Possibly confused by the unusual weather some hedgehogs are late in surfacing from
hibernation but are appearing in number now. Currently the rescue is almost full but we are striving to make some space for the orphaned hoglets that will arrive any day.
May/June is the prime breeding season for hedgehogs and you may hear them snuffling and puffing in your garden as they vie for a female’s attention. Contrary to our usual advice that a hedgehog out during the day it is in trouble, from now on until about the end of June we recommend a bit of caution.
“Mum” may just have come out for a breather from the hoglets – and the heat in the nest. So if you see an adult hedgehog in daytime observe it from a safe distance for a while. If it appears uninjured and moving purposefully then it’s probably best to leave well alone. But if you keep seeing it or are concerned contact us for advice. Feeding 5-6 hoglets is hard work so, as always, a dish of food and plentiful water in your garden will ensure any nursing Mum doesn’t have to travel too far to top up her reserves.
Hoglets in a disturbed nest must not be handled as the mother will abandon or kill them if they have human scent on them. Repair the nest as best you can, wearing gloves, and keep an eye open for her return. If she does not reappear in an hour or so then the hoglets will probably have to be rescued but please contact us urgently before taking any action. And DIY enthusiasts might be interested to know that research by the British Hedgehog Preservation
Society reveals that hogs prefer home-made houses to commercial ones.
Like all youngsters hoglets are very curious. Look around and move plant pots or similar
hazards well out of reach as an inquisitive hedgehog can get stuck in them. Bean and pea netting should be raised at least 5 inches from the ground to avoid entanglement and, of course, slug pellets are disastrous and lead to a slow, very painful death for the hedgehog.
There are plenty of safer commercial and homemade alternatives. Planting slug repellent
plants can also work wonders for reducing the pests in your garden. Leaving a swathe of uncut grass in your lawn provides an ideal area for hedgehogs to find a tasty insect or two. Finally, if you find a severely injured hedgehog please call us before bringing it in to the rescue.
We can sometimes work miracles but broken legs, deep maggot infested wounds and the like need the resources of a veterinary hospital and as quickly as possible. We can provide details of appropriate veterinary practices. You will not be charged by the vet as the hedgehog is a wild animal and, if it survives, will be transferred to us for recuperation.
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