Hi Tybury duck
Seeing one hog is magic, but there is something extra endearing seeing two or more youngsters together. I can just picture the two little ones bumbling down the ramp!
It isn’t always easy catching the little ones and some of them can be little wrigglers – trying to escape off the scales, etc. It sounds as if the ones here are slightly more wary than those there. They usually scarper when released (although do come back later). I don’t mind, because I feel they are probably safer to have a healthy wariness of humans, who are predators, after all. I usually watch them from inside the house, so they don’t know I’m there and have minimal interaction, only catching and weighing them if absolutely necessary.
Yes, hibernation is a worrying time, but all we can do is hope that they come back again in the Spring. It is almost inevitable that not all of them will. I usually name the hogs here, but tend to wait until the Spring to name the youngsters, for fear they won’t all be back. Also, their facial features do evolve a bit when they grow up. It is strange not having them around in the winter, but makes it all the more exciting when the first one returns in the Spring. Then it is a case of waiting to see some of the old familiar faces.
Sounds like the hogs there are well catered for with three feeding stations! I don’t think it is foolish leaving some food out in the winter at all. Apparently they do often come out of hibernation for short periods of time, and sometimes move, or even make new nests. They may well appreciate some food and especially water if they do.