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Autumn Juvenile Advice – Hugh Warwick

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Autumn Juvenile Advice – Hugh Warwick

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    I saw that too Penny – good advice. I have to say its also timely because I do feel slightly concerned that whilst hedgehog supporter numbers are increasing, which is fantastic, so it seems to follow that we hear of people plucking hogs out of the wild for various reasons and taking them inside, thinking they are doing the right thing, when in fact they are often best left in the wild but perhaps with a little support from us to survive in their natural habitat. maybe I’m being overly concerned though, not sure?


    A good link Penny enjoyed reading it. What it says to me is that even more people now are aware of the hedgehogs plight and want to help. Which is a good thing, as they need all the help they can get.
    But also people Need to be more aware of their actions in removing a hedgehog from the wild. Carers are probably now getting inundated with young hogs that are probably well and don’t need caring for. Probably because it is small and thinking it cant care for itself. They the hogs have been around plenty long enough to know how to care for themselves. The healthy ones that is.
    Supplying food and water by us humans are probably in the main, all they need.

    I have had young hedgehogs that I have fed and watered through winter without any problems. They have a nice cozy nest somewhere and just came out for food. They are a lot more robust than people think.



    Absolutely, I am finding people getting quite forceful about having their hedgehogs rescued even though there is nothing wrong with them.
    It’s a fine line between people ignoring them when they do need help and getting it when they don’t


    I have a juvenile coming to our feeding station and eating the biscuits up with gusto several times a night. He first popped up late September and since then has gained in size and looks lovely and healthy. I am a firm believer in a hands-off approach and would only intervene where I think the hedgehog needs help. So I don’t even weigh any of the hogs that visit, and prefer to trust the hedgehog knows best. He has ample food and water and so can decide if or when he wants to hibernate. I hope I am not being overly naive in this approach?


    Hi LynnMc,

    sounds like you have the balance right to me. They will put on weight very quickly with a regular and good nutritious food supply and that will be obviously visible. I take the same approach with any local ones I see – leave well alone unless there are signs they are in trouble or need help and only then to catch them, check them over for anything obvious and seek support from my local hog expert contacts, who are brilliant.


    I think the key is that, “a hedgehog weighing less than 450 grams will not survive hibernation” but that is if they choose to hibernate. As many of us have witnessed, if they have access to a plentiful supply of food, they quickly put on weight and don’t seem to hibernate until they are ready, sometimes in spite of sub zero temperatures and some even choosing not to hibernate at all. As long as they look healthy and show no signs of distress I leave well alone.

    Speaking of which, we have a large brute still visiting who I think is starting to show signs of lungworm. It started with the occasional cough about a week ago and now I can hear very faint rattly breathing, could it just be a cold or do I need to get him checked out?


    Hi All, yes, I try to provide a good all round environment with multiple feeding stations and water. The camera showed quite a small juvenile in September who is putting weight on rapidly now, thank goodness. He runs around at such a speed, yet will settle to feed. He even pushed his way past an adult to get to ‘his’ dish. I live in the south and hope temperatures stay favourable for a while yet. They do like to leave numerous calling cards in the greenhouse!


    Hi Penny, yes please get him checked out


    Thank you Stef, will do. Since I’ve been keeping an eye out for him, he’s started waiting until my backs turned to put in an appearance…I’m sure they are telepathic! 🙂


    Good luck Penny, hope you secure this one.
    I tried to humanely trap a hog with a broken leg only to catch the wrong one. The hog with the broken leg did heal and after a time would scratch himself in front of the camera with it!


    first challenge is to catch the patient! that’s quite a funny story TawnyKyn – apparently they have high pain thresholds – which is a relief considering what they are faced with. Must be so many in the wild that suffer broken legs etc and simply have to get on with it.


    You were certainly right about the ‘challenge’ Jan-Marie; nothing to do with our prickly friends is ever straight forward is it! For the last week the patient has been the only hog visiting, so as long as he showed up before the early hours, it should have been a doddle…But no, he only decided to turn up in force with one of his mates didn’t he! Thankfully – or not – his heavy breathing gave him away, so mission accomplished he is now in the safe hands of a local carer. And yes he is a large brute, weighing in at just under 1.3 kilos. Breathing apart, he looked to be in good shape with no ticks for a change and he curled up into the tightest ball that I’ve ever seen, so hopefully he’ll be back fit and well soon.

    Reassuring about your hog with the broken leg TawnyKyn. One of our visitors was picked up on camera with what looked to be a scar running all the way under his chin from one side to the other. He carried on stuffing his face night after night without so much as a wince, so I assumed that it was an old war wound. As the weeks went by it gradually faded to nothing, so it must have been a gaping wound and not a scar, quite disturbing as to how it got there though.


    Wow- 1.3 kilos is a homper alright! We had one that hit the scales at 1.2 kilos and had to keep him in awaiting a release post treatment. It was difficult keeping his weight under control, but he was healthy and curled into a tight ball even at that weight. He was such a gentle hog too and handsome I always thought – if it’s something to consider them to be. Let’s hope your homper gets cleared of his condition and gets his freedom back. Cold weather upon us next week now.


    Well done Penny, good news and I wish this one a speedy recovery.

    Not looking forward to the colder weather this week. The juvenile visitor is eating continuously through the night and has grown a lot this last couple of weeks. Its hard to gauge the size/weight but he looks rounded at the back and his spines now sense the tunnel leading into the igloo and he is beginning to crouch going through.

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