Best size for a Feeding station
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- This topic has 6 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 4 months ago by Nic.
2nd February 2021 at 3:01 pm #29359
Hello. Hope someone can advise please. I am planning (already) a feeding station and have one of those ‘underbed’ storage boxes but not sure if the size is right. It is clear plastic, interior size 34cm/13″ x 54cm/21″ and 13cm/7″ high. Would it be high enough for an adult hog to move around in or two hoglets to feed together, or would higher be better? Also I’ve read an entrance/exit either end are best, is that important? Rather get it right first time and provide something useful.
No sign of any hogs for several weeks but I put fresh biscuits out every night just in case. Thanks for any suggestions.3rd February 2021 at 5:07 pm #29363
I think that would be too small for a feeding station – the height of your box would be the normal entrance size.
I’m not sure they would be able to move their heads over the edge of a food bowl at that height.
The BHPS has a leaflet on feeding stations you can find here:
https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Feeding_Station.pdf3rd February 2021 at 5:08 pm #29364
Silly auto-correct. I did type daffydill I promise.3rd February 2021 at 10:16 pm #29366
I would be inclined to give it a try. It’s not a bad thing to have more than one feeding station. I have heard of others who have used underbed storage boxes, although I haven’t used them myself. But, it might be a good cat deterrant. I know BHPS suggest an entrance of 13cm. but that is much too big to deter some cats. I had to reduce the size of the entrance on mine to 10cm. (luckily wooden so another strip could be easily added!) and a cat still managed to get in if there weren’t other deterrants as well. The hogs had no problem getting in, but the height inside was higher. But I have a sheet of perspex over the top of 2 litre (13 cm high) and 3 litre pots which the hogs (including some very large males) feed under quite happily. But 13cm. is only about 5″ so not sure whether you meant 5 or 7. 7″ sounds high enough to me.
It is usually a case of trial and error making feeding boxes depending on whether you have persistent cats around, etc. i.e. just high enough for the hogs and just too low for the cats! But it might not be a bad thing if only the smaller hogs can get in – might give them a chance to get a look in! But if you have low rimmed bowls it might be o.k. for larger ones too.
It isn’t essential to have two entrances/exits, but if size allows, not a bad idea. But the size you mention might not be big enough to have two and might give more opportunity for a cat to reach the food more easily. They’re very good at reaching their paws in, if they can’t get the whole of themselves in, and dragging the food to the entrance!
If you do go ahead with the storage box, don’t forget to put tape around the entrances to make sure there aren’t any sharp edges.
Good luck. Hope some hogs will be back soon to try out the finished product.3rd February 2021 at 10:29 pm #29367
p.s. This is a hog feeding station which Penny from the Hedgehog Street Forum made a while back and gave us the link. https://www.flickr.com/photos/144453064@N05/39941899964/4th February 2021 at 3:58 pm #29370
Hi Nic – Thanks for all that help and info. You are right-I made a mistake !! The storage box is 7 inches high, 21 inches long and 14 inches wide, so seems possible. I did watch a lot of photos and vids to check what others provided but wanted to make sure from measurements. As I already have this container thought if an acceptable size I’d cut out an entrance. Just concerned how hot it would get in summer but commonsense I suppose, put in shade and cover the lid. I was using shallow food trays so the height may be OK after all.
Annoyingly and unusually I’ve had a visiting cat for the last couple of weeks. It seems obsessed by my wildlife pond as it is heaving with frogs at present, though cats haven’t been a problem here previously.
Thank you for that link to Penny’s feeding station, I am so impressed with that and would enjoy copying her design. Sadly I have no spare timber having used all I had to make two hog houses in December (which may not have been occupied after all).
The other very helpful thing in your reply has encouraged me to use the bird food plastic containers (7″ high, rectangular and oval about 10 ” across) as individual feeding posts in other spots in my little garden, big enough for one hog or hoglet and the more the merrier !.
Many thanks for all the help. Impatiently waiting for Spring.4th February 2021 at 5:55 pm #29371
I can’t quite picture what you mean by the smaller ones you mentioned. But, it sounds as if they might be a bit too small. But just bear in mind that if they are too small cats can reach in with their paws and pull the feeding bowl to the entrance as well as the whole thing potentially being easy to tip right over. Also, I have heard of a hog settling down for a nap in a doorway trapping another hog inside. So I would be a bit worried, if it was very small that the air might run out – so you might want to put some ventilation holes in somewhere. Also, you wouldn’t want a hog to get trapped in there, even on it’s own. I can envisage a larger hog being tempted by the food and getting stuck – but I might be imagining the shape and size incorrectly.
But, yes, you’re right, it would be best to site a plastic box in the shade, so it doesn’t get too hot. Lots of people do use plastic ones and they do have the advantage of being able to see through them, but my preference are wooden ones, really, but I know that isn’t always practical. Some of the hogs here don’t like going into boxes at all – hence my use of a fairly large perspex type sheet balanced on flower pots – plenty of escape routes and suitably airy, so they are happy with that! Also easy to move during the day in a small garden and tuck it out of the way.
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