Burrowing

May 27, 2013 by

Burrowing

Natural Instinct

  • Hedgehogs sleep during the day in any dark place that they can find.
  • In the wild, they may hide from other animals in vacated burrows, under rocks, or in thick vegetation.  They typically dig their own shallow burrow under some form of cover.
  • They enter and exit their burrows headfirst, so the burrows or hiding places must be large enough for the hedgehog to turn around.
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Cage Activity

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  • In captivity, hedgehogs enjoy burrowing, and if a hedgehog escapes, it will hide in any dark, quiet place it can find.
  • Ideally, the hedgehog’s cage is large enough to provide an igloo or other object in which they can hide.  This not only provides hedgehogs with environmental enrichment, but with a better sense of security as well.
  • The Lixit® igloo and a sleeping bag together provide a great place for a hedgehog to burrow in its cage.

Escaped Hedgehog

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  • When a hedgehog escapes, it will almost always look for a place to burrow and hide.
  • Some of these places may include:  in shoes, behind appliances, under furniture, or under clothes. 
  • Usually hedgehogs will first travel around the outer edges of the room, looking for a place to hide.

Handling Challenges

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  • Many hedgehogs will try to burrow into their human friend to find a warm, cozy place to sleep.
  • Almost all hedgehogs will root and wiggle their way into the crook of your arm to find a warm place to sleep, if they are given an opportunity.
  • Should your hedgehog find you as a safe place to burrow and sleep; seize this as an excellent bonding opportunity!
  • Some hedgehogs are adventurous enough to try to crawl up sleeves or even pant legs.

Primary Author: Gail Dick, Millermeade Farm’s Critter Connection

Contributors: Jamie Hand, MaryLynn McDermott 

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