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Advice please.

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Advice please.

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    This is my first post, I’ve lived in this house for 28 years and have never seen hedgehogs in the garden. Around the middle of March we spotted two hedgehogs eating underneath the bird feeder, and then running around the garden making strange noises. One was quite small and the other one larger. Since then we had been feeding them sunflower seeds and water, and watched them every night. Last week I found one of them dead under a bush full of maggots and flies, we were very upset, and now the smaller one has not been seen for 5 nights. The last time we saw the smaller one the temperature had dropped to 1 degree c, it was freezing that night, any ideas if the temperature drop could have something to do with the disappearance, started giving hedgehog food at the beginning of last week but it’s not being eaten now.

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    Hi Hobbyjo

    Welcome to the Forum, but what a sad story, must have been very distressing for you.

    There isn’t really way of telling why the poor hog died. But bear in mind that some lucky hogs might even die of old age. There is a place you can send them to, but it’s a bit late now to send it, but you could report it

    You could also enter the poor hog (as well as the live one) onto the Big Hedehog Map accessed via the home page here. It all helps to give a better picture of what’s happening to hogs in the country and might potentially help other hogs in the future.

    Many of us first notice hogs in the garden because they are eating under bird feeders. It’s really good that you’ve changed to hog food, because most bird food isn’t that good for hogs, although I don’t think that would have been the cause of that hog’s death. It’s more to do with imbalance of phosphorous and calcium leading to bone problems.

    The temperature dropping to to 1 degree, I don’t think would have effected the hog too much. I have had hogs here that have chosen not to hibernate, before now, and they still turn up at much colder temperatures than that.

    You say the hogs were running around making strange noises. If by any chance one was circling around the other and if it was a sort of huffing noise (quite loud), it might have been the courtship circling. That is a potential explanation for a hog to be ‘missing’ for a while if it’s a female – that she could have produced some hoglets. That would be a really good outcome.

    But hogs do tend to ‘disappear’ from time to time and there are all sorts of possible reasons, i.e. their route to your garden has been blocked by someone repairing their fences, someone else has started feeding as well, males are concentrating on other parts of their range, etc. Hopefully you will get hogs back again.

    I would continue to leave some food out each night in case that hog, or another one/others visits. Cat/dog/hog food or cat/kitten biscuits are all suitable things to feed. Don’t forget to also leave water available – preferably all day every day, even if you don’t feed. Sometimes it’s harder for hogs to find water in the wild, than to find food – and they drink quite a lot, especially if eating dry food. Large but shallow plant saucers are ideal (mine are mostly about 10 inches across) but hogs are very good at tipping over smaller ones. The birds will likely make good use of it even if no hogs turn up.

    Good luck. I hope you get some hogs there again soon.




    Thank you for all your information. I will keep putting out the food and water and hope the hog returns. I will keep you updated with anymore sightings.

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