A female should NOT be bred under the age of 6 months, nor bred for the first time over the age of one year. The gestation period is about 35 days, but can be as long as 49 days. If you happen to find that your female has given birth, DO NOT disturb her for 2 weeks, with the exception of giving her food and water. How do you know there are babies in the nest? You will hear squeaks or chirps. Take out the wheel. Do not try to clean the cage until babies are weaned. Babies will start to eat out of mom’s food dish at about 4 weeks old. Babies will need to be weaned at about 6 weeks old. The males need to be separated from mom and sisters by 7 weeks of age.
How old should a male be before breeding? Males should be about 4 months old. But males and females alike, are capable of breeding at 7 weeks, but it is not healthy for them.
It only takes a couple of seconds for a male and female to breed, so never allow a male and female playtime together. Never house a male and female together. If they are housed together, the male will constantly be mating with the female. If they are together when she has babies, they will eat them.
Don’t breed your hedgehogs, because you want to experience babies, or you have friends that want a baby hedgehog. Breeding is not an easy, fast, money making proposition. You risk the life of your female, everytime you breed her.