Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Hoglet Diaries part 2

Happy New Year everyone! We hope everyone had a great winter break and is as excited for 2012 as we are!

To celebrate the new year, we're still offering a whopping 40% off of our  books, with free p+p if you're in the UK! The offer ends at midnight on the 15th January, so get your orders in now! You can check out full details over at the Hubble & Hattie website.

You might remember last month H&H director Jude was looking after three baby hedgehogs, with the possibility of another one on the way! Catch up with the Hoglet Diaries and find out Jude's reaction to another hog lodger!

And then there were four!

'The call from the vet came out of the blue, as they always do, so some quick thinking was called for. Taking a small cardboard box from our stockroom at work, I popped into the vet's on the way home and picked up a healthy-looking hoglet who was simply too young to fend for himself. At home I weighed him – 207gms; not too bad at all. 

Here's looking at you!
'Making a bed in a smaller crate that I had, I settled him in and gave him food and water. As he was on his own, and I had the three earlier arrivals together in one crate, I debated whether or not to put one of these in with the newbie, but decided against this, at least until I'd been able to ascertain that he really was healthy. Hedgehogs are solitary creatures and, whilst they can live together quite harmoniously, don't usually actively seek to do so. 

'For a few days I monitored his progress and decided at the weekend that he would be better off outside in the garden, though still contained within a run until he'd reached an adequate weight to be released.

'My original three spikey residents continued to thrive and, as it was summer and the weather not too bad (considering!) at weekends and some evenings I would put them outside in a large run on the grass, so that they could have a snuffle and poke about, and get used to the idea of being outside. Every time, as usual, Immie would be fascinated by the little creatures, and watch, enthralled, as they bustled and busied about inside the run.

Immie inspects the guests
'Each evening when we got home from work, Imms and I would attend to our guests. First, the indoors bunch would be transferred one at a time to a 'holding box' lined with a towel so that I could clean out and wash their crate and remake it. Usually, when moved, the three would stay as I'd put them initially, wondering what was going on, but then would gradually begin to investigate where they were, holding their twitching, questing snouts up in the air, and very often coming nose-to-nose with the ever-present Immie. The hogs were not the least bit perturbed by her, and she has never made a threatening move toward any that she's come into contact with, which reinforces my view that the only animal that is instinctively feared is man, often with good reason. 

'Next, was outside hog, and this entailed taking from the run soiled straw/hay, complete with hog poo (very smelly!), and replacing it with clean. Although quite messy creatures in some ways, in common with most animals, hogs keep one area for their toilet, leaving most of their accommodation clean and fresh. All of the food and water dishes were washed in hot soapy water and preparation of supper begun – chopping up banana, little pieces of grape, cat food, scrambled egg – usually some or all of these foods. It was all very well received and apparently enjoyed as there was never any left the next morning. Hedgehogs seem to relish their food as, very often at night, when all was quiet and we'd gone to bed, I could hear the three indoor hogs getting stuck in to supper!'

Next month: Weigh-ins and a new des-res for the Weymouth Three!

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