Should Hedgehogs Be Out in The Day Time? [Real Facts]

Did you know that hedgehogs are nocturnal animals? This means they are active at night and sleep most of the day. However, hedgehogs have been known to show some crepuscular behaviors.

A crepuscular animal is active during dawn and dusk when there is low light.

So, what does this mean for hedgehogs being out in the daytime? Well, it is entirely possible that hedgehogs might be awake and out and about during the day if the light outside is similar to what it would be like during dusk or dawn time. It could be looking for extra food, nest materials, or simply exploring.

For example, a hedgehog might be awake if it is a cloudy day or a particularly bright night.

In such an instance, a hedgehog would be perfectly safe to be out and about and wouldn’t require any help or assistance.

On the other hand, there are some instances where a hedgehog that is out in the day shouldn’t be, which can cause concern.

Let’s take a look at different reasons why you might see a hedgehog out in the daytime and in which of those situations the hedgehog is alright and in which situations the hedgehog is likely in need of some help.

A Grown Hedgehog That Looks Busy

An adult hedgehog might be out in the daytime for many different reasons, such as a pregnant hedgehog looking for nest material or a parent hedgehog looking for some extra food and water for its babies.

If the hedgehog looks busy and is moving around, then it is probably alright and doesn’t need your help.

In such a case, keep your distance from the hedgehog and let it go about its business.

A Hedgehog Laying Still in the Sun

A healthy hedgehog will not voluntarily spend too much time out in the sun and will definitely not be sunbathing.

So, if you see a hedgehog out in the sun for a long time and not moving about much, there is a serious chance of the hedgehog being sick and in danger.

The hedgehog may be suffering from some kind of parasite, like worms.

In such a situation, you should probably gently pick up the hedgehog while wearing protective gloves and take it inside.

Wrap it up in a towel to keep it warm and take it to a vet or rescue center as soon as possible.

A Hedgehog Staggering Around, Dragging Its Legs, or Coughing

If you see a hedgehog that is out in the daytime and looks injured, then the chances are that it might need some help.

For example, if you see a hedgehog out in the day and staggering around as if it were drunk, it most probably has hypothermia and needs immediate help to warm up.

You can take the hedgehog inside, put it in a blanket, and put it near a heat lamp or a portable warmer or hot water bottle close to its body. When you’ve done that, you need to get the hedgehog to the vet immediately.

If you see a hedgehog out during the day and dragging one or both of its legs, the chances are that the hedgehog has injured its legs or spine somehow and is suffering from a fracture or a more severe injury.

Hedgehogs in the wild can easily get injured because they are very small and do not have a very good depth perception. An injured hedgehog needs to be taken to the vet as soon as possible.

However, you need to be extra careful when transporting it to keep its legs and spine stable and avoid further injury.

A coughing hedgehog likely has lungworm, which is when parasitic worms make their way into a hedgehog’s lungs, heart, and blood vessels.

The good news is that lungworm is curable with medication, so the hedgehog should be alright after a trip or two to the vet.

As for any other injuries like cuts, scrapes, minor bleeding, or missing quills, you can assume that the hedgehog got into a fight with another animal, or maybe it got hit by a car or bicycle.

In such an instance, you should take the hedgehog in and take it to a vet.

A Hedgehog That Is Stuck or Trapped

As hedgehogs are curious by nature and very small animals with long spines, they often get stuck or trapped in places they shouldn’t be.

So, there is a chance that a hedgehog went about exploring in the night only to get stuck somewhere, which is why you might see them outside in the daytime.

A trapped hedgehog might get trapped further if you try to get it unstuck, and this can lead to injury to its underbelly, feet, or spines.

Additionally, a trapped hedgehog might be very distressed and can get more stressed if it sees you approaching it.

In such a situation, your best bet would be to assess whether you can get it freed safely, and if you cannot, then you should call for help from a rescue center.

Baby Hedgehogs Out Without Their Mother

You might see baby hedgehogs out in the daytime and wandering about.

This is most probably because their mother is out foraging for food or nesting materials, and the babies are likely following the mother around.

So, you should observe the babies from a distance and see if their mother makes an appearance. In most cases, the mother will return and herd her babies back to their nest.

If the mother does not appear even after a long period of waiting and the babies start to make some distressed sounds, you should call someone from a rescue center to come and take them away.

Baby hedgehogs would not survive very long in the outdoors without their mother.

A Hedgehog That Looks Thin and Weak 

Another reason a hedgehog might be out in the daytime is if they are hungry and have struggled to find enough food. Such a hedgehog would appear to be very thin and weak-looking.

If you find such a hedgehog, you should gently take it inside to weigh it, or even better, take your scale out to where the hedgehog is and weigh it there.

If the hedgehog is underweight, you can give it some food. A healthy adult hedgehog should weigh between 10 to 17 ounces.

A Hedgehog That Isn’t Moving and Appears Dead

And lastly, if you see a hedgehog out during the day and it isn’t moving at all, it may be dead or seriously ill.

You should take that hedgehog inside and place it in blankets and with a hot water bottle. This will help you determine if the hedgehog is dead or just very still due to being cold and ill.

If the hedgehog is still alive, it will start to show small movements, at which point you can take it to the vet.

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