Learn About Hedgehog Reproduction – How Many Babies Do Hedgehogs Have?

At first, breeding hedgehogs may appear to be a daunting task. After all, there’s a lot to consider if you want to do it securely!

On average, a female hedgehog gives birth to around four to six babies in a single litter. However, this number can vary depending on factors such as the hedgehog’s age, overall health, and the environment they live in.

In this article, we’ll answer a common question: “How many babies do hedgehogs have?” We’ll cover everything about hedgehog reproduction, including litter sizes and what pregnant hedgehogs do. By the end, you’ll have a good grasp of these cute but spiky creatures.

How Many Babies Do Hedgehogs Have?

how long is a hedgehog pregnant for

A hoglet is a young hedgehog. Although they can have up to six babies at once, hedgehogs normally have four to five hoglets in a litter. Even though hedgehog litters often contain four to five hoglets, only two or three of them make it through to adulthood and can live apart from their moms.

Mating season in the wild occurs in the spring when hedgehogs rise from their hibernations. Hedgehogs’ gestation periods last approximately 35 days. Hedgehogs normally breed in May, with the majority of the young being born in June and July.

Typically, female hedgehogs give birth to one litter per mating season. They can, however, have a second litter by late summer if they have their first litter very early in the mating season.

Sadly, because these second litters of hoglets are born so close to hibernation season, their chances of surviving are lower. Since many juvenile hedgehoglets are still growing and don’t have the time to put on weight, they cannot hibernate until they have gained enough weight.

For this reason, hoglets from second litters require more attention for them to survive the winter. They will require additional food and care to survive the season because they are unable to hibernate.

When Do Hedgehogs Give Birth?

Before considering the time at which hoglets give birth, it is necessary to consider the process of their conception.

In March or April, hedgehogs emerge from hibernation and begin rapidly gaining weight in preparation for the mating season. Matrimony can commence in April and continue until September. The primary months for activity are May and June.

After spotting a female, the male hog circles around her. She’ll turn to face him and give him the cold shoulder, making it impossible for him to get close. while making a lot of noises to throw him off, like grunting and snorting.

Many times, this cacophony draws the attention of other men, who may then come forward to try their luck. The two guys will jostle and head-butt each other in a slight struggle if this occurs. Occasionally, one or the other prevails and returns to the female.

On other occasions, the female becomes bored and leaves the males to it! Hours may pass during the mating dance, but it ends abruptly when mating begins or one of the hogs runs off.

how do hedgehogs mate

Hedgehog mating is a very unpleasant process—imagine sharp spines meeting a soft underbelly—ugh! Therefore, mating can only occur when two hogs fully cooperate. The female must lie flat on the ground, her shoulders and head arched, giving the impression that she is performing yoga.

The male may securely climb on board by biting into the spines between her shoulder blades and using his paws to gain a firmer grip, allowing her spines to rest flat.

The female can shift positions at any point during the process to “bristle” and confuse the male.

Hedgehogs therefore engage in a lot of mating, preferably with a variety of partners. According to Pat Morris’ excellent book Hedgehogs, a hog may have ten or twelve different partners during the mating season, so two a night is not unusual.

Mating doesn’t alter the fact that hedgehogs are primarily solitary animals. There doesn’t appear to be any pair bond developed at all after the act. The male leaves and does not assist in caring for the litter. It is unlikely that he would ever identify his children.

Hedgehog Pregnancy And Birth

pictures of pregnant hedgehogs

Before giving birth to her litter, a female hedgehog typically carries her pregnancy for four weeks.

The hedgehog infants will start going on foraging outings with their mother three or four weeks after they are born, which could cause problems if they get separated.

However, a pregnancy might last for a very long time. This is rather atypical for animals. It is believed that pregnancy is prolonged when a female enters hibernation due to cold weather after becoming pregnant. In this case, the pregnancy and embryo’s growth will be placed “on hold” until the mother emerges from hibernation again.

The female hedgehog will construct a nest to raise her offspring during her pregnancy. After giving birth, the mother hedgehog will go foraging and come back to feed her young while they are still too little to leave the nest.

The hog doesn’t have to be as vigilant about making sure the nest is well-insulated during the nursing season because it isn’t as cold. Typically, the female gives birth to a litter of four or five hoglets. Larger litters do occur, although the odds of each hoglet surviving to adulthood appear to be lower with larger litters.

how many hoglets does a hedgehog have

Pregnant Hedgehog Behavior

Hedgehogs that are pregnant frequently have an expanded abdomen, a swollen vulva, and other indicators of rapid weight increase. Lethargy, the formation of breasts, and changes in the scent of your urine are some indicators that your hedgehog might be pregnant.

