Rescuing hedgehogs

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Marigold
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Rescuing hedgehogs

Post by Marigold » Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:55 pm

A few days ago I noticed a small hedgehog wandering round the lawn, in daylight. So I put down some of a tin of dog food I had left over from feeding the one I had rescued from a baking hot and barren field last summer, and had fed for several weeks afterwards. This little chap did seem to eat a bit of the food and then departed. Next day, the food disappeared again, but I don't know what ate it. The next two days were freezing cold so I didn't put food out, thinking he would have gone to sleep somewhere. But this morning Poppy was barking at him, in the early darkness on the lawn, so I put food down. An hour later it was untouched and he had wandered off and was just lying by the side of the lawn. So I brough him indoors and looked up about what I should have done for him when I found him first. This article was very useful

http://www.wildlifeonline.me.uk/hedgehog_care.html

I found that he should be at least 600 grams to have a chance of survival outside in the wild, and he is only 350 grams and feels very light for his size. He is now in an indoor guinea pig cage I used to use for raising quail chicks, with a box at one end for a bed, complete with snuggle safe heat pad covered in towelling, plus food and water with a little salt and augar in it, as recommended for rehydration. When it got dark, he crawled out and I think he had a bit of the food, and did a poo, but then just lay there so I put him back in the warm.
If he survives the weekend I shall probably take him to my local chicken vet, who specialises in all sorts of exotic animals - not that hedgehogs are exotic, but the vet may have some clue about the worming and possible antibiotic treatment he will probably need. Tomorrow I must go out and buy some proper hedgehog food and some mealworms, and if he looks like making it, I shall probably buy another Ecoglow to provide a steady source of heat, then in time I can move him from he spare bedroom out to the quail rearing cages in the shed in the garden until the weather improves. (I'm now regretting selling my Ecoglows to you, Val, but I'm glad you made good use of them!)
I just wondered if anybody else has had experience of overwintering hedgehogs - apparently it's quite common for the youngsters from a late litter to be too underweight to survive the winter without help. I would be very interested for any help and tips anyone else could give me. I've helped quite a few found wandering in daylight in hot dry conditions, but this is the first one who has come my way in winter.
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chrismahon
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Re: Rescuing hedgehogs

Post by chrismahon » Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:35 am

We've overwintered one Marigold. Found Henry at the bottom of the cellar steps covered in flystrike. Don't know how many days he had been there but we got all the eggs off him (took about an hour with tweezers) and then gave him water. He had no fleas- they must have jumped off when his body temperature fell. Bought him hedgehog food, both tinned and dried. Built him up with the tinned stuff then set him up in an A4 paper box with hay to overwinter in an upstairs bedroom. Importantly he needed an outer box with food and water because they often wake up and pop out to eat. So that's what the dried foodstuff stuff was for.

In Spring we released him into our Orchard where he proceeded to gorge himself on snails. He came back repeatedly and remained tame.
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Marigold
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Re: Rescuing hedgehogs

Post by Marigold » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:54 am

My little Tiggy has survived the night, and licked clean the saucer of tinned dog food. I put in some more at 7.15, when I changed his hot water bottle, and he ate quite a lot if that by 8.30, before climbing back in to the hottie and going to sleep. Looking a bit more hopeful, but from what I've read, the underweight little ones do sometimes appear OK for a day or so and then just die for no apparent reason. At least, if that happens he will die in warmth and comfort! You have to commit to keeping the underweight little ones awake and feeding until at least April, because if they just went back to sleep they would starve again.
Am wondering about Flubenvet for worming as the worm spectrum is the same as for chickens. Will ask vet.
The one I rescued in the summer evidently had the same good sense of time as the hens do - I would put his food down en route for the chicken run in late afternoon and he would sometimes actually be waiting in the protective box covering the plate when I got there!
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Re: Rescuing hedgehogs

Post by tygrysek75 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:53 am

Hedgehogs are such sweet creatures ,good luck with taking care of him.I must say I had't seen one for very long time now,never in England anyway.I use to look after one when I was 10 years old back in Poland,so 30 years ago :D It seems that you doing everything right for him and time will tell if he make it or not.Very lucky to come across and having a chance to take care of him :-)08
The older I get the older old is.
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Marigold
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Re: Rescuing hedgehogs

Post by Marigold » Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:30 pm

Weighed him this morning and he is now 375 grams, up 25 grams - over 6% of his bodyweight. I've now ordered him an Ecoglow as its a bit of a bind to have to keep on replacing hot bottles.
When I was walking the dog this morning, a couple of houses down from us I saw a sad little juvenile hedgehog body on the wet road, squashed absolutely flat. I wonder if this one was brother or sister to Tiggy. I suppose the long warm summer and autumn meant that there were quite a few litters born too late to be able to put on enough weight to take them through hibernation.
Maybe we all need to keep a watch out for them?
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Marigold
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Re: Rescuing hedgehogs

Post by Marigold » Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:17 am

Up to 408 grams this morning, after a very active night, judging by the chaos in his cage. Poppy rather agitated about sharing her bedroom with a stranger she can't get in contact with, because his 'basket' is in the worktop above her bed.
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