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Hedgehogs are nocturnal and usually sleep during the daytime. Pregnant or nursing mothers may need to be out during the day. Otherwise, hedgehogs seen in daylight are probably injured or ill.

PIck the hog up gently using gloves, place it in a box with a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel and take it to your local animal rescue centre.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal. They are generally found out and about at night. During the day they should be tucked up in their houses sleeping.

It might be exciting to see a hedgehog out during the day. It’s probably the only chance you get to take a proper look at one.

But if you do see one in the daytime it’s quite likely to be in trouble and needs your help.

In this article, we are going to take a look at the different reasons why hedgehogs might be out and about in the daytime. We’re going to explain when and how you can help and when you should leave well alone.

What to Do About Hedgehogs Out in the Daytime

What you should do with a hedgehog you see out in the daytime will depend on what the hedging is doing, how it looks and what time of year it is.

If you decide the hedgehog needs rescuing you can find your local rescue centre here.

Adult Hedgehog Looking Busy - Leave Alone

Though hedgehogs are mainly nocturnal there are times when they can come out during daylight hours.

Pregnant females building nests can sometimes be seen during the daytime bustling about with mouthfuls of leave.

And nursing mothers may take a break from the nest during the day to go and look for food and water.

So, if you see a decent-sized adult out and about looking busy during the day it is probably fine and you should leave it to go about its business.

Hedgehog Sunbathing on the Lawn - Rescue

Seeing a hedgehog apparently “sunbathing” out in the open on your lawn or paths may look cute but the hog is probably in serious trouble.

Hedgehogs lying out like this are often very ill, probably with an overload of worms or parasites.

Gently scoop up the hog using thick gardening gloves, wrap it in a towel, place it in a box with a wrapped hot water bottle and keep it in the house until you can get it to your local hedgehog rescue.

Hedgehog Staggering Around, Drunk - Rescue

Hogs looking drunk probably have hypothermia and need to be warmed up as soon as possibly.

Pop it in a box with a wrapped hot water bottle and call for help.

Hedgehog Dragging One Leg - Vet

It’s quite easy for hedgehogs to break a leg and quite easy to get fractures fixed. This hog also needs rescuing but it’s one for the vet, not your local rescue centre.

Not all vets will treat hedgehogs so call ahead to check.

As well as placing the hog in a warm box you could also try offering a little water in this case.

Hedgehog Dragging Both Legs - Vet

If a hog is dragging both legs it’s more likely to have a spinal injury. This may or may not be fixable. The vet will need to take a look at the hog.

When you rescue in this case. Rather than scooping the hog in your hands try to slip a piece of board or stiff card under it to keep the spine immobile.

It won't be possible to save every hog with a spinal injury but as each hedgehog life is so important to the species it’s well worth a try.

Hedgehog Coughing - Rescue

This could well be a bad case of lungworm which sounds nasty but is easily curable by your local rescue centre. So get the hog to them as soon as possible.

Learn what to listen for in our guide to hedgehog noises and what they mean here.

Caught in Netting - Rescue

Hedgehogs are inquisitive. They will stick their noses into all sorts of things. And if you’re covered in long spines, once you’ve stuck your nose into something it can be tricky to get back out again.

A rescue centre can sort this out easily.  But don’t try to do it yourself. Take the hog and the netting to the rescue centre. If you have to cut the netting to get the hog free cut as far away from the hog as possible and try to avoid pulling.

Hedgehog With Cuts and Missing Spines - Rescue

A hedgehog with cuts, flesh wounds and patches of missing spines is likely to have been hit by a car or strimmer, or attacked by a dog.

Healthy hedgehogs are surprising good healers and even hogs who look in a pretty bad way can make a good recovery if kept clean and dry.

So once again, box him up and take him to the rescue centre.

Hoglets Out in the Daytime - Observe

If you see babies or young hedgehogs out in the day without their mother don’t immediately rush in to help.  The mother may actually be close by.

So take some time to watch what they are doing. Ideally, place yourself downwind of the hoglets if you can. They have an excellent sense of smell.

If the mother doesn’t show up and the hoglets start making “pipping” noises they will need to be rescued.

Don’t be tempted to try to raise baby hedgehogs yourself as you might a baby bird. Hoglets are delicate creatures with complicated needs. Their best chance of survival is with the mother. But failing this they will need trained, specialist helpers to survive.

Skinny Hog Out in Autumn - Feed

Autumn juvenile hogs, or hogs born later in the summer, may struggle to get to the weight they need to safely hibernate. In this situation there sometimes aren’t enough hours in the night for a young hog to get all the food he needs. So you may see them out and about in the day.

In this situation, you should weigh the hog. It needs to be 600gms to safely hibernate. If it’s under that, offer food each night for a little while and weigh again. If the hog is up to 600gms your work is done. If not, give your local rescue centre a call.

It may need to be overwintered indoors to stand the best chance of surviving.

Dead Hedgehog?

If you think you have found a dead hedgehog check very carefully before you discard or abandon it.

Sick or injured hedgehogs can be very cold and still. They may look and feel dead when they are actually still alive with a chance of survival.

Put the hedgehog into the warm rescue box and it may well start to show signs of life.

Conclusion: Hedgehogs out in the Daytime Often Need Help

Since hedgehogs are nocturnal if we see them out in the daytime it’s often a sign that something is wrong and they may need our help.

In this article, we’ve tried to explain how you can help, and when it’s better to leave them alone.

We hope you found the article useful and interesting.

If you would like more information on how to help hedgehogs visit:

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

Hedgehog Street.

And if you spot a hedgehog in trouble, you can find your local hedgehog rescue project by clicking here.

If you have a question or suggestion we would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below.