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Hedgehog FAQ [7/7] - Wild Hedgehogs
Section - <12.1> The hedgehog calendar

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Top Document: Hedgehog FAQ [7/7] - Wild Hedgehogs
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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
No, this is not a place to get a calendar of hedgehogs!  Most hedgehogs can't
read one, anyway!  It's the hedgehog's view of the year, or rather seasons.
I should probably note that this section is written from the perspective of
people, and well, hedgehogs, living in the northern hemisphere.  For people
in places such as New Zealand, remember to read it upside down, um, er, with
the summer/winter reversed as to what the months show here.  It also refers
primarily to European hedgehogs -- climates and calendars for wild African
and other species will differ considerably.

December - March (approximately): This is the time of hibernation.
Obviously, the exact timings will depend very much on climate, and to some
extent, what food supplies were like just before hibernation.

March - April: Hedgehogs arise from hibernation and start to appear.  Most
will be very hungry, and a helping-hand dish of cat or dog food at this time
will be most welcome to get the new year off to a good start.

April - May: Mating season (for summer hoglets), or as some people call it,
the noisy season.  Great snufflefests outside your windows can occur as
hedgehogs demonstrate their amorous tendencies.

June - July: It's hoglet season.  Depending on when mating took place, the
little ones will appear roughly 35 days (32-40 days) later.  These are the
summer hoglets, and will have the best chances of survival.

July - August: The summer hoglets start leaving home at around 8 weeks of
age.  Again the timing varies, depending on when they were born, how much
food there is and a lot of other factors.

This is also the time of the second mating season.  This season is much less
defined than the earlier one, and depends more on when mothers are free of
their babies, and might be receptive again.  This carries on through
September.

September - October: The autumn hoglets are born, and many hedgehogs start to
stock up on their winter fat.  Obviously, hoglets born at this time have far
less opportunity to grow before the winter comes.

October - November: It's serious pack-on-the-fat-time for hedgehogs.
Prickly-appetites-on-paws will eat as much as they can at this time of year.
The autumn hoglets start to head out on their own in their desperate attempt
to build up enough fat and body weight to survive the coming winter.
Hedgehogs weighing less than 500-600 grams will have relatively little chance
of surviving anything but a mild winter.

December: It's time to find a den and settle in for hibernation.  This is
triggered partly because of cold weather, and also (to a somewhat lesser
extent) because of reduced hours of daylight, but it is also because with the
coming of colder temperatures, most of the food supply disappears.  Fat,
happy hedgehogs will now snuggle in until Spring.


Remember, the times shown in this calendar are very approximate.  They will
all vary considerably with climate, food supply, and many other factors.  In
years with late, or mild winters, hedgehogs can remain active into January,
which gives autumn babies a much better chance.  In years with early winters,
many hedgehogs may be caught unprepared, and may sometimes be seen up and
around in the snow, trying to find a few last tidbits of food, or a better
shelter for the winter.

And, of course, New Zealand hedgehogs have it quite a bit differently, with
summer and winter reversed.

User Contributions:

Rio
Report this comment as inappropriate
Apr 26, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
Hi, my hedgehog started running around her cage squealing so I took her out to see what was wrong. Her genital area was inflamed and she had open sores all around that area. I gave her a bath, but I'm really worried about her. Do you have any idea what this could be?
Thank you!

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Top Document: Hedgehog FAQ [7/7] - Wild Hedgehogs
Previous Document: <11.5> Miscellaneous Hedgehog stuff and sources
Next Document: <12.2> Caring for visiting hedgehogs

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