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Autumn juvenile – intervene or not?

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Autumn juvenile – intervene or not?

Viewing 12 posts - 16 through 27 (of 27 total)
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    So the hoglet made it through the night and went to a shelter today. Seems to be tolerating captivity okay so fingers crossed.

    When I got back I checked the garden and found another hoglet in a bad way. Seemed weak and lethargic, slow to roll into a ball. Was a few grams lighter that the first, but was also extremely wet and cold. Vets were open til 7 and they got her on a heat pad, I hope she makes it through the night. I told them about her sibling at the rescue so hopefully they will be reunited if she pulls through.


    When I got back from vets, I found yet another hoglet in the back garden. This third one seems in better shape, rather lively and not wet through like the other, but still only 130 grams. Vets had since shut so I wasn’t able to take this one. While I was on the phone discussing what to do with hoglet number 3 I found an adult hog in the feeding station. The experts advised I also capture the adult as is likely the mother hog. She isn’t as round as the other hogs I’ve seen here and she has some ticks on her so may need vetinary attention- have been advised to take her and the remaining hoglet to the vet tomorrow and vet will decide how to proceed with her. I was also advised to check all the hog houses to make sure there were no leftover hoglets that hadn’t yet emerged from the nest. I didn’t find any hoglets but found two adult hogs sleeping. I left them alone after establishing they were not baby hogs- I hope I didn’t disturb them too much. I also found a nest box with a well built but empty nest, so I think that’s where the babies came from. I will keep an eye out but I really hope that’s all the hoglets- she’s done amazingly well to raise three this late in the year.

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    Hi Kitty878

    Well done getting help for those ones.

    Keep keeping a look out for hoglets. One year I had 12 late hoglets which visited and that was when I didn’t have cameras. Every time I took some to the wildlife hospital, more appeared. I think my car could have almost driven there by itself, it had been so many times!

    They were likely to have had several different mothers.

    None of them had been living in my garden. They just materialised from somewhere.


    Just an update- am pleased to report that the hoglets are doing well in care- hoping to pick up and release the mother hog again soon. Unfortunately over the weekend I also found two new baby hogs and their mother, who are also now at the same rescue as the first- happily those didn’t seem unwell or lethargic, although they were absolutely crawling with fleas. I’ve been shocked by how little they all are- out of the five I rescued only one has been over 200g, and that one was only a few grams over. I hope I don’t get 12 like you did Nic! I also have one of the juveniles from earlier in the year who seems to be hibernating in my garden- she is at a good weight now at 576 grams a few weeks back, probably a lot more now but saw no point in stressing her out by continuing to weigh. I only see her occasionally in the early evenings or the very mild nights so I guess she is sleeping the rest of the time.

    One good thing about the families I rescued- in both cases the mother hog was very large and sturdy, carer said was a good weight considering that mothers with late litters can struggle to keep their weight up with little ones. I hope the supplementary feeding was helpful to them.

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    Well done, Kitty878. Hopefully they will all do well. Don’t be too disappointed if they don’t all make it. With those tiny ones, they wouldn’t survive without help, but they don’t all survive even with help. But you have done your best for them. Fingers crossed for them.

    I still have one here not hibernating, although big enough. One who doesn’t like going into feed boxes, so I have to scatter the food on the grass for her. A cat ate some one night but it obviously didn’t have the patience to pick out the kitten biscuits from amongst the grass! The hog is quite happy foraging for them. I put a trail to the feed box, but although she gets to the entrance she still hasn’t been in.

    Good luck to all the hogs and hoglets.


    Update from the carers- all of the hoglets are still with us and doing well, one has done brilliantly and grown to 800g so they want to give him back to me tomorrow to release. I’ve not seen any hogs for weeks and the food isn’t being eaten, so I think the resident hogs are already hibernating. I have vacant hog boxes so hopefully the returning hog will choose to stay overwinter. I have nesting materials but will he be able to build a suitable nest before the cold snap predicted next week?

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    Hi Kitty878

    That’s great news! Good luck to the now not so little one!

    Yes, hopefully it will use your nest box. It would have time to build a nest – the ones here have mostly taken a couple of days to build the bulk of their nests. But it may not mind the colder weather as much as you fear. I have had over-winterers here who still visited in well sub zero temperatures – although, of course they hadn’t been in captivity. But all you can do is provide the materials and leave the rest to the hog. Fingers crossed for it.


    Why not just keep feeding the juveniles in their natural environment. Catching them must cause stress, sometimes I worry that handling them can’t do them any good. So active, on camera and eating…they are wild animals after all. Just a thought. I too have taken a hh to a rescue centre and they have so many handed in. Mine was a juvenile, had parasites and didn’t survive.


    Hi Kassie.
    In an ideal world we could just let hogs get on with it thinking the food we put out is enough.
    However, hogs eat a lot of food and while they may come for a feed they will have to stop when full for the moment. The food may be gone by the time they get back ( other hogs, rats, foxes, dogs, cats etc ) so we cannot guarantee they are getting enough food.
    When they are just little and winter is here they are under considerable stress to find food and put on weight.
    Hogs naturally carry parasites and when all is well that doesn’t cause an issue. However, we know that when they come under stress the balance goes out of sync and they can get very sick. Like all wild animals they don’t show obvious signs of illness/injury until it is quite advanced and we cannot always save them, which obviously happened with your hog.
    Just to note it is not possible to tell if a hog is well because it’s active, it can be a sign of disease/illness also.


    Hi all,
    I’m hoping for some advice.
    It’s the 8th January and I’ve noticed a
    A small hedgehog in the garden every night about 10pm, I’ve started feeding him hedgehog biscuits but im worried hes quiet small and it’s very cold outside.
    I’m wondering if there’s anything else I could do? Or if bringing him into an out building and feeding him for the colder months would be a good idea.


    Hi Ladybee53,

    If at all possible, catch him and weigh him. 450grams is minimum for hibernation, but the heavier they are the better really. You can also call BHPS (number at bottom of the page) who can hopefully put you in touch with local carers and help you work out a way forward. Not all hedgehogs will hibernate- or may be active on different nights- I saw one last night myself, so if it’s a good weight and you don’t have any other concerns I wouldn’t be too worried, just make sure you are providing plenty of food and water. But if it’s underweight or you notice any potential health concerns please take it in and get advice. Keep us posted on the forum as well please.


    Hi Kitty878
    Thanks for replying that’s great advice,
    I’ll weigh him on his next visit.

Viewing 12 posts - 16 through 27 (of 27 total)

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