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Home Forums Champions’ chat Hedgehog Hibernation all the facts Reply To: Hedgehog Hibernation all the facts

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Hi Hoglet

I’m not sure we are disagreeing, as such. There is no reason why you can’t leave food out all winter if you want to, but it may not be practical for everyone. But I would definitely leave food out if there are still hedgehogs around.

Have you read the new version of hibernation information and do you have a problem with that?

Just bear in mind that what we feed the hogs is supplementary to what they find for themselves. It isn’t meant to be something they are totally reliant on. But water should definitely be left out for them all day every day, including the winter.

I know that the hog who didn’t hibernate here last year was foraging on the lawn in the middle of winter (despite being offered supplementary food by me), so clearly there was some food out there, even though possibly not as much as usual. So a hog emerging from hibernation is quite likely to be able to find some wild food for itself if it needs to. Water may be more difficult, which is why it’s important to always leave water out.

But hogs have been around for millions of years and it seems likely that some have always come out of hibernation for short periods with no-one to offer supplementary food. I think it is widely accepted there are sometimes hedgehogs around at some times during the winter.

These short times of emergence from hibernation may even be built in to allowing for how much fat they put down for hibernation. In other words, that they have enough fuel internally, to keep them going for the short periods when they wake up. I’m not sure how easy it would be to verify that one way or the other but in ‘Hedgehogs’ by Pat Morris it says:
” … It follows that, before it hibernates, a hedgehog must have accumulated enough white fat to last it for many weeks and enough brown fat to enable it to successfully wake up several times … ”
which seems to agree with the idea that these wakings are built into the amount of fat they lay down for hibernation. Not sure if you are aware of it, but Pat Morris is probably the foremost expert on hedgehogs.

The hogs who haven’t hibernated, we would of course just continue to supplementary feed them, as normal, which I interpret the information as allowing for.