How Big Are Hedgehogs And How Much Do They Weigh? (All Your Questions Answered)

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Hedgehogs are a spiny mammal from the Erinaceinae subfamily of the Eulipotyphlan family. There are seventeen different species of hedgehogs that are found in natural habitats in Asia, Africa, and Europe. By introduction, you can find hedgehogs in New Zealand, Australia, and the Americas.

There are several different types of hedgehogs, and their sizes vary from 4-12 inches in length.

Three domesticated species can be kept as pets, and the other fourteen are wild species. Generally, the domesticated species tend to be smaller than the wild types of hedhehog.

Hedgehogs are a nocturnal creature that is a distant relative of shrews. They resemble porcupines and echidnas, although being completely unrelated to both. Evolutionary, they haven’t changed much over 15 million years. So far no “giant hedgehog ancestor fossil” has been found, so we can safely assume that the animal has always been a smaller critter.

Hedgehogs have adorable little faces, which is why many people want one for themselves. 

Domesticated hedgehogs are an adorable addition to any family. They have smooth spines that closely resemble brush bristles. While they look like little porcupines, their spines are not sharp, and they’re not dangerous if you approach them. They’re also significantly easier to manage than, say, a porcupine because of its reasonable size.

The African Pygmy hedgehog is the most commonly domesticated in the Americas and is the kind of hedgehog you’d get as a pet. 

They are one of the smallest hedgehogs, with an average length of around 8 inches, which is why they’re often sold as pets. They have a variety of colors, including white, salt and pepper, and a dark red like cinnamon. They are quiet and active, have cute personalities, and require a high level of care. The little guys can be kept as pets for up to eight years if you care for them properly. 

In this article, I will discuss how big hedgehogs are, how much they weigh, and the seventeen types of hedgehogs. Get ready to learn all about this adorable little creature. 

How Big Are Hedgehogs?

Overall, hedgehogs are pretty small and will be able to fit in the palm of your hand. Between all seventeen species, they range from four to twelve inches and can weigh anywhere from 1/3 lb to 3.5 lbs. Their size depends explicitly on their species and whether or not they are wild or domesticated. 

How Much Do Hedgehogs Weigh?

Wild hedgehogs are tiny, but they do a lot of running and have the opportunity to be very active. When you keep a hedgehog as a pet, they have a high risk of becoming overweight because they don’t have as much room to be active.

As with humans, lack of exercise and poor diet can lead to plenty of health problems, even though hedgehogs are relatively healthy and aren’t plagued by many diseases. 

When they become overweight, it can lower their life expectancy considerably. Most hedgehog enclosures should have a running wheel or plenty of space for them to run around and be active. You can also take them out of their home and let them run around each day in a designated area in your home. 

Hedgehogs can thrive with a proper diet, plenty of exercise, and a lot of attention. The typical weight for a domesticated hedgehog is anywhere from half a pound to 1.25lbs. They range from five to nine inches in length, so they can weigh a bit more if they are on the larger side.

If you keep tabs on their weight, you can be aware if they begin to gain weight. If they do, you should consult your vet or an expert. 

When hedgehogs are born, they are only between three and 25 grams, which is about 0.8 oz. They grow incredibly fast in the first six months and become fully grown, but some need a full ten or eleven months to fully mature. The length and weight of your hedgehog will depend on which species it is.

The African Pygmy hedgehog typically weighs about a pound when fully grown, compared to the Indian long-eared hedgehog that only weighs about 4.5 oz. 

In the wild, hedgehogs are much larger. The European hedgehog is one of the larger breeds, measuring up to twelve inches and weighing 1.5lbs to 2lbs. 

How Can I Weigh a Hedgehog?

You can easily weigh a hedgehog by using a small scale like something similar to the one you’d use in the kitchen. It can be tricky to get the little guy to stay on the scale, so you can use a bowl or container he will fit in, zero out the scale, and then put him in to determine his weight. 

There are specific brands that sell hedgehog-specific scales, but a regular kitchen scale will do the trick!

