Frequently asked questions
- What should I feed a wild hedgehog?
o Hedgehog foods such as Ark Wildlife Original and Spikes hedgehog food will go down very well but you can also feed cat biscuits alongside tinned cat or dog food. No bread and milk – they are lactose intolerant! No mealworms – these can cause metabolic bone disease in regular/high quantities. Please don’t forget to put a shallow dish of water too!
- How to do I stop the cats stealing the hedgehog food?
o Feeding stations can be very easily made using an upturned plastic crate or stacker box with arc cut in one side. Bricks can be used to weight and one can be placed 13cm in front of the opening will stop the cats getting in. (Instructions)
- Are hedgehogs meant to be out in daylight?
o No hedgehogs are nocturnal, it is usually a sign of ill health if they are out during the day. Please contact a rescue as soon as you see a hedgehog out during the day for advice.
- Can I adopt a hedgehog?
o All of our hedgehogs are wild European hedgehogs and therefore cannot be kept as pets. They and are protected under UK law. You may be confusing them with African Pygmy hedgehogs which are kept as exotic pets.
- Can I have a hedgehog for my garden?
o The majority of our hedgehogs are returned to the location they were found if it is safe to do so. We do keep a list of release sites for those that need a new home. These must be within a 45 minute drive of our location (Cubert) to reduce stress and must not be an enclosed garden as hedgehogs can roam up to two miles a night. There is no guarantee the hedgehog will stay in the garden, or help you out with the slugs and snails as they only make up about 5% of their diet! Release sites must be located away from main roads and badger sets.
- Is my hedgehog visitor too small to hibernate?
o Mid November onwards hedgehogs will start to enter hibernation, but this is very weather dependent and can be as late as January or February here in Cornwall. We would advise keeping an eye on our social media pages for updates and advice during these months as to when underweight hedgehogs would need to be admitted, often supportive feeding is sufficient. Our general advice is that a hedgehog below 450g would struggle to survive hibernation.
- Can I overwinter a hedgehog myself?
o This is not something we would recommend. They are very complex animals that require specialist care. Autumn juveniles in particular tend to have very high internal parasite burdens which require specific medications by injection to successfully treat. Stress from handling and noise can cause a variety of conditions and internal parasite burdens to increase dramatically so the sooner a hedgehog can get to a rescue the better its chances.
- Can I visit the hogspital?
o We are not open to the public (this would need a zoo license), all of our residents are wild and usually very unwell, any additional noise or handling could have a negative impact upon there recovery. Our social media pages will allow you to meet some of our residents and follow their stories and progress.