Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Trim your hedgehog's nails


Immediately following a bath the best time to trim nails as they are softened somewhat by the warm water. Depending on the activity level and temperament of your hedgehog, nail trimming can be quick and painless or may require a vet's assistance. We find this is usually a two-person operation.

Hold your hedgehog right-side up and wait until a foot drops between your fingers, then hold it firmly but gently. The second person can then move in and trim the nails on that foot. Be very careful of the quick, but use a little cornstarch or a styptic pencil if the toe bleeds. Repeat for each foot as needed. We often find that the nails on the front feet wear down quicker than the nails on the back feet and require less frequent trimming.

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How to uncurl a hedgehog


To handle a hedgehog, place your hand on each side of him and gently cup him in your hand. Use great caution not to place your fingers in the middle. They can ball up quickly and your finger can get caught in the middle of a bunch of quills being squeezed together by very strong muscles. If this happens, you will need to gently uncurl him to ease his anxiety. First pick him up, and turn him over on his back to identify where the nose is located. Hold the hedgehog by his back with the head under your fingers. Gently rock forwards and backwards, and when the nose starts to show the front legs will also emerge. As the legs reach for the ground, gently put the hedgehog down.

Bonding with a hedgehog is quite different than bonding with other animals. The hedgehog has very poor eyesight, and their hearing isn't much better, so they bond using their sense of smell, which is highly developed. Don't use gloves when handling a hedgehog or he won’t know who you are. If you want him to learn to identify your smell as being that of a friend, don't change your odor each day by wearing different perfumes. Spend a great deal of time with your new friend. It is better to spend small amounts of time frequently than large amounts of time infrequently, so that he gets used to having you around. Find an old article of clothing that has no loose threads or holes, wear it for a day, and then place it in his cage so he can adjust to your smell.

A hedgehog can be a special pet for the right person, but they aren’t as cuddly and cute as they look. Many hedgehogs have suffered because of people purchasing them as a fad item and then losing interest, so be sure to do your research first to be sure you are really interested in taking care of a hedgehog. If you are a responsible pet owner, a hedgehog can make a wonderful little pet for you, especially if you have a busy lifestyle or cramped quarters. They can be interesting and entertaining, and best of all, you won’t have to take them for a walk when it’s raining outside!

By Buzzle Staff and Agencies
Published: 3/1/2005

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Bathe a hedgehog


So your hedgehog annointed with something unpleasant and needs a bath? To begin, assemble your bath necessities.
  • No-tears formula baby shampoo (a trial size will last a long time)
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Towels for drying
A utility or kitchen sink works well, filled with two to three inches of warm water. Some hedgehogs enjoy a bath and will even swim in deeper water, but others will struggle and constantly attempt to climb out of the sink. (Common sense note: if your hedgehog does take a fancy to swimming, never, ever, leave them unattended in the water!) Hedgehogs will often poop in the water, so be prepared.

Lather a little shampoo in your hands and rub your pet down. We have more luck washing the underbelly first and then the quills. Once the quills have been nicely lathered, use the toothbrush to very gently get between the quills, particularly if your little friend has gotten into something particularly unpleasant. Rinse thoroughly. Sometimes, we reserve a large plastic cup full of warm water for rinsing if the hedgehog has decided to soil her bathwater. Pay special attention to the feet, which tend to become very dirty. You can use the toothbrush here as well. Once your hedgehog is clean, dry her in towels.

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Socializing Your Baby


You will need to scoop your hedgehog up from underneath and take him out of the cage. To help wake your hedgehog up place him in your hand and tickle the top of his back until he opens up. While standing up, place him on your tummy face down to the floor and gently start petting his quills down but petting upward toward your head with one hand at a time. This is usually really helpful for me. Your hedgehog will need to be held at least once a day for 45 minutes to an hour to ensure good temperament.

