Meet this cute little autumn hoglet we have rescued for the winter.
My step dad Ian and our next door neighbour, Rachel, were on a walk in Skipwith Common, close to our home in East Yorkshire, where Paddy pooch sniffed out the small, skinny baby hog. Knowing that small hogs seen in daylight is normally a concern, they brought him home.
We weighed the spikey ball and he (?) came in just under 250g. This useful website explained that hedgehogs should weigh at least 350g to survive the winter and that spotting one out in daylight is often a worrying sign.
Having read the fact sheet we decided the best place for the hoglet would be with an expert who knows exactly how to care for the cute beast. I rang the local hedgehog rescue and spoke to a lovely lady who explained she couldn’t take any more hedgehogs in. Apparently most hedgehog rescues have been inundated with hedgehogs this autumn. The lady patiently explained how I can care for the baby and offered to speak to me anytime I need advice.
He’s now living in a cage with a small heated box lined with a snuggly towel with an assortment of food options- tinned cat food, ferret biscuits and scrambled egg. He’s eating well so fingers crossed he will make it through to the end of April when he can be released. There’s a high probability he will be infected with lungworm which many wild hedgehogs contract and can be fatal. Hopefully now he’s warm and well fed he will fatten up nicely and survive the long winter in our cosy house.
If you find a small hedgehog out in the daylight at this time of year, it could be in danger. If you can,
take him home to weigh. If he’s under 350g give your local hedgehog rescue a call. Be careful when picking them up; they wont bite but they are very spikey so use a jumper or similar to wrap around him. If he turns out to be a good weight it’s worth calling the rescue still just to get a second option. If you can, release the hedgehog close to where you found him and in a safe area such as under a bush. If there are roads close by it will be better taking him into a garden with good access or into a wood or hedgerow close by.
Here’s a useful map of the UK showing local hedgehog rescues.