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Oh my goodness! I’m unable to contain my glee!

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Oh my goodness! I’m unable to contain my glee!

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    Hello hog lovers – it’s been a while since I posted on the forum. The reason being that I didn’t have anything new to share. I had hoped for a win in terms of securing hedgehogs signs but I have not managed to make any headway ! it would seem that wildlife conservation is very low on the priority scale for all councils in the present political climate.
    I’ve also been away and just back from another holiday and her my daughter moved in to hog sit again.
    On my return my daughter reported Hetty had not eaten very much for three nights! News that instantly raised my anxiety levels – and was made worse because my daughter declines to use the trail cam, so I had no way of knowing if Hetty was ok.
    So I was very relieved to see the cam video this morning showing Hetty to be fit, healthy, eating well and doing just fine !
    But that’s not my news! it just gets better and better!
    I’ve started feeding Hetty earlier with the darker nights, around 7.30 pm I put the food out and she generally comes out to feed around 7.45pm .
    So imagine my surprise tonight when I went out at 7.30pm to feed Hetty, to see a hoglet just sitting in the middle of the patio! I put one of the food dishes down in front of it and it immediately curled into a ball, but not for many seconds because the poor little thing was so hungry it uncurled and had a feast! 🤗
    So I’ve got everything crossed 😂 hoping the little sweetie takes up residence and hibernates in the spare hog house! Still can’t quite believe it!
    Fingers crossed 🤞 x


    You’ve not said how small this hoglet is but if it’s under 350gm now I would be tempted to rescue for overwintering

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    Hi Hettihog

    Sorry to hear you didn’t get anywhere re. the hedgehog signs. But good news about the hoglet. If there is one, there may be more as well.

    If you are going to weigh the hoglet, I would be prepared and have your scales ready in the garden, together with something which you can fit the hoglet into to be weighed – and gloves, of course. I find that underweight hoglets fit easily into those 1 litre ice cream tubs. Then you can weigh the hoglet with minimum disturbance. If it is over the 350g, which Stef suggested for this time of year, then you can release it. If you keep providing food, it will hopefully put on weight quickly to reach the 450g which it will need to be, a bit later, to survive hibernation.

    I would have a container to put the hog into in case it weighs under 350g. So a high sided cardboard box with torn newspaper or similar so that it can burrow into it. Some people use an old hand towel. If you need to keep the hoglet until the next day, you will need to provide food and water. I usually put a fair amount of newspaper sheets in the bottom of the container to soak up any water which might be spilt.

    Hogs are very clever at escaping from boxes, so if you have an old pet carrier, you could use that instead. I usually use an old cat carrying basket if a hog needs transporting – so I put the hog straight in there to spend the night.

    I would be inclined to contact your local carer/rehabilitator beforehand, to make sure they have room, in case the hoglet needs taking in. Make sure that you can have the hoglet back, at the appropriate time, to release where you found it.

    Good luck. Hope all goes well.


    Hi Nic
    Thanks for the advice. The little hog was out feeding again tonight promptly at 7.30pm. It is drinking well and eating copious amounts of food! I put out spikes semi moist and the spikes dry food that Hetty just won’t entertain – I saw the wee one again about 30mins ago and watched it empty the second dish. Not sure if I’ve done right, but it’s a long night for a wee hog so I’ve refilled one of the dishes ( the wee one doesn’t seem to like Hettys feeding stations ( she has two) so I’ve made a separate feeding station with the plant pot idea just for this little cutie). I’m assuming from reading historical posts on the forum that you can’t overfeed?
    I also think the wee one has taken up residence in the vacant hog house – luckily I had already filled it with new straw .
    Not sure how I feel about capturing the little one for weighing! Especially as it is feeding so well, I’m sure I could weigh it if you think it is absolutely necessary and I would hate to think of it not making it through to next year – but surely being captured will cause significant trauma! Oh what a dilemma!
    I think I will change the position of the camera tomorrow so that I get it on film, maybe if you see the size of it you may be able to tell me yes or no about an adequate size.
    If it’s a no and survival depends on being weighed I will weigh and call the carer if underweight.
    I saw it close up yesterday and it has all it’s spikes, does that tell you something about it’s age?
    Sorry I’m such a light weight lol – I’m just struggling with the very idea of capturing a wild animal! If would be different if it was unwell, but it looks so healthy!
    Hopefully I will get my head around the idea.
    Keep you updated.