The more you hold you hedgie the more social he will be. Hogets will go though quilling as a baby and up to 6 months. Quilling is when hedgehogs lose there baby quills and new stronger adult quills are coming through the skin. So it isn't uncommon for your hedgehog to get grumpy off and on until he he completely though quilling. Hedgehogs that are quilling will have some quill loss, you will see a few here and there but you shouldn't see any bold spots. If you look closely at his skin during this time you can see quills coming though the skin. His back will be tender and this is what causes him to be huffier then normal. You will still need to give him plenty of holding time, just be sure to play with him gently so you don't irritate his skin. Bathing your hedgehog in warm water can help with some of the discomfort

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Hedgehogs are susceptible to liver problems because their domestic diet often contains too much fat. Additionally, cancer is a big cause of death. Hedgehogs can develop stress-induced bowel irritability (green or runny feces being a symptom).
You may also notice your aging hedgehog develop what's known as wobbly hedgehog syndrome, where the characteristic gait of a hedgehog becomes wobbly and uncertain. A hedgehog's average domestic lifespan hovers around seven or eight years. To ensure that your hedgehog enjoys the fullest, healthiest possible life, it is your responsibility to find a good veterinarian and schedule occasional check-ups for your hedgehog (perhaps once every couple years). If you notice irregular behavior, loss of appetite, difficulty moving or defecating, eye or nose discharge, or other physical changes (temperature, skin health), consult a veterinarian and schedule an appointment.

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Your hedgehog shouldn't spend all her time in an enclosure, but it's important that you create for her a private sanctuary that is spacious, comfortable and filled with the necessities.
  • Plenty of room to roam - that's the first rule. Hedgehogs who feel like their mobility is impaired will be unhappy and unhealthy. They need room to run and play. They also need an enclosure with no floor gaps, as in the wire cages that mice, hamsters and other pets often call home; the long hedgehog legs can fall through these gaps. The style of walls in wire cages is also bad for your hedgehog, since he can climb. Consider a large plastic bin (the kind with the industrial look to it); with its large roaming space and smooth walls, it makes a good enclosure for hedgehogs.
  • As for bedding, common wood shavings like pine can contain harmful substances, so steer clear of them. Pet owners often use newspaper for bedding. For a luxurious experience, try giving your hedgehog some Vellux blanket bedding - perfectly safe and soft.

  • Of course, your hedgehog will also want a little cubby hole, a shelter where he can get away from it all. It could be anything from an old box to a piece of pipe, as long as it's large enough for your hedgehog.

  • The temperature of your hedgehog's environment should hover between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid direct sun exposure, but keep your hedgehog in a nicely lit part of your house.

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How to tell if one is a Male or Female

When you can get your hedgehog to uncurl in your hand, you would have to get them to lay flat on their backs.

Males penal sheath, the sex organ, is located about 2/3 down their tummy from their head. It looks much like a large belly button.

A females sex organ is located right next to the anus. If you are unable to get the hedgehog to uncurl in your hand, wait until they uncurl enough to get your hand under their front legs. Then hold them up placing the other hand under their bottom, and then sneak a peak.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pet Store Checklist


  • Is there fresh food and water in the cage? A place for the hedgehog to hide? A wheel or enough room for ample exercise?

  • Does the staff allow customers to handle the hedgehogs? Hopefully, this is done under supervision. Note if the staff uses gloves to pick up the hedgehog (usually not a good sign) and seem comfortable.

  • Does the staff seem to know what they are talking about with regard to hedgehog care? proper diet?

  • Is the store USDA licensed to sell exotics? Any store that does not have the proper licensure is in violation of federal law.

  • Are different sexes of hedgehogs separated? Can the staff tell a male from a female? Many new hedgehog owners have been surprised by an unexpected litter from their female hedgehog after she had been housed with males in a pet store.

  • Can the staff tell you how old the hedgehogs are? If they are younger than five weeks, they have been prematurely separated from their mother.

What do you do if, in your quest for a hedgehog, you find a hedgehog or hedgehogs in a pet store that are in poor health, neglected, or otherwise mistreated? Your first instinct might be to purchase the hedgehog and "rescue" him from the situation. This will undoubtedly benefit the hedgehog in the short term but does nothing to deter the pet store from obtaining more hedgehogs and treating them in exactly the same manner.

The Hedgehog Welfare Society exists in part to help educate pet stores about proper hedgehog care and, in some cases, to assist individuals in reporting repeat offenders to the USDA. Pet stores who deal in exotics -- including hedgehogs -- are required by federal law to have a USDA license. Stores that have a license are subject to certain regulations concerning pet care, and those that do not may be subject to fines and other penalties. To find out whether the pet store has a USDA license, check with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which maintains lists of licensed breeders and dealers.

