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Autumn juvenile advice

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Autumn juvenile advice

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    I took in an autumn juvenile in the middle of October at 230g. She is now a lovely 596g and living in the spare room in a hutch. My question is: should I leave her inside for the rest of the winter or should she move out to the shed ( still in the hutch). I also have smaller hedgehogs in the same room. Should the bigger one be getting fresh air? But I dont want the small one to get cold if I open a window. Any advice welcome. My smallest one is 268g.


    Hi Jillian

    You’ll get lots of conflicting advice on this question. I’m assuming that your hogs have seen a carer and been checked over.
    I am an experience rehabillitator and as soon as the hog no longer needs treatment or close monitoring I would move it outside to a garage or shed if you have it. ( I also keep outside in hutches ) Some will say it’s too cold but I rarely find they properly hibernate in captivity and if it does try you could always either let it at that weight or bring it back in to warm up. If your garage or shed don’t have windows then you will need to use a light to substitute daytime.
    I would do the same for the smaller hog.
    I do not find that hogs like being in our houses, they are after all wild animals used to living in the wild, and to be frank I don’t think you’ll enjoy the smell after a while!

    Good luck


    Hi Jillian,

    I have just started fostering hogs for an experienced rehabilitator and agree with Stef. Once they are big enough they are moved into a hutch inside a shed and then outside. Whilst they are in the house I have found myself tip-toeing around so as not to disturb their sleep…well that’s my excuse for not doing the hoovering anyway! 🙂


    Thank you both for your advice.


    Hi, I have two juveniles. The first being a male weighing 560 grms , he has lost weight. On 13/11/18 he weighed 608 grms (weighed on new scales as previous were faulty! But he was tiny. Thought he weighed 457 grms ,not sure now, he may have been lighter. Poo looked o.k has been living in adapted green house for a month two houses lots of dry leaves hay etc . Give him earthworms from compost heap (natural) and Spikes semi-moist food .,water. I thought he had started hibernating as there wasn’t much movement seen . He comes out now and then and eats etc. Hoping he will poo on the slabs tonight so I can see if they look healthy(vets have told me what to look for regarding possible worms. I think I will move him indoors and I will get him to the vets for a check up. My hog carer is unable to help at the moment but always recommends this vet and a wildlife rescue centre with whom I have been talking to. Any other advice?


    Also have another juvenile in , girl ?, weighs 361 grms .has been to vet ,all o.k. Living in spare room now. Was in log cabin , but decided it was too cold, no heating in there. Only found her on 29/12/18 in feeding station. May be her and the Male are siblings, wondering if there are others around , keeping watch on various feeding stations. I was thinking that if they were in shelter that would be enough , but having read up on this etc it seems they should be kept in warmer conditions minimum of 15 degrees. Any other thoughts?


    Hi Barbara,

    Its useful to get accurate weights if you can as it helps to make the right decision. Its sounds as though they might both be borderline weights for survival based on what you have. Certainly its possible though for even tiny ones to survive in the wild if they have an environment that supports their needs. taking them in is very stressful – for you as well!
    The decision to overwinter is a significant one – and I would always be inclined to leave well alone if you know they are as healthy as they can be and that you are prepared to support them with a good food and water source through the winter.
    As you say – there may well be more of them – and I seem to recall having read somewhere that small siblings stand a better chance of survival when left together under such circumstances.
    The control of temperature you mention is really for indoor recuperation purposes – they typically recommend above average of 18deg C to reduce the risk of them hibernating and improve chances of them making a recovery if they have been ill. Once hogs are healthy and make a good weight they can be moved to cooler environment to encourage hibernation before release in the spring.
    Not sure if that helps your dilemma – but worth getting them a little check each from the wildlife vet or carer to help the decision.


    Hi Barbara
    One of my little girls had healthy looking poo but sent a sample to Vale as she wasn’t eating much and weight was fluctuating. She had an internal parasite problem that had needed vet prescribed meds. If their weight is not increasing consistently, I would have a sample looked at. Your vet may do it for a small charge or even free of charge. I have a microscope but need more practice with it. Good luck.


    Hi, thankyou for advice. It’s the male hog that I’m a bit concerned about. He was in our green house set up for him as natural as possible. He must have been smaller than the original weight ,which was 457 grms 2/11/18 ,but Ithink he was probably 50gr or so lighter, (faulty scales). Then he shot up in weight ( faulty ) scales, then started dropping. New scales went back up to 608 gr but then dropped to 560 gr. I spoke to our hedgehog vet and we agreed to bring him indoors. 560gr when he came in , now 611gr. A bit up & down with eating and doesn’t always leave a poo!
    He had a nest in a box , which I have changed as worried that he may be pooing in that etc and the possibility of mites. Was this the right move or should I put back his nest which is still in the box we originally used? He has a new box and bedding. He isn’t out & about in the day. I will take samples to vet, when I find some , hopefully tonight!


    Hi, thanks for your input. Having found a frozen little hog last year don’t want any perishing in the same way. It’s so hard to make the right decision. I have spoken to two rescue centres and they do agree to bring them indoors. I’m not keeping the room at a constant temperature as we are in a warm house. I don’t want them being over warm as I think they are healthy. The little girl has been looked over by vet, and I’m keeping an eye on their poo. Of course being fed on Spikes semi -moist , their poo is lighter in colour and a bit moister. The male hog, doesn’t poo as much as the little girl, but it looks the same when he does. His appetite isn’t as good as girlie. When he does one I will get it checked out. Hopefully he will oblige tonight!

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