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Update on Cutie

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Update on Cutie

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  • #18521

    Hi hog lovers
    Good news Cutie eating really well – much, much more than the recommended two tablespoons a day!
    Seems to have got over the recent capture for weighing and spending lots of time near the house.
    Cutie has definitely taken up residence in the vacant hog house, that was recently been packed with new straw .
    Weather is very wet around here but still mild, so fingers crossed little cutie will continue to feed and gain weight, but I’m still anxious and realise we’re not out of the woods just yet! Have moved the trail cam today, directed at Cuties feeding station- hopefully it will be easier to monitor wellbeing and the anticipated increase in size!
    Big Bruiser has disappeared again! Hetty continues to do well but has reduced the amount of dog food she is eating and increased her consumption of Spikes moist – she’s packing it away, I assume Spikes moist will provide more bulk in preparation for the big sleep! So all good!
    This hog watching/ caring is stressful stuff lol!
    Happy hog watching all you lovely peeps! x


    Hi hog lovers
    Great video of Hetty and Cutie feeding side by side.
    Cutie clearly gaining weight at a rapid pace!
    Oh happy day!


    Aww that is so good to hear. I hope she keeps packing on the pounds until hibernation.
    I have been feeding a male hoglet every night for the last month. I compared cam footage of him yesterday – he has nearly tripled in size in front of my very eyes and is pretty much the same size as the adult visitors now!

    Fingers crossed little cutie catches up to hetty in no time.
    Happy hog watching 🙂

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    Hi Hettihog

    Really pleased to hear that Cutie is still visiting and growing well. Brilliant news! Don’t be too worried if Hetty goes off to hibernate before Cutie does. Often the hoglets are last to go. And of course not all hibernate. The last two winters, I’ve had hoglets who didn’t hibernate (despite being large enough to). One, who was a male, has since moved on, but last winter’s non-hibernator is still visiting. It will be interesting to see what she does this year.

    But hoglets are not full adult size when they hibernate the first year, so don’t be too worried about that. They need to be 450g, but Cutie should make that easily if she/he keeps visiting and eating all that food.


    Hi Nic,
    That’s very interesting about hoglets- I didn’t realise they don’t get to be as big as the adults in the first year.
    It is definitely the same male hoglet i have been feeding (he has distinctive patterns on the face) and has really grown fast. Is it normal for them to have a growth spurt in the space of 1 to 2 months? Maybe the cam footage is deceptive and has made him look bigger recently than he really is! He visits the feeding station 7-9 times a night so has scoffed a lot of food.


    Hi Sam1404
    Oh that’s sounds so good! Well done you! Hope I’m saying that soon about Cutie!
    I was reading up last night ( yes I’m pretty much absorbed in looking after Hetty and the hoglet lol) about the potential weight gain for hoglets. Apparently they can put on as much as 2grams a day, the advice was to always leave more food than they can manage, for assurance that they have really had their fill! I really don’t care about wastage, as I clean the bowls daily – I just want her to make it comfortably through the winter!
    Just a few minutes ago I saw Cutie exit the new cat proof feeding station I bought today. I have four feeding stations now but Cutie seems to prefer to stay nearer to the house than Hetty or Big Bruiser and the make shift feeding station I had cobbled together for Cutie was coming to the attention of the cats! 😱
    Anyway I feel Cutie is working hard at getting fat 😂 and I’m doing the easy bit of providing the food!
    Happy hog watching! xx


    Hi Hettihog, OMG, not been on for a while but, was I right in thinking Hetti was expecting? Whatever, so glad you’ve got a little one. I’m sure you’ll be feeding her and looking after her well if she doesn’t hibernate. Such a responsibility, my two small hogs are packing away the spike semi moist every night and Big Benny is still around. He’s coming later due to some very wet rainy nights, but no sign of the two females yet. I live in hope. Best wishes.

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    Hi Sam1404

    I should have said ‘hoglets are not all full adult size when they hibernate the first year’. Some of the earlier born ones might be. But many of them are only just over 450g, which still looks fairly small compared to the adults. Although, the adults can vary quite a bit in size as well. But, yes, the hoglets do grow quite quickly when they’re small.

    Just a word of warning. Some hoglets can look a lot like each other when they’re small. Their markings tend to develop a bit as they grow. I usually find if I have one hoglet visit, before long there will be more. I’m not always sure there are 2 until I see them together. Fingers crossed – always good to hear about lots of hoglets!


    Hi Nic
    Thanks for your encouragement and info. I think Hetty was a juvenile this time last year. I remember the first time I saw her I thought she was a baby as in hoglet!! lol! I’ve learnt such a lot since those early days, most of it from all the beautiful caring people on this forum!
    I’m pretty sure Cutie has recovered fully from the experience of being captured, as have I lol!
    And I think I will be much more confident if I need to weigh hoglets in the future, now that I know that no real harm was caused.
    The video footage is great to check well-being and it warmed my heart to see Hetty and Cutie feeding side by side last night – Cutie, just like Hetty has very distinctive colouring on her back and apart from the difference in size and leg length ( Hetty has legs up to her armpits ! Even longer than Big Bruiser! Lol) they could be twins! Do you think Cutie could be Hettys hoglet? I had assumed Cutie arrived in my garden having been tufted out of a nest somewhere else! But I’ve not seen any evidence of any other hoglets and I thought they all had more than one!
    Its really wet here but Cutie is not deterred by the rain, however I was thinking if the weather changes and it becomes really cold I would not be adverse to weighing Cutie again, just to be sure that the video footage translates to body fat and an acceptable weight what do you think? Weigh or not to weigh!
    I’ve read the ideal weight is 600grams by Nov-Dec ? I would guess Hetty was about 600grams when she first emerged from hibernation at the beginning of the year.
    Anyway thus far things are looking good for Hetty and Cutie – Big Bruiser has disappeared again, but the food is ready and waiting if he decides to pop in for a midnight snack!
    My obsession continues lol!
    Thanks again, happy hog watching! x

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    Hi Hettihog

    Glad that Cutie wasn’t upset by her weighing episode.

