As hedgehogs are becoming increasingly more popular as pets around the world, one of the first things that owners want to know is when their hedgehog will be fully grown?
As pocket pet enthusiasts, we’ve decided to create a post complete with charts that shows you not only at what age your hedgehog will be fully grown but also the average length, weight and more.
We’ve worked hard to source some hard to find data to bring you the best resource possible and we hope you enjoy the post.
So when are hedgehogs fully grown? Hedgehogs are considered fully grown by 6 months of age. They can reach their full size slightly before or after this age depending on various factors such as genetics. The size of a fully grown hedgehog can also vary due to the same factors.
Read on to learn…
When Are Hedgehogs Fully Grown? (More Info)
The breed of hedgehog you are most likely to own is the ‘African pygmy’ hedgehog which is popular among owners in the US and the rest of the world and are typically fully grown by the age of 6 months old.
3 other breeds of hedgehog that are common are the European, Egyptian (long-eared) and the Indian (long-eared) hedgehogs and are all usually fully grown by the 6-month mark.
Having said this, there are some factors that can cause a hedgehog to be fully grown either earlier or later than 6 months.
The main factor is something that is totally down to nature and that is the genetics of the hedgehog.
Just like us humans, hedgehogs will stop growing when mother nature says so and not when a calendar dictates.
So if you own a hedgehog, don’t be surprised if your hedgie stops growing a couple of weeks earlier or later than this 6-month average.
Now let’s take a look at what length you can expect a hedgehog to be when fully grown…
What Length Are Hedgehogs When Fully Grown?
The length of a fully grown hedgehog can differ greatly depending on the breed.
We have collected data from the 4 most common hedgehog types and displayed them in the table below.
Looking at the table, you can see that the European hedgehog is on average the largest at 24cm.
The African Pygmy hedgehog, which is the most common domesticated hedgehog is on average the smallest at 16cm along with the Indian long-eared hedgehog.
Average Length Of Common Hedgehog Breeds
|Egyptian (Long-Eared)||21 cm|
|African Pygmy||16 cm|
|Indian (Long-Eared)||16 cm|
What Can Cause a Hedgehog to Not Grow to It’s Expected Length?
There are many factors that can cause a hedgehog to not grow to its expected length or size.
The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that the numbers given in the chart above are averages and not an exact size that every hedgehog will meet.
Males will on average, tend to be larger than females and this needs to be taken into account also.
Genetics can also play a huge part in the final length of a fully grown hedgehog and this can either cause them to be slightly smaller or larger when fully grown.
There are also other factors such as diet that are in our control as owners that can affect the size and of course the health of your hedgehog.
It’s widely recommended that hedgies get a balanced diet of…
- Protein – 28-35%
- Fat – 12-15%
- Fibre – 4%
Unfortunately, some domesticated hedgehogs don’t get this kind of balanced diet for many reasons including only eating one source of food that’s not intended for hedgehogs.
Experts such as Pet-MD recommend feeding your hedgehog a diet of food that’s manufactured specifically for hedgehogs along with a small number of insects and choice vegetables to achieve the balanced diet they need.
We also agree that feeding a diet that’s intended for hedgehogs and meets their nutritional needs is the best option.
We’ve decided to share what we believe are the best hedgehog food providers in this post here along with the top places to source both live and freeze-dried insects so you can provide a healthy and balanced diet for your hedgie.
What Weight Are Hedgehogs When Fully Grown?
Hedgehogs grow and gain weight at a tremendous rate in the first 6 months of their life. At birth, hedgehogs weigh anything from 3-25g according to live science.
The weight of a fully grown hedgehog can vary tremendously depending on what breed it is.
The table we have provided shows just how much the difference can be.
The European hedgehog is a whopping 780g on average and is much heavier than any other of its relatives, although this is to be expected as it’s the largest on average at 24cm.
What’s most interesting is that the American Pygmy hedgehog weighs on average 450g compared to an average of 130g for the Indian long-eared hedgehog but they both have an average fully grown length of 16cm.
This means that the African Pygmy hedgehog weighs more than double the amount of the Indian hedgehog and they are the same length on average.
Take a look at the table below that shows the average weight of the 4 most common hedgehog breeds…
Average Weight Of Common Hedgehog Breeds
|African Pygmy||450 g|
|Egyptian (Long-Eared)||340 g|
|Indian (Long-Eared)||130 g|
What Can Make a Fully Grown Hedgehog Overweight?
Many domesticated hedgehogs are known to have weight issues according to Vetmed.
This is usually down to two main factors. The first is their diet as we mentioned earlier.
The diet of a hedgehog can cause both mild and serious weight problems if not properly monitored.
The RSPCA states that a lot of hedgehogs are fed a diet containing too much fat and this can cause obesity and health problems.
The experts at veterinary-key recommend that you should feed your hedgehog a daily offering of…
- 2-3 tsp spoon base diet (hedgehog food)
- 1 tsp of invertebrates
- 1 tsp of fruit & veg mix
The second factor for hedgehogs being overweight is a lack of exercise. In the wild, hedgehogs are constantly active while foraging for food and escaping predators.
In captivity, they lead a much less active life and this also contributes heavily to weight gain.
Giving your hedgie plenty of playtime both in and out of the cage is essential to help maintain a healthy weight.
This is a lot easier when you can offer them toys that they love and keep them mentally stimulated.
We’ve got through and vetted the toys and activities that hedgehogs love and are great for giving them some of that much-needed exercise and listed them here in one handy guide.
Another simple thing you can do to give your hedgie more exercise is to house them in a large cage.
In the wild, they can travel up to 2km per night so providing them with enough space to explore will keep them active.
Our 3 recommendations on this page right here give you a great choice of large cages that your hedgie will love.
What Can Make a Fully Grown Hedgehog Underweight?
The first thing to remember is that the weights that are shown in the table above are averages only and not every hedgehog will weigh this exact amount.
Males will usually weigh more than females too and is something else to consider.
If your hedgie is slightly under the estimates shown then it’s generally not a cause for concern, however, if they suddenly lose a large amount of weight and end up way under the average then it might need exploring further.
The two main factors that cause a hedgehog to be underweight are firstly some sort of stress and secondly illness.
Stress is usually caused by the hedgie being uncomfortable with its surroundings.
This can be another animal, rough handling or anything that makes them continually uncomfortable.
This, in turn, can cause decreased appetite and then weight loss.
Secondly, illness can cause a hedgie to lose weight depending on what the illness is.
If you suspect any sort of illness or anything you’re not sure about then you need to speak to your vet or health care provider and make an appointment.
Are Fully Grown Hedgehogs Considered Adults?
Hedgehogs are considered adults when they are fully grown at the age of 6 months old.
Although, interestingly Vetinarykey suggests that males reach sexual maturity at 2-5 months of age.
While females reach sexual maturity at 6-8 months of age. Although, most breeders recommend that 1-year and older is the optimal age for females to breed.
Females can, however, get pregnant at around 6 weeks old, although this can be dangerous as they aren’t physically strong enough yet.