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DTMark

Should I Be Seeing This In The Garden..

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It's always nice to see these.

But should I be seeing one in the garden today?

I thought they were all hibernating by now. This one looks like one of this year's infants.

hedgehog.jpg

Is it in trouble in some way?

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Its out of focus...see Analogue to Digital thread for tips on resolution.

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I don't think they do one long hibination, if its been warm round your way it may've woken up to have a snuffle about to see what it can find. I think they like a bit of dog food - might need to check on that, I do know the old milk 'n bread thing turned out to be very bad for them.

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It has been really cold, it's not so bad today, wind has died down - a little warmer.

We are feeding a stray/feral cat while we attempt to befriend and adopt it, but I don't think the hedgehog has worked out where the food is.

http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/inthewild/gardenhedgehogs

Food and fresh water will encourage hedgehogs to return. Leave out foods like minced meat, tinned dog or cat food (not fish-based), crushed cat biscuits, or chopped boiled eggs. Specialist hedgehog food can also be bought from wild bird food suppliers.

Never feed hedgehogs milk as it can cause diarrhoea; instead provide plain, fresh water in a shallow bowl.

I'll go and see if I can, er, feed it :)

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It's always nice to see these.

But should I be seeing one in the garden today?

I thought they were all hibernating by now. This one looks like one of this year's infants.

hedgehog.jpg

Is it in trouble in some way?

Jealous

When I used to live somewhere with a decent back section and a family of hedgehogs I used to go to bed accompanied by the sound of the little darlings chomping away on slugs and snails.

If that's a late season young 'un it might do with a little help to see it through the winter. Remember, and someone will probably beat me to it, dog or cat biscuits if you feed them, never milk.

Caring for autumn juvenile hedgehogs (PDF 130KB)

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I thought hedgehogs were in decline, certainly, have only seen two at any one time this year in the garden where before it might have been four or more when dusk arrives.

This one is possibly the smallest I've seen, really tiny. I think our resident female only had one this year, so it might be this one.

It has made off now, but I know where they live, or rather, where they enter the garden from, so I'll put some food out tonight in its path. Hopefully the hedgehog can get to it before the cat does.

If I see it in the day I'll go out and put the food right in front of it.

The badgers were the best - a few years back, did the same, and was literally face to face with a badger at eye level. I didn't realise at the time that they can actually be dangerous, they are powerful animals. But truly stunning all the same. Seeing them on TV just doesn't do them justice.

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I thought hedgehogs were in decline, certainly, have only seen two at any one time this year in the garden where before it might have been four or more when dusk arrives.

There are none left where I live now, when twenty or more years ago there were heaps. Which is why I'd go a little bit out of my way to lend them a helping hand, if appropriate.

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I shall do just that.

There is actually a 'hedgehog club' in this village, a kind of offshoot of the 'countryside and diversity group' so I might get in touch with them, they were trying to measure the population and were asking for feedback.

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It's hard to get a sense of scale, but including the spikes, it's about the size of a large-ish hamster. Really small.

The hedgehog, that is.

They are supposed to be a certain weight (not sure what) by winter, or they will not survive. My brother and SIL have regularly kept one or two underweight babies over the winter, in a rabbit hutch in their conservatory, and fed them special hedgehog food, but it used to be cat food before this was available. Not that everybody would want to do this! If you can catch it and have a wildlife sanctuary nearby that is probably the best bet.

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Got a night camera that does snaps on movement or a short film triggered by movement....seen all sorts of night wildlife including badgers and hedgehogs during the dark hours, not seen the hedgehogs for a few weeks now so think they maybe hibernating nearby...usually under the shed. ;)

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Funny you should say this.

My wife told me this week that she heard a seasonal plea from the media that if you saw a hedgehog from now on to contact a local sanctuary.

If the hedgehog is too stupid to hibernate, natural selection should be allowed to take it's path.

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Put out some water, and some dried mealworm. They love it. Still two or three active in my garden any frost free night the last couple of weeks. Wait til after dark to put the mealworm out, as otherwise the birds will devour them rapidly!

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By way of an update, at this moment, it is tucking into a bowl of cat food and crunchy biscuits on the back door step.

Most excellent! You will make it fat enough to hibernate the winter! Five house points! :)

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Oooh controversial.

It is exactly that sort of Malthusian attitude that allowed the famines in Ireland and India to proceed unchecked. The Darwinian/Malthusian world of nature is happily seized upon by the elites as it allows them to weave stories about their superiority and to allow them to do nothing in the face of death and poverty.

And look what happened to the Irish! Being perpetually fecked is in now their blood!

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By way of an update, at this moment, it is tucking into a bowl of cat food and crunchy biscuits on the back door step.

Give it a bowl of milk.

We are constantly warned that one should never give milk to a hedgehog, so I want to know what happens.

If they can't digest milk, they are miserable failures as mammals.

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Mark - Please contact your nearest hedgehog rescue - it will not survive without help.

We (the wife mainly) look after sick / injured / underweight hogs for a local rescue centre so I know a fair bit about them.

The one you have is from a late litter. Far too small to hibernate. They need to be a minimum of 800g to make it through winter. I'd guess that one is 300g or less.

Foodwise - give it wet dog food or cat buscuits and a dish of water.

If you get in touch with a rescue centre they may come out to you but if not, get a cat carrier or plastic box to put it in, ideally with straw or ripped up newspaper for bedding. You can safely handle them with gardening gloves. They have a turn of speed if they run for it but usually they will just curl up. They don't bite.

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