We’ve become parents! Albeit to a hedgehog and only temporarily at that. But I couldn’t be more proud of our new addition to the family. So here he is – Meadow the Hedgehog.
Meadow was found as a baby in Worcester and has been cared for by Viv at Malvern Hedgehog Rescue ever since. Viv has nearly 100 rescued hedgehogs in her care at the moment, so was looking for volunteers to foster some until the spring; at which point they can be released. So this is how Meadow came to be living with us.
Never having looked after a hedgehog before, we had to scrounge a rabbit hutch – many thanks to Michael Reece for the donation. We’re on a bit of a learning curve at the moment, so hopefully Meadow will put up with his novice carers. Under instructions from Viv, he now has a hay filled bedding area, plenty of newspaper and of course food and water. He initially made a bee-line for the hay, but has since chosen to bury himself under the newspapers.
Other than feeding him and changing any damp newspaper/hay, we will be leaving him pretty much alone. He is not a pet, so we don’t want to treat him as such. Viv has asked us to weigh him once a week though. He is currently 941g. We’re supposed to try and maintain it around that. We don’t want him losing weight, but apparently we don’t want him to put on any more either. If hedgehogs get too fat they can’t curl up properly into a ball (I have the same problem myself!), which makes them vulnerable to predators.
Hopefully if we get a cold spell Meadow will go into hibernation. Viv has told us what to look out for so we don’t panic if he stops moving! I’ll try and give updates on his progress over the next few months, although there may not be many photos, as we will try and handle him as little as possible and generally leave him in peace.
For information on Malvern Hedgehog Rescue go to http://www.malvernhedgehogrescue.co.uk/ Like so many hedgehog rescue centres, Viv gets no funding and relies totally on donations. Please consider helping your local rescue centre – help with food, vets bills, equipment or even just donating old newspapers will all make a difference.