Home › Forums › Carers / rescuing a hedgehog › Juvenile's late in year, time to rescue? › Reply To: Juvenile's late in year, time to rescue?
I agree with Penny’s advice. I would recommend that you try and support them as much as you can outside – supply a suitable nesting box and bedding and position this somewhere protected that they can find readily – if you haven’t got habitat options available already. In addition – keep the food coming.
Taking a hog in to overwinter is a massive commitment, fraught with tensions and often emotional upset. as little ones they don’t tend to hibernate easily or know to hibernate when brought in, so they can become very stressed when captive and this can become very distressing for people who are trying to do the right thing as you see them in this state for many months. They often don’t make it through complex parasite burden and or stress. they are quite dirty and smelly and require routine cleaning, warm temperatures day and night and a quiet environment to hide in (not the garage!)
They can survive if supported through the winter outside and they have a secure habitat to use – the winter conditions also play a massive part – but you also cant keep putting them in and outside either – so you need to make a decision and stick to it really.
If you do decide to take them in, you should do so having thought about it and in having a good network to rely on for immediate checks, information and ongoing checks and support – like a local hog expert (not just the vet – most of whom need training themselves on hogs) and also knowing the consequences and responsibility. You will need to have the equipment, hutches, food and bedding. feeding captives can also create problems!
We have overwintered for many years and each and every time I conclude to bring any in its not an easy choice -also I feel terrible about making them captive animals, even with such a strong network of support from our local hog expert, who I would never manage without the advice of.
Such a huge relief, if they do make it, and many don’t, to get them re-released many months later – leaving you thinking you don’t ever want to have to do that again.
sorry if it all sounds very negative – but be warned!