    It would be hard to say for sure whether Cutie was Hetty’s hoglet. It’s possible that they are related. But I have found that many hoglets seem to like sharing food bowls and they will share with hogs who aren’t their parent, both male and female, as well as other hoglets. So sharing a bowl isn’t a reliable indicator of parentage.

    Regarding the weight for hibernation. It was circulated a while back that 600g was the weight needed for hibernation, but it seems likely that that originally arose from a misconception. This has now been clarified.

    450g is the minimum weight recommended by the experts for wild hedgehogs for hibernation. Extract from: ‘They should normally be rescued at weights less than 450g in October – February (depending on weather, frequency at feeding stations, etc)’
    The 600g relates to releasing hedgehogs from care (in very late autumn/early winter), as they are likely to lose weight on release. (Information also contained in that document.)

    It isn’t always reliable assessing weight by looking at hogs, particularly on video – it’s better if you see the hog yourself – but if you see that Cutie has, say, doubled in size, then I, personally, wouldn’t weigh her again. Neither would I go around picking up every hoglet I saw and weighing it. Once you have weighed a hoglet you can get a pretty good idea of the sort of size of hoglet which might need rescuing.

    Bear in mind that there is no guarantee that there will be space for more hoglets in your local rescue, so it’s a good idea to contact them to find out, if you’re worried about a hoglet, before catching it. They will be familiar with the local weather conditions, etc. as well, so might recommend leaving a hoglet that is slightly below weight, if it’s visiting for food regularly and the weather is mild in the area.

    Sounds as if Cutie will get heavy enough, though, from what you say!


    Hi Nic
    Thanks for reply- must say it made me laugh, the very thought that I would go around picking up any hoglet that I saw in the vicinity to check the weight LOL! No I would have to be extremely concerned before I would intervene in the natural process of being wild!
    As far as my question about if the hog is Hettys is concerned, I wasn’t referring to the fact they were just sharing a bowl. It was more about the shared genetics, as there markings are almost identical!
    I really appreciate your support. And I’m much more confident that Cutie will soon match that of Hetty.
    Cutie was feeding alone last night, the heavy rain did not deter the need to fill the tummy one bit and I was pleased about that, especially as I got soaked to the skin putting the food out lol ! Hetty on the other hand waited for a break in the rain, it’s quite obvious that she dislikes the rain immensely and speeds up her movements, to the extent that she looks like a speeded up cartoon character on film lol – between the two of them they are getting through large amounts of supplied food and by the number of chewed Beatles left behind on the dishes, they are still getting lots of natural food as well. So all good! Breath and Relax Lol
    Thank you again your time on the forum it is invaluable! x


    Hi Nic
    Forgot to mention, I left a rather large potatoe near the feeding station, to give me a comparison for size.
    Happy Hog watching! x

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    Hi Hettihog

    I know what you mean about picking up hoglets! I wouldn’t imagine that you would after your reluctance to check Cutie! But other people read these posts as well, so sometimes I try to think about how they might interpret what’s said. I wouldn’t want to inadvertently encourage people to go around picking up hoglets and weighing them, when most of them are probably fine. Like you, I prefer not to intervene, unless it’s necessary.

    Re. Hetty’s markings. She could be related, it wouldn’t be surprising, but she could be a sibling from a different year, sharing both or one parent, aunt, etc., as well as mother. Loads of possibilities.

    Yes, they do look funny when they get up on their legs and run. Their legs are surprisingly long when they show them like that. I sometimes wonder whether it’s partly to keep their underneaths dry as well. They seem to mind the cold less than the rain and wind. It’s good to hear that the hogs there are eating some natural food as well. The hog here who spent months in Wildlife Hospital is sometimes seen eating wild food again as well, which I was pleased to see.

    Food bowls can make quite good comparisons for how big the hoglets are, too. i.e. when they are small they fit easily into the bowl, but the adults might be twice as big. I imagine you could make quite a good hedgehog model with a potato – maybe matchsticks or similar for spines!


    Hey Annker good to see you posting again! I hope you and yours are well!
    Yes a HOGLET! And yes your so right! What a responsibility!
    But truly I’m counting my blessings that I now have two hogs living in my garden Hetty and little Cutie!
    However, I doubt Little Cutie will remain Little for long! Out every night like clockwork 7.30pm Cutie is packing the food away, Spikes semi moist, Spikes Biscuit, Dog food – eats the lot, not at all fussy like Hetty. Cutie, unlike Hetty is not phased by the rain either – I have a very focused hoglet, focused on getting fat! lol 😂
    And Beautiful Hetty is fine, fit and dandy – all is well in my little bit of hedgehog world!
    Best wishes and happy hog watching!x


    Hi Hettihog, so glad alls well with you. We still have 2 little ones who are eating like mad the same as yours, only last night hardly any food went. It’s getting so cold here at night now. I’ve even found some ancient leg warmers (remember them) to go outside and check the food levels in the feeding station. I’m surprised some hogs are hibernating now as the leaves have only just started to fall here. Also lots of rain. We are OK here up north. Putting a fence up and doing a bit of gardening. It’s been fun and games. The hogs will have to use the gate now! They mostly go through next door at the back then onto a small piece of grassland, or through our hedge onto a piece of grassland at our side. Keep up the good work with your hogs, well done for weighing one, like you I would have been wondering what stress I would be putting them through. Best wishes.

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