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Hi, kicking bear here from freezing cold North Devon...🥶🥶 (1 Viewer)

Kickingbear

Active member
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England
Having some problems with birds not visiting bird tables even though they’ve been out for months..... but the day before yesterday I did see a robin on one of the bird tables and within a few seconds another one had joined him..... anyway looking forward to a wealth of information on this site. There are my two birdfeeders one at the front of the house really near the window and the other in the back garden and I have just put that robin nesting box out today just hope the Robins do actually come back!!!!.... I have a bit of a wild garden I have a hedgehog that visits every night, has not bothered going into hibernation. I also have a wildlife pond which hopefully soon will be full of frogs.
 

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KC Foggin

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Hi there and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum (y)

We're glad you found us and thanks for taking a moment to say hello. Please join in wherever you like ;)
 

Kits

Picture Picker
Welcome to Birdforum! I am sure that you will find lots to interest you here and I hope that you enjoy your visits.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
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Scotland
Hi Kickingbear and a warm welcome from me too.

I started with window feeders as I live in an upstairs flat and it took months for the birds to find it. It's quite busy now. It therefore didn't take them too long to decide the pole feeder I put in a couple of years ago was the bees knees LOL. You just have to be patient with birds!!

I'm worried about your hedgehog though, and think you should get advice from one of the wildlife rescue places... this one specialises in hedgehogs: http://elmwildlife.org/ He should be in deep hibernation as there's no insects for him to eat. Please let us know how he gets on.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I hope to hear about all the birds you see when out and about.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Hi Kicking Bear

Welcome to Birdforum.

Well done for making the most of your garden for wildlife. That patch at the end is great as is your pond. The Hedgehog maybe underweight/a late juvenile perhaps, I find the youngsters I get, if from a late litter, are walking around until December so have had to be taken into care. Devon is a lot warmer than Norfolk though!

Just to add to Delia’s concerns - I think you should weigh it if you can - it should ideally be 600-700g or over. If it is a good weight it will be fine and go into hibernation when it’s ready - its not unheard of for hedgehogs to stay awake all through winter btw. I take some flat digital scales into the garden and shine a torch on them so they stay still (not in their eyes though). I wear leather gloves to pick them up - they like the smell so it relaxes them. If the temperature suddenly drops, they could go into involuntary hibernation without the necessary weight to get through the rest of the winter. Hedgehogs can also wake up from hibernation if it’s too cold (surprisingly) or too warm. (That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure there is a bit of dried food and fresh water available just in case they wake up).
 
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Kickingbear

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England
Hello, thanks for your concern about the hedgehog I did ring our local hedgehog lady and she assured me that he was a good size that it was absolutely fine and that they don’t all hibernate I will try and put a couple of pictures on of Cedric....
 

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Kickingbear

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England
As you can see I have made Cedric a little feeding station that is cat proof. He has hedgehog food and fresh water is provided by the side of the feeding station as I don’t want him going into the pond!!....🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
You are doing everything right. As I said, providing he is of good weight (and he should be with the all night cafe open 😉), he will be fine - conversely don’t let him get too fat, then they can’t roll up tight enough if and when they do hibernate and then die of hyperthermia! It’s a tough life being a hedgehog. Don’t worry about the pond, as long as you have a shallow end or ramp it will be fine - they are very proficient swimmers!
 

delia todd

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Oh!! Thanks so much for the update on Cedric and for showing us the pictures of his dining room.

He sure seems to be well fed!!
 

Kickingbear

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England
Thanks Deb, I didn’t realise they could over eat and get so fat they couldn’t curl up so what is your advice so I can’t just stop feeding them I don’t think specially with this freezing weather 😩
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Thanks Deb, I didn’t realise they could over eat and get so fat they couldn’t curl up so what is your advice so I can’t just stop feeding them I don’t think specially with this freezing weather 😩
No don’t stop feeding! Absolutely not. Some adult males can weigh upto 900-1kg. Just keep an eye on them - if you see one of your regular feeders really large, I would weigh it, then phone one of the contacts below for advice if it’s much over 1kg.

