When we observe hedgehogs in the wild, we find that they have many habitats. People looking to keep hedgehogs as pets want to know more about them and how they live to create the perfect environment for them at home. A common question that is raised is, do hedgehogs live underground?
Hedgehogs do not entirely live underground but can stay there for small periods.
These small mammals are generally found in hedges under bushes. Hence, this is where the name ‘hedgehog’ has been derived from.
Hedgehogs build nests using moss and vegetation and can be spotted in parks and gardens. You can also find hedgehogs in your front and backyard as they prefer staying close to urban areas for food.
Do Hedgehogs Burrow?
Whether a hedgehog is in the wild or kept as a pet, burrowing is a natural behaviour that all hedgehogs have.
Hedgehogs in the wild burrow to have a safe space to sleep in. These small mammals are big sleepers and can spend eighteen hours a day only sleeping. However, not all the hedgehogs in the wild will burrow.
Most hedgehogs prefer building a nest instead of burrows. Hedgehogs will begin to borrow around three weeks of age, and with time, they become perfect burrowers.
Hedgehogs may build nests using vegetation and moss. Some hedgehogs choose to have nests as well as burrows. The techniques a hedgehog uses to keep safe depends on the climatic conditions of its environment.
Before the winter season begins, hedgehogs will burrow more so they have a place to hibernate. In the warmer months of summer, hedgehogs are known to have been found in nests compared to burrows.
Staying warm is important for hedgehogs, and burrows make an ideal choice for them in the winter.
It is a known fact that hedgehogs are solitary animals and prefer to be alone. Hence, it is highly unlikely that hedgehogs will be found sharing a burrow. However, female hedgehogs with hoglets can be found in burrows until the babies grow and leave.
Hedgehogs are not territorial mammals, and for this reason, they may not keep a burrow for long. These spiny animals are known to be always on the move. A female hedgehog with a litter may stay in a burrow for some time until the babies are weaned.
Moreover, hedgehogs may use a burrow until their hibernation period is over.
Where Do Hedgehog Burrow?
Apart from burrowing for themselves, hedgehogs also use burrows made by other animals such as rabbits. One of the most common places where hedgehogs burrow is the bottom of trees. Also, garden sheds are popular places for hedgehogs to borrow and hibernate under.
You can find hedgehog burrows in your garden. A hedgehog needs to remain warm and insulated.
If you have a compost heap in your garden, there are chances that a hedgehog has burrowed there made itself a nice nest to keep itself warm and safe, especially during the cold winter season.
Do Pet Hedgehogs Burrow?
Hedgehogs in the wild burrow as a survival instinct. If you have a pet hedgehog, it is just as likely to burrow as burrowing comes naturally to hedgehogs. One important part of keeping a hedgehog is its bedding.
The bedding will allow your hedgehog to burrow, and it is something that you should encourage.
The bedding of a hedgehog can also be somewhat of a nest for hedgehogs. These small mammals in captivity spend most of their time burrowing or making nests out of their bedding to remain warm.
You must pick the best bedding for your hedgehog. Bedding made of woodchips can prove harmful to hedgehogs as it is sharp and can injure them. Some beddings have a high dust content that can cause your hedgehog to develop allergies or make them sick.
Hence, you should invest in good-quality bedding.
It is great for your pet hedgehog to burrow, but you should keep an eye on it. Hedgehogs in the wild burrow to have a safe space for hibernation, and your pet hedgehog may do the same.
If your pet hedgehog attempts to hibernate, you should adjust the temperature and make it warmer. Hibernation for pet hedgehogs is dangerous and can prove to be fatal for them.
Where Do Hedgehogs Live?
Hedgehogs can be found in different regions around the world. Hedgehogs can be found in Asia, Africa, and Europe. These small mammals have characteristics according to the different habitats.
You will always find hedgehogs on the ground and never high up in trees. Hedgehogs love woodlands, fields, and hedges. Being solitary by nature, hedgehogs like to be left alone and do not mingle with other hedgehogs unless it is mating season.
While some hedgehogs build nests, others prefer to dig burrows. Hedgehogs in Africa hide behind rocks and boulders and burrow the sand to prevent heat.
Gardens make the perfect habitat for hedgehogs. These mammals love being in an urban setting as well as rural. The garden provides the hedgehog with ample food and space to thrive. Moreover, hedgehogs can also build nests and hibernate safely in gardens.
So do hedgehogs live underground or not?
Hedgehogs spend most of their time underground. Therefore, it is best to know about hedgehogs before getting them so you can make the best environment for them at home. Hedgehogs can make burrows or build nests depending on the weather and climatic conditions.
Burrowing comes naturally to hedgehogs, and both wild and pet hedgehogs love to burrow. Hedgehogs burrow more before the winter season, so they have a place to sleep. Since hedgehogs are solitary animals, you will not find them together in one burrow.
These small mammals can be found in many regions around the world. Hedgehogs are found on the ground in woodlands, fields, and hedges. Pet hedgehogs burrow using their bedding.
It is important to invest in good-quality bedding as some can be harmful to hedgehogs. In addition, while burrowing is normal for pet hedgehogs, it means the temperature is not warm enough if they attempt to hibernate.