Hibernate Hedgehogs - Information on hibernation, food and weight
- Help hedgehogs to hibernate
- Decisive: weight and condition
- winter quarters
- Food for hedgehogs
- In the house
Hedgehogs are welcome guests in the local garden. There they go foraging for pests, which makes them popular with many garden owners. Over the winter, hedgehogs hibernate, which is started on their own due to their natural way of life. However, complications can occur, such as when hedgehogs are too thin. They can help the prickly mammals over the winter.
The fact that hedgehogs overwinter asleep is familiar to many people. But did you know that you can grab the spiked gardeners a little under the short arms to survive the winter safely? "> Hedgehogs help with the winter
Hedgehogs are often found in gardens and land due to human spread, as they can find plenty of food there and can easily find a winter home. As a matter of fact, the animals do not need hibernating assistance, but they can make it easier for them and increase the chance that they will not die due to weather changes. Your help is especially beneficial if you set up a suitable winter quarters or leave your already occupied one in peace and quiet, provide food and fetch items in need of care during the winter. Below you will find the necessary information on how to hibernate hedgehogs.
Decisive: weight and condition
Whether a hedgehog can hibernate on its own depends greatly on the weight and condition of the animal. There must be a certain body weight to survive the winter, especially when the season is particularly long and cold. In mild winters, the species of Erinaceidae can go in search of food in the meantime, but the colder it is, the more the hedgehogs have to fall back on their gnawed fat pads. It is also important that the animals are well physically, so that the hedgehogs can hibernate. Since hedgehogs are protected, they may only be collected by you and maintained during the winter in the following exceptional cases:
1. You may overwinter sick or injured animals in the house if you have previously taken them to a veterinarian or contacted a Hedgehog's ward . The injuries or illnesses must be apparent. Such hedgehogs can not hibernate on their own, as they can only forage for food and set up quarters. In addition, the condition can worsen over the winter so much that they die.
2. Young and adult animals weighing less than 500 grams in mid-November need help hibernating. They recognize these specimens by a general slimmer body shape and hunger line. The Hunger Line is an indentation located at the back of the head indicating that the hedgehog is too thin. Likewise, hedgehogs that are out in the snow are mostly looking for food because they are too thin. If you find too thin a hedgehog, weigh it and contact a hedgehog station. The best winter weight for a hedgehog ranges from 700 for young to 1, 000 grams for adult specimens .
3. Hedgehogs who leave the nest early need help, as they can not collect enough food alone. In particular, hedgehog infants should be brought to a ward immediately because they need special help and can not be properly cared for by laymen. If you yourself have no experience with hedgehog orphans, they should let the animal to the expert or get instructed accordingly.
If these cases are present, you can overwinter the hedgehog. Never forget to contact a Hedgehog station or a veterinarian to let them know about this. This is important because in most cases the animals need medicines for worms and parasites.
Tip: never bring hedgehogs into the house over the winter, if they have enough weight and are not in need of help. The hedgehog species protection is strict and if it is a healthy animal, you can expect a fine of up to 65, 000 euros under the fine catalog, as this act is considered as "capture" and not as aid.
Depending on whether you hibernate a hedgehog in the house or prepare the garden, the right winter accommodation is essential for the animals. When setting up the winter quarters, proceed as follows:
1. Outdoors: if you find a hedgehog in your garden or on your property, you can provide building material for the winter quarters. Best suited for this are foliage, dry wood residue and brushwood, which will make you into a big pile. The hedgehog does not need more for the winter. The heap should be located so that the animal can sleep undisturbed over the winter. Also, rooms under stairs and firewood or in sheds, which are filled with the building material. Make sure holes like garden ponds or a basement shaft are closed, as hedgehogs can fall into them.
2. In the house: the winter quarters in the house are made possible by a wooden box about 1.5 to 2 m² in size, which is filled with building material. Building materials are leaves and straw. Place the winter quarters out of the reach of pets in a place that is cool and undisturbed. Unused garages are well suited for this purpose. The temperature of the lodging should be around 6 ° C when the hedgehog enjoys its hibernation. During the feeding phase shortly before hibernation, the temperature should be about 15 ° C and slowly cooled from a minimum of 700 grams. You also need to put newspaper as a base and change it daily, but not during hibernation.
Food for hedgehogs
The hedgehog food should meet the physical needs of the animals. Since hedgehogs have a well-balanced diet, you can support them with feed supplements until mid-November. You should never feed in snow or frost, otherwise the natural stimulus to start hibernation will not be triggered. In general, you should only give little food, as free-roaming hedgehogs that are not malnourished, find enough food on their own. The following foods are available in small quantities:
- Cat food wet and dry
- special hedgehog food
- Canned dog food
- cooked or scrambled eggs
- cooked poultry
Be sure to place the food in a bird feeder so that cats or other animals do not eat the food. Always provide a little fresh water.
Tip: refrain from giving milk to hedgehogs. Milk only causes diarrhea in the animals, dramatically reducing the important energy and food reserves they need for hibernation.
In the house
After preparing the winter quarters, treating the hedgehog for worms and parasites, and informing the veterinarian and herding station, you must now feed the hedgehog. Over this time, the winter quarters must have a temperature of around 15 ° C, but not less. They administer daily:
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of wet food for cats, about 100 to 150 grams
- 1 tablespoon of dry food for cats as a supplement
- fresh water
Check daily if the hedgehog is increasing and if not, add the dry food to the meal. Feed in this way until the hedgehog has reached a weight of at least 700 grams . If this happens, reduce the temperature in the room to about 6 ° C for the animal to hibernate. Keeping the temperature constant over hibernation will always provide dry food and fresh water daily if the hedgehog wakes up. If he wakes up: leave alone!
The reintroduction is one of the most important steps in wintering at all. This will enable the hedgehog to take care of itself again from spring onwards. In addition, this step is necessary because of the protection of species, because up to the wintering the animals may not actually be kept. Reclaiming works the following way:
- Hedgehogs may only be released when the nights are frost-free
- that varies depending on the region
- then put the hedgehog near the place of discovery again
- As hedgehogs have excellent local memory, they usually return to their other places
- but do not put the animals in close proximity to a road or railroad tracks
- Hedgehogs, as cultural successors, also prefer proximity to human habitation
- So do not put the animals deep in the forest
- lay out hedgehog dry food for the next two weeks
- provide daily fresh water
- likewise the winter quarters should be placed at the place
- as a result, the prickly mammal can prepare for the summer
The release of hedgehogs is not difficult, because in most cases the animals get used to their original life outside their living space very quickly. In addition, since they overslept most of the winter, hedgehogs are not attached to humans, which would make it more difficult to salvage.