How Big are Hedgehogs Throughout Their Age?

Hedgehogs grow very fast. They are typically fully grown by six months old. The African Pygmy, European, Egyptian, and Indian hedgehogs are all breeds that reach maturity around six to ten months old. Wild species of hedgehogs typically reach maturity between ten and eleven months of age. 

Hedgehogs tend to grow quite fast for the first two months, and then their growth is a bit steadier until they reach full maturity. Your hedgehog will be done entirely growing in around a year.

Well-cared-for hedgehogs can live a happy four to six years, but there have been hedgehogs that have reached eight to sixteen years old!

Some hedgehogs have particular genetics that they can reach maturity before six months or after. If you’re the proud owner of a hedgehog, there’s no need to worry if your pet stops growing a few weeks before turning six months old. It’s perfectly normal for them to stop growing early or take a little extra time. 

Hedgehogs range in size during their growing periods. Still, they end up being around five inches to nine inches long, depending on the breed. 

How Big are Males VS. Females? 

Typically, male and female hedgehogs are around the same size, but depending on different factors like genetics, age, and seasonal effects, males can be a bit larger than their female counterparts. 

How Big do Hedgehogs Get In Captivity VS The Wild?

Among the seventeen species of hedgehog, domesticated breeds in captivity tend to be smaller than wild breeds. Many varieties of wild breeds can reach ten to fourteen inches long and can weigh a couple of pounds. Domesticated breeds typically max out at nine inches long and may tip the scales at 1.25lbs. 

Each individual breed has a different size they will reach based on their genetics. The African Pygmy, Indian Long-Eared, and Egyptian Long-Eared hedgehogs are the domesticated breeds. They are all smaller than the fourteen other wild breeds of the hedgehog. 

Breeding hedgehogs for pets has resulted in even smaller animals. They are the smaller hedgehogs in the wild, and they have been bred to be even smaller when they are kept as pets. They were chosen for domestication because of their naturally small size. 

All hedgehogs are full-grown around six to eleven months, but domesticated hedgehogs may reach nine inches and 1.25lbs, and wild hedgehogs can reach up to fourteen inches and weigh up to 2.5lbs. They both follow around the same timeline for maturity, with both being typically around ten to eleven months. 

How Big Are Hedgehogs Compared To Hamsters?

The domesticated hedgehogs, which are the African Pygmys common in American homes, can be up to eight inches long. The larger breeds of hedgehogs can reach up to twelve inches long. Hamsters typically reach between five to eight inches in length and sometimes a bit larger. 

They are comparable in size, but there are a few differences between hedgehogs and hamsters. Hamsters are fully grown by three months of age, and hedgehogs are fully grown at six months. 

Hamsters typically have a strong odor, where hedgehogs don’t, and they are easily litter trained compared to hamsters. Hedgehogs can also have a considerably longer lifespan than rodents.

Many hamsters have a life expectancy of around two years. If adequately cared for with an ideal diet and habitat, Hedgehogs can live around four to six years, up to even eight years. 

Hedgehogs also don’t require any immunizations, and they don’t suffer from many diseases. They are a great option as a family pet for all of these reasons!

Keeping Hedgehogs as Pets

Hedgehogs are a sought-after pet because they are so cute and an excellent addition to any family. They work well if you work a 9-5 job because they are active at night, being nocturnal. They don’t require a lot of human interaction, but they do require a lot of care. 

Because they are so small, they will likely go into their defensive ball immediately when you pick them up. Once they figure out that they are safe, they will unroll and begin exploring. They will continue to become more comfortable and more active. 

Hedgehogs are illegal in certain states, including Hawaii, California, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and New York City. Wisconsin and New Jersey residents will require a permit and health certificate in order to keep one as a family friend. Some species of hedgehog are known to carry foot and mouth disease, so these rules are enacted to try and prevent that. 

They can also become quite invasive in the wild if they happen to escape and breed. 

Hedgehog owners need to be diligent about their pets’ weight, as it can be easy for them to become overweight when they are domesticated. Avoid overdoing the treats and allow them to get enough exercise, and your hedgehog should be fine. Keeping their enclosure clean will prevent any skin issues, respiratory issues, and ear mites. 

