Hand feeding a baby hedgehog
Helping hedgehogs

Hedgehog rescue – a day in the life

I’ve started to write this blog about 100 times and failed. That tells you quite a bit about a day in the life of a hedgehog rescue! Well, no two days are the same but let me give you a secret glimpse into a day here.

6.00am – Get up and go and check all the patients to see who has survived the night. Collect up food bowls, empty uneaten food and soak them in sterilising liquid. Check on the wild hedgehogs in the garden and top up their food bowls.

Washing up in my hedgehog rescue
There is always piles of washing to be done

6.15am – Grab a quick breakfast on the go

6.30am Weight checks for all hedgehogs. Check list of who needs which medicines. Give all treatments. Some hedgehogs may require 3 or more different medications. Hand feed hoglets. Update all medical records. Clean all cages and replace newspaper and blankets. Put fleece blankets on to wash. Sanitise all hospital surfaces. Clean and sweep the floor.

Towels drying in my hedgehog hospital
Fleece blankets are quick drying. I do at least one wash a day.

7.30am Respond to messages received asking for advice about hedgehogs.

8.00am Try and fit in a couple of hours of freelance work. I used to have a full time job but it was impossible to fit it around the hedgehogs. You can find out more about my freelance marketing and PR work here.

10am. Check up on sick patients and administer fluids under the skin/syringe feeds for the sickest. Hand feed any baby hoglets.

Hand feeding a hedgehog baby
Hand feeding a hedgehog baby

10.30am Receive two calls about poorly hedgehogs. Make arrangements for admission.

11am Check on stocks of food and medicine. Order any items that are running low.

12 noon Admit two hedgehogs. Checks done to identify injuries and illnesses. Fluids given and hedgehogs placed into intensive care.

1pm. Try to fit in some more freelance work in between following up leads about potential release sites for hedgehogs. Check out the locations on google earth and schedule in visits to go and check them.

2.30pm Undertake final health check for a hedgehog that is ready for release. Poo sample tested under the microscope. Test a line up of poo samples for my hedgehogs and those out with foster carers. Mark the hedgehog ready for release. Pack up a bag of food for the finders to use over the first few days. Hand feed hoglets.

Studying poo under the microscope
Studying poo under the microscope

3.30pm. Another call asking for advice about a nest of hedgehogs that has been disturbed. Offer advice for the nest to be monitored.

4pm. Check messages asking for advice about poorly hedgehogs. Make some jewellery (which I make to raise funds for the rescue). Update hedgehog admission records and tidy up the shelves in the hospital to put away items of food that have kindly been donated.

5pm. Clean out any hoglets. They make such a mess that they need cleaning at least twice a day. Check on any patients in intensive care. Undertake food rounds to top up food in all cages. Hand feed hoglets.

6.30pm Finder arrives to pick up a hedgehog for release.

7pm Manage to grab some dinner but it is interrupted by a call about a sick hedgehog.

8.30pm. Admit a hedgehog covered in fly strike and ticks. Spend the rest of the evening removing fly strike, giving fluids and intensive care. Hand feed hoglets.

Ticks removed from a new admission

9.00pm. The hedgehogs have pulled up the lining of one of the cages. Ask my lovely husband to undertake some maintenance whilst I look after the new admission.

10.30pm. Final hedgehog checks.

Try and get some sleep and do it all again the next day!

I run a small hedgehog rescue in York, England. My work is entirely self funded. You can read more about me here and also how to support my work here. I also run a series of talks and events throughout the year in York where you can learn more about hedgehogs and how to help them. Find out more about my events here.

Like all wildlife rescues, my hospital is entirely self funded. I make handmade silver jewellery inspired by nature and wildlife to raise vital funds for the hospital. You can visit my online shop here.

Handmade silver wildlife jewellery by Little Silver Hedgehog

The recognised hedgehog course for hedgehog rescues and vets is run by Vale Wildlife Hospital. You can find out more about their work and the one day course here.

25 thoughts on “Hedgehog rescue – a day in the life”

  1. My Jack Russell came upon a hedgehog in a small wooded strip 100 yards by twenty. There is a reasonable amount of shrubbery but it is in my opinion not the ideal place .Should I take it and release it in a much more wooded area

  2. The hedgehog just turned up about half an hour ago,it came down the path to the back garden and went straight to the garden furniture where I put food out for it,this time I put some wet food that I used for the last juvenile with some hedgehog biscuits and just a few meal worms,it ate for about 15 minutes and then had a drink of water and then went in the flower bed so we put it under the shed and are going to keep it in the back garden to keep an eye on it,I have been in touch with my hedgehog carer friends so if it keeps coming out they will pick it up and take it to the vet to get it checked out.I think in general it ok as its poops look good and healthy,its a juvenile so I am guess its struggling to find food which is why its came to us and I think it must have been sleeping in the front garden so I checked to see if there was a nest with any more but I couldn’t find any nest so it must be one that has only recently left its mum.if all it needs is to be fed up we will do the same as we did with the last one and then open up the garden again,xx Rachel and Speedy

  3. Reblogged this on nanacathydotcom and commented:
    I found this amazing blogger during 30 days wild. Just so full of admiration for her work for hedgehogs. Hoping to attend her open day next month. Do check out her jewellery which looks fabulous.

  4. I’m worn out just reading this LSH! You are a “Hedgehog Inspiration”. Promise to invest in some silverware in due course!

    An update on “hole in the gate”. Hedgies are regular visitors – you can almost set the clock by them! The best recent visit was a youngster going it alone. No pics yet – working on it!

  5. There are lots of disturbed nests this year which is very sad. Sad you can’t help with the blind one but such good news that wild hedgehogs are visiting! Take care Rachel and Speedy x x x

  6. That is a lot of hard work,My Friend who is a certified Hedgehog carer has a load of hoglets from disturbed nests at the moment and a blind one that was attacked by a dog,he did ask us if we would give the blind one a home but our garden isn’t secure enough to give it a safe home so we had to say no.but we have another visiting our garden at the moment,xx Rachel and Speedy

  7. It really is a full time job. How many hedgehogs you have in your hospital? You are an amazing lady, I wish you all the best, healty hedgehogs and donations to continue your very important work.

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