To truly help, try to break the cycle. Speak to the management about proper care. You can find wonderful care sheets about hedgehogs, and other creatures online. Often, this neglect is out of ignorance, not malice. Many pet stores will willingly provide a hiding place, wheel, etc. to a hedgehog once they know what its needs are. If you find the store unwilling to change, offer to purchase the hedgehog at a reduced price or take him off their hands for free. Failing that, report the store to your local SPCA or Humane Society and also to the regional USDA office. At that time, offer to rescue the hedgehogs if they are confiscated.

Not all pet stores are bad. Many are run by caring, animal-loving people who want to place animals into good homes. But the famous statement applies -- "Buyer Beware!" Know who you are purchasing from. This applies to private breeders as well as pet stores, naturally.

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No argument is more freqently visited amongst those who keep hedgehogs than that of what is best to feed them. There are several commercial hedgehog foods on the market (8 in 1, Brisky's, L'Avian, Select Diet) but they can be hard to find, and not all of them are the best choice of nutrition for your pet. (Check out our Food Reviews page for a more in depth look at specific foods.) What a hedgehog needs as it's main diet is simple to provide as long as you are willing to do a little label reading. Most commonly these requirements can be met by a mix (around 3 foods is best) of high quality cat food, and many hedgehogs have lived healthy and long lives on this kind of diet. While it may sound complicated to begin with, there are really only two basic steps to remember :
1.) You will need to look for a food that has 30% or more protein, and around 15% fat (20% at the upper end). This is very important to make sure your hedgehog has enough energy and doesn't become overweight. A fat content much lower than 15%, or higher than 20% could possibly lead to an overweight hedgehog or other health issues.

2.) The food you choose should have quality ingredients at the top of it's list. A whole meat or meat meal (chicken, beef, lamb) should be one of your top few ingredients. Watch out for general by products or digests (meat by product, poultry by product, poultry digest) as these tend to be the bits and peices left over from the processing of the better parts of the meat and may include such things as hooves, beaks, feathers, and skin. You will also want to watch the corn content of the food. Unfortunately most feeds use corn as an inexpensive filler, and while a small amount of well processed corn is tolerable (and almost impossible to avoid!) it is important to avoid foods who have large quantities of corn or less processed corn (cracked or ground corn) as these do nothing to help your hedgehog and can cause digestive problems when fed in excess long term.
All hedgehogs should get occasional treats from the table. Unspiced chicken, tuna and salmon are big favorites, as are bits of cooked egg and many fruits and vegetables. Cottage cheese and yogurt are okay, but other dairy products should not be given as they can cause an upset stomach. With any new treat give only a small amount to begin with, just in case it doesn't agree with your hedgehogs digestion. Treats of mealworms or crickets are enjoyable, but not necessary, and should never be given in large amounts due to the high fat content. You don't have to feed insects live, but it can be fun watching your hedgie hop around after it's lunch!! Which leads to our next, and possibly most important topic...

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Allergies in Hedgehogs


A hedgehog may develop certain environmental allergies, including sensitivities to chemicals or even food allergies. Shown at left is Knarla Pog, a hedgehog with possible food allergies.

Symptoms of food allergies include:
  • Red, puffy, flaky, and/or scabby patches on the face and/or feet
  • Excessive itching
  • Patches appear and disappear frequently
Knarla's vet suspects that she may have a condition called eosinophilic granuloma, which is most commonly seen in cats. The food allergies do not necessarily occur after a change of diet; rather, they are a result of continued exposure to a food substance. Meat proteins, corn, soy, milk proteins and wheat are frequent culprits, but not the exclusive ones. In Knarla's case, the culprit could be crickets or waxworms!

Your vet can tell you if the symptoms are consistent with food allergies. Diagnosis is done by feeding the hedgehog a veterinary exclusion diet, which either contains hypoallergenic foodstuffs or an entirely novel protein and carbohydrate source. Knarla's vet prescribed EXclude veterinary diet for dogs, which comes in powder form and is made from pinto beans and oat groats, but other exclusion diets are available.

The exclusion diet is fed exclusively for a period of time determined by the vet until symptoms improve or go away completely. Then a new food or treat item is reintroduced every 2-3 weeks until the symptoms recur. At this time, the suspected allergen is removed from the diet, and if the pet's condition again improves, another food or treat item is introduced. Gradually, all food and treats but the suspect(s) are returned to the hedgehog's diet, and a food allergy is confirmed.