Hedgehogs aren’t prone to many health issues and don’t require immunization. Their protruding eyes are at risk for injury, and if they are holding their eye closed or continuously pawing at them, you should take them to the vet.

In rare cases, they are susceptible to wobbly hedgehog syndrome, which is a genetic disease that causes paralysis. 

In the wild, hedgehogs travel long distances and get plenty of daily exercise, so it’s essential to provide them with plenty of space in their enclosure and highly recommended to get a running wheel for them. Don’t keep your little guy in your room if you enjoy sleep because they are most active at night and will likely keep you awake. 

Due to being nocturnal, you will need to feed them at night before you go to bed. It’s best to keep a routine like any other pet you may keep.

Hedgehogs can eat a significant amount, so feeding them when they are active in the early evening and before you go to bed is ideal, but if you get them on one meal a day routine, they are often great with that. 

Many pet stores will sell hedgehog-specific food, but they love mealworms, fruits and vegetables, and dog food. 

How Big is the Largest Recorded Hedgehog?

One of the largest breeds of the hedgehog is the European hedgehog. The breed is also known as the common hedgehog or West European hedgehog. The species is most commonly found in Europe, Scandinavia, Italy, and Iberia. This little guy is widely found across many habitat types and is versatile, and can adapt quickly. 

Many homeowners welcome hedgehogs into their gardens because they’re so cute. They also take care of many pests that can negatively impact their plants. The European hedgehog has stable populations in most of the areas they live, but they’re rapidly declining in Great Britain.

While there is no Guinness Book of World Record’s record for largest hedgehog, their length ranges from six inches to eleven inches.

The other largest breed of the hedgehog is the Northern white-breasted hedgehog, which is also found in Eastern Europe and can reach thirteen to fourteen inches. 

In June 2018, the World’s heaviest hedgehog was launched into the limelight.

The hedgehog named Arbuckle weighed about four times the average size of a hedgehog, at about 2.335kg, or 5lbs. Arbuckle was compared to the size of a World Cup Football. He was overfed significantly, and he could not form his defensive ball and could barely walk. He was taken to a rescue center in Aberdeenshire for treatment. 

What Size are Different Types of Hedgehogs?

There are seventeen different kinds of hedgehogs. 

European Hedgehog

As I’ve mentioned, the European hedgehog, or Erinaceus europaeus, is also known as the “common hedgehog,” or West European hedgehog, and is one of the largest species of hedgehog around. They typically range between eight and ten inches but can reach twelve inches long.

They have a black-brown appearance but can also be blonde. They are very versatile, living in various habitats across Europe, including the UK, Spain, France, and Italy. 

The European hedgehog can live up to ten years in a thriving habitat with an omnivorous diet. 

Four-Toed Hedgehog

The Four-toed hedgehog, or Atelerix albiventris, is also known as the African Pygmy hedgehog. They are the most common species of hedgehog that are kept as pets in America. They are initially from Sub-Saharan Central Africa, and they are used to savannas and crop fields for their habitat. They are one of the smaller breeds of hedgehog, coming in at about eight inches long. 

They are typically entirely white with a darker head, with short legs and only four toes. They are active, noisy, and full of energy. They can even swim and climb!

Southern White-Breasted Hedgehog

The Southern white-breasted hedgehog, otherwise known as Erinaceus concolor, is found in Eastern Europe and Western Asia. This breed looks very similar to the European hedgehog, with a white spot around the belly and chest but only reaches about nine inches in length. The Southern white-breasted hedgehog loves to make grass nests and live in wooded areas. 

Northern White-Breasted Hedgehog

The Northern white-breasted hedgehog, otherwise known as Erinaceus roumanicus, is found in Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Caucasus, and Russia. It closely resembles the common hedgehog with its white chest, but it has a different jaw shape. The Northern white-breasted hedgehog typically reaches around thirteen to fourteen inches long. 

