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Old 11-01-2016, 12:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Questions about our lovely little pet hibernating

Hiya fellow hedgehog lovers.

We live in Lee, south London, England and we have a garden at the back of the house which is around 100 feet long and 30 feet wide. We have a little hedgehog which comes out around 10pm at the moment sniffing around for slugs. We haven't a clue if it's male or female but we have named it Hector

We have put out small pieces of cooked chicken, mealworms and a certain type of cat treat called Lick-e-Liks for Hector and it has scoffed the lot and we have watched it happily munching. Nom nom nom nom.

We have a very placid cat who isn't bothered by Hector. She goes out the cat-flap, looks at Hector and just toodles off down the garden for a dump. They've never bothered each other.

We also have three foxes at the end of the garden who live behind the garage which backs onto a park. They are often in the garden and get fed food scraps by us, and they don't bother Hector either. They are very tame.

Our mother has suggested that we make a box out of scrap wood for Hector to hibernate in. Dad is a carpenter, so it's no bother to him or me. We are pretty sure that Hector has already dug a hole underneath a large bush at the side of the garden, but we would like him to be as warm and comfortable and well fed as possible.

Now you know the situation, here are a few questions:

1) Is it a good idea to build a box out of plywood with a small hole which has a hole which is smaller than the foxes or the cat could get into? Bear in mind that this would be above ground. If so, what should we put in it? A small towel maybe?

2) Any specific tips on what to feed Hector to fatten it up before a typical London winter hibernation period?

3) Any experience of foxes attacking him? The foxes are very well fed and tame, but they are typically wild animals who could get desperate in the harsh winter.

Thanks for any advice pals.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This forum is mainly for owners of African Pygmy Hedgehogs and very few people here will have experience with wild hedgehogs. Your best bet would be to contact a rescue centre in your area.
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Old 11-02-2016, 03:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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There are many DIY hedgehog house tutorials online, if you look them up on Google you'll find many including feeding houses and ones for hibernation. It's adviced to fill them with leaves and bury them underneath a pile of leaves, leaving only the opening to be seen.
Many of it houses online are build so other animals like cats have trouble getting into them.
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Old 11-02-2016, 02:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Seeing the hog out and about, at 10pm, is a good sign. It means it isn't injured or malnourished. If it were earlier, I would be concerned, and recommend you try and catch it to assess any injuries.

Example home.

Making the home is pretty easy, but there is no guarantee that the hog will use it.

If you can, try placing on or near his current hiding spot, this should encourage him to move in. It is a little late now, most hogs try to find their homes at the start of autumn or end of summer.

You can keep feeding him/her what you currently are, however, these are mostly treats. To increase his/her body mass you may have purchase specific hedgehog food, or canned dog/cat food. Make sure the food is not fish based.

If you are worried about rats or foxes, keep the food away from your house and the hog's home. Sadly, there is no guarantee that the hog will take the food, it may just end up being eaten by rats.

He/she will need to be at least 600g minimum, right now. If it looks too small, you may have to catch it and inform the RSPCA or BHPS.

If you do intend to catch it, make sure you read this care guide first.

Also, check the BHPS store, they have some hedgehog food, but normal dog/cat food should be fine.
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