2 September 2009

September 2nd, 2009

Oh Boy what a difference a few hours can make in our household. :) It wasn't soon after I had just posted my post for August 31st here, that Brian answered the phone and it was a gentleman called Dennis who has found some baby hedgehogs. So we chatted a bit, and soon Dennis and Susan were on their way with our new babies. They had found four baby hedgehogs out playing in their neighbors drive and were afraid of them getting hurt so phoned me for help. The moment I got off the phone it was all men and women to the post. :) Both Brian and I went scurrying around trying to get things ready for the arrival of our new charges. It is sort of like expecting a real baby, as I started boiling water immediately and sterilizing equipment. The water is for re hydration fluid which I make with one litre of water 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. This can be given straight to them upon arrival, after it is cooled a bit. And then later can be mixed with their Esbilac(milk replacement). We also gathered together all the fleeces we could find, readied one of our cat carriers with newspapers and fleeces, heated up the hot water bottles and got all the other paraphernalia together before they arrived.
Well done to Dennis and Susan for saving them. As some folks would have probably just left them to die. They were found out during the day and no mum in sight. And their fast action has probably saved their little lives. As I had found 2 ticks on one of them and they had only eaten what Susan had given them I would think for the past day or so as their little poo was rock hard. This usually means they have been starving for a bit.
As with all our hedgehogs I do ask the finders if they would like to name them. And we have two boys and two girls. Dennis chose the name Thor, so he is our biggest boy. And Susan chose Millie. She is one of our little girls. She was the one with the two ticks. And they then left it up to us to choose the other two names. I let my Assistant choose this time, since I named our last garden hog without him. He chose Ace and Holly, since at the time we didn't know how many boys or girls we had and both names could be used as either. And Holly is because they were found on the August Bank Holiday (holly) Monday. :)
Okay enough of the chat..... here is the important stuff.... the photos. :)

This is the four of them before being marked, and right after their arrival.

For a few days or so this is their bedroom. Our cat carrier with the sides and small holes so no escapees. It has a fluffy fleece covered hot water bottle in the corner and plenty of fleeces to keep them all snuggly warm and for them to nestle into.

Just for your interest this is how I do my first feeds or so.... Their milk is warmed up in a mini jam jar and then put into feeding syringes. And the cream cheese container is their bath. It is a perfect size for baby hedgehogs.

This is their feeding station for the first few feeds. Warm hot water bottle and lots of paper towels. We do seem to go through alot of these. But we do keep everything nice and tidy. And all is scrubbed clean and we use Milton to sterilize everything.
Here Brian is getting them ready for their feeds. He is a super assistant and really enjoys keeping an eye on them while I do the feeding. :)

We had to try and devise a system for feeding. As before we only ever had one to feed. I was used to feeding twins and one time I had three baby calves to feed at a time. So after the first few times we finally got it sussed out on how and what to do. Start with the smallest first is what we did.

Once all were woken up and out, then the feeding begins. We found it was harder to get them eating straight from being woken up. They did prefer it after a few minutes of getting their circulation going as they say. Also it helps if the food is at the right temp. When you start going on lack of sleep as they are feed little and often upon first arriving. So we feed every 2 to 3 hours. As of today they are now on every 4 hour feeds.

This is little Ace waiting for a feed.

He is the smallest of the bunch

This one is Thor the largest.

And little Holly the larger of the two girls.

And little Millie the smallest of the girls.

Here they are all huddled together after a feed. You can tell how we are able to tell them apart. Tipex. Great stuff!!! I just wish it was as popular when my twin sons were born. :) Sorry boys, you know I am only kidding as I could always tell which was which. Must be a mother's instinct.

Another photo with Millie showing her lovely little face.
And another. Sorry they are just sooooooo cute that I had to take lots of photos.

And now we come to today and our latest feeding session.

They are all inside a large plastic box lined with lots of paper toweling. They like eating together and are now feeding themselves. We get a lot of nose licking going on and walking through the food and lots of sneezes as they haven't quite learnt how to eat without getting it up their little noses just yet. That will come in time.

The two girls and Ace share their food and Thor enjoys having a bowl all to himself. And boy can he eat!!!! All are doing well so far and all have gained weight. We did have a feed or two where they were adjusting to the new foods where we had some rather runny poos, but that is sort of to be expected. But now we are back to normalish ones for this stage and soon they will be getting some more solid food.... The next feed we are going to give them some Hills AD and that should help with the poos and their weight. We are off to the vets on Thursday for a quick check up and possibly get some antibiotics to just be for sure all goes well for them. I will let you all know how they progress in the next few days. And as soon as YouTube uploads the videos they will be posted here.


Alice said...

Aaaaaaawwwwww Pat they are so utterly gorgeous!!! I love the idea of it being like preparing for a human baby. You do sound as if you are both having a wonderful time. Just one probably silly question, tippex is incredibly poisonous to humans to ingest, what if they froth themselves and swallow some? I'm sure you've taken it into account I'm just curious! Do keep us posted, they're delightful. Congratulations on so much hedgehog rearing these days :) xxx Alice

Pat said...

Hi there Alice, and Thanks for the comment. :) Sorry I have been a bit AWOL over on the Galaxy site of late. I will try to get back there soon. About the tipex, I am only using the eco friendly water based stuff. It eventually washes off. And when they froth they are putting on, not taking off. :D

Emi said...

Hi, it's Emi from Derek's forum.

Your 4 babies remind me of the 4 babies I looked after. Now they are all back in the wild, one or two still visiting the garden. When I was looking after them, because it was the first time for me to look after baby hogs, I was just panicking and very stressed. If it was only one baby, maybe I could be less stressed, but 4 ! It is not an easy job. Now reading your blog, I wish I could enjoy more having them. I was just tired and worried everyday if I was doing the right things for them or not. I remember crying and telling my husband that I could not look after them any more.(LOL) Once they began to eat by themselves, everything was much easier though.
The baby hogs are incredibly cute. Enjoy looking after your babies, Pat ! looking forward to reading more updates on the babies. and more photos and videos please :)

Pat said...

Thanks so much Emi for leaving a comment. :) Like you we didn't really know what to expect with our first ones. So now we are enjoying the quads and each feed their is such a change in them. I am afraid they are going to grow up way too quickly. But then again that means maybe we can get some more babies later on. :) Thanks for visiting. And videos are on the way. :)