Indeed it is frustrating.
Fyi I have 2 hog houses one is self built and one was a present last Christmas (a hogitat). The male hog is in is my home built effort which has brick walls with a timber log roof with a bubble wrap interlayer to keep it watertight overdressed with leafs, twigs and the occassional garden cuttings I put on there all to encourage insects e.g. more natural food for the hogs. As my previous post its situated in what I would call a wildlife part of the garden so is in a prime location whereas the hogitat less so although I’m trying to ‘wild’ its surroundings.
The hogitat however sadly remains unoccupied although I have seen a couple of hogs go in there but they don’t stay. I have been told that, as hogs are sensitive to smell, it might take while for them to like its scent before using it which sounds plausible. However it seems maybe the more natural approach of the home made hog house might be more appealing and location probably comes in to it as well but only the hogs could tell us this for sure – if only they could speak!
Anyway the male hog is still in residence and, although he does close the door behind him (he seems to have taken the sticks out now but where they have gone I have no idea as I can’t find them and, I’m guessing this is the hog but maybe not, he has been disturbing the log pile quite a bit whereby I have to do some remeidal work to reconstruct it) he is still currently opening it up every evening to come out to feed. I have read that male hogs hibernate earlier than females, especially if the females are still brooding a second litter, but I would have thought its still far too early for hibernating.
The evening pattern is now getting quite repetitive with the male hog emerging around 8ish and the female hog appearing around 10ish. The male hog can’t go far as he only seems to disappear from the garden for an hour or so at most before he returns but I guess they are now having shorter travels to conserve energy pre hibernation possibly? The male hog is generally still ignoring the female who still sits there and looks at him whilst snorting and puffing but she doesn’t back off now. Rather annoyingly the male hog is getting more of the lion share of the food as, whatever I try, the female will just sit there as above whilst chummy snuffles up all that is on offer even, almost comically, food right by her but she stil manages to get some food (she was on her own for a while last night so I threw out a handful of hog biscuits which were gratefully snuffled up…crunch, crunch, crunch!!
As the above is now a regular sight I’m now starting to worry if they don’t turn up or the pattern changes which will probably then result in sleepness nights like some demented hog father!