reputation. They not only eat berries and fruit but the majority of their diet consists of pests found in our gardens, including beetles and caterpillars. This aids in the preservation of any fruits and vegetables that may be developing in your gardens.

Hedgehogs are a gardener's best friend
Hedgehogs are a gardener’s best friend