16th September 2021 at 4:38 pm #33966
I know that until 11pm I have 3/4 hedgehogs visiting for the
supplementary food I put out. Without a camera possibly there are more visiting later on?
I built two houses last winter which seem to be occupied – but perhaps just occupied for a nightly snooze?
Dreaded lifting the roofs of the constructed houses to check but seemed necessary so a quick look today.. Some hay and leaves visible inside but not what I’d expect of a deep nest.
Is it best to leave them ‘as is’? I’ve read of cleaning houses/nests to benefit hedgehogs but in my situation would this be necessary?
Appreciate advice.16th September 2021 at 11:37 pm #34034
The thing to remember is that a hog house is just a structure within which a hog can build a nest. Hogs don’t normally re-use nests – very sensible as a way reducing the impact of any external parasites. So I would clean out hog the house even if it has only had a hog there for short stays. They can shed ticks and tick eggs just as easily as one which stays longer and having some sort of nest in there might deter other hogs from using it.
I know in the advice it says October, for cleaning houses, but I think that is a bit late. I have a hog who started building what looks to be a hibernating nest in one of my boxes last night. It’s normally used for feeding, so I had opened it to get the bowl out. I have since been watching him on the video from last night. He used a fair bit of green material and I could see him tugging away at plants to get some of the material! I suspect he will do some more building tonight – hope so, as it didn’t look very robust – even though he was scurrying backwards and forwards for about two and half hours.
Just make absolutely certain that there are no hogs in residence.
Good luck. Hope you get tenant/s for the winter.17th September 2021 at 1:08 pm #34038
So grateful for all the advice you supply, like others I want to help not hinder hedgehogs.
My previous peek into the houses was just that – lifting the roof a corner an inch or two worried I’d disturb. Today I had a better look in both houses and they are completely empty ! A few odd dried leaves but frankly nothing to show any use at all by hedgehogs.
I’m a bit disappointed as I had noticed a sort of path/walkway to the entrances, but they know best where to live don’t they? Probably under my sheds is perfect?
I’ll give them a hot water scrub anyway on a dry day, just in case someone is looking for a sturdy, well built home for the winter !
I’ve not seen any young either so is that a sign I’m not providing the right environment here? Plenty of wood and leaf piles plus substantial undergrowth in the shrub border which I assumed perfect for wildlife.
Next door is a junior school with tarmac and also a 12 foot drop, so I don’t
want to encourage hoggies that way. The other side is a weekend property, but hoggies would need to climb a 4 ft wall to access that (steep hill here).
At the rear a very steep wildish area, maybe hog accessible though impenetrable to me.
I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully it helps.
.17th September 2021 at 7:51 pm #34042
They may have been using those houses for occasional overday stays. In the Summer they don’t always take any bedding in. The ones here haven’t this year. So it probably is a good idea to clean them out in case.
It sounds as if the habitat there is lovely for hogs. These things can happen in cycles. It can depend a lot on what is happening elsewhere. i.e. if there are lots of other good habitat areas around, who else is feeding, etc. I used to get a lot of females visiting but the couple of years before this I had mostly males visiting. The changes in how ranges overlap might influence that. But I didn’t have any hoglets at all for about 2 years. This year I have seen a few, but not regularly, although most visitors are still males. So don’t worry. You never know when things will change. I’m hopeful that the pendulum is beginning to swing back the other way, here.
But keep a look out for hoglets into the winter. Sometimes people stop feeding a bit early and the hoglets might need to look elsewhere. But also as they get older, their ranges gradually extend, so you never known when some might turn up.
Good luck. Hope you get some tenants in your houses. Don’t forget they move nests during hibernation time, so if they don’t use your houses to start with, they might provide a welcome place for a later nest.17th September 2021 at 10:12 pm #34044
I wouldn’t take the lack of bedding as proof they are not using the houses. Hedgehogs have thick fur under their prickles and so often don’t need to use bedding in the warmer months especially as most hedgehog houses are already cosy and well insulated. I’ve even seen them napping in the feeding station with zero bedding and every appearance of comfort. I’ve not seen mine using bedding all summer either, not even a few dead leaves. So don’t be disheartened! It’s great they can potentially sleep under the shed as well. The more potential nest sites, the better.
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