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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings I have a hedge hog in my garden Reply To: I have a hedge hog in my garden

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Hi trishP

Welcome to the Forum. It’s good to hear you have had hogs there.

The only way to be sure about the small hog is to weigh it. It depends a bit on whereabouts you are in the country and whether the hoglet is visiting every day for food, in which case they might get away with being a bit lighter at this stage, but the minimum recommended weight to survive hibernation is 450g late autumn.

Hoglets don’t normally mind being weighed, too much, especially if they can be released again straight away. So if you choose a dry night and if you have an outside light, I would put the scales outside ready, then scoop the hoglet up into a container (underweight hoglets usually fit easily into a 1 litre icecream container, which are handy to weigh them in), if over 450g, then let it go. You will need to wear gloves, their spines can be very sharp, especially if they roll up and some may be quite active and try to climb out of the container.

Have a box/pet carrier ready in case the hoglet is underweight. Newspaper on the floor as you will need to provide food and water which they might spill, and torn strips of paper for the hog to burrow into.

I would contact your nearest carer before catching the hog to see what weight they are recommending for this time of year in your area. Also to see if they have any space to take the hoglet in if necessary. You can find the number of your nearest carer from BHPS on 01584 890801.

If the hoglet is coming every day for food and it is close to the recommended weight, personally, I would be inclined to let it go. They tend to put on weight quite quickly at that stage. It’s a risk that they might go off and hibernate too early, but it’s also a risk them being in captivity. It can be very stressful for them and not all will survive. Any given weight is not a guarantee that a hog will survive hibernation. It is possibly the most dangerous time in a hog’s natural life and not all will survive.

Good luck. I hope the little hog is heavy enough and you can immediately release it. Let us know how you get on.