1 August 2009

August 1st, 2009

Tyler has now been moved outside to his new desres. :)
He is up to 530grams now and ready for his soft release. So for the next few days he is residing in his palatial hedgehog nest box with snuffle trays and a feeding station and toys on our patio. There is a cover over his box so he doesn't get rained on and it also gives him some shade during sunny days.

We will be keeping him in this pen until next week when we will move the whole shebangs over to a more grassy area. And if he digs his way out that will be okay as once we move him to the grass he will be released in a couple of days after that.

Here he is in his new pen, checking things over.

Last night we put the boys in the play pen together. I think this may well be the last time they are put there together. Tyler after spending just a couple of nights outside has changed his disposition and is no longer the calm quiet Hedgehog. Poor Alex wanted to say hello and was met with huffs and puffs and bounces. It was quite sad to see poor little Alex being told to leave off.

Alex decides Tyler isn't in the mood so goes off elsewhere in the pen. And was soon picked up by Dad in his fleece pouch and given a cuddle which he most enjoyed.

I am not sure what it is in the grass in this patch that just seems to set Tyler off. We don't know if it is grubs, or grass roots or the dirt that does it, but it gets him to begin self anointing. If you were to see it you would think he was in some sort of pain or agony as they really twist themselves about and then spit all over themselves. A very weird behaviour. It could be to do with some sort of scent marking thing or possibly making them selves less desirable to predators. Who knows?

There is a problem they can develop, called popoff, where their back muscles just seem to let go. And their spines will be all bunched up on their backs. I can see where this would be a problem. Especially when they go to self anoint. As the way they twist and turn it could really put a strain on these muscles.

This is him after the last photo. You can see his saliva on his back.

He did keep this process up for a good amount of time.

Twisting and turning and licking.

Poor little Alex didn't quite know what was going on. He has yet to do any self anointing.

However he has got the pancake look down really well.

After all that exercise Tyler was a bit peckish and so started searching for meal worms. His fave snack.

I think he would do just about anything for a nice tasty meal worm.

Here is Tyler with the look that butter wouldn't melt. :) All cute and sweet.

Again looking for more food.

He is one very hungry hedgehog.


Before I release hedgehogs I like to mark them so I can tell them from others that visit the garden. I have already marked a few in our garden and asked Brian how he thought I should mark Tyler. He said to put three small blobs on his back starting at his bum, back and head.

Well if you have ever tried to mark a huffing puffing hissing bouncing hedgehog with a little tipex brush, I can assure you it isn't easy. So I think he has now ended up with 3+ blobs of white tipex on him.

And little Alex is now 180 grams and has moved into the large cage today with lots of room to await his turn for soft release when he gets big enough.

And for now, we will enjoy giving Alex cuddles.


Cottage Smallholder said...

Oh Pat

What a lovely story and pictures. I was enthralled right to the end!

Pat said...

Thanks Fiona. I just love them. :)