How Many Babies Do Hedgehogs Have? (The Facts & Answers)

If you have a pet hedgehog or even just a family of hedgehogs in your garden, it can be extremely interesting to know how many babies hedgehogs have?

In this post, we have answered that very question by looking at the research of vets and animal care authorities.

By the end of this article, you should have all your questions answered regarding hedgehogs and the number of babies or hoglets they have.

So how many babies do hedgehogs have? Hedgehogs can have anywhere from 1 to 7 babies or hoglets in a single litter and the average number of babies per litter is 3-4. The number of babies a hedgehog can potentially have per year will increase dramatically if they have more than one litter.

Read on to find out…

How Many Babies Do Hedgehogs Have? (A Closer Look)

When you look around the internet, you will see lots of varying information regarding how many babies hedgehogs have per litter.

Many top veterinarians and care websites all state different numbers and well-established guides and manuals also have differing opinions on this too.

After researching just about all the major vet and authority sites, we have found that usually, hedgehogs can anywhere from 1-7 babies or hoglets in a single litter.

We also found that the average number of babies per litter is around 3-4.

This is backed up by the experts at Veteriankey who also state these numbers in an article they published that includes hedgehog statistics.

There are lots of variables that can either increase or decrease these numbers which is probably why so many of the experts out there have such varied data and opinions on these numbers.

How Many Litters Do Hedgehogs Have Per Year?

According to Live Science, hedgehogs in the wild only usually have one litter per year.

Hedgehogs can sometimes have a second litter if their first litter was early enough in the season but these babies usually find it tough to survive.

This is because hedgehogs mate from the months of April to September and these babies will have time to grow and put on enough weight to hibernate through the winter.

If hedgehogs are born in a second litter, they are usually very late in the year and after September. This means that they don’t have much time to put on weight for hibernation.

If a juvenile, underweight hedgehog attempts to hibernate it has a strong possibility of dying.

This means they will often be left to wander through the winter and forage for what food they can find and this is equally as dangerous due to the cold temperatures and the number of predators they encounter.

How Many Litters Do Hedgehogs Have In Captivity?

In captivity, it’s a little safer for your hedgehog to have more than one litter per year.

This is because hedgehogs in captivity don’t have to worry about adding weight to hibernate and they also don’t have the added worry of predators too.

You can find out all you need to know about hedgehogs hibernation in under 5 minutes in our easy to follow guide right here

Just because it’s safer for the baby hedgehogs to be born in captivity, it doesn’t mean that you should constantly use the mother for breeding.

You need to think of the mother hedgehog too. Motherhood can be a very stressful time for a hedgehog and having to care for and wean several hoglets multiple times per year can be too much.

We would recommend replicating what your hedgehog would experience in the wild, which is one pregnancy per year.

If you are wanting to breed hedgehog this is great, however, you should really get some advice and look into the subject deeply before you do as the health and well being of your hedgehogs is the most important thing rather than how many babies they can have per year.

How Many Hedgehog Babies Usually Survive?

The animal kingdom is a cruel and unforgiving place where only the fittest survive and it’s no different for hedgehogs in the wild or in captivity.

Out of every litter, as much as 50% – 60% of the hoglets can die due to a variety of reasons.

In the wild, these numbers may be right at the top of the 60% due to some of the reasons we mentioned earlier.

In captivity, the survival rate can be a little higher but you still shouldn’t expect all of the babies to make it.

One of the main reasons why baby hedgehogs die is because the mother actually eats her babies from time to time.

This might leave you in a state of disbelief but it’s actually a survival technique that’s used in most animals around the animal kingdom.

You can find out the 4 Big Reasons why hedgehogs eat their babies in this post here…(See if you can guess any of the 4 reasons first)

How Many Babies Do Hedgehogs Have In a Lifetime?

Female hedgehogs don’t usually reach sexual maturity until they are 2 years old. 

In the wild, they might often only live between 2-4 years and in captivity, they can live anywhere between 4-7 years.

We have decided to look at how many babies both a wild and captive hedgehog might have in their lifetime.

Remember this is an estimate that’s dependent on lots of variables and should be used as a guide only.

For this research, we have assumed that the hedgehogs will start having babies from the age of 2 until they die (which for wild hedgehogs is an average of 4 years and captive hedgehogs is 7 years) 

We have also assumed that the hedgehogs will have 4 babies in 1 litter per year with a total fatality rate of 50%

Take a look at the table below to see the results…

Average Survival Rate Of Wild Vs Captive Hedgehogs

Type Of HedgehogYears Of Breeding# Of Hoglets Per Lifetime# Of Surviving Hoglets Per Lifetime

What Can You Do to Help The Survival Rate Of Your Baby Hedgehogs?

 If you have either got a pet hedgehog or you have got hedgehogs in your garden, there are certain things you can do to help more of the baby hedgehogs or hoglets survive.

Sadly, there isn’t a magic wand and nature will always take its cause but you can certainly do your part to give the hedgehogs all they need to have a stable home and a fighting chance or survival.

Let’s not take a look at ways you can help for both wild and pet hedgehogs…

How to Help Wild Baby Hedgehogs

When a hedgehog is in your garden you are limited as to how much you can really help the babies to survive and much of their fate is in the hands of nature, however, there are some simple things you can do to give them an increased chance of survival.

Take a look at the list below and see what you can do to help a baby hedgehog…

  • Leave some areas where insects can populate (gives the hedgehogs a food source)
  • Put out some cat food at night
  • Put out a bowl of water
  • Don’t put out any milk (cows milk can be fatal to hedgehogs)
  • Don’t use slug pellets of other chemicals in the garden
  • Add a hedgehog home/igloo to your harden

How to Help Captive Baby Hedgehogs

If you have a pet hedgehog that’s just given birth, there are a few simple but important things you can do to help the mother feel less stressed and allow her to care for her young much more easily.

Take a look at the list below to see what you can do to help…

  • Don’t allow large pets near the cage (these can be mistaken for predators)
  • Provide places to hide in the cage (such as an igloo)
  • Provide plenty of good quality bedding
  • No loud noises (TV or Radio)
  • No male in the cage (they can eat the babies)
  • Don’t put a scent on the babies(this can make the mother not recognise her babies)
  • Always provide lots of fresh food and water

Adam Woods

Hi, My name is Adam. I'm the main author of Pocket Pets Forever. I'm a pocket pet enthusiast and I love sharing my knowledge and passion for these amazing animals. Thank you for supporting us on our journey as we continue to publish content with the aim of helping owners care for their pets in the best way possible!

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