Help hi­ber­nat­ing hedge­hogs

Country Living (UK) - - A Month In The Country -

AS THE FIRST FROST LINGERS AND THE WIND WHIS­TLES through the turn­ing leaves, be mind­ful of the hedge­hog (Eri­na­ceinae), which this month will be hun­ker­ing down for hi­ber­na­tion. Hav­ing fat­tened up on cater­pil­lars, bee­tles and earth­worms, th­ese spiny mam­mals will enter a state of in­er­tia dur­ing which their body tem­per­a­ture low­ers to such an ex­tent they are no longer con­sid­ered warm-blooded. Rather than sleep­ing un­til spring, they awaken spo­rad­i­cally in search of sus­te­nance, so will ap­pre­ci­ate crushed dog or cat bis­cuits, but never milk (which can up­set their stom­achs). You can also pro­vide them with a spot to bed down by leav­ing piles of logs or leaves in your gar­den or al­low­ing an area to grow wild. Al­ter­na­tively, buy a pur­pose-built hedge­hog home. Find out more at rspca.org.uk.

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