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It’s a very PRICKLY business being a Hedgehog….

It’s a very PRICKLY business being a Hedgehog….
By Rob 5 years ago

If Hoggy is lucky enough to survive the traffic on the road his most likely risk of being chomped is by a badger. Badgers are one of only a handful of predators but they are tough enough and strong enough to break through the hedgehogs prickly exterior.

But if having dealt with Brock and a BMW it is a really tough deal being a Hedgehog – one of his biggest risks is having a plentiful food supply. He loves to feast on lots of insects so colder weather is particularly tough as just when he needs lots of calories to keep his body warm in winter there are many less insects and food sources for him to feed on. Even the worms go much deeper into the soil and so are not the handy tasty snack he usually relies on. It is key that he reaches around 600 grams in weight or he will not have enough fat reserves to survive hibernation.

 

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Usually around November/December time Hoggy has to resort to hibernate. His heartbeat will drop from a normal rate of 190 to a barely detectable 20 beats per minute. In fact his whole metabolism slows down to the point where he is often mistaken as dead!

Hedgehogs do wake fairly regularly during hibernation and at the moment in this relatively mild weather there are several awake and looking for food. Dog and cat food is suitable and we have put together a really good quality Hedgehog Mix (http://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/hedgehog-mix.html) is full of protein and fat and includes dried mealworms. Hoggy will need a drink so water and Live Mealworms (http://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/live-mealworms.html) are a perfect kick starter to get your Hoggy preparing for warmer weather where hopefully your garden will provide lots of invertebrates to encourage them to breed and thrive. Your reward apart from the feel good factor will be the fact that your garden Hedgehog will eat lots of pests – and that’s why he is known as “The Gardeners Friend”.

 

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FOUR FACTS ON HEDGEHOGS

1: A hedgehog has approximately 5000 spines, each lasts about a year then drops out and a replacement grows.

2: The hedgehog is nocturnal, mostly coming out at night and spending the day sleeping in a nest under bushes or thick shrubs.

3: While hunting for food, they rely primarily upon their senses of hearing and smell because their eyesight is weak (although their eyes are better for night-time vision)

4: Hedgehogs got their name from their preferred habitat—garden hedges—and the pig-like grunts they make.

 

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What you can do to help Hedgehogs in your garden

1: Plant a hedge (http://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/wildlife-garden/inspire-me/planting-a-hedge-for-wildlife.html) – it will provide shelter – a place to hibernate and lots of insects for your Hog to feed on.

2: Hedgehogs can swim but often drown in garden ponds because of their steep and slippery sides. Provide them with an escape route: a piece of wood, chicken wire or pile of stones

3 A solid fence or wall restrict a hedgehog’s movement through gardens *they can travel up to a mile in a night! Make sure you leave small gaps at the base where they can get through to pop round to your neighbours for tea J

4: Be prepared to leave a small part of your garden to go wild. Long grass, log/leaf piles and undergrowth provide foraging and nest places for the perfect hedgehog habitat and consider a Hoggy Home (http://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/catalogsearch/result/?q=hoggy)

5: Provide food (http://www.wigglywigglers.co.uk/hedgehog-mix.html) and water for your local hoggy (do not feed bread and milk – it is not good for them.

 

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