do mother hedgehogs leave their young

Do Mother Hedgehogs Leave Their Young?

Most animals care deeply for their offspring and will provide everything they need to survive. But do mother hedgehogs leave their young? To answer this question, it’s important to understand some of the habits and behaviors of hedgehogs.

Maternal Care of Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are mammals and like other mammals, mother hedgehogs take great care of their young. During a typical pregnancy, the mother hedgehog will build a nest in a safe and secure location for the litter. When the young are born, she will nurse and care for them for several weeks.

Leaving the Litter

Once the hedgehog babies are around four weeks old, the mother will begin to leave the litter for periods of time. During these periods of time, she may forage for food, find new nesting sites, or even mate with males. She will typically come back in the morning, after her duties are completed. While the mother is away from the young, the hedgehog babies will huddle together and sleep.

Teaching Young Hedgehogs

In some cases, the mother hedgehog may stay with her young for an extended period of time- up to 8 weeks. Her presence is important as she will teach her young the important skills needed to survive. These skills include foraging for food, defending against predators, and finding safe and secure nesting locations.

When Do Mothers Leave?

By the time the mother hedgehog leaves, the young should be able to care for themselves. They should have the necessary skills to find food, defend themselves, and avoid predators. At this point, the mother may leave the nest and the offspring are left to fend for themselves.


To answer the question, do mother hedgehogs leave their young? The answer is yes. After taking great care of her young for 4-8 weeks, the mother will leave the litter, although she may still check in occasionally. The young hedgehogs should have the skills they need to survive and the maternal care of the mother is no longer essential.

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