Baby Hedgehog – A hedgehog pertains to any of the known spiny mammals belonging to Erinaceinai sub-family and in Eulipotyphlan family Erinaceidae. Seventeen species of hedgehog were known in five genera and are commonly found in Asia, Africa, Europe and New Zealand by introduction.
There are actually no hedgehogs native to Australia and there are also no species that are native to America however, the endangered genus Amprechinus was once sighted in North America.
Hedgehogs are known to share distant ancestry with the shrews (Soricidae family) with gymnures probably being the intermediate links and have significantly changed a bit over the last 15 million years. Just like most of the ancient mammals which have adapted the nocturnal way of life.
The females usually reach sexual maturity at age 61 to 68 days old; nevertheless, most of the first pregnancies happen around 6 to 8 months old.
Individuals have to note that females can get pregnant anytime upon their sexual maturity period. If the female hedgehog has come in contact with a male gaining more than 50g in the following three weeks, there’s a high possibility that the female hedgehog will get pregnant.
The pregnant females require added nutrition especially during the period of pregnancy as well as lactation. You supplement them with high calorie cat food and premium quality kitten foods during those times.
The gestation time; which is referred to as the number of days in pregnancy of hedgehog is said to be between 34 to 37 days.
The females commonly give birth at night or can also be early in the morning. These female hedgehogs are solitary and might injure or worst, might kill their young when disturbed. It is highly essential to get rid of any cagemate and leave her and her young litter undisturbed for at least about 5 to 10 days after giving birth.
If you’re sure that your female is really pregnant, then the cagemates must be removed at least five days before giving birth. The mother and the baby hedgehogs should also be kept in a secluded and peaceful part of your house.
The right supplemental heat must also be provided at all times necessary. This is more beneficial for the baby hedgehog and new mothers as well. Recycled newspaper bedding can also be provided for your hedgehogs’ good nesting.
Owners must realized that, unfortunately, recently purchased females and those new to the home might be young or may be under some psychological stress.
Once we add the pregnancy into the health demands of females, the mothers might be taxed. The viability of litter is not at all times attainable under these given circumstances despite extending the best of care.
The Hedgehog and its Hoglets
The mother usually give birth between 3 to 5 baby hedgehog however, the size of the litter can range from 1 to 7. The baby hedgehog normally stay in their mom’s side or in the nest most of the time.
You need to quietly and visually check on the mothers as well as the hoglets several times per day. Keep in mind that the mothers can sometimes become ultimately distressed with noise or handling and might harm or abandon her young.
You better check on the mother regularly to make sure that she is eating properly. This might turn out to be a medical emergency in case she stops eating the right way following the giving birth stage.
Since the females are prone to particular complications during the process of birthing and our clue behind this might be because she stops eating. Call an expert veterinarian near you if you’re seriously concerned about this matter.
If the young is injured, push out of the nest consistently and left out. Anyhow, if you’re concerned about the young not properly nursing, you better contact a vet as soon as possible.
After five days, you might spot clean the enclosures however, you need to avoid disturbing the nest area at least until 10 days and if the mother seems distressed, you better stop and try again in some other days.
The baby hedgehog should also be fed with good milk substitute like “Vitapet” lactose free pet milk which is usually available in the supermarket. You should never give your hoglets cow’s milk.
The goat’s milk with colostrum can be used for a short period of time in case no other options are available. The goat’s milk that is available in the supermarket is not really suitable and advisable.
Steps in the Feeding Baby Hedgehog
The things you will need are:
- One short piece of quality rubber tubing like cannula. This should also be sterile.
- A sterile syringe, 10ml, 5 ml or 1 ml depending on the feed’s size required
- A warmer in order to keep feed at ideal body temperature
- Sterilizer or Milton fluid to clean equipment between feeds
You are advised to refer on the list below for the right frequencies and amounts. Heat up just the right feed for a single sitting and then warm it to body temperature.
You can test this at the back of your wrist as you would likewise do for the babies. We make use of bottle warmer that comes with disk on top to ensure that foods’ right temperature is maintained all throughout the feeding. However, there are those who utilize food warmers with the tea lights.
Put the baby hedgehog in a clean towel in your lap and make sure to keep the baby the proper way up on its own feet. Avoid putting the baby on its back for the reason that this might inhale the feed and then drown.
