Hedgehogs make great pets for anyone looking to have a companion. The most adorable stage of a hedgehog is when it is a baby. Many people enjoy keeping hedgehogs for mating, while some breeders keep them solely for breeding purposes.
After mating, the female hedgehog becomes pregnant, and there are a few ways you can tell.
To tell if a hedgehog is pregnant, you can look out for weight gain, increased appetite and a rounder belly.
The best way to know if your hedgehog is pregnant is to track its weight. A pregnant hedgehog will gain weight. You will also notice that your hedgehog will eat more than usual and will come out during the daytime to eat.
A pregnant hedgehog’s stool will also be bigger than usual.
Lastly, a female hedgehog begins preparing for her coming hoglets by making a nest.
How Long is a Hedgehog Pregnant for?
After mating has been done, in most cases, you can expect the hedgehog to be pregnant as fertility rates are high. A hedgehog pregnancy lasts for around 32 days. Despite the short gestation period, hedgehogs only give birth once a year.
A female hedgehog gives birth to a litter of five to six hoglets. They do NOT lay eggs.
When Do Hedgehogs Mate?
When hedgehogs come out of hibernation, they eat and prepare to mate. These spined animals come out of hibernation and prepare for the mating season in March-April. The mating begins in April and goes on till May and June.
How Do Hedgehogs Mate?
Hedgehogs hibernate in January and February. While hibernating, hedgehogs conserve energy enough for them to survive in the wild. After the hibernation period is over, hedgehogs search for food and water and begin preparing for mating.
The mating season begins in April and can stretch till May and June.
Male hedgehogs, during the mating ritual, circle around the females and dance to impress them. The male hedgehogs will fight over the female hedgehogs. A headbutting competition may take place amongst the male hedgehogs to impress the females.
Initially, the female hedgehog has her quills raised which hurts the male hedgehog if it tries to mate. After agreeing to mate, the female hedgehog will flatter her quills and let the male hedgehog mate.
The mating season is loud, and if you are planning to mate your hedgehogs, you should keep that in mind. Mating happens during the night, so if you are a light sleeper, you should keep your hedgehogs in a separate room and ensure that your door is closed.
Is it Risky to Breed Hedgehogs?
Breeding hedgehogs involves certain risks that one needs to be mindful of. Therefore, if you are breeding hedgehogs, you must ensure that you prepare for these risks.
When it comes to breeding hedgehogs, the age of the female hedgehog is important. If you breed hedgehogs that are too young or too old, the babies can die at birth. Moreover, the mother hedgehog is more likely to resort to cannibalism due to stress. Breeding too young or old hedgehogs can also pose a threat to their lives. There can be many complications during the pregnancy, proving to be fatal for the female hedgehog.
It is best to consult an experienced breeder if you are breeding your hedgehogs for the first time. In addition, you should watch out for any signs of violence between the male and female hedgehogs.
Which Hedgehogs Are Best for Mating?
Before you go ahead and mate hedgehogs, you should pick the ones that are the perfect age and are healthy to avoid any risks and complications. There are other factors that you should also consider, such as the hedgehog’s temperament.
When it comes to female hedgehogs, you should pick a hedgehog that is friendly and gentle. If you choose a friendly hedgehog, there is a high chance of having friendly baby hedgehogs too.
Apart from this, your hedgehog should be of the right age. If your female hedgehog is too young or old, it can lead to a complicated pregnancy. A female hedgehog should not be younger than six months.
Younger hedgehogs are not strong enough to sustain a pregnancy.
Your female hedgehog should also not be older than twelve months. Older hedgehogs have their pelvic bones infused together, which makes giving birth difficult. This causes painful birth and risks the life of the hedgehog.
The older the hedgehogs, the smaller the litter will be. You should also ensure that the female hedgehog has the ideal weight before mating. The hedgehog should be so overweight that it is unable to roll into a ball.
For male hedgehogs, temperament is equally important as it results in friendly babies. You must ensure that male hedgehogs are friendly and not violent. Often violent male hedgehogs may fight and cause harm to the female hedgehogs during mating.
You should also ensure that the hedgehogs are not closely related, as this can lead to many congenital disabilities and health problems in baby hedgehogs.
Age is not an issue for male hedgehogs, but it is recommended to wait until four to five months, so the hedgehog is fully ready.
Whether you are a breeder or someone looking to breed your pet hedgehog, you can agree that baby hedgehogs are adorable.
When your female hedgehog becomes pregnant, there are certain signs you should look for if you want to tell a hedgehog is pregnant, such as an increase in appetite, a round belly, and changes in its stool. A female hedgehog is pregnant for around 32 days.
A female hedgehog should not be too young or too old to bear the pregnancy. If the female hedgehog is not of the right age, it can result in issues in the pregnancy that can prove to be fatal for the babies and the mother.
Moreover, the temperament of both the male and female hedgehogs is important. Hedgehogs should be friendly, so the babies are friendly. The hedgehogs should also not be closely related, or baby hedgehogs will suffer from health problems.