What’s a Baby Hedgehog Called + 9 More Amazing Facts (Update)

Last updated on March 28th, 2024 at 04:38 pm

If you find hedgehogs adorable, wait until you see a baby hedgehog! These tiny creatures resemble their adult counterparts but are even smaller, cuter, and have less intimidating quills.

Baby hedgehogs, also known as hoglets or urchins, are small mammals with spiky quills and furry tummies. They are among the most sought-after exotic house pets globally, and rightfully so! Despite their size, these tiny creatures are remarkable and complex animals.

Let’s find out nine amazing facts about baby hedgehogs and look at some charming pictures!

Baby Hedgehog

9 Amazing Facts About Baby Hedgehog

#1. Hoglets are the term used to refer to baby hedgehogs. It’s worth noting that hedgehogs can also have less common names, such as hedgehoglets. However, this wasn’t always the case. Before they received their official name in the 1990s, people commonly referred to them as pups, kits, piglets, and even urchins! A collection of baby hedgehogs is called a prickle – isn’t that adorable?

#2. Hedgehogs reach sexual maturity in their second year of life and can breed annually until death. Reproduction typically occurs between April and September, with the peak activity known as ‘the rut’ happening in May and June, particularly in Britain.

#3. Hedgehogs are born blind with a protective membrane covering their quills. This membrane, present to safeguard them, their siblings, and their mothers during gestation, dries up within the first few hours after birth.

#4. Hedgehogs can hibernate, although not all of them do. They are one of only three mammals in the UK that hibernate. During hibernation, they hole themselves up and remain in a dormant state throughout the winter.

#5. Hedgehogs have a long snout that protrudes ahead of their mouths, aiding them in hunting. This elongated snout makes it easier for them to forage for their main diet of insects, worms, caterpillars, and berries.

#6. Hedgehogs are small mammals that can reach up to 9 inches in length and weigh around 1.25 pounds as adults. Despite their diminutive stature, they face a multitude of predators. Foxes, birds of prey, badgers, and even ferrets prey on hedgehogs. Given their lack of size and strength, hoglets must resort to creative strategies to protect themselves from these predators.

#7. Hedgehog babies are undeniably tiny creatures. At birth, they can measure a mere four inches in length and weigh 10 grams, or one-third of an ounce. Even as adults, the largest species of hedgehog, the European Hedgehog, only grows about 14 inches long and can weigh up to 80 ounces.

#8. Over time, baby hedgehogs have evolved to develop increased resistance to snake venom. They can tolerate more venom thanks to the presence of the protein erinacine in their muscular system. While bites in certain areas remain lethal, they possess effective defences over most of their bodies with spiky quills.

#9. Hedgehogs typically have around 5000 to 7000 spines on their back. In response to threatening situations, hedgehogs can raise or lower these spines. Each quill or spine is typically replaced after about a year of use.

Baby Hedgehog

Baby Hedgehog FAQs

1. How Many Hedgehogs Are In A Litter?

There are 17 species of hedgehog, and the litter size varies between species. On average, larger hedgehog species have litters of 4 – 7 newborns, while smaller ones have litters of 5 – 6.

2. What Do Baby Hedgehogs Eat?

For the first few weeks, baby hedgehogs rely on their mother’s milk. At around 4 weeks old, they begin to forage with their parents, supplementing their diet. By 5 to 6 weeks old, they transition to their normal diet, which includes insects, snails, frogs, worms, berries, and more, depending on their habitat.

3. Where Do Baby Hedgehogs Live?

There are 16 species of hedgehog in five genera, found across Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand. Hedgehogs build nests of moss and leaves under vegetation in parks, gardens, and farmland. They prefer woodland edges, hedgerows, and suburban gardens with ample food.

4. What are baby hedgehogs called?

A single baby hedgehog earns the name hoglet, while a group receives the titles litter, array, or prickle. Before the 1990s, people also referred to hoglets as pups, urchins, kits, and even piglets! It’s worth mentioning that baby pigs are also referred to as piglets and baby seals are called pups.

5. How do baby hedgehog rescue centers help hedgehogs?

Baby hedgehog rescue centers play a crucial role in rescuing and caring for young hedgehogs who are in distress or separated from their mothers. They provide essential medical attention, warmth, and proper nourishment to ensure the hoglets’ well-being. Through careful rehabilitation, these centers prepare the baby hedgehog for a successful return to the wild, where they can thrive in their natural habitat.

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