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Home Forums Hedgehog tales Help needed with choosing hibernation box., and menu variation suggestions. Reply To: Help needed with choosing hibernation box., and menu variation suggestions.

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Hi eht
Welcome to the Forum and the delights of hedgehogs.

There really is no need to worry about menu variations for hedgehogs. It is best to stick to cat/dog food or hedgehog food from a reputable source. They do not need anything else (i.e. banana, raisins, etc.) You might like to read:
on this site, which explains better than I can.

Natural wild food that they can find themselves, is always best for them, but if you do want to give them a bit of supplementary food, they would probably welcome it when times are hard and if there is a scarcity of wild food around. Also, as you have Griselda visiting, you probably wouldn’t be able to stop the hog eating her food, so you are sensible to give it it’s own feeding place and it sounds as if you have got that well fox proofed. You are right to be wary, because, although it may not be common, and they sometimes will eat side by side, foxes have been known to kill hedgehogs. The only thing is, could a cat get in? If so, you may want to make it cat proof as well, or try one of the hedgehog foods which cats don’t like.

The other important thing is water – they do drink a lot, especially if you are feeding dry food.

Re. hog boxes. I don’t think hogs are terribly predictable about what sort of box they like and they may decide not use it anyway. I suspect that it is the location which is more important for nesting. They can be very contrary and one may turn it’s nose up at one box or location and one another. There are tips on how to make your own hog box and loads of other information, on this site.
I think it would be your choice whether it was up above the ground – some (basket ones like igloos) are open at the bottom anyway. But definitely don’t put it in the garage for the winter, unless it is the type of garage which is always open and if you are absolutely certain it wouldn’t be disturbed and that it is safe. They apparently sometimes wake up in the middle of hibernation and move nests. I would be inclined not to put it in the garage at all. It is more natural for it to be outside. (But having said that, they do sometimes choose to make nests in buildings themselves). But, hedgehogs have been around for millions of years and for most of that time we were not around to provide shelter for them! They are very good at managing themselves if they are provided with the right materials. Lots of medium sized leaves, bushes to build their nests under, etc. You will still need to leave leaves etc. around if you have a box – for nesting material. You can put a box in place at any time, but have a good think about it first, as it may not be a good idea to keep moving it. Don’t be too upset if they don’t use it immediately. My boxes are mainly only used for short stays and have never been used for hibernation – probably because they are located too close to the feeding area.

Now you know there is, at least one, hedgehog around, you might like to improve your garden for hedgehogs there are some tips at and link it with others. The ideal situation to reach is when there is enough food in the wild for hedgehogs.

Good luck, I hope Griselda and the hedgehogs are able to live harmoniously together.