12 Dec Winter Hedgehog Guide
Found a baby hedgehog?
If you find an uninjured baby hedgehog (also known as a ‘hoglet’) and think they need rescuing, watch them from a distance first. It’s usually best to leave them alone. However, there are a few things you can do to check if the hoglet does need help.
When to help a hedgehog
If their eyes are open and they’re not in immediate danger, monitor from a distance. If you’re concerned, you can try offering food and fresh water. See what to feed baby hedgehogs below.
Only intervene straight away if you find a baby hedgehog:
in immediate danger (such as on a road) and the mother has been killed
with their eyes closed and alone (or the mother has been killed)
that weighs less than 300 grams (they won’t have sufficient fat reserves to survive the cold months).
Please collect them in a box and take to your nearest wildlife centre. If you’re unable to transport the hedgehog please contact us.
When to care for a baby hedgehog
Hedgehogs born late in the season wont have sufficient fat reserves to survive hibernation. If you find an orphaned hedgehog weighing between 300 and 500 grams between mid October and late February, you can help them survive by providing food to get them up to a healthy weight (usually between 550 and 680).
What do baby hedgehogs eat
You can try offering food to a baby hedgehog, but make sure what you feed them is suitable.
Tinned dog or cat food (not fish-based) and crushed dog or cat biscuits make good hedgehog foods. Specialist hedgehog foods can also be bought from wildlife food suppliers.
Never give cow’s milk to hedgehogs as it can give them diarrhoea.
If the hoglet eats the food then it’s probably weaned and should be able to survive. In this case please continue to provide food and fresh water and monitor for 24 hours.
If the hoglet doesn’t eat the food or, after monitoring, it does not leave the area please take it to your nearest wildlife rehabilitator.
Capturing and boxing hedgehogs
If it’s safe to catch and handle the hedgehog then, wearing thick gloves, gently place it into a secure cardboard box with ventilation holes, lined with towel. Handle the animal as little as possible to keep them wild.
To help keep the hedgehog warm, place a hot water bottle in the box. Please make sure the hot water bottle is well-wrapped in a towel to prevent the hedgehog coming in contact with it. A hot water bottle could cause serious burns to a hoglet.
Keep the hedgehog somewhere warm and quiet and take it to your nearest wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible.