garden_hedgehogRecently we have had hedgehogs brought to our rescue that have been seen out during the day. On examination they were both female and appear to be in good health. After completing more thorough tests including an essential faecal sample this turned out to be the case and within a couple of days the hedgehogs had given birth!!!

In general our advice is to seek help if you see a hedgehog out during the day as in the majority of cases they are sick with internal parasites (even though they may physically look OK)

One exception is during the breeding season (May – September) when a healthy female may come out during the day before she gives birth looking for food and nesting material (Click to view a short video of a hedgehog nest-building) and after the birth because she is hungry and wants a break from the nest. In this case keep an eye on the hedgehog and only take action if it does not move on after a few minutes.

It is essential that if you see a hedgehog out during the day you seek advice from the nearest hedgehog rescue

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has a list of hedgehog rescue centres across the country if you call them on 01584 890801

Video clip ©Chris Chatland 2016

A hedgehog is definitely in need of specialist care if it:

  • is just lying on the lawn, not particularly active or purposeful and stays in the same position for longer than a few minutes so it appears to be sunbathing
  • looks undernourished
  • looks as though it is covered in fly eggs (these look like grains of rice)
  • has ticks (these look like small pea shaped objects within the spines)
  • can’t walk in a straight line and is wobbly or is circling or looks drunk
  • is injured or limping
  • is moving around in an agitated and hyperactive way

A hedgehog may be a pregnant female or may have a litter of hoglets somewhere nearby, if out during daylight, but looks like it has a purpose, looks busy and does not linger in one area.
In this case we suggest leaving it where it is and give it food and water each evening. Keep an eye on it and it displays any of the above warning signs there is likely to be a problem so you need to seek specialist advice from your local hedgehog rescue.

Hedgehogs can die very quickly without the correct treatment and so if in any doubt at all contact your local hedgehog rescue. You could take a photo or video clip of the hedgehog and send it to the hedgehog rescue as this may help determine whether it is sick or just going about its business.