When is it safe to leave it?
When baby hedgehogs (hoglets) are about four weeks old they start to venture out of the nest with their mothers. At this age they look like perfect miniatures. Occasionally one of the more adventurous ones may come out of the nest in the day but will be busy searching for food and will then return to the nest, provided he is busy then there is probably nothing to worry about.
However some hoglets whose mother has been killed will venture out of the nest in search of her. They will do this even when newborn. They are likely to be seen out in the day, they may be squeaking (it sounds like a bird but at ground level) and there may be flies around them. They may be single or even three or four close together. These hoglets need rescuing as soon as possible. (See first aid for hedgehogs).
Exceptions might be where there is a nest at the top of a slope and perhaps a hoglet has rolled down the slope and cannot return to the nest. If in doubt call us for advice because if they are left too long they may get maggots on them, so do act quickly. Also if they have to be rescued the better condition they are in the more chance of being successfully hand-reared.
The hoglets should be handled using gloves (so your smell does not get on them) and placed on a covered hot water bottle and then covered with a small towel. If you find only one do have a look for more. If your dog or cat is interested in a spot in the garden he/she may have found others. If birds like magpies are getting excited and chattering they may be attacking other hoglets.
Above all seek advice as soon as you are concerned.
Adapted and reproduced with the kind permission of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.