S&S Exotic Animals,inc.

Hedgehog Care Sheet

Hedgehog Care Sheet

Countries of Origin:

  North Africa, Morocco, Libya, Spain, Southern France and several island groups north of Africa

Physical Characteristics:

  Adults weigh approximately 1 pound and are 4 to 6 inches in length. They are basically nocturnal animals that have gained popularity as exotic pets because of their small size and ease of care.


  Hedgehogs belong to the taxonomic order Insectivora and have an extremely high metabolic rate. In their wild state, hedgehogs consume a variety of insects, worms, small vertebrates, small roots and plant material. In captivity, the staple of their diet can be high quality commercial hedgehog food made by Pretty Pets. Meal worms, crickets and small amounts of fruits and vegetables may be added sparingly. Feeding pans should be low, flat and stable. Small amounts of fresh food should be available at all times. Water may be placed in low bowls but water bottles also work extremely well.


  Hedgehogs do not require sophisticated housing. They can be housed in aquariums. They are usually housed in pairs or individually. Untreated wood shavings or aspen bedding can be used but should be changed frequently. Hedgehogs can be trained to use a litter box but dust-free litter should be used. A burrow consisting of sections of PVC pipe or wooden nest boxes should be provided for privacy.


  The ideal temperature ranges from 70 to 90 degrees F. All hedgehogs will hibernate when the environmental temperature drops below 65 degrees F. In the wild, hedgehogs hibernate from November to March. Heat exhaustion can be a serious problem if proper shade or temperature controls are not provided.


  Gestation ranges from 35 to 42 days with litter sizes of 2 to 6. Young hedgehogs can be weaned at 5 to 6 weeks and can begin breeding as early as 3 months of age.


  An untamed hedgehog is very shy and will roll up and spike out his spines defensively. Frequent handling will gain trust and develop an inquisitive, likable pet.


  6 to 8 years

Compliments of:
S & S Exotic Animals, Inc.,  1711 Connorvale,  Houston, TX 77039  (281) 590-0426


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