Handsome is as handsome does!
Nah, it's alright. Hopefully it's now patrolling my cabbage patch...
Victoria Sponge wrote (see)
Handsome is as handsome does! Nah, it's alright. Hopefully it's now patrolling my cabbage patch...
Do you use slug pellets on your cabbage patch? If a hog eats a slug or snail that has eaten slug pellets the hog will be poisoned. There is no treatment for slug pellet poisoning and the hog will die a painful death ( unless someone take it to be PTS by a vet ). Weedkiller also is a killer of hogs. They get it on their paws and ingest it by licking their paws to clean them. Again, no treatment and fatal. Apologies if I sound like a harbinger of doom.
What do you think happened to the parents/mother?
What do you think happened to the parents/mother?
Once the babies become independant of mum ( at around 6 weeks ) she will leave them to go into hibernation. These babies then find themselves in a situation where their natural food sources are declining and the weather is worsening as winter approaches. A hog needs to be at least 650g to be able to survive hibernation. Most of my hogs are well over that weight ( I catch them up and weigh them before they hibernate). The babies cannot gain enough weight to hibernate and most will die. They also eat lots of slugs and snails as there is little else to find. A few internal parsites do a hog no harm but lots of parasites do. All of the babies I have taken in have had heavy burdens of crenasoma, capillaria or fluke and its not uncommon to find more than one type of parasite in a hog. They need to be treated with drugs tailored to whatever parsite they have. There are other reasons why a hog may have a heavy parasite burden too but I'm starting to go off at a tangent here. I could write reams and reams about hoggies but I don't want to bore everyone to death
I'll just add that the above is what happens to litters born later in the year - those born in June and July should have no problem in most years getting up to hibernation weight. However, some sows will have two litters a year.
Last year, as the warm weather continued well into the autumn I understand that there were quite a few late litters resulting in some very underweight little ones needing support over the winter.
Hi Hartleyhare, Dove,
I understand reading above, that is why it is often said that a hedgehog in the daytime late in the year requires help? It is underweight and is trying to put on weight for winter.
Ref the slug pellets & weedkiller, I have none in my garden as I decided to turn 'wildlife friendly' when I bought this property. Maybe that's why the critters have moved in- I also found a frog today
I admit I have used both in the past though.
Yes Victoria Sponge - that's exactly it, he may be desperately trying to find food, or he may just be chilled and unwell, or suffering from a heavy worm infestation.
However, we've watched 'our' Hefty out and about during the day late in the year and he's a very stout fellow compared with the other hogs that visit us - he tends to go into hibernation late, waiting for our ash trees to drop their leaves - then on a dry day he'll gather leaves for his hibernaculum - I think he's sussed out that in November/December leaves tend to be damp at night but on a sunny day they're dry - it's great watching him busily snuffling about with leaves in his mouth.
So Hefty lives in a proper house?
There was someone on here a while back who said theirs lived in a pampas clump; I wasn't sure if that was you?
'My' hedgehog makes slight modifications to the log pile every few days. I chucked my dried out annuals on it last year to make it a bit cosier for prospective tenants and it pulled them inside the pile, so I'll probably do that again this back end. I always keep the fallen leaves too that get blown in off the street.
It would be nice to keep it for as long as poss.
We have a Chapelwood hedgehog house and every winter a hedgehog uses it, but we don't investigate until after they've woken up in the spring - when we clean it out and pop a bit of bedding back to make it feel like home again. So we don't know whether it's used by Hefty or one of the other regulars. The garden was so overgrown when we moved here that the ivy had pulled the fences down and we had to clear a lot of undergrowth to get new fences put up - now we're busy planting more 'undergrowth' for the hedgehogs and birds, but in the meantime we feel responsible for providing them with some accommodation
Yes, I understand- I pulled out existing habitat to replace with different/nicer habitat. It would be nice to leave areas totally wild but is not always practical- I have a small suburban garden.
I planted some strips of mixed hedging inside my boundary fence as it seemed like the best I could do to provide some shelter.
I brought my future mother-in-law a hedgehog house for Christmas (she'd been dropping hints all summer to the family and so got her gift early (since it'd be no use at Christmas!!) You can get some really "pleasing" designs while your own wildlife areas develop.