If that is a normal size of kitchen roll, I would say the one in the image is on the small side.
Here’s a guide to weights


I would advise limiting the mealworms to a very light sprinkle on top of the Spike or whatever complete food you are giving them purely as a treat. Literally a very few. Try and wean them off them if you can. Dried mealworms can make them dehydrated and contain little of the nutrition they need (they love them like kids love popcorn! 😉). The dried mealworms will also make them artificially bloated and are not good for longterm bone or dental health (they are too soft and high in phosphate)

More here on mealworms


PS YOU ARE DOING GREAT BTW - Thank you for taking such good care of our prickly friends😍
 
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Kickingbear

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England
I used to give the mealworms but haven’t for about three months now as the hedgehog lady said not to give them any at all because they are so bad for them so it is just hedgehog food. I’ve put the mealworms out now on the bird table with a suet block hopefully that the Robins will keep coming 😀 they are Dried mealworms but I believe I can soak them in March? So that when they have chicks they will be able to feed them is that correct?I think it is only one hedgehog that comes but I cannot be sure could be two or three, I do put out quite a lot of food so maybe I I will cut it down because if it’s only one he will come sometimes three times a night and I do see him most nights, what do you think? I don’t really want to grab him because I think it might scare him/her...
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
?I think it is only one hedgehog that comes but I cannot be sure could be two or three, I do put out quite a lot of food so maybe I I will cut it down because if it’s only one he will come sometimes three times a night and I do see him most nights, what do you think? I don’t really want to grab him because I think it might scare him/her...
As long as you only have a tiny bit of food left over in the morning, I don’t think you are over-feeding. There’s no way really of knowing whether it’s the same hog that comes in 3 times unless it is marked. Hedgehogs travel several kilometres (generally on a fixed route) each night searching for food so you could have several going through. I wouldn’t cut down - they do call back in between natural feeds.

Absolutely dont grab any hedgehogs! The best way to weigh a hedgehog is, go out when they are in the garden, shine a torch on them - they will not run (that’s why so many get run over, they freeze in the light) - dont shine the torch in their eyes. Gently, (putting the torch on the ground) slip both hands under their belly (they wont struggle unless you are squeezing too hard), and place it on the scales on the ground. Look at the weight and gently lift them off and place them back where they were (facing the same way). It is important to do this in complete silence - ‘talking to them’ is neither necessary or calming to them - just the opposite! It literally takes 30 secs.

JUST IN CASE 😉
It is also a good idea to keep an ‘emergency box’ in the shed. It should contain a covered hot water bottle, several old towels, two very small shallow bowls and an unopened packet of dry food. It should have high sides and big enough for a hedgehog to get off a hotwater bottle if one was put in the box. In the winter, if you then have a very small hedgehog (under 500g in November->), after weighing it, it can be brought inside and placed on towels and a hot water bottle (covered!) containing a small amount of very warm, not boiling water. Place box in darkened room and call your hedgehog lady. The same applies if you see any out during the day. Or any larger ones obviously struggling and lethargic. Remembering that going to Rehab is absolutely the last resort to save an animals life.

PS re. birdfood - adults tend to feed chicks in the nest with natural food but the adults will benefit from food for themselves.
 

Kickingbear

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England
The reason I started with the hedgehogs it’s because about three years ago I was out walking in my local area at about midday and saw a hedgehog curled up in the grass, I knew this wasn’t right so I brought it home rung the hedgehog people and did what they said about the hot water bottle and everything they came and took it away but unfortunately it did die. After that I got holes cut in my fencing and asked my neighbours to make sure the holes were not blocked and it’s just gone on from there really...🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔🦔
 

Kickingbear

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England
And I am just about to go out and clean the bird bath and take the ice off it I’ve already taken it off the little tub of water on the bird table at the back and off the pond and off the hedgehog water
 

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