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What do I do with this hedgehog?

(19 Posts)
Hairyhat Sat 08-Oct-16 19:14:37

Last night we saw a hedgehog snuffling round our lane. Took some cat food out then went back 10 minutes later and decided he/she was too small to attempt winter at that weight. Brought it in put it in a dog cage with straw and more cat food and water.
Today my DP went to the vets with it for advice and to see if it was underweight or just a small hedgehog. The vets was shut.
I have just uncovered some hay to check on it, give more cat food and water. It's not moving much but definitely breathing.
Should I return it to the wild? Wait till the vets is open on Monday? Is it sleeping just now and will wake up later when it's properly dark? Or has it gone into hibernation?
I don't know what to do for the best please help!

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Sat 08-Oct-16 19:29:59

Is there a wildlife rescue near to you? If there is I would phone them tomorrow and they will probably offer to take it in.

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Sat 08-Oct-16 19:31:18

And keep it in the box for tonight with food and water. No fish flavour cat food. ( Read that on here a week or two ago).

BastardGoDarkly Sat 08-Oct-16 19:32:53

Awwww no, don't turf it out tonight, it'll just be sleeping.

Keep it till Monday and try and find a rescue to ring for advice?

DollyBarton Sat 08-Oct-16 19:33:16

My pet one used to love bread soaked in milk! Don't know if it's good or bad for them though. I think it's getting close to hibernation time so I think you need to find out what is the right thing to do in relation to this.

TrionicLettuce Sat 08-Oct-16 19:37:53

British Hedgehog Preservation Society - what to do if you have found or are concerned about a hedgehog

GerundTheBehemoth Sat 08-Oct-16 19:42:05

Bread and milk is really bad for hedgehogs (well, it's the milk really). You can search for a wildlife rescue here.

Hairyhat Sat 08-Oct-16 19:48:55

Thank you all so much. I know milk is very bad for hedgehogs and I'm only giving meaty cat food. I certainly won't turf him out and will keep him nice and warm until Monday.
I just wanted reassurance that I wasn't doing more harm than good.

Hairyhat Sat 08-Oct-16 19:50:32

Don't think there's a wildlife centre nearby but I will phone the number on BHPS website tomorrow in case there is. Thanks again

Hairyhat Sat 08-Oct-16 20:06:30

No wildlife centre within a 50 mile radius, but thanks Gerund. My vets will help I'm sure

froglou Sun 09-Oct-16 19:14:14

Dried cat food is fine too, you can give kitten formula (the powdered for you make up not the stuff in bottles) however they do carry lots of fleas and other nasties so don't let it get too close to other pets and wash out the dog crate before you use it again.

Hairyhat Sun 09-Oct-16 19:36:32

Thank you froglou. "Fred" seems to be having a lovely time in his cage. He likes to eat the cat food, sleep all day under his hay then scratch around loudly in the night to indicate he wants the cat food topped up. If it isn't he puts some of his hay in his water. Very funny snuffley little creature. We will be sad to see him go tomorrow.

FormerlyCatherineDeB Sun 09-Oct-16 19:42:23

Didn't the BHPS try to help Hairy?

I can't remember who I phoned earlier in the year when a family arrived but they had knowledgeable people who were prepared to come out and take them in within 6 miles, and a few a bit further away.

Our family stayed and are still here.

chocoLit Wed 12-Oct-16 22:40:36


LilaTheLion Wed 12-Oct-16 22:43:42

Catford is great, mealworms are good too. I usually have a couple of hedgehogs over winter in a spare chicken coop. Just feed them and let them be. Often towards the end of winter they stop feeding and have a mini hibernation, once they are fat enough to sleep. If you let Fred out now he'd be unlikely to survive if he is a tiny one. Have you weighed him?

LilaTheLion Wed 12-Oct-16 22:44:01

*cat food

fluffypacman Wed 12-Oct-16 22:52:32

We over wintered some hedgehogs last winter as they were too little. Meat cat food in jelly is what they like or mealworms if you've got any bird food. They have to be a certain weight to be able to safely hibernate. I helpfully can't remember the weight but I'll try and find out. It's either 600 or 800g. I think 600g. They're protected though so you do need to ask advice. There will be a local wildlife centre that will be able to help. In the mean time line the cage with paper and be prepared for the stink and mess in the morning!

fluffypacman Wed 12-Oct-16 23:46:51

Just checked. It's 600g until hibernation. If you do keep it after discussion with the wildlife centre you need to keep it dry in a shed or car free garage to hibernate and still give dried cat food and water as hibernation isn't constant. To prevent hibernation you need to keep it indoors but again hibernation isn't an overnight thing and it will be a slow process of missing one meal and then eating the next one before gradually hibernation sets in. They're so cute. If it's not eating or making a mess please phone a wildlife place ASAP as it could be poorly. Joan, at the West Midlands hedgehog rescue is a very good resource.

Hairyhat Thu 13-Oct-16 09:17:18

Thanks for your help. Fred is safely in the care of my local vets. He made a big mess and stink and ate a lot of cat food so I'm sure he was pretty healthy. He rounded out just over the couple of days we had him. I didn't weigh him but the vets will know exactly what to do.

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