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How Many Babies Does A Hedgehog Have? Baby Hedgehog Care

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Hedgehogs make fantastic pets. They are small, quite easy to care for, and will not destroy your home. When you get one or a pair, it can be a great time. That is until breeding happens, which can occur for female hedgehogs at eight weeks. So how many babies does a hedgehog have at one time? Here’s all you need to know to get ready for baby hedgehogs in your home.

Related: Great Hedgehog Cages

How Many Babies Does A Hedgehog Have?

Hedgehog gestation period

There are 20 species of hedgehog, and not all of them are pregnant for the same duration. The gestation period of a hedgehog usually lasts between four to six weeks. During this time, the female will gain weight and eat more. You may also notice that your pet is displaying nesting behavior as they prepare a spot for the baby hedgehogs.

Hedgehog Birth

For female hedgehogs, breeding can take place as early as eight weeks after weaning. When giving birth, they can get one to two litters a year. Each litter can have an average of four to five baby hedgehogs. Also known as hoglets, these are usually born in June or July. It is vital to ensure that you don’t breed your hedgehog more than three times in a year. This gives the female time to rest and heal, which gives the next litter better chances of survival.

Hedgehog Breeding Risks

If you want to breed your hedgehog, it’s good to keep in mind some of the risks involved like:

  • Loss of the babies due to natural death, which may happen if the mother hedgehog is too young. Some of the hoglets may also die due to cannibalism by the mother, especially when she is stressed or disturbed in the first few days after giving birth. 
  •  Pregnancy complications may cause the female hedgehog to be sick and can even be fatal if not treated immediately. 
  •  Any kind of stress that the female hedgehog suffers could cause her to lose her little. This can be as a result of something simple like not finding the right nesting material to not liking what it’s fed. She will also want to be left alone at this time, so make sure you do not disturb her or her surroundings in any way.

You can avoid these risks by ensuring that your female hedgehog is at least six months old before breeding. At that age, they have finished growing and will be able to support themselves and their babies fully. 

However, don’t breed a female hedgehog that is twelve months or older. At that point, their pelvic bones are likely fused, which will make birth extremely difficult and sometimes fatal. You should also check the health and temperament of the parent hedgehogs before breeding to make sure you do not pass any undesirable traits on to the little. 

You can also minimize these risks by going to a professional breeder who has experience with this sort of thing. Once you finish with the breeding, make sure that you have a nearby to make sure that the pregnancy is going well and that your hedgehog can have as many babies as possible.

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