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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Hedgehog Care

With the hedgehog population in decline we can all do our bit to help this year’s hoglets.
Mid to late August is the start of the crisis period for many autumn juvenile hedgehogs. This often goes into November and sometimes youngsters will survive beyond this time.

By putting out food for the hedgehogs under a feeding station we can ensure that any nocturnal visitors will have a plate of food and a dry spot to eat it. Encourage the youngsters into your garden and get them used to your voice etc. Put out food at the same time and in the same place each night. Hedgehogs often have a routine and one may appear at 9pm from under the shed and another at 9.34pm from behind the dustbin and another at 11pm under the gate. Often they will appear again later in the night for another supper.

Once we get to September it’s a good idea to start weighing each juvenile to check it is putting on weight. If it doesn’t increase in weight by perhaps 30-40gms a week (or better still more than that) then you may need to think about whether it has worms. If this is the case get in touch with a local hedgehog rehabilitator – the BHPS may be able to help find your nearest one.

If you are feeding the hedgehogs the general rule of thumb is that if the dish is empty in the morning, and you know it has not been eaten by cats, then put out more the next night.

If you want to find out more about hedgehogs visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s web site at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk We have a leaflet called “Autumn Juveniles” that you may find of help and interest.

If you find a hedgehog needing help or if you need more advice, call the BHPS on 01584 890801 – it is better to be safe than sorry. Hedgehogs in trouble are usually seen out in the daytime.

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