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
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