We’ve reasonable knowledge about hedgehogs over 300 g, and have overwintered some of these prickly darlings in our purpose-built animal room. But hoglets?!

A passerby saw a hoglet outside the house, knocked on the door … a quick search and we found 4 more abandoned hoglets. We put them in a carrier with a heat pad to warm them through – they were freezing! and quickly phoned the vet. Of course, Sunday service! But Scarsdale Vets in Derby were fantastic and an hour later we were armed with a Royal Canin Babycat milk kit with feeding bottle.

They’re so Tiny!

The smallest hog was 50 g and the largest 66 g, two with eyes open. Using my Vale Wildlife Hospital hedgehog rehabilitation course booklet, we worked out they are 14 days old. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of feeds. Dunk volunteered to take on the night shift as they have to be fed every 2 to 3 hours. Each hog has been marked, so we know who’s who to keep track of weight/feeds/poo. They also have to be stimulated to poo and wee after every meal. They survived – but we have a battle ahead to get sufficient milk into them. Huffy – named after his nature – curls into a ball and huffs and the smallest drinks gratefully.

We are currently at a weight range of between 67 g and 85 g two days after they were found. Watch this space for cuteness!

Hedgehog Nest

Hedgehog Nest

Later in the day we went searching for the nest, just to make sure there were no more waifs and strays waiting to be picked up. It didn’t take us long to find it – only about 2 metres from where they were all found – they must have left it to go looking for their mother, which is a sad thing to think. We’d been walking about ten feet from it all this time, in the front garden, and it’s only about ten feet from the lane at the front! Carefully pulling some leaves back from this heap of dry leaves showed an empty nest, and a thorough search of the rest of the area turned up no more, so we’re pretty happy we have them all.

Home-made Codling Moth Traps

2016 codling moth traps 1

Home-made Codling Moth Traps Recipe

This year we’re trying a recipe for home-made Codling Moth traps, using liquid molasses. The ingredients are as follows:

  • 100ml (0.5 cup) liquid molasses (not the crystalised sugar type)
  • 1 litre (2.5 cups)warm water
  • 3g (0.5 tspn) dried baker’s yeast

Mix it all together in a jug – apparently the Codling Moth is attracted to the smell of molasses, and the yeast increases the number of volatiles in the concoction. 2016 codling moth traps 2I have absolutely no idea if this works as I’m not a chemist, but a youtube video from Utah University says it does, so who am I to argue?

This is enough liquid to fill three plastic 4-pint milk cartons. I simply cut a hole in the one side so that once it’s hung in the tree by twine around the handle, the hole is facing downwards, on the opposite side to the handle. There’s only about 4cm (1.5″) of liquid in each carton, and I’ve bent the tab up created by cutting the hole only on three sides, to create a small overhang, preventing rain water from getting in and diluting the mix. home-made Codling Moth trapsI may cut another hole on the other side though, as someone has suggested this will help move the smell around the orchard.

These Codling Moth traps need placing in the trees from May through to August, and I’m going to initially change them every month, unless they look as though they need changing more frequently. We have them every fourth tree or so at the moment, but I’ll keep adding to to them as we get through the milk!


2016 plum moth trapsPlum Moth Traps

Whilst poddling down the orchard I also set some Plum Moth traps – again, I have no idea if they’ll work but we had wormy plums at the tree next to the house last year, so time will defintely tell! With these types of trap, one pheromone bait will last the entire season, which is less hassle than the home-made molasses version for the apple trees.