When Does Hedgehog Breeding Season Occur? All You Need to Know!

Hedgehogs are seasonal breeders, meaning their breeding season occurs during a specific time of the year. In the wild, hedgehogs typically mate between May and September in the Northern Hemisphere and between November and March in the Southern Hemisphere. During this period, hedgehogs become more active and vocal, and males become more aggressive in their pursuit of a mate.

The Role of Day Length in Hedgehog Mating Season

The breeding season of hedgehogs is influenced by the length of the day. As daylight hours increase, hedgehogs become more active and start to reproduce. This is because daylight plays a crucial role in regulating their hormonal balance, which in turn affects their breeding habits. It is important to note that hedgehogs living in captivity can mate at any time of the year due to the absence of natural light cycles.

Factors Affecting Hedgehog Breeding Habits

Apart from day length, several other factors can affect hedgehog breeding habits. These include temperature, food availability, and population density. Hedgehogs require warm temperatures to breed successfully. If the environment is too cold, hedgehogs may delay their breeding until temperatures rise. Likewise, food availability also plays a vital role in hedgehog breeding. If there is a scarcity of food, hedgehogs may not mate as they need to conserve energy for survival. Finally, high population density can also reduce the likelihood of hedgehogs breeding as it can lead to stress.

Hedgehog Breeding Behaviors

Male Hedgehog Courtship Behaviors

During the breeding season, male hedgehogs become more territorial and aggressive. They may engage in various courtship behaviors to attract females, such as circling, sniffing, and vocalizing. Males may also fight with other males to establish dominance and gain access to females. Once a male hedgehog has found a suitable mate, he will proceed with the mating ritual.

Female Hedgehog Courtship Behaviors

Female hedgehogs are generally more passive during the breeding season. They emit pheromones that attract males and may allow the male to sniff and circle around them. If the female is receptive to the male, she will lift her quills, allowing the male to mount her. Once the mating process is complete, the female will return to her burrow, and the male will move on to find another mate.

Hedgehog Breeding Rituals

Hedgehogs have unique breeding rituals that involve various behaviors such as circling, sniffing, and vocalizing. During the mating process, the male hedgehog mounts the female from behind and grips her with his forepaws. The mating process can last for several minutes. Once mating is complete, the male will leave in search of another mate, and the female will proceed with pregnancy.

Pregnancy and Gestation

Signs of Hedgehog Pregnancy

After successful mating, the female hedgehog enters a gestation period of around 35 days. During this time, there are several signs of pregnancy that owners can look out for, such as weight gain, lack of appetite, and nesting behavior. Pregnant hedgehogs may also become more aggressive and defensive, especially towards other hedgehogs.

Gestation Period of Hedgehogs

The gestation period of hedgehogs is around 35 days, after which the female gives birth to a litter of between one and six hoglets. Hedgehog litters are relatively small compared to other mammals, and the hoglets are born blind and deaf. They rely on their mother’s milk for nourishment and warmth.

Possible Complications During Hedgehog Pregnancy

Like any other mammal, hedgehogs can experience complications during pregnancy. These include stillbirths, premature births, and cannibalism. It is vital to monitor pregnant hedgehogs closely and ensure they have a warm, safe, and comfortable nest to give birth.

Hedgehog Breeding in Captivity

Captive Hedgehog Breeding Season

Hedgehogs living in captivity can mate at any time of the year due to the absence of natural light cycles. However, it is recommended to breed hedgehogs during their natural breeding season as this is when they are most receptive and fertile.

Breeding Hedgehogs in Captivity

Breeding hedgehogs in captivity requires careful planning and preparation. It is essential to ensure that the male and female hedgehogs are healthy and compatible before mating. Proper nutrition, temperature, and light cycles also play a crucial role in hedgehog breeding success.

Challenges of Breeding Hedgehogs in Captivity

Breeding hedgehogs in captivity can be challenging, and several factors can affect the success of breeding. These include health issues, aggression, and incompatibility between males and females. It is essential to research and consult with experts before attempting to breed hedgehogs in captivity.


Hedgehog breeding season is a fascinating topic that requires careful attention to detail. Understanding hedgehog breeding habits, behaviors, and pregnancy is essential for hedgehog owners and enthusiasts. By following the guidelines and advice in this blog post, you can ensure that your hedgehogs breed successfully and produce healthy offspring. Finally, to answer the commonly asked question, hedgehogs have poor eyesight and can see in daylight but not very well. They rely on their sense of smell and hearing to navigate their environment, especially at night, when they are most active.

ThePetFaq Team