The Hedgehog Lifecycle: Understanding How They Live

Now Hedgehogs are considered the smallest pet among all pets. They can be found on farms, in backyards, and even on college campuses. The most asked questions the people asked about hedgehogs are the life span and the hedgehog lifecycle. And the answer completely depends on what species of the hedgehog you have.

A typical pet hedgehog will usually live for 5-6 years if it has a healthy diet and proper care. We researched the Hedgehog lifecycle and we have written the following article that may answer all questions regarding the lifecycle of a hedgehog.

January Plus February

Hibernation is the most efficient way for hedgehogs to survive winter. They can sleep and eat as much food as in just two months, which they will use while hibernating until spring when temperatures are warmer again.

A hibernation process starts after a Hedgehog has stopped molting (skin shedding) during summertime. So, this signals that he/she is ready to go into “winter mode.” Also, to prepare themselves, some may wake up early or stay active at night before entering their final slumber phase. A deep rest lasts several weeks where you might hear them shuffling around but not seeing any movement outside of feeding time.


When hedgehogs emerge from their winter slumber, they are in dire need of food and water to correct a shocking 1/3 decrease in body weight. While this is your chance for supplementation with the right nutrients, it’s also important not to overfeed. If there are too many reserves stored up before hibernation then chances rise that he will be malnourished come springtime again.


As hedgehogs are animals that hibernate through winter, one of their concerns is to rebuild up enough body fat for when summer rolls around. Through this, they will be active and scour the area looking for nesting sites. So if you don’t have any natural materials available or your log pile isn’t big enough in order get them into action now before it gets too hot.


hedgehog breeding season


A hedgehog breeding season is finally coming to begin. The loud snuffling and grunting noises you hear at night may be them trying to convince each other into matings. Males circle females, sometimes for hours on end while they wait patiently in hopes of persuading her with their quills out.

They are very social and seek partners for the breeding season or “mating”. The males will court the female by courting loudly at night with snuffling noises until she agrees. Once this has happened it may continue throughout hours of mating before finally leaving her side and taking no part.


According to the hedgehog lifecycle, the female pregnant hedgehog, after four weeks of hedgehog gestation, births a litter of up to six or seven hoglets. So, if you hoglet-born baby then you must make the hedgehog age chart and hedgehog weight chart as well.

The mother spends her time hunting but always returns to feed her young while they are too small. For example when it’s still breast milk only at first, to leave their nest without any help from another animal as long as possible before doing so themselves if the need arises.

“Hoglet,” by the way, just means something like “young” according to an old Norse word meaning grandson which then evolved into English.


When the hoglets are ready, they will leave their nest and follow their mother on foraging trips. They quickly learn what is good to eat but still return every few hours or so to take care of themselves by nursing before going off again with new knowledge that has been learned.


hoglets hedgehog adult life

Soon the hoglets hedgehog adult life will start and they become independent of their mother and start to explore alone. Now, there’s no time between the hoglets that will reach their adult life. Therefore, soon they will behave and act like an adult hedgehog and will take care of them, independently.

These animals are very solitary, living only in contact with other adults for mating or when food is scarce. Here, the hoglets are on their own now and it can only get harder from here as they grow into adulthood without any siblings around for protection or support in times of need.


hedgehog's natural diet

The hedgehog’s natural diet, which consists primarily of insects and grubs in the summer months becomes more scarce as autumn approaches. Consequently, this may lead to behind-schedule starvation. And in this situation definitely, these pets need our help.

Mature females may have mated again following a couple of months off mating if they were not able to find food left by other Hedgehogs ahead of time or during winter. When everything hibernates down, but this isn’t always typical so be sure, the owner knows what type of his hoglets are beforehand.


As the weather gets colder, hedgehogs will continue to eat as much food as they can get. They do this for their Hedgehog Diet which consists of mostly leaves and food that’s easily digestible during wintertime. So it doesn’t freeze up inside them or cause any other digestive problems while hibernating from November until March.

November and December

The most popular hedgehog is the Common Hedgehog. These creatures hibernate during November and will remain in this state until March of next year when they awake to mate again.

The best time for viewing these adorable animals may be at night because their eyesight becomes less sensitive in dark environments. The reasons are lighter-colored or have no shadows on them. Therefore, it could make capturing photos easier with your camera flash-off but don’t forget about investing some money into good lighting.


How long do baby hedgehogs stay in the nest?

Normally, the mother hedgehog stays in the nest for about 4-6 weeks. After a maximum of 6 weeks, the hoglets become independent to survive themselves.

How long does it take for a hedgehog to decompose?

It completely depends on the sort of soil and how long a dead hedgehog will take time in decomposition.

How long do hedgehogs live?

Most of the hedgehog species have a life span of about 2-6 years. But very few species can survive even more than 10 years.

What are hedgehog lifecycle facts?

Multiple facets can be discussed about the life cycle facts, which may include:

  1. Social life
  2. Food
  3. Nest or cage
  4. Life span
  5. Weight
  6. Length
  7. Lifestyle and more.