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    Hi Hettihog

    I understand your feelings about capturing the little one, but I really don’t think it will mind being weighed, especially if you do as I suggest, i.e. just scoop the little one up straight onto the scales and if the weight is over 350g release it again straight away.

    If it does weigh below 350g I would take Stef’s advice. She is an experienced rehabilitator and knows what she’s talking about. It’s better that the little one is kept in captivity for a short while than that it tries to hibernate when it’s too light and doesn’t survive.

    It’s really difficult to tell how big hogs are from photos so, sadly, I don’t think that will help. Also they get their spikes when they’re quite tiny. Hopefully, the little one will weigh over the 350g which would be good. Then at least if any others turned up you would have a rough idea of how big they might be, in relation.


    Hi Nic
    Thanks for your post – I will try to weigh this evening. I was in the garden all day yesterday and there was no signs of any daytime activity.
    The little one seems to be quite camera shy anyway, so my idea of filming is probably a no go anyway!
    I have scrutinised the footage this morning but no activity recorded of the little one, seems to spend a lot of time at the top of the garden near the house and the new feeding station – Hetty continues to eat well and to my surprise Big Bruiser returned last night whoop whoop! Makes me smile just thinking about it, a very welcome surprise!
    Thanks again, will update after weighing.


    Oh my dear lord! the deed is done. I’m not sure who was more traumatised me or the little hog!
    7.30pm I was out waiting, everything in place for any eventuality! 😂
    This little cutie is an evasive little character!
    Clearly got the memo your being captured tonight! I could hear it crunching on biscuits but it was so dark I struggled to see it even with a light!
    Didn’t take many minutes, but goodness was it keen to escape, it was a struggle just to keep it in the ice cream container while I weighed it and the poor little thing ran for its life as soon as it’s feet touched the ground on release!
    However the good news is it weighs 345grams so hopefully if it continues to dine around here it will be up to weight before the really bad weather arrives!
    Oh I do hope it doesn’t leave my garden because of the trauma !


    I’ve just looked back on the posts and realise I’ve made a mistake releasing the little hog! It’s 5 grams under the recommended weight!
    I’m feeling completely inept- clearly the trauma of the act made me panic and I was looking for 300grams instead of 350grams!
    Not sure I will get a second chance, little hog is nowhere to be seen- I put it back in front of it’s dish, but it’s not touched it!
    Wish I’d just left it to fill it’s tummy now, it was eating so well!
    I will be truly heartbroken if it doesn’t return because I’m pretty sure there are not many hog lovers in the vicinity!😢


    The little one is back already, I can hear it eating the biscuits! So I’m hopeful that it will eat well again tonight and return tomorrow.
    Nic / Stef do you think it will be ok or should I try again to rescue if I get an opportunity?

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    Hi Hettihog

    Really well done, weighing the little one! Good news that it weighs 345g. So pleased it was back so quickly. I don’t know what Stef thinks, but as you’ve let it go and it’s tucking in to food again, I would be inclined to let it be. It’s so close to 350g and sounds as if it is quite happy to come and eat in your garden and tuck in to the food. Not sure what the weather is like there, but it’s still fairly mild where I am.

    Just keep an eye on it, which I’m sure you will do anyway!


    Thanks Nic for the advice and support.
    I was relieved to see the little cutie was back at the feeding station and has cleared the dish again!
    I refilled it last night and it was all gone this morning so I intend to do the same tonight.
    I read on the rspca site that little hogs need at least two heaped tablespoons of food per day and little cutie is eating far more than that each night and drinking well.
    Luckily I can observe cuties feeding station from my window without disturbing the routine .
    The weather remains quite mild and I’m confident that weight gain will be rapid considering how much is being eaten, but I will continue to monitor and review the situation each day.
    Thanks again.

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