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Home Forums Hedgehog tales TOO YOUNG TO MATE? Reply To: TOO YOUNG TO MATE?

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Hi Marion

Interesting that you should mention this now, because I have recently seen an adult male doing the courtship ‘dance’ with a small hoglet, I would estimate less than 5 inches long, but in any event, definitely this year’s hoglet. The adult male in question is an early hoglet from last year. He has become quite large, but is still pretty low down the ‘pecking order’. He doesn’t usually get much of a look in with the girls, so maybe thought it was a good opportunity to practice his ‘dancing’. Not really sure what he was thinking – it was never going to go anywhere, the poor little thing is far too young (I have read that hogs in the wild don’t breed until they are 9 to 12 months old). I am not even totally sure the hoglet is a female. (some of the females seem to behave towards it as if it is a male). I have been watching hogs here for many years, but have not seen this before. Usually I find that the adult hogs are very tolerant of hoglets and let them get away with a lot, but, although they sometimes go up and sniff them, pretty much leave them alone. I have always assumed that they must smell a bit different, but suppose that could possibly have led to the confusion with a young male. All surmise. None of the other males have reacted in the same way.

I haven’t seen the two of them here at the same time since, so it will be interesting to see what happens if they both turn up at the same time again.

It is not unusual for the male to go off in the middle of the ‘dance’ to eat or drink, but the females often just stand there looking bemused/miffed .. The young adult chap here did the same – went for a quick eat between circling. I thought, some of the time, the little hoglet didn’t really know what was going on so just ‘froze’ but did move away some of the time, but the young male found it again. The adult male gave up in the end and left. The little one continued coming and going as before, so didn’t seem too upset – maybe liked the attention(?)

Re. the biffing. They will sometimes push another hog along for yards – until they meet an obstacle – (sometimes just for crossing their path) (and often go back and roll one up again if they dare to unroll!), so if steps got in the way, I guess that would be the result!