hedghog

How You Can Help The Cute Animal Through The Cold Season?

Animals

Winter is just around the corner: That means hibernating for hedgehogs and co. If you discover one of the spiny animals now, support is needed. That’s how it’s done!

Hedgehogs should actually have put on a lot of weight at this time of year in order to cuddle up in their winter quarters with sufficient reserves and to slumber until spring. If you come across a hedgehog running around during the day, it may need help. Because it happens more and more often than the animals have not found enough food to prepare for hibernation. Finding a place to sleep can also be difficult for hedgehogs these days. There are a number of things people can do to make their winter life easier for hedgehogs. Bringing him into the house should be the exception.

Hedgehogs should actually have put on a lot of weight at this time of year in order to cuddle up in their winter quarters with sufficient reserves and to slumber until spring. If you come across a hedgehog running around during the day, it may need help. Because it happens more and more often than the animals have not found enough food to prepare for hibernation. Finding a place to sleep can also be difficult for hedgehogs these days. There are a number of things people can do to make their winter life easier for hedgehogs. Bringing him into the house should be the exception.

What needs to be checked after finding a hedgehog in the cold autumn?

hedgehog
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A decisive factor in the question of whether he is strong enough for the winter outdoors is his nutritional status: a rather spherical body shape suggests sufficient reserves. If it appears elongated and the flanks look sunken, the hedgehog is probably malnourished. Ultimately, the decisive factor is what the scales show: a young hedgehog should weigh more than 500 grams, an older animal should weigh more than 1000 grams in order to survive the winter.

The body temperature of the hedgehog should be felt even before the weight. This works using the palm of the hand of the human being: if it feels warmer than the hedgehog’s belly, it must be warmed before any other measures.

So that it can warm up, the hedgehog is placed on a hot water bottle that is filled with lukewarm water. Before doing this, wrap a cloth around the hot water bottle and cover the hedgehog as well. It may take a while for his body temperature to rise to the satisfactory range (around 35 to 36 degrees Celsius). Therefore, the warm water has to be replaced again and again.

Hedgehogs do not tolerate milk

hedgehog drinking water
img source: upload.wikimedia.org

Often found hedgehogs are generally not in good shape. Check if the animal is possibly injured, has a cold, or is showing other symptoms of illness. In addition, hedgehogs serve as hosts to various parasites. Usually, they have to be freed from ticks and fleas, in worse cases also from fly eggs and maggots.

Last but not least, the hedgehog needs to regain its strength and needs food. Very few bipeds have insects or worms in stock, so the hedgehog is also content with cat food or, for example, scrambled eggs – without spices, of course. Always give the hedgehog some water to drink. He doesn’t tolerate milk!

If the hedgehog is warmed up and strengthened, it should be examined by hedgehog experts, preferably at a hedgehog station. The animal survives the transport there well in a bucket or a tall box with newspaper. The boulders often need an injection against lung parasites or other medication. The professionals can also advise finders what to do next.

In this way, you create a safe place for the hedgehog to overwinter

Ideally, a hedgehog should have winter quarters where it comes from. Hedgehog stations and hedgehog advice centers can clarify whether he is able to overwinter on his own or whether he has to be taken in by a human. It is only advisable to take them into the house if the hedgehog is malnourished, ill, or injured, as well as very young and orphaned animals.

As a rule, the finders should also be those who take in the hedgehog. Provided that they have enough space (preferably their own, undisturbed room, well-tempered around 20 degrees Celsius) and are willing to take on the costs and efforts of species-appropriate hedgehog care. Because it is not without …

The hedgehog needs a protected space, but also a little exercise. A large box with at least one square meter of space would be a good hostel. If more than one specimen moves into your home temporarily, each should have its own box, because the animals are loners.

In the box enclosure, there must be another small box, such as a shoebox, with an entrance, in which the hedgehog can set up a sleeping nest. Provide him with enough snippets of the newspaper. Cat litter or sawdust are not suitable alternatives for the hedgehog, as they could injure themselves.

As a hedgehog hotelier, you can never have enough newspaper in your house. You should line his entire box with it and change it as good as every day to keep it clean.

The already mentioned cat food, whether dry or moist, also provides hedgehogs with a good supply of proteins. It also gets him when he is cooked. Scrambled eggs or well-fried but unseasoned ground beef may be served. Also, don’t forget to give the hedgehog water to drink. In addition to milk, fruit, nuts, and waste are taboo for hedgehogs.

Sweet dreams, hedgehogs!

hedgehog in house
img source: hips.hearstapps.com

It can happen that the hedgehog will stop eating at some point and go into hibernation, even in the care of a person. Then he can move to a sheltered but cooler place, for example on the balcony or in the garage. If necessary, continue to provide him with dry food and water there.

If it is time in spring to put the prickly guest out in the fresh air, ask the hedgehog station for advice on reintroduction. In any case, the hedgehog should be brought back to the area known to him where he was found.

Even if a hedgehog is given a giant box in the cellar and is given minced meat with eggs every day, he will always prefer the wild to captivity, which is stressful for him. Hedgehogs are not suitable as pets, neither want to cuddle nor play – even if they may look like that. That is why home care should be the exception solution.

Even outdoors, humans can do a lot to ensure that the hedgehog finds what it needs to overwinter independently in nature. The humans give hedgehog friends tips for appropriate garden design. It doesn’t do a lot of work, on the contrary: growing hedges and leaving leaves, and do not distribute any chemicals, if possible, are the recommendations.

Those who mean it particularly well prepare piles of sticks or leaves for the hedgehog in autumn, in which they can be cozy in winter, and leave them standing and lying until spring.

During the colder months of the year, the prickly pigs are particularly comfortable with their own hedgehog houses, which can be placed in the garden. A pile of leaves on top keeps the dwelling warm.

Before it is time for hibernation, humans can help the hedgehog gain a lot of weight and feed it. Specially constructed houses make it possible to set up outside only for the hedgehog and not to feed cats or other unloved guests at the same time. The hedgehog menu is served in the evening, water is served with it – and the bowls are cleaned daily.

In this way, humans can prevent the hedgehog from being taken into the house, which is stressful for both parties, and help the animal to hibernate in its natural habitat in a species-appropriate manner. Sweet dreams, hedgehogs!

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