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Hi hollydog86

It’s good to hear that you have hogs visiting there. I’m not sure what the hog niblets are, but really the food we put out for them is their treat. It should always, only be supplementary to what they can find in the wild.

My advice, once you have found some food the hogs like, is to stick to it, otherwise you might find you waste a lot of food!

Ideally, we would all improve the habitat for hedgehogs in our gardens, so that in the long run, they will no longer be so dependent on supplementary feeding. That, together with linking gardens by making hog holes in fences, is really important for the hogs.

Hibernation time is always a bit variable. The males tend to disappear first – they don’t have the worry of hoglet duties to attend to! The females do all the rearing of the young. Some males will disappear at some time in September but they usually emerge from hibernation earlier than the females as well. With the females it depends, to some extent on whether they still have hoglets and so hibernation time for them can be quite variable but up to roughly 2 months later.

Hogs do apparently sometimes wake up during hibernation and sometimes even change hibernation nests. But probably for quite brief periods. Some hogs choose not to hibernate at all. Last winter I had a hoglet here, who, despite being large enough to hibernate, decided not to. The only days he failed to visit were two, when the snow was too deep! Quite a few people do leave some food out for hedgehogs such as that one all winter, but by no means everyone does. I suggest, especially, leaving water available all winter, if possible, if nothing else.

If you are interested in learning to identify the hedgehogs naturally, I wrote some information which you can find via

Good luck with the hogs and happy hog watching!