Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Hoglet Diaries part 3

'It's time for the next installment of the Hoglet Watch Diaries! Last month, the hoglets were going from strength to strength, which means a change of scene for the Weymouth Three...

One of the three has a weigh-in...
...While the other two wait patiently! 

  'I really needed to move my three indoor guests outside; otherwise they wouldn't acclimatise and gain the necessary weight in time to be released before winter set in. A hedgehog needs to weigh at least 600gms before he or she will stand a chance of surviving hibernation: any less than this and the chances are they will go to sleep... and never wake up.

'My problem was, hoglet number four was already occupying one of the houses and using the only run I had, and this wasn't big enough for four of them. In any case, I'd decided that he would be kept separate from the Weymouth Three as. Being a fair bit bigger, I hoped that within two or three weeks, he'd be ready for release, so there seemed little point getting them used to each other. 

'Hmmm. What to do ...?

Hoglet Four's outside home
'Thankfully, a good friend came to the rescue by making a large run, complete with top, that would comfortably accommodate the three, and I had another house that was also big enough for them. Without further ado, the three were moved en masse to their outdoor living quarters, alongside hoglet four. (I'd already weighed the three and was happy with their gain.)

'It was much easier now to care for the hoglets, and, in order to encourage them to dig for their food, their evening meal would be serviced scattered willy-nilly around the run, mixed a little with the earth, so that they also became used to the taste of this! Immie and I would go out into the garden last thing at night and check they were managing to find the food okay, and they were. At night, it's quite important not to use a white-coloured torch, especially when you are feeding your charges, as they will associate this light with good things, and will have no fear of car headlights. As road accidents are the biggest cause of hedgehog fatalities, this is a very important point. 

'As I'd hoped, a couple of weeks later I was able to take the solo hog to a friend with a very large, safe garden so that he could be returned to the wild. He weighed just under the 600gms, but, as this was late summer, I was confident that he would gain the rest before hibernation called.'

Next month: A race to gain weight!

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