Saturday, 30 September 2017

The Hedgehog Shed Gets a Make-over

The shed has been in need of some major TLC for some time. As you can see from the photograph below. There was simply no room to put anything. So something drastic had to be done.

Thankfully earlier in the year Pat from Mutts in Distress kindly passed on our details to a simply wonderful lady (Karen Street) who for years has been organising fund raising quiz nights. Karen offered to organise a quiz for us. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up and the amount raised. Some of the money has been spent on food and vet bills. However if you scroll down you can see how some of that the money has helped me transform the hedgehog shed.

It took me sometime to find someone who would do the job. But finally Tony the Handyman was recommended to me. He came round, I explained what was needed and that I had loads of salvaged wood which he could use. A date was set, the shed was cleared out and now I have storage and room to move.

So a huge thank you to Karen, the quizzers and Tony the Handyman. All of whom are Hedgehog Heroes.

P.S. If you're in need of a handyman please contact me via the Herts Hogline Facebook page and I'll give you Tony's contact details.  



Thursday, 21 September 2017

Hedgehogs in October by Kay Bullen (BHPS Trustee)

Time is getting on and just as we might prepare early for Christmas so the hedgehogs must prepare to hibernation. When birds are flying to warmer climates, squirrels and Jays are building up food stores, hedgehogs are also building up their food stores; but theirs will be internal fat. One type of fat to live off and another one to kick start their waking processes.

This extra fat must be sufficient to see them through the whole of the winter. If they do not have enough fat stored they will not be able to survive the winter and may have to delay going into hibernation. However, as the weather gets colder so their natural food will disappear, this produces a vicious circle, they are searching for more food and that food is less abundant.

This is why extra food can be a life saver. A dry nest box in which to make their hibernation nest would be a bonus.  Provided they have plenty of food and a dry place to sleep in, they can hibernate later or may even survive the winter without hibernating.  It is not the cold weather that kills them rather the lack of food it brings.  Having said that if their nest is in a cold damp environment and their bedding is damp then they will struggle against hypothermia. The young, weak, sick and elderly hedgehogs will be the most vulnerable.

A dish of water should also be provided especially if you are feeding them dry foods. If the food and water can be place inside a feeding station this would give them a certain protection from the frosts and would also keep the hedgehog dry when it is feeding in the rain or snow.

For more information about Autumn Juveniles visit the BHPS website and view the leaflet section for the “Autumn Juvenile” leaflet.  If you need advice about a particular hedgehog it would be helpful if you could weigh it before calling, as this helps us to give the most appropriate advice.

If you are concerned about your local visiting hedgehog contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, they can give general advice and perhaps details of a local hedgehog rehabilitator that you can contact.  Contact them on 01584 890801 or for general advice visit their web site.   

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Hedgehogs in June by British Hedgehog Preservation Society

Just under two weeks old - 05/06/17
This is the time of year when we expect most of the first litters of hoglets to be born.  They are going to be very vulnerable.  If anything happens to mum in the first 7-8 weeks then these hoglets are unlikely to survive without help.  They do not come out of the nest to start foraging with mum until they are 4 weeks old.  So any out of the nest under this age are likely to be abandoned and they are coming out in desperation calling for their mother. 

Should you find a dead adult in your neighbourhood, and it is safe to do so, try to determine whether it is a male or female.  They are very similar to dogs and bitches so are easy to sex if they have not been too badly damaged.  The males do not contribute to the rearing of the hoglets so only if it is a female could there be a risk of any hoglets being orphaned.

If you have a nest in your garden and are concerned the mum may have been killed listen for high pitched squeaks and perhaps place a small screwed up piece of paper in the entrance to the nest, this will be pushed aside as any hedgehog exits the nest.  It is best not to disturb the nest unless you are certain the mum will not be returning.  If you are wrong and the nest is occupied and you have pulled it apart the mother may abandon her babies, or even kill them.

If you accidently disturb a nest try to restore it quickly and without too much fuss.  Check with the screwed up piece of paper to see whether mum is returning, they all react differently, some move the babies over several days, a few have been known to kill them whilst other just abandon them.  If the nest is in a place where it cannot be left catch the mother before the babies as she will be the most mobile.  Place her in high sided box with some of the bedding from the nest and then slip her babies in with her.  Contact the BHPS to find a local contact who can advise and if necessary take in the family.  Do not release them somewhere yourself as mum is very likely to abandon them, given the amount of disturbance she has endured.

With any hedgehog in trouble the sooner it is rescued the more chance there is that it will survive.  Hoglets in trouble will be out in the day (or perhaps without mum at night), squeaking, lying in the open (perhaps several huddled together), flies buzzing around them and even large birds taking an interest with them.

If you are concerned about your local visiting hedgehog, need advice or find an orphaned, sick or injured hedgehog contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, they can give general advice and perhaps details of a local hedgehog rehabilitator you can contact.  Contact them on 01584 890801 or for general advice visit their web site.