A busy hedghog summer!
3rd September 2018 at 10:15 pm #11676
I took some action in the spring with copies of the information sheets about hedgehog highways distributed to neighbours. Then in late April I heard some noise that sounded to me like nesting and about a month later two hoglets appeared in the garden. As the weather was very warm and dry thus less insect/mollusc life about for food I have been feeding every night with 1/3 can of dog food since then and have seen the hogs regularly, early on the hoglets came together but now it seem to be only one. Is there any advice on when to stop feeding? The whole lot seem to go each night but I dont know if something else is polishing it off after the hogs have had some!6th September 2018 at 6:24 pm #11737
We found that cats were getting a lot of the dog food. It has been suggested that you get a cat proof feeding station ie one that cats can’t get into but hedgehogs can7th September 2018 at 9:15 am #11740
I usually keep putting food out until well after I’ve seen the last hog, in case. Some of the males may start to disappear for hibernation soon, but the females usually go later and often hoglets seem to appear from somewhere at this time of year. I normally find the hoglets go to hibernate latest and last year one here didn’t hibernate at all. There couldn’t have been much food around, but he visited here every night, often in sub zero temperatures. He only missed a couple of nights when the snow was too deep!
Some people leave food out all winter in case a non-hibernating hog or one who has woken up turns up. I definitely would, at least, leave a source of water out which is accessible to the hogs all winter.8th September 2018 at 7:43 pm #11757
I had the cat problem too so made a feeding station from a plastic storage tub (somebody kindly dumped it in my street) turned upside down with entrance holes cut in diagonally opposite corners but slightly on the side rather than exactly on the corner, hedgehog shaped 5″ high & 5″ wide roughly. You need to rub down the surfaces with sandpaper as they can be sharp after cutting (with a hack saw in my case).
Put something on top of it to stop it blowing around or being shoved by determined cats & place the dish of food in one of the uncut corners so it’s away from the doorways. Two holes gives a feeding hog the chance to exit safely & with some dignity if another turns up.
Cheap & cheerful & quite effective, keeps the food dry too it it rains.
Good luck!10th September 2018 at 9:48 am #11765
When I prune the trees around my garden (mostly in February) I end up with small branches etc too woody to compost, I add these to my ‘habitat pile’.
I put the branches in vertically and the sparrows especially love these leafless perches.
In the early part of the year, I festoon the piled sticks with ‘hay’ cut from the ‘wild’ grass area in October and stashed under a hedge to keep it dry (much appreciated by hedgehogs during the winter). This provides a popular source of nesting material, along with feathers and cat fur presented in cage bird-feeders.
Anyway the pile gradually breaks down and sinks, home to all kinds of insects and mice etc.
This year I’ve tunnelled into the bottom and made some access tunnels for hedgehogs, supported by some old bricks so that they can get into the thick of it all easily.
As well as the access tunnels, I have a couple of hedgehog boxes ready for winter hibernation and a couple of feeding stations fashioned from a few bricks and a roof.
Last night, as dusk was falling, I put out plates of catfood in jelly into the feeding-stations, then laid a twig across each of the access tunnel entrances, the hedgehog houses and the feeding stations.
A few ours later before going to bed I checked.
All twigs had been pushed aside, one feeding station needed replenishing and the other had a diner just about to tuck in, so a busy evening in the garden for my spikies. 🙂
All twigs replaced.
This morning I collected the empty plates from the feeding-stations and removed the presents of poo left behind. One of the houses and one of the access tunnels still had the twigs in place, but it will all be different tonight.
Off out to clean and re-charge the bird-feeders now.10th September 2018 at 6:08 pm #11778
It sounds as if you have gone to a lot of trouble to make your hog visitors welcome. There are some really interesting ideas there which others may like to try. It is really interesting to see all the different types of material the hogs use in their nests. Recently a couple of hogs alternately slept in a feed box here and quite a lot of dried moss was taken in – more to make it their own, it seemed, rather than a nest.
It sounds a bit like here with the day – bird – shift and then the night -hedgehog – shift. With things having to be re-arranged/tidied up between each!11th September 2018 at 5:54 pm #11781
Thanks for all the posts, I do keep an eye out and see a hog often feeding soon after I have put it out, sometimes two. I think a cat would probably polish off the whole lot in one go and I see small amounts being taken over a couple of hours. I must get a camera to see whats actually happening! If I am to keep feeding long term then I will need to get a box like Sirhugh and Annie Mac suggest.11th September 2018 at 10:18 pm #11784
For my feeding station I tried an idea suggested by Nic on this forum.
I just made a surround out of old house bricks, leaving an entrance gap hopefully too small for a cat and laid a clear perspex sheet over the whole thing using more bricks on top just around the edge. This way I can see into the feeder from my kitchen window and watch the hogs eating. The perspex
keeps everything dry and I find two bricks high to be about right for making it awkward for cats.
I do see a wee mouse in there sometimes but he doesn’t eat all that much and
I guess he’s hungry too!
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