The Jacksons have arrived in Longframlington!
On October 1, we got a phone call from someone in Holywell telling us they’d found a baby hedgehog wandering around their garden during daylight hours.
As hedgehog litters normally consist of four or five babies, we suggested there may be more and, if they could care for the baby overnight following our instructions on the website (www.hedgehog-northumbria.org), there could well be more to bring to us the next day. Sure enough, the phone call the following afternoon said they’d found the rest of the family and brought them to us.
Whenever people find young hoglets wandering around during the day the chances are something has happened to Mum and, following careful observation, we suggest they collect the babies and bring them to us for safety, otherwise they wouldn’t survive.
The chances are, especially when they’re as small as these hoglets, they could be attacked by other animals or large birds and also a possibility of fly strike which will result in maggots developing and eating the hedgehog alive.
We always ask people to name their hedgehogs and, as there were five, the people thought it would be great to name them after Michael Jackson and his family – obviously fans!
The hoglets are now thriving and all doing well as they continue eating us out of house and home.
They particularly like chicken-in-jelly cat food and, as they grow bigger daily, we’re now considering moving them to one of our larger family units until they can be released next spring.
Hedgehogs usually have a second litter each year and it’s not always possible for the youngsters to gain sufficient weight to successfully survive hibernation.
If you’re unsure whether a hedgehog is big enough to survive or not, the optimum weight at this time of year should be 450g to 500g.
We would suggest people weigh any small hoglets they find to ensure they are actually big enough.
We would also ask people to please offer food and water for any resident hedgehogs as that will help them enormously to gain sufficient body fat prior to hibernating.
l Return jam jars or collect stickers and posters from the Gazette office in Alnwick.