Would you like to help hedgehogs by becoming a Foster Carer?
You can help in lots of ways!
We receive sick, injured, abandoned or just underweight Hedgehogs and hopefully we (with your help!) can bring them back to health and to a physical condition so that they can be released into the wild.
This means that we can become overrun with Hedgehogs waiting to be released.
Foster Carers can be of great help by taking healthy Hedgehogs off us and feed them up to release weight. Thus allowing us to deal with those that still need medication.
As a “Foster Carer” you will be required to clean out the hutch(es) daily and provide clean water and a food source, again daily. Also, to monitor the weight gain and general condition of the Hedgehog/s. All food etc are provided at your expense, where possible we will try to provide hutches (but they are not always available) in which case it is again at your expense.
During the Autumn we can have a large number of “Autumn Juveniles” that are too small to safely hibernate. These need to be over wintered, they may or may not hibernate but do so in a controlled environment, heat and food provided, depending on size.
We will carry out any treatment that the Hedgehogs require, so you only have to build up their weight.
You will need to provide –
* Somewhere quiet for the Hogs to live, no loud noises, children running in and out, doors banging etc.
* Preferably heated! Not all hogs can be allowed to hibernate in their first year. If you cannot provide heat let us know and we can choose the right hog for you.
A hutch, cage or a deep crate for them to live in.
* Bedding: This can be fleeces cut into squares, torn up newspaper, Hay (this is very messy indoors)
* Food: Most hogs will eat what they are given but some can be fussy. We will advise on what is required before you receive the hog, but cat food and biscuits is usually enough.
* Cleaning equipment and rubber gloves: Hedgehogs are very messy and daily cleaning is a must.
* Someone to cover your absences, holidays.
We will provide:-
* A clean, healthy Hedgehog.
* Support and advice as required.
* Help in the Spring, for release back into the wild.
You can return the Hog to us if an unforeseen health problem occurs. Remember – all our hogs are wild animals and are to be returned to the wild, we do not provide them as pets!
Below is a list of items needed to care for Hedgehogs.
Required items for Carers
- Hutch/s, size depending on budget and if used indoors only or outdoors. Indoor hutches are cheaper as do not need to be waterproof, separate sleeping area is not required as wine boxes will do. The hutches need to have fine fly-screen mesh fitted as flies are attracted to the wet food as well as the ‘Pee & Poo’ (of which there will be a lot).
- 2 Rubber gloves (ordinary kitchen type are fine), always wear them when handling the Hogs for your hygiene as well as theirs.
- A never ending supply of newspapers (butter up your friends) both for lining the floor (3 layers deep) of the hutches, and shredded for bedding (“strip shredded” not crosscut also do not use shredded printer paper as it has sharp edges and is dusty). Hand shredded newspaper is better for very small hogs as they can become tangled in machine shredded paper.
- Disinfectant to spray daily to clean hutches. ‘Voodoo’ from Hyperdrug is good, as is ‘Virkon S’ (this can also be used as a bath to treat mange)
- A large supply of kitchen towel, again for cleaning, we buy ours from the Pound Shop.
- Empty wine boxes for sleeping chambers, Sainsbury Supermarket usually have them free.
Black bin liners to put waste in until either burnt in a garden incinerator or taken to rubbish dump.
- Bowls for water, dry food (day & night time), wet food (night time).
- Wet Food: Dog and Cat food not fish flavour or offal. Either in tins of pouches, most seem to prefer in gravy or loaf in preference to in jelly (though this is variable from hog to hog). Tesco’s own has proved successful and is cheaper than branded ones
- Dry food: A mix of I’ams Complete chicken flavour cat biscuit, dried Mealworm and some bird seeds. Mix together and used coarse or ground up in a processor or mill, depending on the size and number of hogs being fed. Spikes World do good a product, also ‘Wildthings Hedgehog Mix’ goes down well with those in the wild
- Measuring scales and record sheets to keep track of their weight gain and any comments and points of interest.