Friday, 30 October 2009

When the hedgehog's away...

... the cats will play. We haven't seen Indy for two days, so it does look as though he's hibernating, so we were quite excited when we saw the other mealworm bowl had been disturbed yesterday. The mealworms hadn't been eaten, just disturbed, so we wondered if Fussy, the hedgehog who doesn't like mealworms, had been around. We put some hedgehog nibbles in the two bowls at the front for last night, just in case.

When we checked this morning, the hedgehog bites had been eaten - but when we checked it was a cat, the one which had met Indy a couple of times earlier in the week. We like the way it peeps under the door when it first arrives, perhaps checking Indy has gone?

We checked through the notes, and Indy moved into 9f on the 4th October.

Meanwhile, back at the back... the visitor is still following his regular routine - mealworms at the ATM, drink on the lawn, out under the decking for half an hour, then back out through the ATM. When he reappears under the decking he's got leaves on his snout, so he's been snuffling around.


  1. Sorry to hear you are down to just the one now.

    Can I pick your brains regarding when you had Twosie please? As you might have seen in my comments in the SnuffleHog Blog, we now have a temporary house guest. We were told to feed him cat food, but he won't eat it. In fact he doesn't want to eat anything apart from the famous Hedgehog Bites which our regulars like.

    What did you feed Twosie on? How much did he eat in a day, and what sort of daily weight gains were you seeing at the start?

    Many thanks in advance, Kevin

  2. Hi Kevin

    All the hedgehog forums and carers do say that they feed their hedgehogs dog or cat food, and how much they like it, but we have never had any hedgehogs show any interest at all. One might condescend to sniff it, but most don't get anywhere near. We think the poor mites must be so hungry they'll eat what they can get! We tried different flavours and brands, but never any success.

    Our have been brought up on a diet of mealworms, and that was what Twosie also seemed to like best. We felt it was OK with a diet of just mealworms when they were out in the wild as they should be finding other food but when we're providing all the food we felt a bit more variety was in order, so we tried.

    He did like a bit of steak (only the best!) -cook it and then chop it up very small. He also had a bit of chicken and a bit of apple and banana. We also gave him peanuts and sunflower hearts. No interest in the Spike's dinner we got! His main diet was mealworms.

    Have you seen Toni Bunnell's new blog? I'll add a link to it tonight. She has done quite a lot of research on hedgehogs and she is feeding a sick hedgehog scrambled egg, so that might be worth a try.

    Nightshift has a liking for frog, but I think that probably won't be on the menu!

    Twosie varied in the amount he ate. Some days he barely touched the food, others he cleared it and we had to put more out. He also drank a lot, so make sure he has plenty of water.

    We didn't weigh him every day. We were trying to disturb him as little as possible, but I think now we would check him more often. I can't lay my hands on our notes at the moment, but I think he was approaching 800g by Christmas, from 290g on 16th November. He did grow quite quickly.

    So, sorry I can't be more helpful. I think that getting them to eat something is the most important thing. The hedgehog bites should be more balanced than mealworms, anyway.

    Good luck with the little one, and thanks for doing your bit for the hedgehogs!

  3. Thanks very much for sharing your experiences, and your encouragement.

    We were disappointed to find today that he had actually lost some weight, but I guess that's not surprising when he wasn't really eating. So we gave in and went back to the Hedgehog Bites. We also moved him for the day from the utility room - he wasn't very keen on the noise of the washing machine, etc - to the garage, which is much quieter (we just use it for storage, not cars). Delighted to find this evening that I needed to top up his food bowl. Will bring him back in overnight.

    FWIW, he also doesn't seem very keen on mealworms either. Why do we have such fussy visitors...

    I found the site you mentioned through Google. Looks very interesting.

  4. Good to hear the little chap is eating. I'm sure he'll start to put on weight quickly now. Hedgehogs do seem to be very fussy where food is concerned, but I think that it doesn't matter if they are getting plenty to eat of what they do like. It could just be a case of what they are used to - ours started eating the mealworms put out for the birds, so that's what they like.

  5. He certainly had a better day yesterday. He put on 38g in a day - basically 10% of his body weight when we got him.

    Although he doesn't seem to be eating as much today.

  6. Hope the little chap is going on OK. As long as the general trend is to put on weight a little blip isn't too bad.

  7. Harry - yes, I'm afraid that my wife has named him even though we have tried to stay detached - is doing OK, thanks. I think we are also getting a bit more relaxed about looking after him now that he is eating something. Today he is up to 472g.

    Not sure though if we will achieve the target of getting him to 600g by the end of the 10 days. We may have to consult the experts again.

  8. Tiggywinkles told us that a hedgehog should be able to survive hibernation at 500g, but that 600g is a better weight to aim for and they have a better chance at that weight.

    When my sister in Cheshire found the little hog last week and telephoned me for advice, we soon ascertained that she didn't have much food in the house suitable for hedgehogs. All she had was eggs, so I recommended that she give him some scrambled egg. Apparently the little hog did eat it too.