Saturday, 14 April 2012

Behind The Scenes

Not many people get to see behind the scenes and inside the hedgehog shed. Which is lucky really because most of the time it smells of hedgehogs (not a good smell) and it isn't often tidy (much like my house). However I recently discovered there was a competition for Shed Of The Year. So decided our shed may just be different enough to have a chance of winning the prize.

So I gave it a quick tidy and took some shots. I then completed the application form and uploaded some images. If you'd like to see our entry please click here.

Now the hedgehog shed (also known as the hedgehog rehabilitation unit) was part funded by the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species and as you can see it looks an ordinary 6' x 8' green shed from the outside.

Tasha often helps at feeding time by picking up food I drop  

However a lot is packed into a small space. The shed can house (comfortably) 12 hedgehogs but there have been times when it's housed 16. This meant I had to prepare meals on the floor, as the work surface was covered by pet carriers housing hoglets.

The view as I open the door

On the left there are 8 purpose built hutches. All made by my Uncle Albert from reclaimed wood. These are lined with tiles for ease of cleaning and have a separate sleeping and run area. Each hutch houses (normally) a single hedgehog and on the front is a data card.

Cleaned with dinner ready and waiting

Under the work surface on the right there are two cages that house our really sick hedgehogs and hoglets. These contain plug in heat pads that keep a constant temperature. When unwell hedgehogs often have problems keeping their body temperature up, so a heat pad helps with this.      

Ready and waiting for the next unwell hedgehog

Above these I have two high sided grey pallets (donated by a friend) that are used for the very small hoglets. I use these as it allows me to keep a constant temperature (they also have heat pads in them) and also the hoglets can't escape by squeezing through the bars (which has happened in the past). 

The smallest hoglets raised to date weighing just 32 and 34 grams

Now you've seen inside HQ I'll take this opportunity to show you just two of the gardens owned by our carers. 
This is owned by Alan and is totally enclosed

Alan's job is to assess how a hedgehog will cope if released. Once a hedgehog has been with him for a couple of weeks we can decide if it is suitable for release or needs to live in one of our large enclosed gardens. 

This belongs to Rob and Di and is used as part of our release strategy

In here we can hibernate hedgehogs over winter. Then when the weather is right the door is opened and if they stay they stay if they go they go! We do try to alternate the gender of the hedgehogs in the hopes they discover one another and breed.   

I hope you have enjoyed seeing behind the scenes and if you have time please like our entry for Shed Of The Year 2012 clicking here.

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