Hi Lisa McLeish
I’m glad to hear that you are no longer feeding foxes and badgers close to the hedgehogs. Both badgers and some foxes are known to kill hedgehogs (badgers, in particular, even if there is other food available) so it really isn’t safe to feed them together. You are lucky that nothing untoward has happened to the hedgehogs, but that may not continue to be the case. Sadly, even a stroppy hedgehog is no defence against a badger’s strong jaws. All it takes is a turn of the head and a snap of the jaws.
I don’t wish to demonise badgers or foxes in any way. They are just trying to live their lives the same as hedgehogs are, with diminishing habitat, etc. It’s just a fact that some wild animals eat other wild animals and in the same way as we humans make it easier for sparrowhawks to catch smaller birds by feeding them in one place, so we make it easier for badgers to catch hedgehogs by feeding them in on place (if there are badgers around).
You may not be aware that hedgehogs have in the past been caught in humane rat traps, so please be careful. Hopefully you are already doing that anyway.
If badgers are in an area, hedgehogs will often vote with their feet and move elsewhere. Although, males have quite large ranges and so don’t necessarily visit all parts of their range every day, which could account for some absences. In general, it’s still a little bit early for females to be giving birth – the peak time is normally June and July – although not impossible.
Good luck. I hope the hogs manage to stay safe.