Hedgehogs and Quilling

What is quilling?

Quilling is the time when a young hedgehog starts to shed their baby quills and replace them with their adult quills.

Quilling normally starts between the eighth week or as late as six months. During this time you will notice several changes in your hedgehog. One of these changes is the fact you are going to start to see lots of quills being lost. Now keep in mind that it is common for an adult hedgehog to occassionally loose a quill or two, but during quilling your hedgehog may loose a dozen quills or more in one sitting. If you look closely at your hedgehogs skin during this time you will notice lots of new quills poking through the skin, this is the cause for the other major change that takes place, attitude change. Due to these quills poking through your hedgehogs skin, his skin is going to become quite tender and sore. Your hedgehog may have never balled up before this time, and now he won't uncurl and hisses and pops constantly. It is also common for a hedgehog to not eat as much during this time as well. Don't be alarmed, hedgehogs normally go back to their previous attitudes after the quilling ends. But make sure that you still handle your hedgehog during this time as some hedgehogs who were not handled during quilling continued to be huffy afterwards.

How long does quilling last?

Most reports I have read estimate the time it takes for hedgehog to stop quilling is one month (give or take a week).

Is there anything I can do to help relieve his tender skin?

One suggestion I have read is to give your hedgehog a warm bath. It will help soften his skin and to help the quills break through his skin easier. Run an inch or two of warm water. And bathe him as you normally would. You can also add a cap full of olive oil to his rinse water to help moisten the hedgehogs skin.