Knarla began having red, puffy spots on her face and near her ears around the first of November. These became more persistent and inflamed-looking, so our vet aspirated one of them to determine the contents. The spots contained nearly all eosinophils (a form of white blood cell) full of histamine, consistent with an allergic reaction.

Knarla's condition has improved considerably since starting on the EXclude diet. Her scabs, which were really not caused by the allergies but rather by her scratching the red, puffy spots, have healed, and no new puffy places have appeared. Once these entirely healed, we began the process of reintroducing her normal food and treats, which will gradually continue until we identify the culprit, which will be permanently removed from her diet.

What is the prognosis for hedgehogs with food allergies? Excellent. While the initial cost of the veterinary exclusion diet is somewhat steep (I paid $49 for a 6 pound bag of EXclude), no invasive techniques are necessary, and once the allergen can be identified, eliminating it from the diet should be fairly straightforward. The EXclude comes in a powder form and will keep for several months, and 6 pounds is a large amount for a hedgehog.

A note about feeding EXclude to your pet: it comes in a powder form and the directions are to mix it with water until it is roughly oatmeal consistency. Knarla refused to eat this, so at my vet's suggestion, I crumbled the wet mixture on a cookie sheet and baked it for 14-15 minutes at 350 degrees. She has readily eaten this baked food, which I prepare about every 7-10 days and keep tightly sealed in the refrigerator. Additionally, I recommend adding acidophilus (the active culture in yogurt) to your hedgehog's diet to help with digestion. Since allergies are in play, Allerdophilus brand acidophilus, which is suitable for humans with food allergies, is a good option. Sprinkle 1/3 - 1/2 of the powder-filled capsule over the kibble daily. Allerdophilus is available in many health food, organic grocery stores, and drug stores.

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Friday, November 9, 2007



At birth :

At birth, the baby is pale pink with its spines still beneath the skin, looking like pimples. Its eyes are closed. Within hours the spines begin to appear through the skin. The first one are white. The baby appears to have a parting along the centre of its back, which gradually disappears as the animal grows.

One week :

After about a week, brown spines begin to appear among the white ones and gradually replace them.

Two weeks :

At two weeks the baby's eyes open and fur begins to grow, obscuring the flesh of its underbelly, which starts to darken from its original pink.

Three Weeks :

The babies are weaned from about three weeks onwards. Over the next four months, or so, the milk teeth are lost and adult teeth appear.

Four weeks :

At four weeks the babies are taken on foraging expeditions by their mother.

Five to Six Weeks :

At the age of five to six weeks, the babies begin to leave the nest and fend for themselves. By this time they are about ten times their birth weight and will continue feeding until winter.

Baby hedgehogs grow very quickly for the first month of their life. When they leave their nest, their growth slows as they have to feed themselves. Unlike most animals, the hedgehog does not stop growing once it reaches maturity, but will very slowly continue to get bigger throughout its life.

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Baby hedgehogs


Baby hedgehogs are born approximately four and a half weeks after becoming pregnant. Although the timing is variable (compared with other mammals), the births are mostly in June and July. The variation can be explained by cold periods in early spring can cause the female to return to hibernation for a while. One theory proposes that during this period the development of her embryos could be temporarily slowed down and the birth of her babies slightly delayed. It is not uncommon for mothers who either rear early litters or lose their first family to conceive again - but these second litters may be born as late as September, and so have little chance of surviving the winter.

The babies are born into a nest similar to the one in which the mother hibernates in, except for being larger. It is made mostly of leaves and grass, but may contain anything that the hedgehog may drag back to the site. The nest doesn't include any special lining material, but by treading and turning around the mother produces a soft, comfortable interior. If the nest is disturbed soon after the birth, the mother will either abandon them, or sometimes will eat them. When they are older she may react by transferring them to another nest.

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Hedgehogs don't reach sexual maturity until the year after they were born. After emerging from hibernation they feed to build up their body weight, so it is at least late April of their second calendar year before they are ready to breed. A warm night, some time between May and September, but mainly in May and June, is a hedgehog's ideal mating time.

