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Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Help With Healthy Juvenile in Town… Reply To: Help With Healthy Juvenile in Town…

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Hi teebee

Re. the feeding. It’s best to stick to cat/dog/kitten/puppy food or proper hedgehog food. Give all the rest a miss. Nuts are not good and fruit is not a natural diet. The hogs natural diet is high in protein which they convert in to the particular types of fat they need for hibernation, so feeding fat is not necessary. Mealworms a definite no. If the hog eats all the food you give it, then offer it some more. If remaining in captivity, if all is gone one night, give it a bit more the next. (hopefully it will not need to be in captivity for very long)

It’s a bit worrying that you found the little one out in the daylight, and ideally would be good to get it checked over, but if you don’t have the opportunity, that can’t be helped. It may just have been very hungry or thirsty. Very important that you offer water all the time.

The advice about weights they can survive hibernation is a bit variable, because it depends a bit on weather conditions in particular areas, whether you are supplementary feeding, etc. But it’s really more the timing which is variable rather than the actual weight. The main thing is that the recommended minimum weight to survive hibernation is 450g late Autumn to Winter, but 600g for a hog which has been long term in captivity (because a hog which is released after a fairly long spell in captivity is likely to lose some weight on release). These are generalisations, to a degree – some hogs may survive below those weights.

If all the over-winterers are full, I would be inclined to let the hog go (they put on weight very quickly if supplementary fed and it is quite near the minimum weight). But continue providing food and water for it. Ideally it should be released back where it came from, so if you know anyone in that area, you might be able to persuade them to continue feeding and providing water for the hoglet. Hogs learn to know their own areas very well and it may already have built or be in the process of building a hibernaculum. It will do much better in it’s home territory. If you release it where you are it may not stay there.

If you need to keep it for longer, I agree, I would try to keep it in a comparatively cool place, i.e. not a centrally heated room, if possible.

If you are still unsure what to do. You might try ringing BHPS again in the morning, when the staff will be there.

p.s. crossed with simbo65’s post. Sorry for the repetition.
p.p.s. Not the fount of all knowledge – but do my best!