Amur Hedgehog

The Amur Hedgehog, otherwise known as Erinaceus amurensis, is found in Korea, China, and Southern Russia. The breed reaches about twelve inches in length and behaves like the common hedgehog. 

Hugh’s Hedgehog

The Hugh’s Hedgehog, or Mesechinus hughi, is a breed that is found in central China. They measure just under eight inches in length. 

Somali Hedgehog

The Somali hedgehog, or Atelerix sclateri, is native to Somalia. The species only measures about five inches long, has a white belly and brown or black legs.  

North African Hedgehog

Also known as the Atelerix algirus, the North African hedgehog is found across North Africa in Algeria, Morocco, and the Mediterranean coast. They measure around eight inches in length. They are light in color, but they don’t have spines on their crown. 

Southern African Hedgehog

The Southern African hedgehog, or Atelerix frontalis, is native to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, and other surrounding areas. The breed reaches about seven inches long. This hedgehog features a brown color, distinctive white stripes, and black legs. Like many other species of hedgehog, the Southern African breed has an omnivorous diet and hibernates. 

Bare-Bellied Hedgehog

The Bare-Bellied hedgehog, or Paraechinus nudiventris, is a breed of hedgehog that was previously believed to be extinct, but they have recently been found in the jungles of Southeastern India. They are still relatively rare and are considered vulnerable. These hedgehogs range in size from five and a half inches to just under ten inches. 

Daurian Hedgehog

The Daurian hedgehog, or Mesechinus dauuricus, is an endangered species of hedgehog found in Mongolia and Russia. The protected species ranges in size between six and eight inches long. The Daurian hedgehog can live up to six years in the wild and does hibernate during the cold months. 

Long-Eared Hedgehog

The Long-eared hedgehog, or Hemiechinus auritus, is also known as the Egyptian Long-Eared hedgehog. It has distinctive long ears and short spikes. It’s typically found in the Eastern Mediterranean, Eastern Asia, and the Middle East. It is accustomed to many climates because of the wide range of places it inhabits, but it prefers more moderate climates. 

The short spikes allow this breed to release and flee instead of curling into a ball as other hedgehogs do. It’s much faster than most hedgehogs. They can reach up to just over eight inches in length. 

Indian Long-Eared Hedgehog

The Indian Long-eared hedgehog may have a similar name to the long-eared hedgehog, but that’s the only thing they really have in common. The Hemiechinus collaris are found in Northwestern India and Pakistan. The tiny hedgehog typically measures about six inches in length and has a dark appearance. A fun fact about this hedgehog is that to impress females, it will perform a ritual dance. 

Brandt’s Hedgehog

Brandt’s hedgehog, or Paraechinus hypomelas, is found in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It’s named after the man who discovered the breed, Johann Friedrich Von Brandt. He was a director a the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences Zoological Department. Similar in size to the common hedgehog, Brandt’s hedgehog has large ears, a dark body, and reaches around ten inches long. 

Like many other species of hedgehog, this little guy will curl into a ball, but he will also jump to surprise any attackers he may meet. 

Desert Hedgehog

The Desert hedgehog, or Paraechinus aethiopicus, is one of the smaller species of hedgehog, and it’s found in the desert climates of the Middle East and North Africa. They reach about six inches in size, features long quills, and protects themselves by curling into a ball. The Desert hedgehog is difficult to harm. 

Indian Hedgehog

The Indian hedgehog, otherwise known as Paraechinus micropus, has similar markings to a raccoon’s mask. Typically found in Pakistan and India, this species loves the high mountain areas with access to water. The hedgehog is speedy and only measures about six inches long. They are omnivorous and often eat frogs and toads. 

Gaoligong Forest Hedgehog

The Gaoligong forest hedgehog, or Mesechinus wangi, is the most recently discovered species in China, making it the seventeenth breed of hedgehog known. As there’s not much known about this species, they hibernate for almost half of the year, and their population is believed to be relatively small. They are native to the subtropical forest areas of Mt. Gaoligong. It’s unknown how large they grow to be. 

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