I also do Hedgehog Rescue where I take in young hedgehogs that cannot be left in the wild for several reasons.

I rear them until they are old enough, heavy enough and well enough to be released.

 These Hedgehogs are not pets and must be reared with a view to release.

It is against the law to keep a wild hedgehog in captivity.

Reasons for rescuing a wild Hedgehog

  • If you know that the baby hedgehogs mother has been killed.
  • If the hedgehog is out looking for food during the daytime.
  • If it is out in the daytime and squeaking.
  • If the Hedgehog is wobbling or rocking and looks ill.
  • If the Hedgehog is damaged in any way.
  • If the Hedgehog is out when it should be hibernating in the winter.

Things that you should not use or have if you get Hedgehogs as visitors

  • Any type of Pesticide.
  • Weedkillers in any areas.
  • Slug Pellets.
  • Cattle Grids.
  • Nets, Bottles, Cans, Plastic Cups,
  • Uncovered Drains.
  • Shed & Garage Doors left open.
  • Dogs unsupervised when it is dark and they could be visiting the garden.

Things that you could provide in your garden to help Hedgehog visitors

  • You can build or buy Hedgehog boxes to put under hedges for them to use.
  • Provide a wood pile in a quiet corner of the garden to encourage insects.
  • Compost Heaps can help to encourage bugs, worms etc but you need to be careful as they also encourage rats and mice.
  • Plant some wild flowers in part of the garden to encourage the neetles, caterpillars etc.
  • Plant up Rockeries as these encourage frogs, newts etc and provide cover.
  • If you have a pond ensure that an area is suitable for them to walk in, drink and walk away, as they cannot swim and will drown.
  • Provide dried Hedgehog  food and a dish of clean water for your visitors.

  Food that you can provide for Hedgehogs to eat

  • Spikes Hedgehog Food which is dried and suitable for them.
  • My Hedgehog Food which is available from the shop page.
  • Dried Muesli with dried Fruit, but it MUST NOT HAVE NUTS.
  • High Protein, Low Fat, Chicken or Turkey Cat Food in Jelly (not gravy)
  • Dried Raisins.
  • Caterpillars, earthworms, beetles etc.

What to do if you find a Hedgehog in need

The best thing to do is to get in touch with your local rescue or your local vets.

If you wish to look after the hedgehog yourself then get in touch with a local rescue so that they can work with you. It takes total committment regarding time spent looking after them. They do smell and need cleaning every day at least once. There is no funding to help unless you fund raise yourself so you need to be prepared to spend money on food. 

 

How to look after a Hedgehog from Baby to release, to give you some idea

On arrival - this depends on the age of the hedgehog. Most that we get are medium sized and come to us cold, hungry, with fleas and ticks.

Firstly I warm them up which can be putting them in a box with a towel wrapped round a plastic bottle filled with warm water, warm water in a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, heatmat in a towel, or a wheatbag. 

I would then feed them according to their age, see below for details.

I would toilet them if required, see below for details.

I would then treat for fleas, if  required, using Johnstones rid-mite.

I would then treat for ticks. You can either smother with vegetable oil but I tend to cover the tick with vaseline and this works. If in any doubt take to a vet, never try to pull a tick off.

 I would then continue care as required as appropriate for the age and condition of the Hedgehog.

 Care required for the age of Hegdehog

1 week old: - Hoglet usually 25-55gms. No teeth, eyes and ears closed. These need to be fed with 1-2ml of warm goats milk (not cows) this needs to be diluted with 2:1water. They also need vitamins and goats colostrum (ask vets) Give milk every 2-3hrs. Keep warm at 24C

They also need to be stimulated to wee and poo. I find that using a piece of rolled kitchen towel stroked over these two areas makes them perform. This must be done after every feed.

2 week old: - Hoglet usually 55-85gms. No teeth and eyes closed but ears may be open. Fed on 3-5ml of warm goats milk diluted with 2:1 water. They also need the vitamins. They also need to be cleaned and toileted as above. Keep warm at 24C.

3 weeks old: - Hoglet usually 85-115gms. Eyes will be opening and the teeth will be beginning to come through. They will start to lap up the goats milk 2:1 water. You can also liquidize up some puppy/kitten and food for them but ensure it does not have gravy in it and that it is chicken or turkey. You will still need to clean and toilet them at this stage. Keep warm at 24C

4 weeks old:- Hoglet usually 115-170gms. Decrease the amount of goats milk and offer more water. You can also offer puppy/kitten food in jelly, either chicken or turkey. You can also treat for worms using panacur powder 110mg/500gm sprinkling it between 3 feeds and then repeat in two weeks (check with vet). You will still need to clean and toilet them at this stage.

5 week old:- Hedgie usually 170-225gms. You should be providing them with a meal twice a day that consists of puppy/cat food in jelly, chicken or turkey. Vitamins, Cereal like Muesli but NO nuts. Cooked chicken, scrambled eggs, grated cheese and banana occasionally. You should not need to clean and toilet but keep an eye and make sure that it can do it itself. You can now reduce the heat but keep indoors. You also need to stop handling them so that they become wild animals again.

6 - 7 week old:- Hedgie usually 225-310gm. You just need to ensure that they have food and water available at all times. You can reduce the heat now and when suitable move them to rabbit hutches outside. Do not handle them apart from cleaning them out.

8 weeks old:- Hedgehog usually around 350gm. They need to have adult cat food, chicken or turkey in jelly, dried hedgehog food and muesli (no nuts) provided with clean water. Vitamins once a week. I also try and get them into an ark type pen so that they can forage around at night. They usually sleep during the day.

When they reach 600gm by the time they reach this weight, they should be totally wild and looking after themselves, eating and drinking well at night. Mine will by now have been in the outdoor runs looking after themselves. When they are ready I will put the food out as normal at night with water and open the door for them. I will go out every night and put food and water out for them. I find that they do stay around sometimes and they will come back for the food, but some just get up and leave home for ever.

I am lucky to have a suitable area to release them in which is great. I do find that sometimes during the autumn and spring that I do have some visit me, so I always provide water bowls and bowls of dried food for them to eat if they want to.

It is very rewarding to do this, but it takes money and committment. The results are not always good because unfortunately  many of the young ones come to us too late. They are very quickly attacked by flies, get cold very quickly and deteriorate in health very quickly. Many of them do not even make it when they are with their mothers so we can only do our best.

Every one that we can save is a wonderful thing.

Any questions then please contact me lindaj.batk@btinternet.com

 

Information on Hedgies rescued

October 2014

on 15th August 2014 I had a phone call from a couple in Rugby about a couple of young hedgehogs who they have seen coming from underneath their front door step that has a hole in it. They lived just off a busy main road so were worried. They have not seen a mum around at all.

I advised them to put some food out and watch what happens. This they did and suddenly 4 young hoglets came out to eat the food but no mum. These hoglets then started to walk towards the road so they took them in. They were cold and ate lots more food and drank.

The next day they contacted me and arranged to bring them to me and this is what they were like.

 

 They weighed between 118gm and 126gm.

 It is now 18th October 2014 and they are 3 times bigger and doing really well. They have been moved outdoors now into a purpose built enclosed area where they are now looking after themselves. They have food and water available all day but are now only coming out at night, like the wild ones. I go down and watch them come out and eat and play to ensure that they are all okay. This is where they will become totally wild and start to eat slugs etc.

All of these hedgehogs will be overwintered and then released in a local wood in the spring, if all goes well.