How should look hedgehog winter quarters?
In your garden you have discovered hedgehogs from time to time. You wonder how the hedgehog winter quarters should look like, because you would like to offer support. In the following we would like to show you how you can actually help the hedgehog in winter.
This is what a hedgehog winter quarters
Depending on the weather, hedgehogs start building their winter quarters as early as mid-October. The food supply already becomes much scarcer at this time. Many of the young animals still try to gain some weight. For their winter quarters the small mammals look for brushwood, dead wood and lots of leaves. If the ground temperatures are permanently around zero, hedgehogs seek out the winter quarters.
To protect themselves from the cold, they crawl into hollows in the ground, which can be found under hedges or a pile of brushwood. You can support the hedgehog by providing him with a hedgehog house in addition to his natural winter quarters. If you want to support the hedgehog year after year for his winter quarters, then place a base of field stones under the brushwood pile.
Do hedgehogs wake up in the meantime?
If the winters are relatively warm, then the small mammals also wake up sometimes and leave their winter quarters. But you don't have to worry about the hedgehog, because it is perfectly normal that he wakes up during his hibernation. If a healthy animal is then in your garden, there is no problem. However, if this waking up and wandering around happens more often, then this can also drain the animal's strength.
Due to the season, the hedgehog finds little food. You can help him by offering him wet and dry cat food in a shallow bowl. You should also not forget a bowl with water. The hedgehog only needs real and direct help if he is ill or you get the impression that he is clearly weakened. If it gets colder outside again, the hedgehog will go back to his winter quarters.
Hedgehog in the garden during the day
It also often happens that you meet young animals in the garden during the day. They are looking for food to build up their fat reserves. Under no circumstances should you take in such a hedgehog out of a misconceived love of animals. This is only advisable if the hedgehog is ill or looks remarkably emaciated. You can then look after it or take it to one of the many hedgehog rescue centres. You should wrap a hypothermic hedgehog with a towel and put it on a lukewarm hot water bottle.
How should you feed the hedgehog?
Feed an undernourished hedgehog with wet and dry cat food. Under no circumstances should you give him leftover food. The hedgehog needs a lot of fat and protein. The carbohydrates from the insects he has eaten are indigestible for him and only serve as roughage. Therefore you should not give the hedgehog dog food. This has more carbohydrates and less protein than cat food.
If the hedgehog does not eat during the night after you have taken him in, you must take him to the vet.
Create a hedgehog garden
If you really want to help the hedgehogs in your garden, make it hedgehog-friendly. This way the hedgehog can build his winter quarters on his own.
This is how the hedgehog garden with hedgehog winter quarters should look like
In your garden there should be as many natural elements as possible, such as hedges, meadows, stone walls, ponds and trees. In any case, do not use mineral fertilizers or chemical pesticides of any kind. You do not have to mow and fertilize the lawn all the time. You should also not cut the hedge regularly. Let your garden be five times straight. This means weeds stay and leaves are not permanently raked away.
Look for shelters for the hedgehog made of roots, brushwood or under hedges. During the day the hedgehog can crawl into them and at dusk go in search of prey. In your natural garden the hedgehog will find enough food. In autumn and spring, when food resources are scarce, you can help with cat food. You do not have to buy hedgehog food from the trade, because this is usually not really suitable for the small mammals. The composition is rarely really suitable for hedgehogs.
Garden animal - A life with nature
Welcome to my animal blog! My name is Dirk and I am happy to take you on my journey through the fascinating world of animals and gardening.
Born 54 years ago, I have had an insatiable curiosity for the animal world around me since childhood. Although I have moved professionally in other industries, my true passion has always been animals and nature. It is remarkable how a small garden has become such an important part of my life.
Many of my fondest memories are associated with the animals that share our home. Whether it's the curious squirrels that scurry across the trees in the morning, the colorful variety of birds that visit our feeders, or the busy bees and butterflies that pollinate our flowers, every moment with them is invaluable to me.
This blog is my contribution to share my experiences, discoveries and insights with like-minded people. Here I will share stories of unforgettable encounters with animals, give tips on gardening and creating wildlife-friendly habitats, and take you on my journeys through nature.
Thank you so much for being here!
Dirk aka garden animal