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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Nesting? Is it too late for babies? Reply To: Nesting? Is it too late for babies?

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Hi SmurfPrickles

I agree with WilliamC, it is not too late for a hog to produce young. But, if it is a mild winter any hoglets produced might still have a chance of getting big enough for hibernation, especially if you are feeding them. There is no guarantee that taking them somewhere to be overwintered ensures their survival. It’s actually quite stressful for hoglets to be in captivity for long periods of time and not all of them survive. So it’s a bit of a question of playing it by ear – see what the weather is like and see how well the hoglets (if indeed hoglets are produced) grow and then assess the situation when it begins to get cold.

If there are hoglets you might like to check with your local hog carer, nearer the time, how big they need to be by which month. It varies a bit from place to place depending on the weather, so they will be best placed to know that. In general it’s pretty much accepted that they need to be about 450g to make it through hibernation, but that might be by November or even early December, depending on the weather.

It isn’t possible to be sure that if a hog is making a nest that it is going to produce young. Some hogs may already be thinking of hibernating – males tend to hibernate earlier than females – and there is also the possibility that a hog is having a practice session. They do apparently tend to build more hibernating nests than they actually use. I had a hoglet here one winter, who decided not to hibernate, but he built a very elaborate nest which he used alternately with somewhere else to spend days and naps between snacks.

If it was me, I would make a fox proof feeding station, as you suggest. Don’t leave the food too close to the nesting area, just in case young are being produced as it may attract not only the fox, but also other unwanted visitors. Probably not a lot you can do about the fox otherwise. You can’t disturb the nest. If mother hogs are disturbed when the young are very tiny they could desert them.

Good luck. Let us know if any hoglets materialise.