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Some insights into hog behaviour when hibernating and getting ready to hibernate are rather interesting – and I hadn’t appreciated the complexities of this until working with a rescue contact over the last few years and taking them in myself.
Hogs don’t typically decide one day that its hibernation day for them and disappear into their prepared hibernaculum. they spend a significant amount of time deciding whether or not to hibernate and where to hibernate and then this typically occurs in on and off stages for what can be weeks. so they will disappear for longer and longer time periods until a more permanent hibernation period starts. They often come out of hibernation, even during the long stint, and look for food or even a new hibernaculum sometimes.
all of this period of what appears to be unrest can be very confusing for us simple humans who in turn don’t know what is happening and whether to provide food or not during this time. I would recommend that food and water is left out all year long and monitored / refreshed regularly.
Hogs do often share hibernaculums – it just depends on their temperament and preferences etc- of which there are many varieties and types! they are described as being a solitary creature, which they are, but that doesn’t make them all unsociable – but some are for sure!
Some hogs don’t hibernate – or decide not to for whatever reasons- and the youngsters are less likely to try and hibernate when still tiny, they shows signs of confusion – so will continue to try and survive through the winter – so food and water supply could be a life save for any of them through winter too!
we certainly don’t know enough about hibernation habits and practices of the hog, and I think its certainly something that if we did, would enable us to support them more confidently through this period.
I always think of the hogs at Christmas and New Year time – I think they tend to get forgotten about with most people thinking they are tucked up warm and snuggly somewhere.
Lucky you anyway – and lucky hogs having you to keep an eye on them! If only they knew………