The ritual seems more like a fight as it is an extremely noisy event. The courtship, or 'pre-mating display', is initiated by the male when he comes across a solitary female on his nightly wanderings. He approaches her, snuffling and snorting, and circles closely round and round, trying to claim her attention. The female shows no interest; she twitches violently and repeatedly turns away from him. The male persists and circles closer, snorting louder and louder, sometimes for hours.

Often a second male will approach, attracted by the noise, but the intruder's presence is not tolerated, and the male inserts his muzzle underneath him and pushes him out of the way. The female, totally unconcerned, may wander off. A high proportion of attempted hedgehog matings fail due to the female's lack of interest.

Ultimately, however, the female may become receptive and allow the male to mount her. Mating may only last a minute or two, and then the pair separate. The male plays no further part in bringing up the family, and if the hedgehogs ever meet again, it is probably only out of chance.

Unless the female places herself in the correct position, mating will be impossible. She must lie with her hind legs spread out, belly pressed flat to the ground and nose pointing upwards. The formerly aggressive spines must be laid flat: the skin of a male hedgehog's belly is thin, and he could be badly injured. He mates with her from behind, gripping the spines with his teeth.
Hedgehog reproduction is not very efficient. The female often mates several times before becoming pregnant, and quite a few females may reach the end of the season without conceiving.

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Like all animals, hedgehogs need energy to survive. In their case, it comes from beetles, worms slugs and other small creatures that they consume each night. In summer, these invertebrates are plentiful, but as the weather gets colder its food becomes scarcer. The hedgehog is then in danger of using up more energy in finding food than it gains from eating it. Hedgehogs are more prone to this problem than other small mammals as they lack the insulation provided by a fur coat.

Hibernation is not always a part of the hedgehog's life cycle. European hedgehogs found in New Zealand generally do not hibernate, and if they do it is only for a few weeks. In contrast, Scandanavian hedgehogs have an extended hibernation period as winters in the region are longer. Hedgehogs will only hibernate for the minimum necessary period as the process is hazardous. Nevertheless, hibernation is a valuable strategy that gives the hedgehog a chance to live through conditions through which it would have no chance of surviving.

The hedgehog's winter nest, or hibernaculum, is made of grass and especially of leaves, which are weatherproof and long-lasting. The hedgehog brings leaves to the nesting site in its mouth, a few at a time. It makes a pile, adding new leaves to the centre - and these are held in place by the surrounding twigs, brambles etc. It then burrows inside and turns round and round, packing the leaves flat and ending up with walls up to 10 centimetres thick. The hedgehog will make a new nest in this way every year.

The hedgehog's hibernation is more complex than just a lengthy sleep. It involves lowering the energy consumption of the animal by lowering the metabolic rate, slowing down the pumping of blood and lowering its breathing rate so that it may not take a breath for several minutes - making it appear dead. The only observable difference being that it will bristle its spines when touched. The hedgehog's body temperature can be lowered from the usual 35ºC to as low as 4ºC and the heart will only beat around 20 beats per minute. These reductions mean that the energy required to keep it alive is around one fiftieth of its normal energy expenditure. These reductions mean that the hedgehog requires very little energy, but it must survive the whole winter on its fat reserves. It is therefore vitally important that the hedgehog eats well before the winter season - building its weight up to at least 600g. It a hedgehog's weight is much below this threshold, it will probably not survive the freezing winter.

Hibernation is not continuous - a hedgehog usually wakes for a short time every seven to eleven days. Its body temperature returns to normal, and it usually remains alert inside its nest, although sometimes it may leave the nest and be active for several days or even move to another nest. It is unknown why the hedgehog might do this as there is no apparent benefit. Arousals are mostly spontaneous but can also be due to outside factors such as flooding, warm weather or disturbance of the nest by humans or animals.

By the beginning of March, the hedgehog's fat reserves which have sustained them through the winter will be almost exhausted. The first mild nights of March see the emergence of the first hungry hedgehogs. During the inter they will have lost a substantial art of their body weight and they must quickly replace it. If cold weather sets in again, they will return to their winter nests. By mid-April all hedgehogs should be out busily feeding on the insects that are once again abundant in gardens and the countryside.

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hedgehog (héj-og)

  1. any small nocturnal insect-eating mammal of the genus Erinaceus, esp. E. europaeus, having a piglike snout and a coat of spines, and rolling itself up for defence.
  2. a porcupine or other animal similarly covered with spines.

The collective noun for a group of hedgehogs is a prickle of hedgehogs.

