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Disappearing hedgehogs

Home Forums Champions’ chat Disappearing hedgehogs

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    We have been watching hedgehogs in the garden for some months now but recently they have not been appearing. We have a ‘house’ for them plus a feeding station and a water station, so can’t understand why they have not been around. Any ideas?

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    Hi ElizR

    Hedgehogs do sometimes change the places they visit a bit. There can be various reasons, i.e. the females disappearing for a while to give birth and the males potentially adapting to the female’s presence or otherwise. Both males and females have fairly large ranges – apparently some can travel up to 2 miles a night so they won’t necessarily visit all parts of their ranges on any particular night. So they may just be concentrating on other parts of their ranges, although there are other potential reasons as well.

    Hopefully if they know they can access some supplementary food at your place, they’ll be back at some stage.

    Good luck – hope a hog or hogs return(s) soon.


    “My” hedgehog has not been seen for two weeks. Is it too early for him to be hibernating?

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    Hi Prof

    Some of the male hedgehogs do start hibernation surprisingly early, so it could be that. But also it could be that he is concentrating on another part of his range where he may already have chosen a hibernation site and not want to travel too far in the run up to hibernation.

    Fingers crossed he has a good hibernation and returns fit and well in the Spring. Male hedgehogs tend to start hibernation earlier than the females (who may either still have hoglets or need to put on weight after the hard work of rearing them) but then the males tend to return earlier – sometimes early March. Don’t forget to leave water available through the winter. Also some people continue to leave a small amount of food. Hogs do tend to emerge for short periods during hibernation time and may welcome some refreshments. But also some hogs, usually hoglets (it seems) choose not to hibernate and might wander around a bit looking for food during winter.

    Good luck. I hope all goes well.



    Hi All,

    I’m in the same boat too, the number of hogs visiting has slow been diminishing since the 13th of September ( I had a feeling this might be the last time I see them for some reason so took lots and lots of pics and vids)

    I had one who stuck to its regular routine until 2 days ago, I’ve gone 2 whole days now with out a hog visitor and I hate it. I use to get up often during the night and I’d always have hogs in the garden. I knew there would be a time when they’d sleep for winter but I thought I’d have a good few months of visits ahaed not weeks 🙁

    Mine were HOOKED on grubs, so where every they all are I just hope they are well. I’d spoken and argued with different neightbours about hog ways etc too so I know they’ve not been blocked off.

    I’ve chatted with a few other hog nutters and this seems to be a trend that nobody can explain, mine were mostly females.

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    Hi BLT

    Don’t worry too much if hogs go missing at this time of year. They could have started hibernating or moved to their favoured hibernating place in the run up to hibernation. Even some females may have started hibernating if they have finished their hoglet raising duties early enough.

    I am a bit concerned as to what you mean by ‘grubs’. I hope you are not offering the hogs mealworms, as they are not good for hogs, but they will readily become addicted to them. That is not good as it also limits the variety of food which the hogs eat – if they concentrate on eating mealworms. Mealworms are not sufficiently nutritious for the hogs, which can be especially detrimental in the run up to hibernation and also for growing hoglets because of the inbalance of phosphorous and calcium (which can lead to calcium being leached from the bones – really bad in a growing hoglet). Other insect larvae can also be problematical and it is best to stick to cat/dog food or meaty hog food. Apologies if you already know all that, but now that more people do know about the problems of mealworms, the subject isn’t mentioned so often, meaning those newer to the wonders of hedgehogs may not know about the problem.

    Some, at least, of hogs will probably return to their favourite places after hibernation and you may find that that is what happens there. Fingers crossed for a successful hibernation for hogs everywhere.



    Yes I’m aware of the calcium phosphate imbalance of mealworms. No I do not feed them mealworms.

    Next time, ask if you are unclear between the difference between grubs and mealworms.

    There are plenty of other posts that clearly state feeding their hogs mealworms but I’ve not noticed you go on such a tandgent to them.

    I can assure you, If I meant mealworms I would of written mealworms.I’ve checked and I definetly typed “grubs”.

    I see now why there are such few replies from genuine champions on here


    Hi BLT

    I also assumed you meant mealworms. There are an awful lot of people who still feed these to hedgehogs.
    I am a very experience rehabilitator and often see the results of this

    Nic’s post was extremely well meant to educate if needed. Obviously you didn’t need educating, however, I don’t think your rant was necessary. Nic often gives extremely good advice to people on here who are asking questions and looking for advice.
    Unpleasantness will just mean she stops helping people genuinely looking for help

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    Thanks, Stef. Much appreciated.

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    Hi BLT

    I’m pleased to hear that you are ‘aware of the calcium phosphate imbalance of mealworms’. I am not psychic, so do not know in advance who knows about the problems with mealworms and who does not, so made allowance for that – but it seems you did not notice that I had included in my reply: “Apologies if you already know all that”.

    The important thing is that my post may be read by others who do not know about the problems with mealworms and so still be of help to hedgehogs in general.

    By the way, mealworms, being the larvae of a particular kind of insect, are grubs, which are otherwise known as insect larvae, even if not all grubs are mealworms. But I repeat that other insect larvae (or grubs) may also be problematical and it is safer to stick to cat/dog food or meaty hog food – as recommended by both BHPS and Hedgehog Street.


    Just want to say thank you to Nic for posting about mealworms as I wasn’t aware of this and am fairly new to hog feeding etc. I hadn’t been feeding them to the hogs but I will make sure there aren’t any lying around at night from feeding the birds earlier in the day, this isn’t usually a problem as I have a hoard of starlings that come in but it’s something I’ll be aware of now

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