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Caring for a young hedgehog

Home Forums Hedgehog tales Caring for a young hedgehog

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    Just thought I would share our experience of hedgehog behaviour. We have had a hedgehog living in our garden most of the time for 3 years but, sadly he disappeared in early August last year, and we thought that was that. Imagine our delight when we spotted another one a good few weeks ago. We were concerned as it came out in the daylight several times a day, in the morning and afternoon, all times of the day. Knowing this could be a sign of illness, we had a good look at him when he came to eat and from what we could see, he seemed ok. We kept an eye on him, he had taken over an old nest the previous one had built, so it was quite easy without getting too close. We kept feeding him and now his behaviour has settled down to only coming out at night. Hope this helps if anyone is worried about one coming out in the day, it may just be a juvenile which is hungry.

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    Hi PoppyP

    Well done for helping out the little hog. It’s a bit of a tricky one when there is a hog out in the day. You can be lucky, as you were with this little one, that you were able to help early enough that food and water were enough. But a hog out in the day could be even more dehydrated and need expert help, or have other underlying health problems.

    Hogs, as with many wild animals will not let on that they are unwell until they are very unwell, so that it isn’t always possible to tell, just by looking at them, that they are unwell. But if there is a hog in the open and ie. looks as if it’s sunbathing then it will need help. Hog rescues are able to give advice as to the best course of action in such cases. Contact details can be obtained from BHPS (number below, under ‘contact us’).

    But at this time of year female hogs with youngsters in the nest can be out in the day to have a break from the young, i.e. if it gets too hot – when they will likely be resting under cover. Males, also, may spend the day sleeping under cover when it’s hot. Females will sometimes be out nest building during the day, but if they are nest building, they would be moving around purposefully. So if they were out in the open and not moving purposefully that would be a concern.

    But it does illustrate that it is really important to leave water available all day every day, just in case a thirsty hog comes out in the day. There may not always be anyone around to see it. Wide but shallow plant saucers dotted around the garden are ideal for that.

    It’s really good that the hog has reverted to only coming out at night. Good luck with the hog, I hope it continues to do well.

    Happy hog watching!

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