Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Small Hedgehogs

The wildlife hospital at East Winch is having another large influx of young hedgehogs below the critical weight for safe hibernation. Hedgehogs need to be at least 500 grams (just over a pound) and preferably 600 (a pound and a quarter) to get through hibernation and late autumn litters often fail to make it before the weather gets too cold for them to feed successfully.

Young hedgehogs are one of the few wild animals who can be given effective help by non-experts: provided they are capable of eating solid food, it is feasible to give them a chance of survival by providing them with room-temperature warmth and a supply of cat or dog food (non-fish-based) and water. Milk is best avoided because it can cause diarrhoea.

Any hedgehog seen moving around during daylight hours is almost certainly in trouble, as they are quite strictly nocturnal.

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