Because of the physical characteristics, a lot of new owners don’t see signs that their hedgies could be pregnant until they are almost ready to give birth. For this reason, it’s critical to be aware of as many hedgehog pregnancy signs as you can.

Signs of Pregnancy in Hedgehogs

It might be difficult to confirm a female hedgehog is pregnant. Nonetheless, several signs can offer helpful hints. Among the typical indicators that a hedgehog is pregnant are:

1. Changes in Behavior

A hedgehog’s behavior may alter when she becomes pregnant. An abnormally high appetite and increased water intake to keep up with the pregnancy’s accelerated metabolism are two ways these changes can show up.

2. Enlarged Abdomen

A larger belly is another outward sign of hedgehog pregnancy. The mother hedgehog will progressively enlarge her abdomen as the hoglets grow inside of her. Particularly in the early stages of pregnancy, the growth might not be seen right away.

But as the pregnancy goes on, the swelling becomes more apparent, giving the impression that the hedgehog’s belly is enlarged.

3. Weight Gain

Gaining weight is one of the most obvious indicators that a hedgehog is pregnant. The hedgehog’s body alters physically as the pregnancy goes on to provide room for the developing hoglets.

By routinely weighing the hedgehog on an appropriate scale, you can keep an eye on her weight. A steady, steady weight gain over time could be a sign of pregnancy.

4. Behavioural Aggression

Particularly when it comes to other hedgehogs or even their human caregivers, some pregnant hedgehogs may exhibit behavioral hostility. Many times, hormonal shifts and heightened protective instincts are blamed for this violence.

Because of this, it’s critical to handle pregnant hedgehogs carefully and provide them with a secure, stress-free habitat.

5. Body Temperature Change

hedgehog pregnancy

Hedgehogs that are pregnant may see modest changes in body temperature. Their body temperature could rise a little bit because of their increased metabolic activity throughout pregnancy.

It can be difficult to detect these temperature variations without specialized equipment, therefore it’s advisable to rely on the other symptoms that were previously described to establish a pregnancy.

6. Nesting Behaviour

Hedgehog pregnancy is significantly indicated by sudden nesting behavior. Hedgehogs who are expecting often become more concerned about providing cozy and safe nesting space for their offspring.

They can gather fleece or shredded paper for bedding and arrange it into a structure resembling a nest. Keep an eye on their nest-building activity and make sure they have access to the right supplies.

7. Nipple Development

Hormonal changes and the preparation of the mammary glands for nursing can cause visible nipple enlargement in female hedgehogs preparing for pregnancy.

The nipples could enlarge slightly and become more noticeable than usual. Pay close attention to the hedgehog’s abdomen to spot any variations in the size or shape of its nipples.

8. Changes in Activity Level

Hedgehogs going through pregnancy may show variations in their amount of activity. Certain hedgehogs frequently develop a more sluggish demeanor and favor napping or spending more time in their nests. Others might get more agitated or engage in nest-building activities, which would be signs of impending labor.

Any noticeable changes in your hedgehog’s behavior should always be monitored, since they may be signs of pregnancy.


How long does a hedgehog baby stay with its mother?

Ans. The mother hedgehog will spend a total of 4-6 weeks in her single nest with her offspring. The baby hoglets typically start to grow independent at six weeks and will frequently accompany their mother outside the nest to begin foraging with her.

How does a hedgehog give birth?

Ans. The female rotates rapidly, licking the baby clean as she consumes the placenta and birth membranes. According to other tales, she reportedly picks up the child and lovingly places it under her tummy till the birth is finished.

How long can a hedgehog live?

Ans. The longevity of a hedgehog as a pet is typically 4 to 6 years, while some domesticated hedgehogs can live up to 8 years. Dr. Jones stated to The Dodo, “Hedgehogs can be prone to mites and parasites, certain cancers, heart disease, and obesity.”

What does a pregnant hedgehog look like?

Ans. The female hedgehog is gaining weight, and you will see that she is coming out to feed more frequently in the middle of the day. The final week or so before giving birth is when her tummy will get huge and round. Her stool usually has a larger appearance.

How do hedgehogs get pregnant?

Ans. The act of mating itself is a complicated process. When the male mounts from behind, the female has a unique body posture with her spines flattened. Studies using radio-tracking have revealed that hedgehogs are promiscuous. In a single season, men and females frequently have multiple partners.


In conclusion, we answer the common question “How Many Babies Do Hedgehogs Have?”. We found that a mother hedgehog typically gives birth to four or six offspring. A glimpse into their fascinating existence can be gained by comprehending their unique behaviors and the issues they face, especially with second litters. You’ll be better informed about these spiky animals and their mission to bring little ones into the world the next time you notice one.