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Juvenile's late in year, time to rescue?

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Juvenile's late in year, time to rescue?

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #11992

    Hi, I have Hogs using my garden for many years now I have 3 nesting boxes and a feeding station, all in regular use. Last night I saw 3 young juveniles foraging in the garden, they looked rather small (about the size of a fat hamster) so im assuming they are a late litter. I don’t want to disturb them too much but would be interested to know when would be the time that I should consider bringing them in to winter, thats supposing they haven’t fattened up enough.


    Hi Graham,

    You are obviously doing a good job so I wouldn’t worry too much at the moment, as long as you are feeding them a high protein diet they should soon pile the weight on.

    Here is the BHPS advice:

    Being kept in captivity for months at a time can be very stressful, so it is important that they are not taken from the wild unnecessarily.


    I have added a picture in the gallery entitled’ Mum and Little one’ showing adult with the largest of the 3 little ones so you can see size.


    Pictures are often not uploaded to the gallery for several days, if you have the picture elsewhere on the internet such as Twitter or Flickr you can copy the link onto here. It’s always a dilemma knowing what to do for the best and there is much conflicting advice out there, but Youngsters can gain between 10-20 grams per night so there is still plenty of time. Last year the minimum BHPS suggested weight was 450 grams, I weighed two of our prickly visitors in December – I couldn’t catch them earlier! – at just over the minimum and they both survived the winter. 🙂


    Hi GrahamHarbron,

    I agree with Penny’s advice. I would recommend that you try and support them as much as you can outside – supply a suitable nesting box and bedding and position this somewhere protected that they can find readily – if you haven’t got habitat options available already. In addition – keep the food coming.
    Taking a hog in to overwinter is a massive commitment, fraught with tensions and often emotional upset. as little ones they don’t tend to hibernate easily or know to hibernate when brought in, so they can become very stressed when captive and this can become very distressing for people who are trying to do the right thing as you see them in this state for many months. They often don’t make it through complex parasite burden and or stress. they are quite dirty and smelly and require routine cleaning, warm temperatures day and night and a quiet environment to hide in (not the garage!)
    They can survive if supported through the winter outside and they have a secure habitat to use – the winter conditions also play a massive part – but you also cant keep putting them in and outside either – so you need to make a decision and stick to it really.
    If you do decide to take them in, you should do so having thought about it and in having a good network to rely on for immediate checks, information and ongoing checks and support – like a local hog expert (not just the vet – most of whom need training themselves on hogs) and also knowing the consequences and responsibility. You will need to have the equipment, hutches, food and bedding. feeding captives can also create problems!
    We have overwintered for many years and each and every time I conclude to bring any in its not an easy choice -also I feel terrible about making them captive animals, even with such a strong network of support from our local hog expert, who I would never manage without the advice of.
    Such a huge relief, if they do make it, and many don’t, to get them re-released many months later – leaving you thinking you don’t ever want to have to do that again.
    sorry if it all sounds very negative – but be warned!


    Hi. Just found a small hedgehog size of large hamster roaming the street, it’s 5pm. I’ve settled it in my back garden in an old compost bin with bedding, food and water and made sure it can exit anytime, have I done the right thing. Concerned as there are have been 2 killed recently on the road by where I live, although behind my house there is 220 acres of fields it can access.


    Hi Bonnie71,

    Difficult call I know – usually the advice goes along the lines of trying to put them back where they were found. You don’t say how far you’ve moved the hog in geographical terms (feet, meters or miles) – but if its a territory familiar to him, smells and signals etc that he would recognise – then doesn’t sound too disruptive.
    Don’t be surprised if he simply disappears again – as they are very determined when it comes to being where they want to be – and all the risks that that presents (hard for us to bear I know)
    I think you just have to watch now, wait, hope he heads in the right direction when he is on the move again or stays put and takes advantage of the environment you have provided.
    I’m fairly sure I would have done the same thing in your circumstances!

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