Accessibility Homepage Skip navigation Sitemap


Register and log in to gain access to our forums and chat about everything 'hedgehog'!

Thank you for looking to contribute to the Hedgehog Street forum. Please note that when submitting replies or posts, these are run through our spam-checkers, so there may be a slight delay in your posts appearing, and reflecting in the forum post details below. However, if you think anything has gone awry please contact us.

The views and opinions expressed in this forum do not necessarily represent the views of PTES or BHPS.

Built a new hog house

Home Forums Champions’ chat Built a new hog house

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #27946

    We currently have a hedgehog nesting in the existing house I built a few years back and we’re still getting a fair bit of activity in the front garden so I’ve built a new double compartment house to give them somewhere to hibernate over the winter.
    I used untreated timber, cut some holes to mount miniature cameras and covered it in pond liner to waterproof it

    Avatar photo

    Hi Bushsnuffler

    Brilliant that you have built a new hog house – looks very de-luxe!

    I can’t help feeling, though, that it isn’t a good idea to cover it completely with waterproof material. Several reasons for this.

    There could potentially be problems with condensation, as with a plastic box. That could have the effect of making the wood rot more quickly.

    Hogs have been building hibernation nests for millions of years without our help. Hog boxes are just structures within which the hogs have the opportunity to build their hibernacula. (useful when spaces in the wild have become more scarce). But their hibernacula, when properly built would be waterproof anyway, because of the layering of the leaves. They are likely to completely fill a hog box, so that they are insulated on all sides. So whilst I would put on a waterproof roof, there is no need for the sides to be waterproof as well. More natural if the wood can ‘breathe’.

    When it comes to cleaning out the hog house, the plastic waterproofing would need to be removed anyway, so that boiling water could be used to kill an potential parasite eggs in the cracks between the wood.

    Just my thoughts.


    Worth adding of course that while the camera may catch something if the house is just used for general daytime naps, that when it comes to hibernation the whole space will be filled with leaves and other material and the camera will not record anything. Certainly, last year I had all five houses used for hibernating and when it came to cleaning them out in the spring they were all filled from top to bottom with straw and leaves. In fact if you lifted the roof off you could not see whether anyone was at home or not.


    I didn’t want to use treated wood to make the house so I put the waterproofing on to protect the wood so it doesn’t rot as the house is sitting on earth. It took a while to build it so I was hoping it would last a few years and without some kind of protection I doubt it would. I must admit I don’t know if condensation is going to be an issue but there is air coming in the front and air holes in the back so I would hope that would limit it at least. The way I look at it is no hog house is perfect but should give them a better chance at surviving the winter.

    As to the cameras I understand once they start hibernating I won’t see any activity, I put them in to hopefully catch some of the nest/hibernacula building and also for next year if I’m lucky enough to get a pregnant hog take up residence.

    I also have an existing one-hog house built the same way currently under the front hedge with a small hog that has made a hibernacula in it but is still coming in and out to feed and add to it


    I may have put the new hog house out a bit late to attract any hogs before winter but if any do hibernate in it I’ll assess the inside of it when they leave in the spring. I will obviously clean it but is boiling water what people normally use?

    Avatar photo

    Hi bushsnuffler

    The best thing to do if you want to put a hog house straight on the ground is to put some wooden runners on the bottom, but you can also raise it up on bricks/paving slabs. Hogs have no problem climbing up bricks so if you were worried about the entrance you could put another brick there as a step.

    Yes, it’s good to use untreated wood, but, coating the hog house in waterproof material could actually make it rot more quickly.

    Yes, boiling water is essential to clean out hog houses to get rid of any parasite eggs – chemicals not appropriate.


    Hi Nic

    Thanks for the advice as always. I’ve already sited the house, built the earth up around it and covered it in branches and leaves so I think I’m going to leave it now and look at the situation in the spring. A hog has been in and out of it as some of the straw has been moved but it may just be the existing resident nicking it for his own house.

    The area I live in is ok but crime has been an issue in the past and we’ve had stuff stolen from the front garden before (open driveway) so my set up there is what I would call ‘under the radar’ i.e I try and make it as discreet as possible as although I would hope no one would steal the hedgehog bowls/feeding station etc I also have my cameras and tripod there. I basically try and shield everything from view from the street and if someone comes to the door, so having the hog houses out of the way, partially covered and black coloured makes them blend in so less obvious and therefore not drawing attention to the area. I also use strategically placed plant pots and planters to shield the area from the casual observer.

    I covered the original hog house I built in 2017 in pond liner and when I checked it earlier in the year there was no sign of rot but I’ll check them both in the spring and see how things are looking.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Bushsnuffler

    I understand your problem. Some people are so annoying! You certainly don’t want it stolen after you went to the trouble of building it! Probably sensible to leave things as they are and you probably need some sort of extra protection if you are banking soil up against it. In those circumstances, the wood wouldn’t get much chance to ‘breathe’ anyway!

    In slightly more open situations, I think ordinary wooden houses last longer than people imagine. One of mine which I’ve had for several years – can’t remember how long – it’s been that long(!) – just has roof felting type covering on the top – untreated wood and there is no sign of rot in it. But it is in a comparatively open situation and definitely not subterranean!

    Hope you get a tenant/tenants and all the hogs there have a successful hibernation time.


    Hi Nic
    Thanks for your input, it’s much appreciated. I don’t see you mentioned in the ‘Meet the team’ section on Hedgehog Street but I’m assuming you’re the admin or moderator for this forum, is that right? No way to pm you otherwise I would have.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Bushsnuffler

    No I’m not part of the admin nor moderator for the Forum. I have been around quite a long time and picked up a certain amount of knowledge about hog related matters, and am happy to help all hogs in any way I can – in a voluntary capacity, by passing on information. Members of the Forum tend to moderate ourselves if necessary, which seems to work quite effectively. Luckily hog lovers mostly seem to be a pretty easy going, well behaved group of people! We all want to help hogs, so have that in common.

    The occasional person who thinks it’s a good idea to get free (non-hedgehog related) advertising or flood the forum with spam (or anything else inappropriate) is efficiently dealt with by the Hedgehog Officer and Assistant. They also make sure that all the Hedgehog Street information is up to date, add news items, make sure the Forum works properly, etc. as well as all their other duties.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.