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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings How much food should I leave? Reply To: How much food should I leave?

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Hi Valie

You are so lucky to have had hoglets in your garden! Glad to hear that they look big enough for hibernation.

I wouldn’t worry too much about feeding too much, especially at this time of year when they need to be putting on weight for hibernation. Not sure whether you meant 2 handfuls of a mixture of 3 different hog foods, but that doesn’t sound excessive. Mother hog will probably have been taking the little ones foraging as well. But some of it is instinct, so that I imagine if they survive hibernation they will come out in the Spring (when hopefully there is more wild food around) and begin to forage for themselves.

Some hogs, and I suspect mostly hoglets (but not sure if there’s been any research about that, yet) decide not to hibernate. Then it’s also important to keep offering them some food, because there won’t be so much around in the wild. It isn’t only food availability, or lack of it, which makes them hibernate, it’s a complex mixture of things. For instance last year I had two hoglets visiting – about the same size (possibly siblings), both had the same access to supplementary food – one hibernated but the other decided not to, despite being big enough. Don’t forget to always leave a water source available as well, all day every day, including winter.

You will probably find that some of the hoglets, at least, disperse a bit, so that they might not all continue to visit your garden as they grow up. So don’t worry if that happens. But equally, others may appear from elsewhere.

Good luck. I hope they all have a safe hibernation time and return safe and well in the Spring.