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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Hedgehog Fighting? Reply To: Hedgehog Fighting?

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Hi LeanaG

Don’t worry too much about the hogs fighting – it’s just what male hogs do. I know it can look quite alarming. The first time I saw it I thought I was going to go out and find a dead or injured hog! But they have all those spines to cushion them, so it isn’t as bad as it looks.

Hogs are solitary animals and the males don’t really like having another male in their personal space. But because there are likely to be more hogs than usual in feeding areas, these altercations seem to happen more there. Added to which, those are the areas many of us often have our cameras trained.

But they will biff each other elsewhere as well. Male hogs, especially more dominant ones, do what I call ‘patrolling’, at this time of year, where they tear around and don’t or barely even stop for a bite to eat. I imagine they are looking for females, but not being a hog, am not sure about that. But any male hog which is come across gets cursorily rolled up before the hog rushes off again.

You could try, as Stef suggests, putting feeding bowls in different places. Although 2 may still turn up in the same place. But at least it gives a chance to a more timid hog to have an opportunity to eat in peace.

It isn’t really possible to tell from your description whether males or females, but the females don’t tend to be as aggresive as the males. So whereas they might give a grumpy nudge away from the food, or even occasionally a nudge during courtship circling, it isn’t so likely to be a full blown biffing and rolling up. Although females will occasionally roll up and I have seen a male nudging a female out of the way – possibly by mistake(!) – because he seemed to be trying to make amends afterwards!

But if you see the circling, as Stef describes, the one in the centre of the ‘circle’ huffing will be a female.

Make sure you always leave a supply of water available, all day every day, for the hogs. Water is often hard for them to find. Wide but shallow plant saucers are ideal and I have them in few places. The birds will appreciate them to bath in, as well!

Good luck. Hope you continue enjoying watching the hogs. They are fascinating and it’s quite likely you will soon be completely hooked to watching them. Happy hog watching!