Home › Forums › Carers / rescuing a hedgehog › Looking after a baby hedgehog › Reply To: Looking after a baby hedgehog
I’ve copied your questions below with responses.
In the light of the fact you are unwilling/unable to take the hog to a carer then this is my advice – APOLOGIES FOR THE CAPS BUT CAN’T FIND HOW ELSE TO SHOW RESPONSES
ADD DRIED FOOD TO WHAT YOU’RE GIVING HER TO HELP WITH DENTAL ISSUES
THE PROBLEM WITH HOGS IN CAPTIVITY IS THAT ANY PARASITIC BURDEN THEY HAVE CAN BECOME WORSE BECAUSE OF STRESS TO THE POINT IT BECOMES OVERWHELMING. VALE WILDLIFE CENTRE WILL ANALYSE A POO SAMPLE IF YOU SEND IT TO THEM AS MAY YOUR NEAREST CARER OR VET
PLEASE CONTACT THE BHPS AND FIND YOUR NEAREST CARER. ALL THESE QUESTIONS YOU NEED ANSWERS FOR WILL HAPPILY BE GIVEN AND THEY WILL BE ON HAND FOR ANY ISSUES
How often is best to clean out a hedgehog? ( EATING AREA DAILY, SLEEPING AREA WEEKLY OR AS REQUIRED )
We’ve been keeping her indoors in a large indoor dog crate with a combination of torn up newspaper and dead leaves – with intentions to move her to/attach a larger dog pen and include a tray with dirt from outdoors, sticks, etc, to make it as natural as possible for her. Her bed has been a cardboard box inside the dog crate full of torn up newspaper and leaves.
CONSIDER MOVING THE CRATE TO YOUR GARAGE OR SHED. UNLESS SHE STARTS TO HIBERNATE IT’S BETTER TO TAKE HER OUT OF THE HEAT AND HUMAN ENVIRONMENT. ALSO ADD HAY TO THE BEDDING AS IT’S WARMER
We’re replacing the box today as she’s been weeing in it but keeping some bedding so the smell is familiar to her.
At first we were cleaning the box out daily but we’ve reconsidered and switched to weekly because we believe that even though it smells, she prefers it that way – are we correct?
YES THEY GET STRESSED IF THEY CONSTANTLY MOVE TO NEW SMELLS
– Handling-wise – considering Miranda is obviously wild and we have the full intention of returning her to the wild – BUT we’re not sure when this will be depending on whether she puts on enough weight to hibernate this winter or whether we have to overwinter her – is it better to handle her less for now (which we have been), or handle her more just for the moment to make cleaning her out less stressful for her, but wean her off of human contact gradually before releasing her?
DO NOT HANDLE ANY MORE THAN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY – EG WEIGHING. WHEN MUCKING OUT USE SOME OF HER BEDDING TO GENTLY PUSH HER OUT OF THE WAY
DO NOT TALK TO HER
AS YOU HAVE BROUGHT HER IN ALREADY AT THIS TIME OF YEAR YOU WILL NOW BE LOOKING AT OVERWINTERING HER
– Sort of following on from the last question: Last night we changed her bedding (after nearly a week) as she had dragged a large amount of leaves out (we don’t know whether on purpose or by accident) and wondered if it was because they were dirty. When I got her out (late evening I believe) I was really worried at first because she was curled up more tightly than I’ve seen her so far. I was worried that she had either gone into hibernation or passed away. Then like it was nothing she just woke up and acted as normal. I feel like I’ve read that underweight hedgehogs aren’t able to curl up as tightly/well whereas fatter hedgehogs can. Could this be a good sign that she’s gaining weight? Or could she have curled up more tightly because she was stressed at being handled as we’ve been making a point to handle her minimally lately – which brings me back to the above question!
SHE WAS PROBABLY ASLEEP AND THEN FRIGHTENED AND CURLED UP. UNLESS HOGS ARE VERY SICK OR TOO FAT THEY CAN CURL UP
– And lastly – I’ve read that hedgehogs can roam for miles a night, but do they come back to a specific ‘home’? Plan to set up some hog houses in the garden at some point (we have a lot of long grass and sticks/overgrown spots in our garden so would likely be perfect for hedgehogs. But would be interesting to know if upon releasing Miranda, there would be a chance of her setting up home in our garden and returning frequently?
FEMALE HOGS TEND TO HAVE SEVERAL NESTS IN A SMALLER AREA – MALES ROAM FURTHER. IF SHE LIKES YOUR GARDEN SHE MAY STAY BUT IT’S ANYONES GUESS
We honestly wouldn’t be caring for Miranda if we didn’t believe we could provide at least adequate and hopefully good care for her whilst we are lucky enough to have her. Anything I need to know I will willingly learn and I have a decent amount of free time to dedicate to her – would really appreciate some more help, please and thank you! 🙂
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR NEAREST CARER – THEY ARE ALWAYS HAPPY TO HELP