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Hedgehogs


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Thanks Christine, I'll check it out in a bit more detail when I get a bit more time, I had a quick look through it, but I found the site a bit muddled, maybe that was just me. I don't know if it's on my list of rescue centres, I'll look at that as well, something of a busy time of year!

Chris

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There is a family of hedgehogs living in my garden.  They've been around for about 8 months now I think, they seem to be attracted to the croquettes we leave out for our 5 cats (beat you Ali!).  They aren't shy at all, and they don't scamper away when we approach them - they even let us handle them.

Chris, do you think cat food is ok for them to eat?  We love seeing them and feel quite privilaged to have them living so close to us! 

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 We have a hedgehog too and because we are cutting down some of the shrubs where we think 'he' lives we have bought a hedgehog box,  it came with specific 'food for hedgehogs' which looks remarkably similar to big bird food. I notice that Haiths (http://www.haiths.com) are selling hedgehog food too

I think cat food is fine but DO NOT leave out bread and milk, it upsets there tummies and thats being polite !

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A French animal lover near us (she has cats and has put wire netting on the windows so they can't get out on the road, she also adopted the Lassie Collie which was found and I mentioned on here not long ago) found a baby hedgehog which she fed and took care of and now apparently he is completely tame.

Twinkle, here's something about feeding them and if you really want to get into hedgehogs you can even breed them and have accessories for them...  

http://doupic.tripod.com/id3.html

 

Sorry Gay, I hadn't seen what you had said, you are already into the accessories... with a hedgehog box.  Lovely.

 

Here's a bit more on the food where they recommend the same cat food as the site above.  They say it's difficult to get good quality hedgehog food and even say that the Vitacraft one is not good for them.  They mention the litter Yesterday's News, we tried that years ago after visiting Expozoo and found it marvellous (for cats), but it never took off in France and I couldn't get any, so those of you in the UK are lucky as it seems to be sold there.

http://www.herisson.qc.ca/habitation_et_alimentation.htm

 

 

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Feeding hedgehogs? I suppose this is where I upset everyone again, really there shouldn't be any need to feed them if you have a healthy, well managed garden, but what the heck, I don't suppose it does to much harm. Creating places for them to hide or hibernate is useful and it's worth remembering that they are itinerant creatures and will move to where their needs are meet.

I'm not too keen on "domesticating" wild creatures and keeping them as pets, and getting them to be too tame can make them susceptible to other dangers. It was interesting to see on that website that 29%, I think it was, of hedgehog deaths are a result of poisoning.

Chris

 

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I don't want 'mine' to be a pet, I just want to encourage him to come to my garden and eat the bl**dy slugs before they get to the hostas, of which I am rather fond !

This afternoon we cut down a lot of shrubs and cut back a largish ivy, we found an empty nest which was very sturdy and seemed to be made from tightly twined material and mud, it seemed quite substantantial....any ideas Chris ? Blackbird ?

While looking for 'our' newts' we watched several pairs of red damsel flies over the pond.......looking forward to the dragonfly's later

 

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I'm sure you don't want your hedgehogs to be pets Gay, but you would be amazed at the number of people who try to keep them that way, anyway, if you feed them too well they won't bother with the slugs. Let's face it, if someone was providing you with meals you wouldn't bother to go shopping.

The nest could easily have been a blackbirds if it was lined with mud and fine grass, did it look old or could it have been this years? If it was this years they will often have several broods.

Chris

 

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 I think it may be this years nest, we are doing work in the garden so needed to clear an area, we have waited until now because we rather thought there was a nest close by, then our son (the nocturnal smoker :( ) said he thought there was a hedgehog too.........he had seen it, hence the hedgehog box..........I'm hoping to encourage a hedgehog to stay ( I only leave out minimal amounts of food) but if they stay elsewhere and visit to eat our slugs - great !

Two of the Blackbirds are very amusing to watch, both male, they chase each other about and seem to almost play hide and seek, sometimes one gets a long way ahead of the other and one  'talks' to the other, they locate each other and start the chase again.......

 

 

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 Gay, If its lined with mud its also likely a song thrush nest,light blue speckled eggs,he is the guy who scatters the ground with snail shells.Find the shells and you will find his anvil. The song thrush nest is more puddled mudded than the blackbird in my opinion chris.Michael.
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Agree Michael, good point. Just as an aside Michael you would have loved the morning I had today, 5 little bustards on the wing, really close with the sun behind me plus Whimbrel with chicks, Stone curlews, Red backed shrike - terrific.

Hedgehogs. About a week ago,Christine put someone in touch with me who had some really tiny baby hedgehogs, mother probably dead from poisoning, unfortunately all the young have now died, all with symptoms of bleeding from the nose which would possibly indicate that they were poisoned with anti-coagulants via the mothers milk before she died. The only logical way that the mother could have consumed anti-coagulants that I can think of is the French practise of injecting these into chickens eggs which they then leave dotted around the place for stone martens to eat. A hedgehog will of course also eat eggs that are on the ground as will many other creatures including dogs.

All I really want to say, is please try not to use poisons, they are indiscriminate and cause more collateral damage than the American armed forces (no offence to Americans in general).

Chris.

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[quote user="Michael"] Gay, If its lined with mud its also likely a song thrush nest,light blue speckled eggs,he is the guy who scatters the ground with snail shells.Find the shells and you will find his anvil. The song thrush nest is more puddled mudded than the blackbird in my opinion chris.Michael.[/quote]

I'd be thrilled if it were a thrush of any description ...............we keep a ad hoc diary of things we see, for instance on Friday we saw the first red damsel flies this season - the date and the species and we see so few thrushes that we actually note it..........on the other hand the number of blackbirds and collared doves has increased.

PS Collared Doves are really common in this part of the UK now, but we have had two nests in the garden and on both occasions none of the eggs have successfully hatched (the nests were flimsy and too exposed IMHO)  given that they are patently stupid birds, how have there numbers increased so much?

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I have thought about this on and off over the last week and I can't really see how the herbicide which had been sprayed everywhere would have affected the young later than the mother, although one possibility is that the mother got a full blast of this substance and the young only had a small dose. The vet that was consulted gave an injection of vitamin K to the young, which I think aids blood coagulation.

Although none of this is conclusive, it seems reasonable to assume that there was a good chance that poisonous substances were involved in these deaths. The herbicides had, so I am told, not only been sprayed on the weeds and grass, but along and under the base of the hedge.

Chris

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We have a family in the garden. Don't see them, so how do we know ?

The dog carries them by the spines to the front door and tries to play with them. One kick and they curl up into a ball leaving a playmateless dog.

 

Peter

 

 

 

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