Autumn juvenile – intervene or not?
4th November 2021 at 8:58 am #34932
We have a few hogs roaming around our area, with several houses putting out a little food for them as they go on their rounds. For the last couple of nights, my wildlife camera has picked up footage of a small hog, less than half the size of our usual visitors, so I’m assuming it’s an autumn juvenile.
It looks healthy enough and visits to eat a little several times overnight, mostly solo but it briefly shared a dish with an adult on one trip. Now the weather is getting colder, I’m worried it might be too small to survive the winter without help. So, should I leave it to keep feeding up, or attempt to weigh it next time I see it in the garden?
Gavin4th November 2021 at 9:01 am #34933
Oops – I tried to include a link to a photo of the little one but it didn’t seem to work. There’s a photo of it next to an adult here:4th November 2021 at 10:24 pm #34945
Unfortunately it’s difficult to judge the size in pictures, so I would suggest you weigh the juvenile if possible.4th November 2021 at 10:47 pm #34946
Yes, I would try to weigh the little hog. Have a box ready in case it needs to go to a hog rehabilitator.
The minimum weight needed to survive hibernation is 450g. But if the hoglet is visiting for food every night it might be ok to let it stay and keep feeding it if it weighs a bit less than that. They do put on weight very quickly at that age.
There is no guarantee that a hog will survive hibernation even if it weighs more than 450g. Likewise there is no guarantee that a hog being overwintered by a carer/rehabilitator will survive. It is very stressful for hogs to be taken into captivity and not all will survive. Hence that I would let it stay in its natural environment even if it currently weighs a bit less than 450g, as long as you are providing good quality food as well as water and it is visiting every night.
Things might be a bit different if, for instance you are in the north of the country where the weather may be colder. You can always contact a local carer/rehabilitator (who will know the weather conditions in your area better) and take their advice. You can get contact details of your local carers/rehabilitators by ringing BHPS 01584 890801.
Good luck – I hope all goes well.5th November 2021 at 9:09 am #34950
Many thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, it didn’t visit until gone midnight last night (according to the camera) so I haven’t had a chance to weigh it yet. I’ve got a box, bedding, food and water on standby if it’s severly underweight. We have a rescue centre a few minutes away if needed, which is handy.
I say “it”, but apparently I meant “them”. The camera caught two little ones feeding together last night.
I’ve put a video clip on Flickr, including a bit of bullying from one of the ruder adult hogs…6th November 2021 at 11:15 pm #34959
Sounds about right – it’s almost like they know when we’re planning on weighing them and turn up late! Hopefully you’ll get the chance soon.
Love the video – although that adult certainly is a bit of a bully!8th November 2021 at 4:50 pm #34980
I have a partial update. The hoglets have been elusive, but a neighbour spotted one outside this afternoon. At only 208g it’s well short of a survivable weight, but unfortunately the local rescue centre is full and not accepting any more hogs at the moment.
The next closest option is a bit of a drive away, so for now the hoglet is safely tucked up with food, water and bedding before heading off in the morning. That gives us another night to see if we can rescue its sibling(s).8th November 2021 at 5:40 pm #34981
Well done getting that one. It surely does need some help if only 280g and out during the day as well.
Good luck tonight with the other one – or other ones.9th November 2021 at 4:08 pm #35002
I don’t want to hijack your thread, but I have the same situation here! Have my 3 regular early evening hogs (no camera so no idea of later visitors) then suddenly 2 little hoglets night before last. Greedily eating biscuits thankfully, but they are tinies, so clearly autumn juveniles.
I got ready last night with gloves and scales plus box/bedding etc but didn’t see them. I do have numbers of 3 local rescue centres at hand as they are so small I’m worried they might need care to get through the winter.
I hope you got yours to a rescue centre, that is a low weight isn’t it – did you catch the 2nd one?
Fingers crossed for me tonight, hope you to hear you were successful yourself last night 🙂9th November 2021 at 5:39 pm #35068
Good news from here – we managed to get the other hoglet yesterday evening and after a night of eating and drinking in a comfy box, they’re now at the local rescue centre, who found some room for them after all. Apparently they’re a boy and girl; practically identical in size so almost certainly siblings.
Not that we’re hedgehog-obsessed or anything, but we went for a country walk at the weekend just to collect some good quality fallen leaves for the hog houses, and it looks like the adults have started nest-making with them.
Good luck daffydill in getting your hoglets into ‘protective custody’ as well!9th November 2021 at 6:48 pm #35071
So glad you got both hoglets Gavin. Good luck with yours Daffydill. I picked up a hoglet this evening- only 182 grams so staying with us tonight and going into care tomorrow. Glad he found his way here- I don’t know him, he’s not one of my regulars. Seems to be in pretty good shape apart from being small. Looks like he’s only just left mum- gonna keep an eye out for any siblings or other small hogs that might be around.
My local area is sadly short of trees or the right sort of leaves, but did import a few bags of leaves from a friend!9th November 2021 at 7:17 pm #35072
Well done GavinJ. Glad to hear two little ones are safely at the hog rescue now. I hope they do well. Great news that the adults are grateful for your efforts and are nest building!
Yes, it’s really important to keep an eye out for hoglets. They will often turn up late when they haven’t been seen before. Possibly where they came from have stopped feeding or they have just moved further afield. So I leave my cameras running all winter in case. Even non-hibernators might turn up unexpectedly and would welcome some supplementary food. But also some hibernate really late and some come out of hibernation really early – underweight. So it’s a good idea to keep a look out for them.
Good luck with the weighing tonight daffydill.
Well done accessing some leaves, Kitty878. I hope the hogs make good use of them. Good luck to the little hog.10th November 2021 at 12:14 pm #35076
Hi All. I managed to weigh the only hoglet I saw last night – don’t know who was more traumatised, me or hoglet ! – and it was 350g. I was surprised how heavy it was so put it back out and relieved to see it eating a good meal after.
I spoke to the nearest carers and they advised just keep a watch if weather continues so mild and it/they are eating and not out during day it maybe best left alone to avoid extra stress. I’ll hope to weigh again in a week and if weather changes or hoglets aren’t gaining weight will take action.
My regulars are still visiting (see the 3 before midnight) so maybe mild weather and food available delays hibernation down here?
Grateful for all the advice here.10th November 2021 at 3:19 pm #35078
Well done daffydill! Glad to hear it wasn’t a really tiny one. Hopefully next time you’ll find it less stressful.
It isn’t so much that the mild weather delays hibernation, as such, (some hogs are already hibernating), but it does give the hoglets a bit more time to put on some weight before they hibernate – if that’s what they choose to do. They may not hibernate at all and just keep visiting all winter. But the youngsters are usually the last to hibernate – some not hibernating until December.
Keep up the good work with the food and water. Fingers crossed for them all.10th November 2021 at 8:45 pm #35092
Oh my god. Tonight has been insane.
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