Please read on if you have an enclosed garden and might be interested in offering it to us as a safe home for some of our permanent residents.
This does involve quite a lot of work. It is cruel to keep healthy hedgehogs in an enclosed garden, they need to be able to wander about 1 mile per night, especially in the mating season. All the hedgehogs which we keep in enclosed gardens are disabled in some way and have been examined and treated by a vet who has decided that they would not survive in the wild because of the various problems they have. A lot of our permanent residents are amputees, or they may have other mobility problems or be blind.
All the hedgehogs in your care will need to be weighed regularly, every 3 or 4 days. You will be given a record sheet for each. Food and water must be provided every night. There will not be enough natural food in your garden for even one hedgehog after a few nights. It is an added bonus that they will help clear up slugs, snails and other pests, however, it is NOT the reason they are in your garden - they are there to be looked after!
They will need plenty of cover for foraging - low growing bushes, ground cover plants, piles of garden rubbish and long grass all make an interesting hedgehog garden. You will also need to provide nest sites ( at least one more than the number of hedgehogs - even though they will probably all share only one or two!) under bushes, in your compost heap, under a board against your shed, or in buckets/dustbins on their sides, old rabbit hutches or hedgehog boxes. Bedding of hay, dry grass or leaves will also have to be provided and changed regularly once it is damp or soiled.
Droppings should be removed from the ground every day. Any slimy green droppings will be infectious and may contain parasites, if you find some nasty droppings, you must find the culprit by weighing everybody or putting them in separate boxes until they perform and then the sick hedgehog must be returned to us for further treatment. This also applies if they lose weight.
Food and water: you will be informed of your hedgehog’s preference, but this often changes once they are outside with others! Always provide water and food bowls should be put in different places round the garden under cover (an upside-down box with a hole in the side) to stop cats and early morning birds getting it. We generally offer a selection of tinned foods and some dry complete cat food.
Remember we are always on the end of the phone (734340). If you have any doubts or questions about the hedgehogs you are looking after, please give us a ring.
If you think you might be interested in offering your garden to us as a safe home for one or two disabled hedgehogs please contact us.
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