July 2012 newsletter

Hedgehogs In July

kindly written for Brackley HogWatch by Kay Bullen VN
(Hedgehog Author, BHPS trustee and founder of a hedgehog rescue centre in Cardiff)

 There will be many female hedgehogs giving birth in July and those hoglets born in early June will soon be out foraging with their mothers.  Hoglets are born blind and naked.  However within 2 hours of being born a cushion of fluid that covers their first set of prickles is absorbed and the prickles appear.  They have around 200 white prickles that are in straight lines running from head to tail (yes they do have a small tail).  Their second set of prickles starts to push through 36 hours after they are born.  Their skin is a grey colour on their backs and pink on their face and tummy.  Gradually as the prickles grow longer their face starts to develop some hair.  When they are 8 days old they can curl into a ball and at 14 days their eyes open, quickly followed by their ears.  When they are 4 weeks old they start to venture out with mum.  By this time they are little miniatures of an adult.  If you have a nest in your garden, do not be tempted to peep inside as mum may abandon them or move them to a new site. 

 To help them get around your garden if you have steps try putting an extra brick on each step this will half the depth of each step to make it easier for little legs to climb up.

 Any that are around in the day especially if they are lethargic, squeaking or attracting flies need to be rescued.  If you just find a single hoglet look for more as there can be 4-5 in a litter.  Keep them warm on a covered hot water bottle and put a piece of towel over them to keep them warm.  Then call Brackley HogWatch who will arrange collection or liase regarding delivery.

 Think a hedgehog is in trouble – if in doubt give us a shout – call the Brackley HogWatch on 07528 119416/07976 704415 and whatever the time you will be able to speak to a real person.  For more information about hedgehogs and making your garden safer for hedgehogs visit our web site www.brackleyhogwatch.org or follow our 7 tracked hedgehogs daily antics on http://brackleyhogwatch.blogspot.com