Garden fertiliser: safe for hedgehogs?
10th March 2020 at 1:21 pm #21452
A friend has just checked my feeding station and found a sick hedgehog in there. I’ve gone back though my night-time videos and it looks as if it went in there at about 8pm last night, because all the ones that arrived later than that turned around once they’d got halfway in. In the video it looks a bit staggery, and slow to enter.
I’m waiting for someone to take it to the vets for me, as my leg is in plaster and I’m not able to take care of things myself.
My gardener put some ‘growmore’ down yesterday, after cutting back some pampas grass. Could that have poisoned a hedgehog? He threw it in the middle of the clump of pampas and I think it would be hard for a hedgehog to get inside, but I suppose the fertiliser granules could have blown out in the windy weather.
All the other hogs looked fine last night (last video was at around 6am and they were grazing outside the feeding station), but I’m worried about them now.
I suppose I won’t know what’s wrong with the sick hog until it’s been seen (and maybe autopsied, if it doesn’t make it).10th March 2020 at 2:03 pm #21453
As an update, it’s on its way to the vets now. It managed to get out of the feeding station on its own but was rocking from side to side. If I find out anything about the fertiliser that was used I’ll get back to you all.11th March 2020 at 9:25 pm #21483
Hopefully the vet will be able to tell you whether the type of fertilizer used could have been the cause of the hogs’ problem. I wouldn’t have expected a hog to eat it but don’t imagine it would do it much good if it did. But, it’s possible that something completely different caused the problem. For instance, hibernation is a dangerous time for hogs and if they don’t have sufficient of the two fats necessary, they are likely to have problems on emerging.
Sorry to hear about your leg. It must be very frustrating not being able to do things yourself. Let us know if there is any news about the hog.12th March 2020 at 11:49 am #21484
Thanks. It didn’t make it, and unfortunately I can’t make the deadline for sending it to off for autopsy before the weekend.
I did speak to someone from the Wild Garden research group, who said they thought it would be unlikely that it would have eaten the fertiliser or got sick from it.
Anyway, it’s very sad but I suppose this is going to happen occasionally even in a wildlife friendly garden. It’s interesting that it made its way to the feeding station to die.
I put the camera out last night and I still have some healthy looking visitors. Fingers crossed there’ll be lots of babies this year.12th March 2020 at 6:05 pm #21486
So sorry to hear about the poor hog. You did your best for it. But you are right, things might happen occasionally, even in a hedgehog friendly garden. But just remember the cause of the problem may not have happened in your garden.
It is interesting, although not unusual, that it made it’s way to the feeding station when it was so poorly. It may be that it saw that as a safe space, so tried to get there. Similarly it may have seen it as a place where it had received help. I guess we will never know. All I can say is that I have had two hogs, at different times, which had life threatening strimmer injuries and both made their way to my feeding area, from I know not where. To be honest, I don’t know how either of them managed to make it here. One had to be euthanased, but the other, with the care of the amazing people at our local wildlife hospital survived and after a couple of months was able to be released back home. Sad that it didn’t work out for the little one there, this time, but sometimes they just can’t be helped.
You may already have seen this, but in case not:
I know it’s sad, but don’t forget to log the poor hog on the Big Hedgehog Map (accessed via the Home page of Hedgehog Street). I always think it’s a sort of memorial to that hog and it might make a difference to hogs as a whole.
Really pleased to hear that there are other healthy looking visitors. Hopefully some more will return quite soon and, as you say, fingers crossed for babies later on.
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