29th March 2020 at 3:09 pm #21690
Our hedgehogs emerged from hibernation around 2 weeks ago and our trail camera has captured up to 3 individuals in our garden since then (eating the food we have recommenced putting out). Sadly, last night the camera captured a badger entering our garden, harassing one of the hedgehogs and eventually carrying it off. I know it is only nature but nevertheless a distressing sight.
Has anyone experienced this and have you any strategies for protecting hedgehogs while they are feeding? I normally just spread hedgehog food onto the lawn and they all tuck in (sometime alongside the local cats) but now I am worried that the badger will be back.29th March 2020 at 5:52 pm #21693
I’m afraid the badger will be back as there is a food source. I would make a protective feeding station however a badger could carry if off on it’s way to the food station. Hoping someone with more knowledge will have thoughts on what to do about this.
So sad!29th March 2020 at 6:20 pm #21695
Thanks simbo65. I think you’re right and I’ve quickly rustled up a feeding station from an old plastic recycling box following various instructions on other sites. I’ve placed it under cover at the base of a large hedge so just hoping now that the hedgehogs can find it whilst staying closer to the cover of the hedge. Not feeling very fond of badgers right now…….29th March 2020 at 6:27 pm #21696
So sorry to hear you have a badger, just when the hogs have returned. Very sad that one of the hogs was carried away. I can imagine how distressing that must have been.
I’m sorry but the only thing you can do to help the hedgehogs is stop feeding them. It’s very likely that the badger will be back and if you keep feeding the hogs, it will just be a feeding station for the badger. Usually when hogs know there is a badger around, they’ll keep a low profile and probably move further afield, but you don’t want to encourage them back by providing food. Almost any feeding box/structure you provide would be unlikely to keep a badger out – they are very strong, are used to using their claws to get through wood, for insects, digging, etc. and, as Simbo 65 says, the hogs could easily be caught on their way to and from any feeding station.
There is a very small chance that the badger is a displaced one who is just passing through. For instance, if you are in a culling area, a badger may have been displaced from it’s sett and be looking for a new place to live. In that case you might be able to consider feeding the hogs again eventually, but not until a suitable length of time has passed. You would need to carefully monitor for signs of the badger. Also, if you can, ask your neighbours (keeping the necessary social distancing, of course) whether they have seen or heard of badgers in the area. If there are a lot of badgers around, it would seem more likely that they have moved into the area. But also if you see a badger on more than one occasion it is more likely it is staying in the area. In which case, it isn’t safe to feed the hogs. The badger is clearly not averse to catching hedgehogs.
Sorry there isn’t really an easier solution.29th March 2020 at 6:29 pm #21697
I know. It’s so difficult. Keep your cameras out and let us know what happens.
The problem is if you have a badger set nearby they will always be a threat to the hedgehogs.
I think I read on here someone saying that hedgehogs shouldn’t be fed and they would find food elsewhere and hopefully be out of harms way, but I can’t find the post.
Sorry I’m not being much help.29th March 2020 at 6:31 pm #21698
Nic has answered the question. It’s sad when this happens but we must do what is best for the hedgehogs.
Take care29th March 2020 at 6:32 pm #21699
Crossed message. The plastic recycling box you describe would not be sufficient to protect from a badger. I have even heard of badgers picking up and carrying/shaking feeding boxes. Really sorry, but the best thing you can do for the hogs is stop feeding them.
I understand your feeling towards badgers, just at the moment, but don’t be too hard on them. They are just trying to survive, just like hedgehogs, whilst at the same time their habitats are constantly under pressure.31st March 2020 at 1:47 pm #21762
Thanks all for your advice. This is the first time in several years that this has happened so, hopefully, the badger was indeed passing through. I take your point about badgers, this is just nature ‘in action’ so the best I can hope to do is to improve the survival odds for the hedgehogs. I have moved the feeding box into a dense area of hedging, jammed it in under the branches, pinned it down with steel stakes and topped the roof with a concrete slab. It is not a standard box but very thick black polythene and could easily take my weight standing on it for example. I take your point about the strength of badgers (that was obvious from my camera footage) but I’m fairly confident that it would resist any attack. I already have 2 hedgehog nest boxes hidden away in the garden so I’m assuming that the hedgehogs are likely to remain in or around the garden foraging along the base of the hedge. On that basis I took the view that at least this will provide a safe refuge. I have also set up a camera to monitor the new area and am reviewing this every day. So far it has captured no activity so maybe the hedgehogs have decided to re-locate which would be a shame but I’d prefer they were safe. I hope that I am doing the right things but I am now on alert and also, hopefully, the badger has moved on.1st April 2020 at 10:53 am #21769
Sounds as if there are some sensible hogs around there. If the badger really was only passing through they may eventually return.
It would have been best for the hogs to give them a break from feeding at least for a while to ensure that the badger wasn’t still around. Even if a badger couldn’t get into your feeding box it could still pick hogs off on the way to and from the feeding station, so it’s a risk. A badger with a taste for hogs is a bigger risk to the hogs than not having supplementary food for a while. There is some food in the wild now and a hog in the wild is probably more alert than it is at a feeding station, which it might have begun to see as a safe space. Luckily, it sounds as if the hogs are taking their own precautions (which might not always happen).
As said, it’s not something I would recommend, but I really hope that you and the hogs are lucky.
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