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I have seen young orphaned hoglets

No one can take cared of them as well as their mother but what if they are orphaned?

Keeping them warm (35°C) is of primary importance, absolutely vital.

We use Snugglesafe heat pads.

Once baby hedgehogs have reached a weight of 120/140g  and are weaned, they can no longer be described as an infant.

Normally when they are about 3 weeks old, their eyes are open,  and they start to grow hair on their bellies. Teeth will soon start to develop.

When they are found in difficulty they must certainly be rescued.

Here are the most frequent reasons why rescue and recovery may become necessary.

When certain the mum is dead

or has left for her own safety.

Destruction of the nest. 

Dog attack. 

Attack by other predators. 

Dangerous situations. (manholes, roads, presence of poisons).

Ricci piccoli assicurarsi che facciano la pipì. Progetto Riccio Europeo.

An example of the faeces of a healthy hoglet.

Un piccolo riccio

When we find a baby hedgehog it is always advisable to look carefully for any other brothers or sisters that might be also close by.


In fact, when they are so tiny, they are not yet ready to leave the nest to face the outside world alone.

Under 150g they will need also constant warmth which would naturally have been provided by their mother and siblings in the nest. 


When the little ones start to open their eyes (14th day of life) they will begin to lap the prepared milk mix (never cow's milk) by themselves.


It is necessary, if we have babies in rescue, to continuously feed them to support their rapid growth.

Of course, make sure they pee and poop. This would normally be done by the mum licking them.

So since there is no mum we have to do this to mimic how the mum would encourage them to go to the toilet.


We encourage this by helping them with gentle massages on the genitals (you can use olive or almond oil).

Their skin is still very, very delicate so this must be done very gently.

As soon as possible encourage them to feed on their own.


It is very important to start weaning babies at the right age.


We start by adding small amounts of a mousse for kittens (we use Royal Canin or Hill's) to the milk quite gradually. 

First in small doses, then increasing day by day, decreasing milk (never cow's milk).


By the time the hoglets weigh 150/170 grams, the milk should be completely eliminated and a diet based on wet food and kittens should be carried out.

Exceeding 150/170 grams the milk mix we make should be completely eliminated and a diet based on quality wet food and kitten cat biscuits should be carried out. Royal Canin Kitten biscuits is what we use. Shown at bottom of this page.


Managing a small hedgehog is really challenging. Meals must be administered regularly even at night.


The temperature must be kept constant.  

Proper cleaning is required each day.


Mortality is high if the young are managed by inexperienced hands.


For this reason, our advice is always to entrust them to a qualified centre.

These are the types of mousse we use.

Over 150/170 grams the milk mix must be withdrawn.

We use cat food for the young ones and also leave these outside in the winter.

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