Helping Hedgehogs Hibernate in Autumn October 03 2015

Autumn is the time of year for the hedgehog to prepare for hibernation.  There are a number of factors which will aid him in his preparation:  he needs somewhere suitable to nest and his hibernacula, or nest, will perhaps be in log piles, compost heaps or in a hedgehog nesting boxThe Wildlife World Original Hedgehog House will provide that safe environment to him to hibernate.  Another factor for him to survive the Winter is a source of food and in this respect a pile of decaying wood will provide a habitat for insects.  Finally, your garden is a wonderful habitat for hedgehogs and will become an important refuge.

Many people become anxious when they see a juvenile hedgehog as he does not appear to have enough fat reserves to survive the winter.  Indeed these young hedgehogs who have been born late in the season can be found to be weighing less than 500 grams which is only half a bag of sugar.  Of course, if the winter is mild and damp then the young hedgehog will perhaps survive in the wild, however those weighing less than 500 grams need more help.  Ones that weigh under 300g may not even have been weaned and indeed could have been orphaned if they have been found on their own during the day.  They need more specialist care, kept warm with a hot water bottle wrapped up in a towel and should be passed onto those charities that can help.  Ones that weigh between 300g and 500g can be fed on two heaped tablespoons of food daily and kept indoors until they have put on more weight.  Once their weight has increased, they can be released to hibernate. 

Here is a suggestion from an expert about how you and your neighbours can help the hedgehog population in Autumn: “My top tip to help hedgehogs this autumn is to link up your garden with your neighbours’, by making sure hedgehogs can pass between boundaries through small gaps or holes in fences,” says Henry Johnson, Hedgehog Officer at PTES. “They can then forage for 

food, store up their fat reserves, and find suitable shelter before going into hibernation.”

 

 

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