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Hedgehogs

Hi. 

We have rehomed hedgehogs from a volunteer. A lot of them move on but we have one three legged hog  that seems to stay around our garden. 

Over the last few days she's started coming out at 6 pm so still light and looking for food. She seems well but would we need to take her back to volunteers or are there reasons it could be normal. 

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  • Ps we call it rebel rebel.as we don't know if it's a boy or a girl !

  • The_herpetologistThe_herpetologist West YorksPosts: 481

    Not sure about this one. Might depend on a few factors eg the extent to which mobility is impaired, how rich in insects your garden is and the availability of fresh water . shelter. If you're able to provide for her needs then I would probably just monitor her weight. If she looks to be struggling to gain weight, especially in the autumn months before hibernation, you may wish to contact the local Hedgehog rescue for advice. Even some 4-legged hogs can struggle to gain enough weight to see them over winter so worth getting your scales out.

    I put out dried mealworms and cat food for our hogs in late August / Sept, just to give them that helping hand in the critical months before hibernation.

  • Yes we are feeding her every night, mealworms, cereal and dog biscuits alternating. Plenty of water and she's nesting in a purpose build hedgehog hotel we made. 

    It's the coming out early ish that worries us. But she eats the food and goes off into the corner of the garden under the tree. We don't mow the edges or use pesticides.

    She looks lively enough but obviously has mobility problems.  I was worried maybe there's not enough insects as we are due to go away for a few night in a few weeks.  

    Will probably tell my volunteer if it continues. Thank you very much for your reply. 

  • iceice Posts: 332

    There's a hedgehog thread. Apparently dried dog food it best, mealworms are junk food and rot their teeth. Hopefully someone from that thread sees this and can help!. 

    Ps very happy you have a hog, I'd love one to visit!

  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    Yes, I echo ice's sentiments, ease up on the mealworms and stick to meat flavoured dog or cat biscuits (they are great for self cleaning their teeth) image Do you have a feeding station to ensure none of the local cats & foxes are taking the food instead? 

    If he/she is preparing a nest or moving sites, it'll be normal to see them around in the day, although they'll have a clear route & not wandering or laying in the sunshine. As it's 2 hours or so before sunset, I wouldn't be overly concerned if weight requirements are fine & he/she is eating normally. It sounds like the hog is acclimatising to being outside of the rescue & creating a routine. If ever unsure, get a second opinion.

    Do you have hedgehog highways? e.g. gaps in gates or fences so the hog can explore other areas for food? They regularly travel up to a mile a night in search of food sources.

    More advice on our thread here:

    http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/wildlife-gardening/help-save-the-hedgehogs-part-ii/993170-5.html#latest

    Last edited: 25 April 2017 21:02:30

  • Thank you so much. I will make a feeding station tomorrow! There have been cars around but I have been lucky enough to watch the hedgehogs ( we have two around the garden) finishing off the food. It does wander to the front garden ( no cars there either) but it doesn't seem to wander far and we have hedgerows around the house and I know there at no pesticides as we had a sparrow hawk dead in the garden. You can send them off to a research project and it came back clear of any harmful chemicals. 

    Will let you know how we get on and thanks for the help  

  • I don't know if this helps, but whenever we went away, when we had a cat, we had one of those timer controlled cat feeders, that provided up to 5/6 meals at regular 12/24 hour intervals.

    It sat on an ice pack, which obviously only kept everything cool for a day, but with dry biscuits it wasn't a problem.

    Wondering if your hog would be able to feed from something like that, when you're not around?

    I think it was by PetMate.

    Wish I had hogs in our garden! Too small and in inner London...

  • Thanks. That sounds like a good idea . I can put it in a feeding station so the cats can't get it instead x 

    Thanks for the feedback x 

  • Good point!

  • Mark56Mark56 Windsor, BerkshirePosts: 1,653

    Fantastic ideas, let us know how you get on Eileen image Jess sneak into Regent or Hyde Park at night, there's a massive colony there! 

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