• General Hedgehog Information

    Do hedgehogs hibernate?-
    Some species of wild hedgehogs do hibernate, such as the European varieties. Our pet hedgehogs do NOT need to hibernate, matter of fact, hibernation attempts can prove fatal to our hedgehogs. It is important to keep hedgehogs at a comfortably warm temp, preferably somewhere in the low-mid 70s range, and with appropriate lighting. Cold temperatures or poor lighting can encourage hedgehogs to go into a hibernation state from which they may not awaken.

    Are hedgehogs poisonous?-
    No, hedgehogs don't have any toxic substances that they secrete in any way. The closest they come to being poisonous is when they self annoint with an irritating substance, which can then coat the quills.

    Can hedgehogs throw their quills?-
    No. Hedgehog quills are similar to human hair. They are firmly attached, although some will drop from time to time (like human hair). The only time that many quills are dropped in a short period of time is during quilling, when baby quills are shed and replaced by the next set. Some illnesses can also cause quill loss.

    How long do hedgehogs live?-
    In the wild, it is considered that 18 months is a long life for hedgehogs. In captivity, hedgehog lifespan typically runs from 3-5 years of age, with the occasional animal reaching as old as 8 years.

    How do you tell if it is a boy or a girl?-
    Hedgehogs are actually easy to sex, if you are able to see their bellies. Male hedgehogs have what appears to be a "belly button" in the center of their abdomen, and only one opening at the tail area. Males may also have two slight bulges between the sheath opening and the tail, though their testicles are internal enough that they are not obviously visible. Female hedgehogs do not have the centrally located opening, and have two openings right together underneath of the tail.

    How big do hedgehogs get?-
    African hedgehogs that are commonly kept as pets tend to run in the area of 1 lb of weight, and 6-8 inches in length. This is just a rough estimate though, since some adult hedgehogs can be as small as 250 grams (less than half of a pound) or as large as 1200 grams (over 2 lbs).

    Do hedgehogs smell?-
    Not much. A hedgehog that is kept in a cage that is cleaned regularly has very little lingering odor. The freshly dropped feces can smell badly, especially when some food choices make fecal odor much stronger. They do not have musk or scent glands that put off odors, and when bathed as necessary, have very little odor to their bodies.

    Are hedgehogs noisy?-
    You are more likely to be disturbed by the sounds of the hedgehogs' environment (such as the wheel, bedding rustling, etc) than you are from noises made by the hedgehog themselves. While hedgehogs can make a variety of vocalizations, they don't tend to make these noises when on their own unless they are in trouble of some form. When nervous or startled, they may click, hiss, pop, or occasionally growl. When a male is introduced to a female (or sometimes same sexes are introduced) they may make a plaintive squeaking or peeping sound. Babies often make a peeping sound to an adult that they recognize as motherly. When in danger, or injured, hedgehogs will occasionally make a very loud and startling scream or squawk.

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