Place the syringe’s tip or the rubber tube if it is an ultimately young hoglet beneath the lip and squeeze one drop gently. Some of the hoglets will immediately attack syringe and then gobble down while others take some while to obtain this idea. Feed them with slowly.
Youngest hoglets also have their toilet needs. If you noticed that they have not been passing urine or feces by themselves then, it would be best to do if for them. We make use of quality and unscented baby wipes.
You can use the corner of the wipes to quickly and gently tickle the area around its genital. This will surely do the trick but tinies actually have thinner can and chances are you can make their skin sore.
When it comes to the feed, this is a bit acidic and can result to sore burns so never toilet more than twice or thrice per day. Toileting hoglets on their own feet is a more ideal way of preventing urine burn.
In case you noticed urine burn, “Soov” cream is an excellent option. Local pharmacies are now offering this cream for urine burn but make sure to apply properly as required.
If you can’t get the babies to toilet or eat, you can contact us immediately. There’s no time to keep hanging around as these babies need to be monitored urgently.
Some of the youngsters can ultimately be problematic for several varied reasons. There are even instances that even the experts lose them. You can learn ways on how to do things properly for you to gain more confidence.
The given weights are just guide. Once the hoglets turn a week old, there’s an expected weight difference between the litter mates. It is essential to weigh hoglets all at the same time every day and do this again properly afterwards.
This serves as a guide to their growth. It is advised to weigh them prior to each and every feed. In every 1 ml of the hoglet’s feed which was ingested, a 1g increase in weight should be noticeable. Use your exclusive daily weights to effectively track progress.
Avoid overfeeding. Distended tummy simple means bloat. You need to immediately stop feeding and give them rehydration fluid instead.
Hoglets Birth to Three Days Old
- At birth, hoglets are actually deaf, pink bald and deaf
- Approximately weighs about 7 to 25 grams
- At an hour, the spine begins pushing through their outer skin
- At 36 hours, second coat of the dark brown spines start to emerge.
- The hoglets also begin to jump in when they are disturbed.
Hoglets that weigh under 12 g might be premature and all hoglets will surely struggle if they fail to have the very first feed from their mother.
Upon arrival, we give small quantities each hour to get the newborns used to the brand new taste and additionally our need to feed at particular instances instead of on demand as they would have had from the mother.
You can’t pressure a selected amount of feed into them and need to go along with the flow. Some will fortunately guzzle 1ml while others may struggle to get more than zero.2ml down them.
Never force it. If they do not want to eat, attempt toileting first, ensure they’re warm sufficiently and in the event that they still don’t take any, leave them and try again after half an hour.
Upon establishing a pattern of regular feeding, give 1 to 2 ml of good quality milk substitute every two hours. Never give milk that contains lactose.
Mothers feed round the clock for the first couple of days. At 3 to 4 days, she will begin to come out especially at night to water and feed herself.
Baby Hedgehog Three Days to One Week
- Hoglets are deaf and blind
- Darker spines begin to come out
- Weigh approximately 25 to 30 grams
- Never leave hoglets over 6 hours between the feeds
- The hoglets might jump when completely disturbed
Feed 1 to 2 ml good quality milk substitute at least every three hour and the final feed should be at midnight to 2 am.
Hoglets One to Two Weeks Old
- At 1 week old, hoglets are still deaf and blind
- They become more vocal when disturbed, frightened or hungry
- Whiskers begin to emerge
- White spines remain longer than brown ones
At 11 days old, the hoglets will begin to curl. Feed them with 2 to 3 ml of milk substitute every three hours.
Baby Hedgehog Two to 3 Weeks Old
- Two weeks – More second coat spines.
- Fine hairs like stubble on nose
- Ears and eyes start to open
- Third layer of bigger and more grounded spines begin to develop
Sustain 3-5mls of drain each 3-4 hours. Hoglets ought to be consistently putting on weight, if not, increase feed frequency.
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Baby Hedgehog Three Weeks Old
- Fewer white spines left, practically supplanted by third stage spines
- First incisor teeth begin to show up
- Dense covering of the short brown hair
Feed 5-6mls each 3-4 hours and leave a little, shallow dish of feed to urge the baby to lap
Baby Hedgehog Four Weeks Old
- No longer rounded puppy appearance to snout
- Skin totally concealed by fur
- Should weigh between 84-130 grams
Begin to give strong nourishment as milk teeth ought to have erupted. It’s regularly a smart thought to wean the infant by initially liquidizing some kitten jellies and blending it with milk substitute.