European Hedgehogs - Page 5
Page 5
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That's Nicky weighing nearly 1000 grams (2 pounds),
really a big boy!

Hedgehog weight-watching is a good idea. They can eat so much! A hedgehog can get overfed and in the worst case it can suffer from it's fattened liver and die.
Sports avoid overweight.
This is true not only for humans but also for free living hedgehogs.

One step for a hedgie, a giant leap for the hedgekind.
Apollo climbing upstairs, trying to escape into the unknown worlds of our garden.

Such a ridiculous barrier can't keep a hedgehog from escaping. If you like to enclose a hedgie build a wall of minimum 40 centimeters height.
From their drive to conquer all things a fence made of wire mesh can become a hedgehogs doom. It is best to avoid such fences or let little holes, so that hedgehogs can walk through.

Nicky, taking a nap under the radiator. There he relaxed after jogging around in our living room. If one heard a snoring - no doubt - it came from this place.
Hedgehogs like a warm environment. Keep the temperature of the enclosure higher than 10 deg C to avoid hedgehogs falling into twilight sleeping.
If you find a hedgehog walking over a snow field in deep winter, be sure it has a serious problem, e.g. awoke due to low weight or an intrusion of it's hibernation.
It needs your care!

Nicky doesn't refuse a snack anytime.
He had a special liking for peanuts. This predilection he shared with our cat, Cherry.

Hedgehogs can be overfed! Two spoons of canned meat (cat or dog food) and additionally some dry food should be enough for one day. Don't forget to serve fresh water every day.
After Nicky was set free we met him for some weeks nearly every evening. He left off eating peanuts from the first day in freedom. That's a demonstration of the dramatic breakthrough of an animal's natural instincts when it gets free.

Our very first foundling, Wicky (double-U not N !),
set free in May 1996.

If your garden looks like this it could be a good place to give shelter to a hedgehog family.
A meadow of high grass with various wildflowers is like a paradise for hedgehogs as long as no haymaker is crossing over. A farmer who has an understanding of hedgehogs will leave a heap of branches and leaves at a corner of the meadow. There the hedgehogs can sleep through the day and won't be hurt by a haymaker.

Napoleon is leaving his house early in the evening.
This is a more expensive construction. The big box - the house - contains the smaller sleeping box. We used this to give the hedgie a better shielding against noise and cold.
Never burn a heap of branches or leaves before you ensured yourself that no hedgehog is sleeping inside it.

Snow-drops are indicators of the coming spring.
Napoleon enjoyed it on his garden walk.

Compare Napoleon's face with that of Othello,
what a different coloring.

The various colors and color patterns of the hedgehogs faces help to identify them, like fingerprints do for humans.