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Hedgehogs near extinction

After advice on here that any small hedgehogs (less than 650g or small enough to fit into your hand) should be rescued at this time of year and taken to a hedgehog rescue centre as they just won't be big enough to make it through the winter hibernation, I took along two very small hedgehogs to my local centre last night.  A lovely lady there has taken them and will over-winter them, feed them up and then release them next Spring.  She informed me that hedgehogs were on the Endangered Species list for some time, but that they have now moved onto the Near Extinct list.  I had no idea they were in such trouble.  You can find a local carer for small or injured hedgehogs at - this is a limited list but they might be able to point you in the right direction.  You can also try or ask on  I found a local carer in the Yellow Pages. Poor old hedgehogs have hardly anything to eat these days now that gardens are so neat and insects are nowhere near as plentiful as plentiful as they used to be, and then we also lose so many of them on our roads. For anyone who is interested in helping their local hedgehogs, they really like dried mealworms or cat biscuits (especially chicken flavoured) and often need a bowl of water as they get very thirsty (not bread and milk as this is very bad for them).  The lady at the rescue centre last night told me that if they are in trouble and are injured or ill, ginger biscuits are very good for them as they settle the stomach and provide them a source of good, quick energy, although they shouldn't be used for healthy hedgehogs.  In a lot of areas hedgehogs haven't hibernated yet and this is their last chance to fatten up so that they can make it through the winter.  Thanks image



  • Our hedgehogs are still out and about, visiting the feeding stations in our garden and we put hedgehog food out every evening, a mixture of hedgehog biscuits from the garden centre, plus some chopped peanuts, banana chips and dried mealworms.  There is also a bowl of fresh rainwater for them every evening.  We've bought a hedgehog house and made a couple out of strong fruit boxes, and at least one of the fruit boxes appears to have been claimed as a home.  The hedgehogs we've seen in the garden have all been 'substantial' but we're keeping our eyes open for littlies, just in case.

    Thanks for posting the links Lunarz, they'll be easy to find if we need them image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • BenDoverBenDover Posts: 480
    I'm currently baby sitting a small hedgehog weighing less than 300g. I found it on the doorstep on Tuesday. Have been ringing around rescue places but they don't answer or it goes to voicemail. I appreciate moat rescue places are run by volunteers so will keep trying.

    The hedgehog is in a guinea pig hutch in the conservatory and has plenty of food and water - ate a 100g chicken terrine on the first evening and another 50g in the morning. It has ignored the dry cat biscuits, and mealworms I normally put out for the birds. I've put in plenty of hay, and a bought a grass tube from Pets at Home, which it especially enjoys sleeping in during the day. I know there are other hedgehogs frequenting my small garden as the food I put out is being eaten. I think this juvenile may be one (and only?) of their young as the two that I regularly see in the evening were doing hedgehog courting rituals on my patio in the late summer.
  • Our visiting hedgehogs love sunflower hearts and broken bits of banana chips, and their favourite 'Hedgehog food' is the Chapelwood hedgehog food that we buy on Amazon - about £4 ish inc p&p.

    Good luck - I think he'll need to be kept warmish to prevent him going into hibernation - Tiggywinkles have an overwintering fact sheet here in case you've not found it.

    image Any chance of photos ?

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FloBearFloBear Posts: 2,281

    Tim Burr, it might be worth asking at a few local vets to see if there's anyone there who would look after an underweight hoggy. A friend of mine managed to pass hers on to one of the vet nurses who had another one she is over-wintering. Sounds as if he/she is having a lovely life at yours, though!

  • About half an hour ago OH was washing up after lunch and  called out that there was a hedgehog wandering around the garden - it had been under the garden bench at the end of the garden (one of the feeding stations) and then gone into one of the home-made hedgehog houses behind the hydrangea.

    I'm wondering what it's doing out in the middle of the day (albeit in quite a shady place) - it's a big healthy hog - I'm wondering if it's been looking for dry leaves from the garden for it's hibernaculum - there are lots of fallen leaves and they are fairly dry now but they would've been very wet overnight, in fact every night recently has been quite wet. 

    A couple of weeks ago I put some hay under that garden bench and it all disappeared, with a trail leading to that hog house so I've put some more out there just now, and put some food in the bowls and fresh rainwater in the drinking bowls.

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • BenDoverBenDover Posts: 480
    Great news. Have found a local rescue that is willing to take Spike. Will be dropping him off in the morning. Thanks for all your support folks.
  • Good luck Spike - hope to hear you've made it through to Spring image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Having checked the feeding stations around our garden this morning, the bowl nearest the hog house has been emptied, but the others around the garden have not, which is unusual.  Some of the hay has been taken and there is a trail of hay going into the hog house - I think hibernation is imminent.

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LunarzLunarz Posts: 93

    Great to hear that Spike has found a home Tim - great news image.  Dovefromabove, I was worried about hedgehogs being out in the day earlier this year but apparently it is usual for them to forage for leaves in the day time, both for hibernation and also earlier in the year for making nests to breed.  How lovely for you to have them hibernating in your garden - I bought a 'hogitat', but it has remained empty so far....

  • Hi, yes I thought that might be the reason - the leaves are very wet overnight.

    We bought a rather posh Chapelwood hog house, which I think may be being used, as I've seen a hedgehog looking out of there, and there are definitely leaves being taken in there.  

    The one I made was out of a sturdy fruit box, with a covering of polythene stapled to it (with an air vent) and I put some fresh pet hay in there and put it facing into a sheltered corner  which makes a little sort of tunnel to the opening.  I've heaped the  old sweetcorn stalks from the garden over it to add to insulation, and in front of it is quite a large potted hydrangea, for more protection - I put some banana chips in the entrance and the hedgehogs found it straight away and seemed to approve image  I think it's quite cosy - I'd like it if I were a hedgehog image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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