How Many Babies Do Pet Hedgehogs Have? [Litter Size]


If you’re here, you’re probably curious about our spiky little friends – the hedgehogs. More specifically, you’re wondering, “how many babies do hedgehogs have?”

You’ve come to the right place because today we’re digging into the fascinating world of hedgehog reproduction.

Hedgehogs, known scientifically as Erinaceinae, are spiny mammals that have captured the hearts of many pet enthusiasts.

They’re mostly nocturnal, rolling into a tight ball when threatened, and have a surprising love for life’s little treats, like mealworms or bits of fruit.

But what about when it comes to starting a family? How do hedgehogs handle the parenting gig?

In this blog post, we will explore the wonders of hedgehog reproduction, their litter sizes, the care of newborns, and the surprising survival rate of baby hedgehogs.

Quick Answer

Hedgehogs usually have between 4 to 6 babies in a single litter. However, this can vary, with some having as few as 2 and others having up to 7 babies at a time.

It’s important to remember that, like many other animals, the actual number can depend on various factors. These include the mother’s health and age, environmental conditions, and food availability.

Understanding Hedgehog Reproduction

Hedgehog reproduction is a fascinating process that involves more than just a simple tally of babies. Let’s explore this further.

The Hedgehog Breeding Cycle

Hedgehogs typically have one breeding season per year, typically between April and September, with the peak being in July. The exact timing can depend on the species and geographical location.

For instance, some African hedgehog species breed yearly due to the constant climate conditions.

Hedgehogs are solitary animals and only come together for mating. The males, or boars, don’t play any role in raising the young.

Gestation Period for Hedgehogs

After mating, the female hedgehog, also known as a sow, carries her young for approximately 35 to 58 days. The variation in gestation length again depends on the species, with larger species tending to have longer gestation periods.

The Litter Size: How Many Babies a Hedgehog Has at Once

As we mentioned earlier, a hedgehog typically has between 4 to 6 babies in one litter. However, this number can vary depending on several factors such as the mother’s age, health, and environment.

When born, these baby hedgehogs, also known as hoglets, are tiny and vulnerable. They’re born blind with their spines located under a layer of fluid-filled skin to protect the mother during birth.

These soft spines harden within a few hours after birth, forming the characteristic prickly coat we associate with hedgehogs.

Interestingly, female hedgehogs display a very strong mothering instinct. A mother hedgehog will move her hoglets one by one to a new nest if she senses danger or if the nest is disturbed in the first few days after birth.

However, if the disturbance is too great, she may abandon or even eat her hoglets.

Hedgehog mothers are known to be fiercely protective, and the first few weeks of a hoglet’s life are critical. It’s crucial to ensure minimal interaction with newborns, especially in a domestic setting.

Caring for Newborn Hedgehogs

Now, let’s discuss a topic that is quite crucial to anyone considering breeding these adorable creatures: caring for newborn hedgehogs.

Mother and Baby Interactions

Newborn hedgehogs are incredibly dependent on their mother for survival. They’re born hairless and blind, and their first few days are spent eating and sleeping.

The mother cares for them, providing warmth, food, and protection. The mother hedgehog nurses her babies for about four to seven weeks, after which the hoglets start venturing out of the nest and gradually weaning off.

In the wild, the mother also teaches the hoglets necessary survival skills like foraging for food and rolling into a ball when threatened.

What To Do If You Find A Baby Hedgehog

If you stumble upon a baby hedgehog, resist the temptation to intervene immediately. The mother may just be out foraging and could return soon.

Intervention might be needed if the hoglet is in immediate danger or the mother doesn’t return after a significant period.

If you’re dealing with pet hedgehogs and have a litter of hoglets, remember to give the mother space and limit your interaction with the young.

Disturbing a mother hedgehog can lead to stress and may result in her harming or abandoning her young.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

To round out our exploration of hedgehog reproduction, let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions related to this topic.

Q1. How often do hedgehogs have babies?

Typically, hedgehogs have one breeding season per year, which falls between April and September. However, some species might have more than one litter per year in regions with milder climates.

Q2. How long do baby hedgehogs stay together?

Hoglets usually stay with their mother for about four to seven weeks. During this time, they nurse and start to learn essential survival skills. By seven weeks, most hoglets are independent and ready to strike out independently.

Q3. How long do hedgehogs stay with their mother?

Like the previous question, hedgehogs typically stay with their mother for about four to seven weeks. After this time, the young hedgehogs begin to venture out independently, exploring their surroundings and learning to forage for food.


To sum up, hedgehogs are fascinating creatures with unique reproductive behaviors. They typically have one litter per year with 4 to 6 hoglets per litter, though this number can vary.

The care and protection a mother hedgehog provides her young is remarkable, making these prickly mammals quite extraordinary in the animal kingdom.

Remember, whether you’re an aspiring hedgehog breeder or a curious enthusiast, understanding these creatures and their life cycle is essential for their well-being.

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