Interesting to hear your description. Interesting to see the hog shutting himself in as well. Is the hog house near the feeding station? I have two that are, but they don’t get used as a regular sleeping places, rather just short stays (hours rather than days), especially in the spring and autumn and probably, mostly by youngsters who are late leaving for hibernation and the males who return early. I have always thought that they didn’t take up residence for longer because there was too much coming and going of other hogs near the feeding area.
My feeling, for what it’s worth, is that they aren’t protecting the food, as such, but rather, that a male hog just doesn’t like other, in particular male, hogs being in his space. So that might include their current home. I have seen them on video fighting in a different part of my garden, so that couldn’t have been about food. I think they just tend to have more altercations at the feeding area, because that is where they are congregating. I guess we’ll never know for sure – who are we to guess what’s going on in a hedgehog’s head?!
I, too, am not seeing quite as strong aggression recently, but, (a) the male hogs around here at the moment are less dominant ones and (b) maybe they don’t want to waste too much energy at this time of year, when they will be hibernating shortly and need to make sure they have put on plenty of weight. They sometimes just run away if they hear another hog approaching. One of them is still showing interest in the females, though. Not the best idea now, but maybe he just didn’t get the chance to do much ‘courting’ when the more dominant males were around.