Accessibility Homepage Skip navigation Sitemap


Register and log in to gain access to our forums and chat about everything 'hedgehog'!

Thank you for looking to contribute to the Hedgehog Street forum. Please note that when submitting replies or posts, these are run through our spam-checkers, so there may be a slight delay in your posts appearing, and reflecting in the forum post details below. However, if you think anything has gone awry please contact us.

The views and opinions expressed in this forum do not necessarily represent the views of PTES or BHPS.

Help! I have a small hedgehog.

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Help! I have a small hedgehog.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
  • Author
  • #19453

    Hello, I’m looking for advice on how to care for a small hedgehog picked up off the road last night. I have spent all day trying to get help and have been given advice varying from release it to overwinter it myself. I spoke to hedgehog helpline who say all local rescues are full and I don’t feel happy to release it because i think it would die. Looking for reassurance that I’m doing the right thing and for any other advice to help me. Feeding cat food and water at the moment and indoors in a 3ft cage with nest box. It seems healthy just small at 250g. Particularly worried about lungworm although no obvious signs atm.
    All advice gratefully received..


    I am not one of the experts so I hope Nic or Stef pick this post up.
    Some questions –
    Was he found in the day?
    What area do you live?
    Have you rung the BHPS re your local hedgehog carer?
    Do you have a local vet who treats wildlife for free?

    Nic posted information on a similar query last night…….
    I think it’s the post before yours. I will just check


    I have copied and posted a reply to someone else from Nic
    Have you overwintered a hoglet before?

    “You need to contact the BHPS to find your nearest carer as soon as you can. 01584 890801 They are sometimes contactable late. They will be able to give you the number of your nearest carer and then you can explain everything better to them and take their advice.

    My feeling is that if the hoglet has been eating it will be weaned. If it has been out during the day, it may be very hungry or dehydrated, but almost certainly needs to be checked out, so don’t let it go. Mother may have already gone off to hibernate.

    “If you need to keep the hoglet over-night, which you probably will need to now, I normally keep any hogs which I need to keep in overnight in an unheated kitchen. (but still reasonably warm compared to a garage). It might be a bit cold in the garage – I understand it’s going to be pretty cold tonight. I would put a newspaper in the bottom of any box, as they nearly always spill the water. If you use a hot water bottle make sure it isn’t too hot and make sure the hoglet has room to get away from it if it gets too hot. I don’t normally use one if the hoglets are inside a reasonably warm room and there is plenty of bedding they can snuggle into.

    Good luck. Let us know how you get on.”


    I definitely would not release the baby- It’s too small for this time of year to stand a great chance of survival.

    Please keep us posted.


    I phoned BHPS which gave me the number for hedgehog helpline, they eventually told me to release it as did the local vet. Another wildlife advisor told me it would most definitely die if left out and various websites say the same so it’s very confusing. It was dark when I found him. So not ill as far as I know, just small.


    Have you overwintered a hoglet before?
    Nope 😐


    OK- Hopefully someone with more experience will answer you but I personally would not release. If you can follow Nic’s advice for now hopefully a solution can be found.


    I have never overwintered either and I think it’s full on. BHPS website has lots of information. Might be worth having a look
    Where are you in the UK- Do you have a nearby wildlife hospital? Someone else may be able to tell you where to try with the little baby.


    Good evening Penny.
    You seem to have done everything right, but I wouldn’t release such a small hog.
    I have small hog the front room at the minute, if was quite active yesterday, eating and drinking and continually climbing out of its box, but seems very quiet today?
    Rang the local rescue centre but just keeping getting a message saying the are full and to ring the BHPS?


    I’m in near Cardiff. I’m sure there are rescues local but it’s hard to get hold of any. Everything directs you towards HH who told me they were all full and to release. I’ll Keep trying as I’d rather he was in expert hands.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Pennyd169

    Stef is really the expert in this area. But 250g is below the minimum recommended weight for hibernation – which 450g. I don’t know what you mean by the Hedgehog Helpline, I would always recommend that people ring BHPS on 01584 890801. You might find that they have different contacts. I would try ringing them now and they may be able to pass you details of a local carer. Otherwise, my advice would, as Simbo65 said, to keep the little hog housed, and provided with food and water, and then on Monday try to speak to someone at BHPS and/or hope that Stef may see this. She is an experienced carer/rehabilitator.

    You are doing the right thing for the moment, feeding cat food, and providing water, but you are right, the little hog may need checking out for lungworm, etc. so even if there isn’t room for it to be taken in, it should probably be checked. If it is an otherwise healthy hog, I wouldn’t keep it anywhere too warm, i.e. not a centrally heated room, so if you have a cooler room to keep it in that might be better.

    The latest advice is that hoglets can be released during the winter if they reach a suitable weight and the conditions are right. The following is an extract from
    “….. hedgehogs can be successfully released back into the wild over winter. As long as they have reached a suitable weight as they are still able to hibernate naturally. This news is so important, as it means dedicated carers across the country no longer need to keep hedgehogs inside all winter long. By releasing healthy ones during winter, more room can be made for those emergency cases that arise over the cold months and we can reduce the stress experienced by those in captivity for long periods of time”

    Bearing that in mind, it’s possible that some space may become available if the earlier ‘rescued’ hoglets have grown sufficiently to be released.

    Good luck. Fingers crossed for the little one.


    Hi Nic, what’s your opinion on ‘calici worms’ ?just browsing the net for food for the hog we rescued, he/she is on purina one and puppy food at present.
    And any tips on how to stop them sitting in the feeding dish?

    Avatar photo

    Hi Coley

    On the face of it calci-worms look ok. But the only information I have seen about the calcium and phosphorous ratio is provided by suppliers of them – and they do say they contain more calcium than phosphorous, which is good. I suppose they wouldn’t make those claims if they weren’t correct. I haven’t tried them myself, other than as part of a balanced hog food. I think I’d be inclined to stick to cat/dog/hog food – they tend to have added vitamins, etc, too, but if you want to give a few calci-worms now and then it doesn’t sound as if they would do any harm.

    Re. sitting in the feeding dish – a favourite occupation of hoglets, even if they aren’t in captivity! It’s actually quite a good way of judging how big the hoglet is (in the wild), in relation to the size of dish! The ones here seem to like standing in the dish (when they are quite small) and then eating round the edges. It also has the advantage of making sure no other hog can get at the food! So it’s just a matter of hoping they don’t poo whilst they’re in the dish.


    Thank you very much Nic and everyone else for your help

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.