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Advice On Weighing A Juvenile

Home Forums Champions’ chat Advice On Weighing A Juvenile

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    After reviewing last night’s camera footage it seems a small juvenile is now visiting my garden for food. Right now I want to leave them to it and put out some more varied food for them. However I also want to weigh them as soon as possible to get an idea of how they are doing. Then I can get in touch with the BHPS for advice.

    I have never actually tried to weigh a hedgehog before. Any advice on the best way to go about it?


    Dead easy to do. Kitchen scales and a container that’s big enough and will fit on the scales. I’ve used pyrex bowls and plastic food storage boxes before now. If your scales have a tare function then zero the weight of the container before putting the hog in or take a note of the weight of the empty container. Pair of gloves, grab one hedgehog, place in the container and weigh it.

    Obviously do it as quickly as you can to minimise the annoyance so get everything ready before grabbing the hog.


    Herewith a very under-impressed hoglet being weighed…


    I tend to use a high sided poly bowl – which makes it difficult for hog to escape (which is a challenge in itself as they are all little Houdinis) – and also gives you an opportunity to have a check all around them and underneath when they are sat in the bowl (or scrabbling around trying to escape).

    recommend to do any weighing on the floor though or close to it and in a place where if they do escape, they can be readily retrieved from – as they will try and climb and jump out – which would be a disaster if they fall from a height or escape and wedge themselves somewhere that you cant get them out of!

    softer lighting, quiet environment and don’t talk to them, or at them – they don’t like us remember – are all tips to be encouraged too.

    good luck!

    Avatar photo

    Hi AlanB

    To minismise stress, I would have your scales outside, ready to weigh, so that you don’t have to take the hoglet indoors – unless it is underweight, of course. Also, as WilliamC says, gloves to hand.

    I would also have a container all ready in case you have to take the hoglet in. So that it can be quickly put in there (again with minimum stress). So, high sided box or pet carrier with bedding, which can be torn up paper, hay, etc. but enough so that the hoglet can hide in it. Also have some sort of containers ready for food and water, in case you need to take a little one in. I usually put loads of newspaper in the bottom of the box, because they will inevitably spill water and food all over the place and newspaper will help to absorb the water a bit.

    I usually use one of those 1litre ice cream containers to weigh in. An underweight hoglet will easily fit in. Some will just try to roll up, but others are ‘little houdinis’ as Jan Marie says.

    If you think a hoglet looks small, I would contact a hog rehabilitator BEFORE you catch the hoglet, to make sure there is somewhere you can take it with minimal delay.

    The most important thing, is to keep any stress and handling to a minimum.

    Good luck.


    Thanks for the advice all, it proved very useful.

    So it turned out that one juvenile was in fact two. I contacted a rescue to make arrangements and get some further advice and then last night was able to catch both of them and weigh them. They weighed in at 220g and 140g, so they spent the night with me before going to the rescue this morning.

    But the story doesn’t end there. When I checked last night’s footage from my cameras another small juvenile could be seen. So I was getting ready to try and catch that one tonight. But when I went out into the garden to clean up the mess the first two left in their temporary home, there was a small juvenile at a feeding station. At 2:30pm in the afternoon 🙁 .

    So I grabbed that one to and it is now with the rescue as well. I will put the cameras out again tonight to try and ensure there isn’t a fourth out there somewhere.


    Hi Alan,

    140g is very tiny! they are usually nearer to 200g weight when mum leaves them to get on with it, and 220g for a 2 year old doesn’t sound very healthy either, did they confirm an age from teeth? sounds like you have done the right thing – but its a difficult decision isn’t it. you never really know if you’ve got them all either when they appear in small ad hoc numbers
    rescues are very busy right now with similar circumstances – they need all the help they can get. did they confirm you will get them back for any re-release when ready, assuming they survive of course.


    sorry – just reread your post AlanB – my error – I thought you meant one hog had been determined as being 2 years old, when you meant you had 2 hogs not one. Doh! that makes more sense now….


    I did ask about release and yes they can come back to me. I think what I will do is see what the situation is here come April and hopefully they will make a return.


    oh – well that’s good – some rescues wont (usually the larger ones) as it becomes difficult to manage with large numbers and casualties along the way etc.
    fingers crossed they make it and see Spring time back on home ground.


    Just to finish off this tale. The following night after I got the third hedgehog to the rescue, another turned up on camera. So four in total. It to was too small to survive the winter and so is now at the rescue. It seems they are likely all siblings and apparently they are doing well. So fingers crossed they make it through the Winter and will be released back here in Spring.

    In the meantime two adult hogs are still visiting my feeders. But both are of a good size and should be fine for hibernation.


    Hi Alan b.
    Well done on getting all the little hoggies to a carer for overwintering.
    Please keep us posted if you know how they are doing. I find all the stories inspiring. At the moment we have a one eyed hedgehog visitor. He looked quite small when he first turned up but has been scoffing away for a couple of weeks and looks quite a bit larger now. He sleeps in our hedgehog house so keep feeding/watering and keeping everything crossed.


    Hi, I found a juvenile male on 2/11/18 weighing 457grms, well I thought! He then weighed again on 6/11/18 and weighed 617 grms, then weighed again on 19/11/18 650 grms, then on 13/11/18 he only weighed 608 grms . I then realised my digital scales were going up & down. Bought new scales , managed to catch him tonight and he weighs 560 grms 1/12/18. So an average of 25 grms a week , if I discard the other readings and trust that the initial weight was right. . I have spoken to wildlife rescues and he is living in our greenhouse hog hotel, living on Spikes semi -moist and worms etc from our large compost bin. The green house is all set up with dry leaves ,hay straw etc and has two houses etc. Seems happy and content . My worry is that it might be too cold for him , so do I bring him indoors for the winter? Will check poo tomorrow if it doesn’t look good will taken him to our local vets ,who are great with hogs. I found another juvenile 29/11/18 who weighes 361grms ( new scales!) Been to vet and they are happy that she is indoors . Wondering if these two are siblings and maybe others around, keeping close eye on feeding stations.


    Hi me again! Mistake, forgot that the male juvenile was re-weighed on new scales and weighed in at 608 grms , so has therefore lost weight, loss of 48 grms . Despite free range earthworms etc! Lively though! I’m going to bring him in tomorrow, for safety . Vets on Monday morning.

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