When do hedgehogs breed?
Hoglets are born blind and deaf, and their spines are pure white when they first appear soon after birth. They'll start leaving the nest to forage with their mother around four weeks old and will be independent by about eight weeks old.
Found a baby hedgehog?
Watch from a safe distance and only intervene if the hoglet is:
- In immediate danger
- Squeaking with eyes shut or huddled together with other hoglets in the open, without an adult nearby
- Next to a dead adult
- Weighing less than 300g (about the size of an apple) without an adult nearby
- Out during the day when it’s very cold
- Sick, injured or surrounded by flies
Young hedgehogs larger than an apple and seen at night should be fully weaned and ready to be independent of their parents so should be left alone.
Found a hoglet from October to February
Hedgehogs born this late in the year might not have enough fat reserves to survive the long winter hibernation without some help. Often, they'll have to forage for longer to find enough food so they might be seen out during the day.
The best way to help the young hedgehog will depend on how much it weighs:
- If the hoglet weighs less than 300g (about the size of an apple), it will need specialist care to survive the winter.
- If the young hedgehog weighs between 300g-450g (about the size of a mango), is only seen at night, and it's before mid-October with mild weather, you can provide food in the garden. Monitor its weight, and if it's not gaining weight or you're still seeing it when the weather gets colder, please contact a rehabilitator.
- If the young hedgehog weighs between 300g-450g (about the size of a mango), after mid-October, they probably won't have enough weight to see them through the winter, so may need more help. We recommend following the BHPS advice for autumn juvenile hedgehogs, which describes how to help them over the winter.
- If the hedgehog weighs over 450g (larger than a mango) and is only seen out at night, it should be healthy enough to hibernate as normal in the wild. They'll be foraging for food overnight, so if you can, keep providing food in the garden, as this will help them to put on even more weight before hibernation.
- If the hedgehog is sick or injured or seen out during the day during cold weather, follow our advice.
Found a hoglet in SummerIf you spot a young hedgehog larger than an apple out during the day but who isn’t obviously sick or injured then watch from a distance. It’s always helpful to try offering them food and fresh water. If the young hedgehog doesn’t eat the food, doesn’t leave the area or has flies around it, or you’re still concerned about it, please contact your nearest wildlife rescue centre.
Two rescued hoglets brought into an animal centre
What do young hedgehogs eat?
- Tinned dog or cat food - cat biscuits or crushed dog biscuits, make good hedgehog foods. You'll need to soak the biscuits in water first to make it easy for the hoglet to eat.
- Good quality, specialist hedgehog foods - these can be bought from wildlife food suppliers.
- Soak biscuits in water for very young hoglets that weigh less than 300g, as they can't eat dry food.
- Never give cow's milk to hedgehogs, as it can give them diarrhoea.
- Don't feed them bread, as it's low in nutrients.
- Only offer them fresh water to drink.
Young hedgehog being treated at an animal centre.
Hedgehogs in the garden
Hedgehog populations are in decline, find out how you can help hedgehogs in your garden.
Sick or injured hedgehogs
Seeing a hedgehog during full daylight is often a sign that they are ill, injured, or needs help.