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Will my Hedgehog put on enough weight?

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Will my Hedgehog put on enough weight?

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    Hello, I have three hedgehogs in my garden each night, but one is very small compared to the others. I gently captured him last night to weigh him/her outside and he is only weighing in at 300 grams. The temperature in the last 3 nights has dropped to 5 degrees. I’ve been putting plenty of food out every night for them (although a large rat often pushes them off the food) but I’m not sure if I should intervene or if he/she will double their weight sufficiently for the next month to survive hibernation?

    I’ve tried contacting a couple of rescue centres near me, but they seem to be busy and I’ve been unable to speak to anyone. I am ok if its the right thing to do to keep him safe inside to put on weight over the next month, but if my wee hoggy needs overwintering I’m concerned as I need to move overseas in December.

    Any tips or advice to help my spiky friend?

    Avatar photo

    Hi Francine

    The little hog doesn’t need to double in weight, the minimum recommended weight to survive hibernation is 450g. Although, hibernation is a difficult time for hogs and not all will survive regardless of their weight going into hibernation.

    But at this stage, if you are feeding and the little one is regularly turning up for food and is otherwise healthy, I would be inclined to leave it in the wild and keep an eye on it. They do tend to put on weight very quickly when they’re small. Some hoglets choose not to hibernate even if they are over 450g. I have had a couple here and they continued to visit in well sub-zero temperatures. If a hog doesn’t hibernate, just keep feeding and providing water.

    Over-wintering in captivity is very stressful for hogs and not all of those will survive either. I think the hog there is better off staying in the wild if possible. Of course when it gets a bit later and hoglets are still very low weights, they are likely to need help, but it sounds as if the little one there has a good chance of putting on enough weight whilst staying in the wild.

    Good luck. Hope all goes well with the hogs.


    thank you Nic, that’s really helpful!

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