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Hedgehog Sight, Compatability And Age

Find out whether hedgehogs are colorblind, if they can live together and how they age.

By Jill Warnick
Posted: January 13, 2010, 5 a.m. EST

Q. Are hedgehogs colorblind? Would it be a good idea to house two male hedgehogs together? How do hedgehogs age — do they go through teenage years and such, or do they age like dogs (every year of a dog’s life is 7 human years)?

A. I will tackle each question individually.

Are hedgehogs colorblind? In Nigel Reeve’s book Hedgehogs, he suggests that the European hedgehog has mainly monochrome color vision, although it does appear to be able to distinguish some colors. For instance, he notes that "yellow was distinguished from all shades of grey and blue" in good light. I guess this could apply to all hedgehogs.

Would it be a good idea to house two male hedgehogs together? In general, I would say no, because most male hedgehogs will start to fight and certainly be stressed being housed in the same enclosure.

As to when baby hedgehogs should be separated, I have had two male siblings start fighting as early as 8 weeks of age and as late as 4 months of age. I’m sure that there are exceptions, but for the most part, house male hedgehogs by themselves. Female hedgehogs, on the other hand, can be housed together provided that there is enough cage space.

How do hedgehogs age? Hedgehogs live from four to six years on average. With excellent care, they might live longer. An aging chart would look something like the following.

Hedgehog Age       Human Equivalent Age
   6 months                    15 years
   1 year                         30 years
   2 years                       35 years
   3.5 years                     55 years
   4 years                        70 years
   5 years                        80 years
   6 years                        85 years
   7 years                        90 years

See more hedgehog expert questions and answers>>

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