Scientific Classification

Hedgehogs belong to the family Erinaceidae. Eurasian hedgehogs are classified in the genus Erinaceus, African hedgehogs in the genus Atelerix, long-eared desert hedgehogs in the genus Hemiechinus, and desert hedgehogs in the genus Paraechinus. Furred hedgehogs constitute the genera Podogymnura, Echinosorex, and Hylomys. The moon rat is classified as Echinosorex gymnurus.(Ref:

Hedgehogs and the Law

Hedgehogs, among Britain's other wild mammals, are protected against cruelty by law. Under the wild Mammals (Protection) Bill 1996 it is an offence to "mutilate, kick, beat, nail or otherwise impale, stab, burn, stone, crush, drown, drag or asphyxiate" any wild mammal.

Deliberate killing, maiming and trade in wild hedgehogs is not a great problem in the UK, however gamekeepers amongst a group of people who consider hedgehogs to be a menace still kill them. In many countries, hedgehogs have had a price on their heads at different times and so have been murdered in large numbers. Closer to home, hedgehogs have been known to become a source of sport or 'fun'. When a hedgehog becomes a ball it seems that some merciless children cannot resist kicking it. Unfortunately this kind of behaviour can be excused by loopholes in the law that say technically the hedgehog was "free to walk away".

Equally unjustifiable is the trade of hedgehogs as pets. Although some hedgehogs are bred in captivity (such as in the USA), more often they are taken from the wild, for example in Egypt. The USA cannot be complacent about its hedgehog trade however, because hedgehogs were imported into the country for scientific purposes only - yet they found their way on to the pet market.
It is my opinion that hedgehogs of all varieties should be out in the wild. They cover distances of several miles each night looking for food, and owners may provide a pen of just a few meters length to 'exercise' their pets. From my perspective I cannot see why a hedgehog would make a good pet. Firstly they are nocturnal, and secondly they are terrified of humans. So trying to integrate one into a family would totally disrupt it's body clock and then stress it so much that it will live an unpleasant and shortened life. All I ask is that before you go and buy a hedgehog (which is illegal in countries such as the UK) that you think twice about what you are doing to the poor creature. If there is no demand for them as pets, they will not be bred and sold.

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Hedgehog Profile


There are some 15 species of hedgehog in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Hedgehogs have also been introduced into nontraditional ranges such as New Zealand. The hedgehog was named because of its peculiar foraging methods. These animals root through hedges and other undergrowth in search of the small creatures that compose the bulk of their diet—insects, worms, centipedes, snails, mice, frogs, and snakes. As a hedgehog picks its way through the hedges it emits piglike grunts—thus, the hedgehog.

Some people consider hedgehogs useful pets because they prey on many common garden pests. While on the hunt, they rely upon their senses of hearing and smell because their eyesight is weak.

Hedgehogs have a coat of stiff, sharp spines. If attacked they will curl into a prickly and unappetizing ball that deters most predators. They usually sleep in this position during the day and awaken to search for food at night.

Hedgehogs hibernate in cold climates. In deserts, they sleep through heat and drought in a similar process called aestivation. They remain active all year in more temperate locations.

These solitary animals typically couple only for mating. The young born each year, in litters ranging from one to eleven, remain with their mothers for only four to seven weeks before heading out on their own. Among the predators females must guard against during this period are other male hedgehogs, which will sometimes prey upon the young of their species. Hedgehog mothers have also been known to eat their young if the nest is disturbed, though they sometimes simply move them to a new nest.

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What is anointing?

Anointing is a possible response that a hedgehog will exhibit when they encounter a smell that they are unfamiliar with. In such an event the hedgehog will possibly bite or chew at the source of the smell, then they will froth at mouth to create a lather. Next they will deposit their foamy saliva on their quills by contorting their bodies. I have seen a many a hedgehog contort their bodies until they fall over, some become so entranced that they become unaware of their surroundings at the time.

Why do hedgehogs anoint

No one is quite sure why hedgehogs anoint. There are many theories out there which try to explain this behavior. A couple of theories are:

  • The hedgehog is trying to mask their scent to better hide from predators
  • The foam acts as a toxin to the hedgehog's enemies, causing irritation.

No matter what the real reason is that our spiny friends anoint, it is a perfectly normal behavior, and can be quite amusing to watch.

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