To contact Shepreth Wildlife Conservation Charity (SWCC), during the centre opening hours (usually between 10am and 5pm) please call 07505651968
Out of hours please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on the Facebook page (not monitored 24 hours).
HEDGEHOG RELEASE SITE INFORMATION
Thank you very much for becoming a release site for hedgehogs from the SWCC Hedgehog Rehabilitation Centre and supporting the conservation of hedgehogs.
Before your hedgehog arrives
Get a release pen
- It should be around 2m square (rabbit runs are usually suitable). Alternatively, you can make your own and we are happy to advise on this.
- It needs to be in a sheltered area of the garden, protected from full sun.
- Hedgehogs are very good diggers and climbers so it must be secured to the ground and ideally have a secure top to stop birds and cats stealing food.
- Put in leaves and small logs for interest.
- Daily, any faeces, and uneaten food should be removed.
- You will need some pet disinfectant such as Johnson’s Clean and Safe for small pets. Any other approved disinfectants should be both anti -bacterial and anti- fungal.
The hedgehog house
- This can be bought or made, instructions are available on the internet. A good example of this can be found on the BHPS website.
- Filled with plenty of straw or hay. You can line the house with newspaper. This makes it easier to clean out when the hedgehog has gone.
- Normally 100g of wet food plus a couple of spoons of dry food. Suitable wet foods are meat -based dog and cat food (no fish flavours or gravy). In warmer weather, this should only be put out at night and removed early in the morning or it will attract flies.
- Dry food is very important in preventing dental problems as hedgehogs get older. Any small cat biscuits are suitable (again no fish flavours).
- Dishes should be sterilised daily using boiling water and an approved pet disinfectant.
- A shallow dish of fresh water should always be available.
- Dishes for food can be old saucers and any old heavy shallow dish makes a good water bowl- hedgehogs tip bowls over so the heavier the better.
On the day of collection
- You will need to bring a box with a lid or cat carrier. Put newspaper on the based and also scrunch some up for the hedgehog to hide in.
- Carefully put the hedgehog in the pen near to the hedgehog house and let it settle in. Keep noise to a minimum.
- It will be very frightened and may not come out for a while. Alternatively, it may be very lively and start to pace around, climb and try to dig its way out.
Once your hedgehog has arrived please observe its behaviour and keep the Glatton HogBlog up to date.
- Do not be alarmed if it stays in the house for a couple of days.
- The hedgehog may pace up and down (this is a sign of stress and you need to let us know- we are likely to say to let it go)
- It may not eat much to begin with.
Concerns – please let us know if
- Your hedgehog does not eat for more than 3 consecutive nights.
- Your hedgehog escapes.
- You notice any crusting to the ears, face or spine loss.
- The hedgehog is scrabbling at the wire mesh for long periods of time. This can lead to foot damage.
- Anything else that concerns you.
- Please find out where your nearest 24hr vet is located in case of an out of hours emergency.
At the end of the discussed release period the pen is opened, and the hedgehog is free to go. Some may stay and make use of the house and food for days or sometimes weeks afterwards while others will go at the first opportunity.
Once you are sure the hedgehog has left, the house should be emptied, cleaned and thoroughly disinfected Suitable cleaners should be both antibacterial and antifungal. Johnston’s small animal cage cleaner is suitable. Check other brands for recommendations.
Please continue to provide dry food and water each night. Water in a shallow dish is extremely important especially in hot dry weather. Even if the hedgehog does not make its permanent home in your garden, this will encourage it to visit.