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Will they be ok for winter?

Home Forums Champions’ chat Will they be ok for winter?

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  • #11826

    Hello, we are new to the forum. We have an adult hedgehog visiting us since end July. We started following the advice given here (dog food, no fish based, water, build a house, add a camera to enjoy its nightly endeavors). And then, for our delight last week we were surprised we have 3 hoglets coming with her! But the question is: are they too small and will they survive winter?
    We know the ideal is to weight them but we want to leave them undisturbed (as we don’t want to scare them coming back), so besides weight how can we know if they will survive? Their estimated sizes (we used the feeding tray to estimate it) is 10 -to 12 cm max – if it wasn’t for the camera we by naked eye could think they look like large rats haha). You can see them in our profile picture.
    We want to be sure they will be okay or should we get help to overwinter them? Would anyone know if 10/12 cm hoglet sizes in mid September is still ok?
    Any advice from the people here who understand about these little friends would be great!
    Ps: we initially posted on the wrong Forum topic “sights”)

    Avatar photo

    Hi The Gallaghers

    Welcome to the Forum. I’m pleased to hear that you have some hoglets. You are so lucky to be able to get a photo of them all with Mum.

    There are so many variables about whether they are big enough to survive hibernation. It partly depends on whereabouts in the country you are and what the weather conditions are. Personally, I think it’s too early to be worrying about whether they are big enough yet. Last year some of the hedgehogs here didn’t hibernate until early December. Hopefully they still have a while to grow before the bad weather sets in. It is quite hard to judge from measurements, ideally they need to be sort of rounded as well, but they do still sound quite small at the moment, but they grow very quickly at that age.

    If the weather starts to get bad and they still seem small, it might be a good idea to have a chat with your local rescue and they will be able to advise you with regard to local conditions, etc. You can get the number of your local carer from the BHPS on 01584 890801. But the best thing is to try to weigh them. I know you are reluctant to, but it’s the only way to find out and they usually come back for food. You may only need to weigh one of them and if it’s a good weight and the others are about the same size they should be ok. If you get organised in advance – have a box ready in case and have some scales ready outside – you can just scoop one up, weigh it and let it go again very quickly, if it’s heavy enough, with minimum stress to it. If it’s too light, then it would potentially need catching anyway.

    Don’t worry about posting on the wrong section, it’s all a bit variable anyway! You might just get two replies.

    Good luck. I hope the hoglets do well.


    Hi Nic, thanks very much for the response and guidance. We live in Liverpool and right now weather is still mild, around 15C. One of the hoglets we see using our homemade hedgehog house every night so may be easier to continue monitor him/her. We will see if they get “rounder” and keep an eye and see if needed weighting. Thanks for the contact number, we will try next week.
    We noticed the mother isn’t eating anymore and just the 3 hoglets goes for the food, she comes and wander off straight away all night. By the time the camera gets her back (around 5am) there is no more food left and is the only time she sniffs the plate..). Not sure how to feed her or should we not worry?
    Sorry for so many questions, we are so happy to be having these visitors and want to ensure we try provide what possible for these little friends while they come to visit 🙂

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    15 degrees C. sounds fine. Last year, for the first time, I had a hoglet who decided not to hibernate, despite being heavy enough. He continued to visit all winter, part of which was very cold (- 5 or 6 I seem to recall), and only missed two nights when the snow was too deep! He continued to grow all winter. He spent some days in a nest he built here, but obviously had another elsewhere as well.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the adult. Are the hoglets still arriving with her? I think if she was really hungry she would eat with them. But, she might be trying to encourage them to become independant. You could try dividing the food between several bowls and see if it makes any difference. You’ll probably find the hoglets still like sharing, even if there is plenty of room for them to have one each!

    Don’t worry about asking too many questions. There are plenty of people here very happy to answer, if we can.

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