Thursday, 16 May 2013

Get Ready For Hoglets - by The British Hedgehog Preservation Society

Although the natural world is a little behind schedule this year, there will still be some hoglets born in June.  Mum will have 4-5 hoglets in a litter.  They are born blind, deaf and naked; however the first set of prickles starts to poke through when the hoglets are just 2 hours old.

Hand reared hoglet lapping goats milk NEVER give cows

If you have a regular visitor to your garden at this time of year it is likely to be a female rather than a nomadic male.  Be aware that she may have chosen your garden in which to make her nest and take extra care when gardening, so you do not disturb that nest.  Should you accidentally disturb a nest then recover it as best you can.  With luck the female will return and over the next few days she may well move her litter to a new nest.  If however she does not return, then the litter will need to be taken into care.  You can tell if she returns by making an opening into the nest and putting a small object that will be pushed aside as she enters the nest.  Do not keep checking the nest by opening it up (this applies to undisturbed nests as well) as extra disturbance may well make her disappear altogether or even attack her young. 

In general any small hoglets found in the garden squeaking or just lying about will need to be rescued.  Bring them indoors, put in a high-sided box and most importantly provide them with a covered warm hot water bottle (keep replacing the water so it does not get too cold).  If there is only one hoglet, please search for more.  Call us or the British HedgehogPreservation Society ASAP for advice.

If a nest is in an inappropriate place or a dog will continually disturb it and it needs to be move please do make sure you catch the mother first as she is the one that will run away.  Without mum the chances of the litter surviving will be reduced, especially if they are new born.  There is no substitute for the real mum with real hedgehog milk.

Note - putting an object at or in the entrance of a nest box will also tell you whether it is in use without opening it up and checking.

If you want to find out more about hedgehogs visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s web.  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.

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