16th November 2017 at 9:15 pm #8253
You might be interested in this link, too. https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/pdf/Hibernation-Weight.pdf
Where, if you scroll down you will also find reference to adult hedgehogs sometimes needing over-wintering too, with photos – similar to what you mentioned – of a nicely rounded hog and thinner, longer, underweight one.
I agree, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there. You have to be a bit discerning, but it is usually possible to navigate a way through, I find. I always think BHPS is a good place to start. As you suggest, a good dose of common sense comes in handy – as well as a lack of stubborness and defensiveness. I also agree, there is always more to learn about hedgehogs, but suspect they will always retain a certain element of mystery.17th November 2017 at 7:30 am #8255
You hit the nail on the head. Exactly what I meant.
Thanks for providing more info on this it’s very helpful for everyone.
You are right it’s a very busy time of year, they are coming in fast!28th November 2017 at 12:27 pm #8341
Last winter I fed hedgehogs every night outside all through the winter. I have a camera rigged up by the feeding station. This year I have at least four September born hoglets all seen feeding together. They know where to come for food as I have encouraged them all through the year with mealworms (when there is plenty of natural foods around) and hedgehog biscuits and water but stop giving them mealworms in the autumn these young ones don’t hibernate the adults have all hibernated. I have plenty of places for them to go for shelter eight hedgehog homes and plenty of woodpiles. I think if you normally put food at a feeding station you should carry on for the ones that are too young to hibernate. You shouldn’t assume all hedgehogs hibernate because I was surprised by my findings last year.28th November 2017 at 7:05 pm #8346
I know you are trying to help the hedgehogs, but mealworms don’t have good nutritional value for hedgehogs at any time of year. By feeding them mealworms, you may be encouraging them to eat those rather than something more nutritious, including natural foods they can find in the ‘wild’ during the Summer months. Please see the following regarding the dangers of mealworms.
It is really good that you have lots places for all the hedgehogs to go, but it isn’t safe to assume that because some of the hedgehogs didn’t hibernate last year that the hoglets this year will not try do so. Underweight hoglets may try to hibernate and then not have sufficient weight to survive. They may continue to come for food and they may not. So I agree, keep leaving food out, for any late hibernators – and all winter if you wish (it is quite common for there to be hoglets still around quite a long time after adults have gone to hibernate, but that doesn’t mean they won’t hibernate they just might hibernate later). With the very small underweight hoglets, it is likely that they won’t survive if they do try to hibernate. So if any of the hoglets are very small – under 450g they will probably need ‘rescuing’. Please see: http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/pdf/Hibernation-Weight.pdf
Hibernation is not related purely to food availability. Whilst some hedgehogs don’t hibernate, I believe that is the exception rather than the rule.
Good luck with the hoglets there. I hope they survive the winter one way or another.30th November 2017 at 10:23 am #8354
Thank you for the info I have stopped feeding mealworms in the quantity that I was and only put a small amount as a treat in the summer since seeing about the trouble with babies development. I now put out the Ark hedgehog food which has been specially developed for them with added vitamins they seem to love it (cats are not interested) and plenty of water.
I just wanted people to be aware that there can be hedgehogs around all through the winter. This morning there was one feeding at 6.15 in the morning and it was -1. I worry that people set up feeding stations and suddenly stop feeding them. I was really surprised by what I found out last winter when I fed them every day.1st December 2017 at 9:36 am #8367
I think you are probably right about some people giving up feeding too early. Sometimes hoglets appear a while after all the adults have gone to hibernate. I don’t think it is a bad idea to leave food out all winter at all. Hogs sometimes wake up during hibernation and might welcome a bite to eat and I always leave water out all the time. Also, one year, there was a hoglet here who had hibernated but was obviously too small and came out of hibernation early. Luckily I saw him, and managed to rescue the little chap. But I, also, didn’t want people to think that the little ones would just keep coming to feed if there was food there, because some just don’t and if they are to survive need rescuing.
I have got a bit of a problem this year, that a cat has appeared who eats food which cats are not normally interested in – there’s always one! I was then putting the food in the (I thought, cat proof) feeding box, but not only did the cat manage to get in, but then a hoglet decided to build a nest in there. So that has completely foiled my plan. Now I am spreading the food out a bit more and putting some long grasses lightly over the top. The current remaining hoglet seems to manage, but I hoped the cat might be put off. Only time will tell!30th January 2018 at 1:57 am #8523
Hi..this may sound silly to more experienced of you, but I have had a juvinile since Oct,she is from 6oz to now 20oz. I have her in a rabbit hutch in my house. .don’t handle her so she is still very wild. I wanted to know if I could let her wander around my garden at night,supervised and brought back in.? Just for exercise as she tried to get out every night …feel sly.30th January 2018 at 9:28 am #8524
I wouldn’t do that as it would mean frightening her every time you picked her up. At this stage I’d just leave it until spring and your wild hogs start turning up.
However if it’s a wooden hutch I would move it outside rather than being in your house – or into a shed/garage if it’s not watertight
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