Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies? [Hedgehog Nurturing Guide]

Hedgehogs are quite vulnerable animals and they should be handled with much care. And the fact about them is the male hedgehogs play no role in childbirth or taking care of the child. For these reasons, the female hedgehogs are more prone to eat their babies. And that’s why the owners need to be more watchful while having a hedgehog as a pet.

Hedgehogs are a very common pet and the most common question you might hear about them is Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies?

The answer is No. They don’t always cause harm to their babies. If a hedgehog is mentally disturbed or the circumstances are not favorable only then they might attempt such a step.

In the following article, we will know the facts in detail about if hedgehogs eat their babies. or if they do then what is the issue for them for doing this. 

Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies?

Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies

Yes, there are some situations when hedgehogs eat their babies. Shocking right? Hedgehogs are not really cannibals or prone to have meat except for some particular species.

This is not a very obvious incident. Hedgehogs do this due to certain situations. In fact, both male and female hedgehogs do that. There are some common situations for example stress, scarcity of foods, unprepared mothers, premature and unhealthy babies, etc. 

Why Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies?

There are several reasons for hedgehogs eating their babies. Some of the most common reasons are stress, an unsafe environment, a lower percentage of survival of the babies, unprepared parents, etc.

There are some interesting facts about hedgehogs which is that male hedgehogs play no role in parenting or raising a baby hedgehog. It is mostly the females who take care of the babies. This is the reason why most female hedgehogs remain stressed and in some cases, they eat their babies.

Sometimes, they are severely stressed due to the sudden change in their environment and they do that. So, it is suggested not to bother a new hedgehog mother. Maybe loud music or sound or the presence of many people can bother the hedgehogs.

Even sometimes the presence of a male in the cage can cause the female hedgehog to eat the baby.

Another reason is if there is not enough food to feed all the babies then the female hedgehogs choose the weakest baby to eat.

Sometimes, a new hedgehog mother is not ready or prepared to nurture a baby. So she ends up eating her own baby.

Another vital reason is environmental obstacles. Maybe the environment for the baby is not safe or the baby will not end up surviving. So, the mother chooses to eat up their baby. The reason may also be that the baby is not in a healthy condition to survive. 

Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies Frequently?

Do Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies Frequently

No, it is always the case that the hedgehogs are prone to eat up their babies. In fact, they are not cannibals or fond of meat. There is a special African species of hedgehog that is cannibal but other than that, hedgehogs do not eat their babies frequently. 

Do Hedgehog Parents Take Care of Their Babies?

Do Hedgehog Parents Take Care of Their Babies

Though we are talking about the fact that hedgehogs eat their own babies, this is not an obvious incident. In terms of parenting, female hedgehogs play almost all the roles to feed and raise the baby.

Female hedgehogs breastfeed their babies till the time they are able to chew or bite solid food. After around 4-6 weeks baby hedgehogs are required to give solid foods. At that time, the mother hedgehog grinds the food into small pieces and feeds the babies. The female hedgehog tries their best to keep their baby safe from circumstantial danger. 

How to Nurture Hedgehog Babies?

Hedgehogs are not very complicated to take care of. People are having hedgehog pets as they are low-maintenance animals. But like every other pet, hedgehogs also need some special care. Usually, a mother hedgehog who has babies to take care of needs more fat than usual.

In terms of baby hedgehogs, we need to take some special care. It is almost impossible to raise a baby hedgehog without its mother. That is why the best thing we can do is to keep the environment friendly for the mother hedgehog so that it doesn’t get disturbed.

In case you see the baby is not safe with the mother then the last option is to separate the baby from its mother. In that case, all you can do is manage another mother of similar age and see if she takes care of it.

The very last option is to manage a dropper or syringe to feed the baby goat milk. Though without the mother the survival rate is almost zero.  


Are hedgehogs always harmful to their baby?

No, it’s not a regular incident that hedgehogs are causing harm to their babies. Most of the time It’s the circumstances that make them do such things. In fact, hedgehogs are very careful about their kids and always protect the babies. 

Are hedgehogs a good pet?

Hedgehogs are very convenient as pets. They are peace-loving nocturnal animals and won’t disturb you even if you don’t give them that much time. The best thing about hedgehogs is they are very low-maintenance animals so it won’t trouble you much.

Do hedgehogs hurt humans?

Hedgehogs won’t hurt you usually if you don’t bother them. When they are in a relaxed state their quills are not sharp or cause any harm to you. 

Final Words

I hope you find this article useful if you are having hedgehogs as a pet and worrying about the question- do hedgehogs eat their babies?

Hedgehogs are a really wise pick as a pet and they are very low maintenance as pets. Eventually, you won’t regret having a hedgehog as a pet.

That’s it from our end. Goodbye!

Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan

Ryan Dugan is a dedicated pet care professional who offers top-notch services for a variety of pet species. He has a soft spot for my own feline companion, Sophie. He is passionate about animals He shares his knowledge and experience on his blog to help other pet owners understand and care for their own beloved companions. Whether you need a pet-sitting service or advice on pet care, He is the go-to expert.

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