Hedgehogs have become lovable pets that more and more people have begun to house. These spined animals make great pets but are often taken in without their pet parents knowing anything about them.
Before adopting hedgehogs or any other pet for that matter, one must conduct thorough research about them. There are unanswered queries regarding health and diet but even about reproduction.
Hedgehogs do not lay eggs. Hedgehogs are full mammals, and they give birth to live young instead of eggs.
People often consider hedgehogs to be marsupials. However, that is not the case. Hedgehogs are mammals that give birth to babies directly. You should also not get them confused with echidnas that have a striking resemblance to hedgehogs.
When Do Hedgehogs Mate?
The mating season for hedgehogs begins soon after they come out of hibernation. Hedgehogs hibernate and begin preparing to mate in March or April. The mating season commences in April, and the actual process happens in May or June.
The mating season tends to be loud, and your hedgehogs may make some noise, so do not worry about the disturbances.
How Do Hedgehogs Mate?
Hedgehogs first have to mate together for the birth to happen. The mating process begins with the male dancing for hours around the female. During this time, the female can be aggressive towards the male, and her quills would be upright.
If the male hedgehog tries to mate or get close to her, it may get hurt. However, after some time, the quills flatten, and the female hedgehog will allow the male to mate with it.
During the mating process, there can be a lot of competition among the males. The process comprises fights and head-butting competition among the males. The male hedgehogs do this to impress the female hedgehogs.
If you have been breeding or planning to breed hedgehogs, you will notice this, so do not worry!
How Long is Hedgehog Pregnancy?
After the mating process, the female hedgehog becomes pregnant. For hedgehogs, the gestation period lasts for around 32 days.
Despite the short amount of time that the female hedgehog has to bear pregnancy, she only gives birth once a year.
Hedgehog gestation period is around 32 days.
How Do Hedgehogs Give Birth?
The female hedgehog will have prepared a nest for the birth. When the time comes, the female hedgehog lies on her side. She may stand as well with her rear end raised. The female then gives birth to hoglets.
The birthing process can last for a few minutes or many hours.
These tiny babies are born covered with fluid that buries the spines. The layer of fluid is there, so the female hedgehog does not hurt herself while giving birth. The babies are either born headfirst or tail.
After the birth, the mother eats the placenta and the membranes. She licks her babies until they are clean.
What Are Baby Hedgehogs Called?
Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets. The mother hedgehog stays with the hoglets for the first 24 hours, after which she leaves them and goes out to hunt. The hoglets stay together and huddle for warmth while the mother goes out for food.
How Many Babies Does a Hedgehog Have?
A hedgehog will give birth to a litter comprising of four to five babies. These babies are deaf and blind at birth. After around two weeks, the babies gain vision and hearing. They are ready to begin nursing as soon as they are born.
It takes two or three weeks for the babies to begin eating solid foods.
After the baby hedgehogs have nursed and weaned off, they leave their nest to begin their adventures.
Do Hedgehogs Carry Their Babies in a Pouch?
As aforementioned, there is a difference between marsupials and mammals. Marsupials are mammals that give birth to live offspring instead of laying eggs. The confusion arises here because questions are raised that mammals do the same thing.
However, the answer does not end here. Marsupials do not give birth to fully developed babies.
Instead, marsupials hold their babies until they mature and fully develop in their pouches. Hedgehogs are mammals and give birth to fully developed babies. They do not carry their babies in a pouch as they do not have one, nor do they need it.
After birth, the mother hedgehog tucks her babies under her belly.
So, do hedgehogs lay eggs or not? Hedgehogs are mammals that give birth to live offsprings and therefore do not lay eggs.
Often, people confuse hedgehogs to be marsupials and think that they carry babies in their pouch. Marsupials are different as their babies born are underdeveloped and are kept in their pouch until they mature.
Mating season for hedgehogs begins as soon as they come out of hibernation. The male dancers around the female, and soon after resistance, the mating happens. The female remains pregnant for 32 days and gives birth to hoglets that are born deaf and blind.
The hoglets are born with a layer of protective fluid that keeps the mother hedgehog from getting hurt while she gives birth.
A hedgehog will give birth to 5-6 young hoglets at a time. The hoglets remain with the mother for the first 24 hours until she leaves to forage for food.