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Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Looking after a baby hedgehog Reply To: Looking after a baby hedgehog


Hello All,

Can I just make a couple of points here – and apologies for any contradiction in advise above – but its important for the sake of the hog welfare.

1. Its essential you get the hog checked out by people who know what to look for – parasite burden isn’t readily visible and she can hide it for weeks, but it will kill her if she has it, and most do have it when checked, Tiggywinkles just treats all intakes due to the risk- you will regret not having her checked out if she dies – my local rescue contact will always take a posted sample, as will yours I expect – but if this comes back positive you must get her treated and this is a course that can take several weeks and months. you may already be too late in doing this.
2. The question of where to keep her – I’m sorry I don’t agree with the shed / garage – and this is for several reasons. if she is still small, then putting her in a dark place with no natural light pattern and no controlled temperature will first of all confuse her and then encourage her to hibernate, which will then kill her being underweight. small hogs under 600 / 700gms must be kept at a constant 18 to 20 deg C temperature to stop them hibernating and to encourage them to continue feeding until heavy enough to hibernate – if you get this balance wrong, she will die. All good rescues will try and stop small hogs hibernating until they are a good weight and show natural signs of wanting to – which they will only do if they can experience natural light and dark patterns. Only once naturally hibernating can they be moved into a shed or garage, only an experienced person would be able to assess this properly also – but must be checked regularly (not picked up nor weighed during this time)
3. cleaning out is highly hog dependent – some foul their sleeping areas and some don’t – if they foul their sleeping areas they should be cleaned out at least weekly, but not totally so their smell remains on bedding – if they don’t foul sleeping areas, then their nest can be left, its their only sanctuary from you when captive and only the external from nest areas cleaned out daily along with fresh water and food supplies
4. Feeding whilst captive is tricky – they will over eat and this is dangerous to their health – they should not go over 1kg whilst captive and they must be able to curl up into a tight ball – you are putting them at risk of heart problems and predator attack on release if you don’t manage this. diet bics are advised if they get plump.
5. Minimise handling and put them in a place where they get minimal visibility of you and any household noise (and response to the daylight levels that are so important to them) – like vacuum cleaners and TVs etc, children. Don’t talk to them, or at them, even softly, or hold them to your face, they don’t like it. Don’t put them out to run about in the evenings is not a good idea – and quite stressful for them – they are just trying to get away from you, as you are the biggest threat to them whilst they are with you – they aren’t pets or talking points to show off to guests either!
6. Don’t release her without getting advise on how to do this – as you’ve plucked her out of the wild you have a responsibility to put her back, but to do so in a way that doesn’t impede her ability to survive. I would suggest that as Winter draws in you are losing release options – but this is still possible under the right conditions. She probably wont stay in your garden either – but its always a good idea to put out hog houses and keep food supplies going through the winter anyway.

Please, Please contact a hog rescue – even if simply a phone call to chat – they will do their best to help you and to help the hog.