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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Rat issues Reply To: Rat issues


I have been feeding hedgehogs for some years. I have had as many as eight coming to my feeders. At the end of the season one remained, and took up residence in a nest which I made in my shed. He access this through a hole in the wall , and spent his days sleeping ,and nights foraging after food from the feeder. He occasionally failed to return during the day but after a couple of days generally turned up. The other day he was not in the nest up until 1 pm when he came back pursued by a rat. He tried to get into his bedding, but the rat attacked him and tried to drag him back by his spines, trying to bite him at the same time. This went on for over 20 minutes with a rat constantly trying to turn him over to access his underbelly. The hedgehog turned and attempted to push the rat back through the hole in the wall, and all the time the rat was attempting to bite his underside. At this point they went out of camera shot and all I could see was the back of the hedgehog. I assumed he had pushed the rat out of the hole and was resting after the struggle. When I checked the next day I found him dead. He had become trapped in the hole, probably after erecting his spines to stop the rat from biting him from outside the hole. He presented the rats with an easy target, he must’ve suffered a horrible death. He was such a beautiful creature, and I’m sure he would have fathered some really good hoglets in the spring
I have several nest boxes around my garden, but I’m now concerned that they will trap the occupant inside and unable vermin to attack them with no means of escape. With a natural nest in the open this is presumably not an issue at least they have a chance to get away.
I would appreciate anybody’s opinion on this, as I really don’t know what to do for the best.

Many thanks