Two dead hedgehogs?
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- This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Annie Mac.
20th February 2023 at 8:58 am #41572
I have several regular hedgehog visitors to my garden in the warmer months. It’s a long skinny, wildlife friendly garden (i.e. unkempt in many places and I don’t use anything toxic in my gardening). I feed the hedgehog visitors two bowls of hedgehog kibble nightly with fresh water constantly accessible, as the weather got colder the amount left in the morning increased and around the beginning of December I stopped feeding altogether anticipating restarting beginning of March. Yesterday I ventured further into the garden than since before Christmas, assessing what needed doing to kick start this gardening year. I was so very sad to discover two dead hedgehogs within meters of each other. They had clearly been dead a while so impossible to get even a hint as to an obvious cause of death. What struck me though was that both were very exposed, I assumed that most animals if sensing they were unwell or injured would attempt to hide themselves, neither of these had, they were in fact the opposite and on a direct route used by the many neighbourhood cats through the garden.My neighbour’s dog has in the past got several hedgehogs, they did rescue one and place in my garden so it might have been one of those but my other concern is are there any known cases of avianflu spreading to other species. I feed many birds and between them and the squirrels there are often chunks of fat balls flung about, also they all share the same water supply. Any suggestions? I have a hedgehog house but I don’t intend to disturb that until the weather is consistently warmer, roll on spring do I can see who does and doesn’t return.21st February 2023 at 7:25 pm #41587
So sad to hear about the two hogs, it must have been upsetting for you finding them like that. It isn’t really possible to say why they died, but hibernation is probably the most dangerous, natural, time for them and not all will survive that. Hogs don’t necessarily hide when they are ill – they will often try to get into the sun to warm up. Seeing hogs aparently sunbathing, even in the Summer, is an indication that they aren’t well.
It sounds as if it might be too late for those two, but if you ever found any other dead hogs (which hopefully you won’t, but others may do and could potentially read this) you could consider reporting them to Garden Wildlife Health https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/garden-wildlife-health-gwh/
For the future, re. the neighbours dog – sadly if a dog has had a hog in its mouth it is very likely the skin will be punctured. Such punctures are difficult to see, other than by experts, but if one is there the hog is likely to get an infection and could die as a result. So if a hog has been seen in a dogs mouth, it’s best to get it checked over by a hog carer/rehabilitator or a vet in case it needs antibiotics.
I mentioned the possibility of avian flu to some hoggy people, but they hadn’t heard anything about hogs contracting avian flu. Hopefully that continues to be the case.
There are some reports of hogs out and about a bit early this year, although there have also been quite a few non-hibernators – not always easy to know the difference at this stage. But males, in particular, tend to emerge early March which is creeping closer alarmingly quickly! Fingers crossed that most of the hibernators return safe and well and have a successful Hog Season this year.24th February 2023 at 1:47 pm #41612
I’m so sorry to hear this, it’s heartbreaking to see dead hedgehogs anywhere.
Nic has replied fully to your questions but I’d like to add it’s a good idea to feed year round if in much smaller quantities as sometimes hogs wake & need a top up during the colder months & will remember there’s a reliable source in your garden. If the food is in a feeder so cats can’t get it then Smilla kitten biscuits (online from Zooplus) are a cheap & good food to leave out along with water & any uneaten in the morning will be enjoyed by any corvids or pigeons visiting.
Hopefully you’ll have some hogs this year & your nest box will be used, mine is awaiting an occupant too. My hog visitors returned a couple of days ago & are tucking into Smilla each night again. Good luck.
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