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Babies appearing early?

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Babies appearing early?

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    I seem to be picking up young hoglets on my camera.
    The earliest sighting was the night of the 3rd May and they are still visiting.
    I always understood youngsters were born in June/July but these are too small to be last year’s brood.

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    Hi Martin

    It seems unlikely that there would be hoglets already. The gestation period is about 35 days which would mean that the female would have had to become pregnant before the beginning of April and many of the females (depending where you are in the country) weren’t back until much later in April. Also when they first return from hibernation they usually need to put on a bit of weight. If hoglets were not with their Mother they would probably be roughly 6 – 8 weeks old. Which would mean the gestation period beginning much earlier.

    One possibility, is that female youngsters which have been overwintered in captivity may have been released earlier, but may not be old enough to breed yet. They become sexually mature approx. 7 – 9 months old.

    There are a few hogs who choose not to hibernate. I had one here. But only one. I suppose it is possible that if there were two in the same area a female could have become pregnant really early. But finding food at that time of year is more difficult so would they have had time to go through the courtship procedure?

    I wonder if there is some other explanation. Is there any chance you could be mistaken. Pictures on film can often be quite deceiving. Alternatively, I have heard of people releasing pet African Pygmy Hedgehogs into the wild – they are a bit smaller. In that case they may have different colouring from our European Hedgehogs.

    Interesting – and hedgehogs do seem to like to keep us guessing!


    Hi Martin,

    Like Nic says, it does seem unlikely, but then again, nothing surprises me with them anymore! I thought that we had a couple of hoglets, but it turns out that they are last year’s juveniles. They looked very small on camera compared to the much larger adult males and I suspect that because of the long harsh winter they had lost a lot of weight. I find that the best way to tell is with one of those square green hedgehog feeding dishes, if they will fit inside one of those then it’s a hoglet.

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