This winter is just bizarre as far as the weather goes!
When the winter is unseasonably warm, as it has been this year in the UK, hedgehogs will not always hibernate but this can cause them huge issues as their main natural food sources of beetles, caterpillars & worms are not as commonly found during the winter.
In addition, late litters of hoglets will not have sufficient time to build up enough fat reserves to see them through hibernation and if they do go into hibernation many of these small hedgehogs will not survive.
For these reasons it is vitally important to continue to complementary feed the hedgehogs this winter in particular.
Even in normal winters (whatever that is!) if hedgehogs do hibernate they will have periods where they awaken to look for food, water or maybe a new nest before they go back into hibernation again. So if you know that you have hedgehogs in the area it is a good idea to leave out dry kibble biscuits such as Brambles Crunchy Hedgehog Food that can be left out for a couple of nights if kept dry.
Wildlife Rescues, both small and large, are caring for huge numbers of hedgehogs this winter so if you can help them by donations or volunteering then please do. A large part of this may be an increased awareness of the public about knowing when they need taking to a Rescue. If you do not know your local Wildlife Rescue you can look them up on this great website https://helpwildlife.co.uk/.
If you see a hedgehog in trouble:-
- Pick it up using a towel or gloves
- Place in a high sided box lined with newspaper
- Put a towel over the hedgehog to keep it warm
- DO NOT give it anything to eat or drink as this can make them worse
- Take it to your local Rescue or Vets for expert care
A large part of what we try to do at Brambles Pet & Wildlife is to spread awareness around hedgehogs as the population has plummeted and we are in danger of losing our prickly friends altogether. However, if we all do what we can to help hedgehogs then we can prevent this 🙂
The urban population of hedgehogs are faring better than rural populations but this causes additional dangers from traffic. Hedgehogs can roam up to 2Km a night looking for food and we can help keep them off roads by having holes in fences around a CD size between gardens. If we all had this type of “Hedgehog Highway” the hedgehogs could more safely forage for food and keep off roads as much as possible.
You can check if you have hedgehogs in your area by checking here