Hedgehog info

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Before attempting to hand         You should contact a local
rear a baby hedgehog              care service for advice before
yourself please contact one       try to rear baby hedgehogs.
of the help lines or local care
for advice.

The wrong food or lack of         If you give the hedgehog the
toileting kills them or makes     wrong food or not enough
them very ill very quickly.       toileting will kill or make
                                  them sick quickly.

A telephone call is the most      When receiving a phone call
likely herald of the              about a litter of hoglets we
impending arrival of a litter     must decide if they really
of hoglets. It is at this point   need rescuing.
that you will have to decide
whether the hoglets do
indeed need rescuing.

If the hoglet has fly eggs on     If the baby is injured or an
it, is injured, or it is known    orphan we will definitely
that mom has been killed          rescue them.
then the decision to take
them into care is easy.

So the hoglets eventually         When the hoglets arrive
arrive. There are five basic      there are many things to do
things which should be            in the first couple of
started in the first few          minutes.

First quickly check for any       The first thing to do is check
injuries which would render       for injuries.
further action inappropriate
(eg severe injuries, maggots
eaten both eyes)

Next toilet each hoglet if        The next step is to toilet all
necessary - as a rough guide      of the hoglets. If they have
if it has teeth it may not need   teeth they will not need to go
toileting, if the eyes are        through this step. If their
closed it will, in between it     eyes are closed they will
may (if in doubt try anyway).     have to go through this step.

Then mark, with for example       Mark them with nail polish
a spot of nail varnish on the     to tell them apart and then
prickles (if more than one in     weigh them and record the
the litter), and weigh and        data.
record each ones details (if
there is more than one the
others can be kept on a hot
water bottle while waiting for
their turn).

Next return them to the hot      Then put them back to the
water bottle and finally while   hot water bottle and this is
warming they can be checked      when you can check for
for fly eggs, maggots,           parasites, dehydration, and
dehydration (the skin on the     other injuries.
tummy looks 2 sizes too big
and stays wrinkled when
pinched), and small injuries

When warmed they can be          After being warmed they can
given their first feed.          be given their first feed.

Unless they object strongly      Hold them on their backs in
hold them on their backs in      your palm and with your
the palm of your left hand       thumb under the armpit.
with your thumb going
under the right armpit.

Ease the teat into its mouth     You can gently place the teat
or dribble a drop of milk        in its mouth or put a drop of
onto its lips.                   milk on its lips.

There are many different
milk substitutes products on
the market, however goat
milk is often used which
seems to be the nearest
powdered substitute for
hedgehog milk.

If they are dehydrated or
very thin the first feed can be
a hydration fluid eg Lectade.

The diluted Lectade can then      The Lectade can be mixed
be mixed with the milk            with milk and slowly the
substitute and gradually the      amount of Lectade can be
amount of Lectade can be          lessened until you are giving
reduced until you are giving      pure milk.
pure milk.

Depending on their                They need to be feed every
condition, they may need          half hour until you are
feeding every half hour or so     happy about their condition.
initially until you are happy
with their condition.

A substitute can be made by
mixing a tablespoon of
glucose (or sugar or honey)
with a teaspoon of salt in a
liter of freshly boiled water,
that has been allowed to
If you are able to get it, goat
colostrum can also be added
to the milk substitute. A
mother hedgehog produces
colostrum for 6 weeks.
However if colostrum is in
short supply it can be
stopped at about 3 weeks.

A mix of two parts milk to        Mix two parts milk and one
one part colostrum is usually     part colostrum is used but if
used although for very small      the hedgehog is extremely
hoglets pure colostrum can        small use pure colostrum.
be given.

A hoglet weighing 20 grams
can take 0.5 – 1 ml. every 2
hours ( age is likely to be 1 –
3 days).

A feed once during the night      The first week you should
for perhaps the first week        feed them once during the
may be beneficial depending       night until their condition
on the condition and              gets better. When the
progress of the hoglet –          hedgehog is better feed from
otherwise feed from 7am to        7am to 11pm.
11 pm.
Hoglets only 2- 3 days old       When you have hoglets that
have been raised without any     are two to three days old they
night feeding. Remember          have not had night feedings.
that hedgehogs are nocturnal     Hedgehogs are nocturnal.
so mom will be searching for     Their mom would be
food at night and feeding her    searching for food at night
young in the nest during the     and feeding her babies
day.                             during the day.

A hoglet weighing 50 grams
may take 2- 3 milliliters
every 2-3 hours.

A hoglet weighing 80 grams
may take 3-4 milliliters every
3-4 hours.

A hoglet weighing 120 grams
may take 5-7 milliliters every
4 hours.

You will be trying to feed
more, less often. To start you
may well need to feed more
frequently to get the hoglets’
stomach used to the larger
The best way to judge           A great way to know if the
whether the hoglet is getting   hoglet is getting enough to
enough is to weigh it every     eat is to weigh it every
morning.                        morning.

If it is losing weight either   If the hedgehog starts to lose
increase the amount given or    weight you should raise the
give the feeds more             amount of food or feed the
frequently. By weighing in      hedgehog more frequently.
the morning any increases       When you weigh the
needed can be started           hedgehog in the morning
immediately.                    you will be able to see and
                                start immediately.

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