November 2012 Newsletter

Hedgehogs In November

(written for Brackley HogWatch by Kay Bullen)

 Any hedgehogs seen out and about at this time of year are likely to be struggling.  This applies to small autumn juveniles and even larger hedgehogs.  The reason they hibernate is that in the cold weather their natural food is much less abundant.  So if they are still awake now they are either unwell or they do not have sufficient fat reserves to hibernate AND still wake in a good enough condition to warm up and search out food and water.

Exceptions might be a regular visitor that is getting plenty of food put out for it every night and provided it is getting noticeably larger.  Or perhaps if you have been gardening and disturbed a nest.

 If you think you have a hedgehog still awake do put out food for it, as this may be the only food that it will be able to find.  You can use hedgehog or cat biscuits, as they will not go off so quickly as wet tinned food.  But do also leave out extra water, as the dry food will make them thirsty.  Don’t forget to protect the food from the cats this protection will also keep both the food and the feeding hedgehog dry.  If you are concerned that rats may get at the food, especially if it is not being taken, try putting a saucer over the food dish.  A hedgehog should be able to push the saucer off the food whilst a rat would not be strong enough to move it.

 Finally do take care when sweeping up leaves etc as a big pile may well be a hedgehog’s hibernating nest (hibernaculum).

 So if you see any hedgehog out and about at this time of year it is best to contact the Brackley HogWatch on telephone 07528 119416 or 07976 704415, as you then will receive immediate advice – the earlier a problem is caught the easier it should be to solve.

 If you have any doubts about a hedgehog do call the Brackley HogWatch. For more information about hedgehogs and making your garden safer for hedgehogs visit our web site