When do Hedgehogs Hibernate?

by Russ on October 19, 2013

Hedgehogs eat as much as they can before hibernating.Hibernation is an amazing process. Many animals in our country choose to evade the winter by effectively shutting themselves down. Respiration slows and their core temperature drops to cut down energy use as much as possible. One of the most famous hibernators is the Hedgehog, who will currently be preparing to enter this torpor.

The precise time they enter hibernation will change year on year and is largely influenced by the weather. The shorter days of Autumn are the first indication of winter, so the hedgehogs know to start getting ready. They eat as much as possible and find a suitable place to make their winter bed. Once the first frosts come in the night, this cues the hedgehogs to retire and begin their long sleep.

Providing piles of old leaves are timber is a great way to help hedgehogs build their winter home.We can help now by providing lots of food and bedding material. Piles of old leaves are perfect for the hedgehogs to make winter shelters. For food, you should not put out milk and bread. Neither is good for hedgehog’s digestion. They are insectivores and prefer to eat slugs, snails and worms. So meal-worms from your local pet store are a great source of protein. Cat food or dog food  with a saucer of water are also great substitutes.

Sleepy Frogs

Frogs eat a variety of insectivores, as Rosa's seem to have a taste for Crane Flies. Good catch!It’s not just hedgehogs that are getting ready to slumber, it’s frogs too! This week Rosa wrote in asking more about these amphibians.

“Dear Russ,
When is it typical for frogs to Hibernate for over wintering please? Mine are still really active. Please can you help?
Many Thanks.
Rosa.”
Many thanks for writing in Rosa. Amphibians will be getting ready to hibernate just as hedgehogs are by taking any opportunity to feed. As soon as we start getting nightly frosts, your frogs will head to their hibernating home which they will have already prepared. The fact your frogs very active now suggests it’s not too far off. You can read more about our hibernating frogs here: Do Frogs Hibernate?

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