Over the winter we had over a dozen hedgehogs brought to us that were either ill or injured and needed treatment, or they were young and too small to survive hibernation.
Hedgehogs are indigenous and in decline due to climate change, a lack of food and habitate in our manicured gardens and due to the use of slug pellets.
Hogs need to be at least 600 grams to survive hibernation through the cold winter, so those that are too small have been kept by us over the winter and released in Spring.
We clean and fed them every day and monitor their progress. This is very time consuming and boy do they eat, each hog will eat a third of its body weight every day. We feed them chicken based dog food and water. Never feed a hedgehog milk or bread!
We also investigate and treat any health issues, by looking at their pooh and skin samples under a microscope, looking for parasites.
Many hogs come to us with lung worm, a parasite that they catch from eating slugs, this seems to be on the increase possibly due to our ever wetter climate. If left untreated this often leads to death.
Of the 9 hedgehogs we have had overwintering, 7 have survived and 6 were released today back to where they were rescued.
Unfortunately two did not recover from lung worm, the remaining 3 survivors will be released over the next few days.