2010/09 – Prickle & Winkle

Prickle (female)
admitted 20 Aug 10

pre-release 13 Sep 10

released 21 Sep 10

weight : on admittance 111g; 13 Sep 10 (prior to pre-release) 660g

Winkle (male)
admitted 20 Aug 10

pre-release 15 Sep 10

released 21 Sep 10

weight : on admittance 122g; 15 Sep 10 (prior to pre-release) 602g

Triage

Prickle, Winkle and Tiggy‘s mother had been found dead in a nearby garden a few days previously, but thankfully the rescuers from Aspley had put out dog food which kept the hoglets going. However, they were out during the day, an indication all was not well, although initial observations suggested it was sheer hunger driving them out in daylight hours. Tiggy was a special case, as she had a mite infection which caused her to lose her spines, so she was quickly isolated from Winkle and Prickle, who both stayed together throughout their time at Snuffle Lodge.

Diet

Both were started on prescription diet food (Hills A/D), but graduated to cat food very quickly. As they got older their tastes changed, and whilst in pre-release they preferred a mixed diet of kitten biscuits, raisins and dried mealworms. They were eating very well prior to release.

Weight

Both were slightly underweight for their age, although both steadily increased their weight, usually by more than 20g per day (the benchmark for correct development is 10g per day).

Prickle made by far the biggest gains in weight and at 13 September, 24 days after admittance, her weight had increased near enough six-fold ! This enabled her to be placed in pre-release on 13 September – her brother Winkle joined her on 15 September after using the two days away from his sister to catch up.

Accommodation

The pair of them lived in a nice big indoor rabbit cage, and rubbed along nicely together. Prickle was put into pre-release ahead of Winkle as she was clearly hogging a lot of the food – he was near enough 150g lighter than her by 13 September ! However he joined her two days later once up to hibernation weight (600g and over for a juvenile). They remained in pre-release until 21 September when they were both ready to go (queuing up by the edge of the pen), and they quickly left to explore. After about an hour of following each other around the garden, frantically self-anointing every time they came across a new smell, they eventually parted company (as happens in the wild), with Winkle going one way, and Prickle the opposite direction. However, Prickle returned to the pre-release pen later that night, and has barricaded herself in, presumably to stop Winkle coming back in. It didn’t work – Winkle was back with Prickle the following evening ! They were still residing in the open access pre-release pen as at 27 September 2010 together, but by 3 October 2010 Winkle had left for pastures new, leaving a very chubby looking Prickle behind – she remained in situ until 18 October 2010, then returned to the wild.

Behaviour

Both were very lively, although individual characters emerged, as is always the case with hedgehogs (no two hogs are the same), with Prickle the more boisterous of the two. Prickle and Winkle were always very happy in each other’s company when they shared a cage and when the Man-beast (Clayts) came to clean them out, they searched each other out and hid together. They happily shared a hedgehog box whilst in pre-release.