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Disaster Struck

Home Forums Hedgehog tales Disaster Struck

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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    We watched our regular female hedgehog building her nest in our hedgehog dome. She was very industrious, fetching bamboo leaves to add to the tree leaves and hay that were already in there. Then she disappeared for a couple of days and we didn’t see her. We have had another, smaller hedgehog, visiting and eating from the food dish though.
    Our original female has been visiting again most evenings even though it has been rainy, colder and windy.
    Today I went to look at the entrance to the dome and could only see what looked like a large space inside. Then I spotted two dead baby hoglets nearby. I’m devastated.
    This was the first year our female has built a nest and given birth in the dome, despite the fact that we have had two hogs overwintering in there each year.
    I wonder what did this? Could it be a cat? We had to make a tunnel from the hedgehog hole in the concrete gravel board because we saw a newly moved-in cat come through. Must we now make a tunnel for the dome entrance too?
    Nothing other than birds, hedgehogs and cats can gain access to the garden so they are the only suspects. I’ve seen magpies eating the food remains in the food dish in the early morning.
    What is the best way forward so this doesn’t happen again?
    So far I haven’t looked inside the dome. I’m a bit scared to do that, but it will have to be done soon.


    Yes, a tunnel, from a hardware store.
    I’m sorry for your loss and sense of blame.
    Our perimeter is tortoise escape-proof, but one day during lockdown we found a hog in the hutch. Great!
    A week of repeatedly transferring the spiny cutie to a hastily made but comfortable hog hotel with front restaurant and supply of cat biscuits, I had to loose the heavy carpet tile flap on the tortoise hutch (normally up) to dissuade the hog. The hog subsequently went through the flap as though it were not there. Each day it would be back, sleeping for a few hours either end of the day with tortoise (when I gave it the chance).
    The unprecedented appearance of faeces, then flies caused me to put a manually controlled barrier up. After a few days of not seeing the hog I thought it had left via a new HH hole, but I found the hog dead in the border.
    Like you, I felt terrible. It had a leg injury not seen before – not caused post-mortem – going by the hog’s position under a crawling plant.
    A few days later we got hog two. It disappeared (healthily) and now we’re on Hog 3. You just have to move on.
    It sounds like on net, you’ve been really successful at helping hedgehogs. An anti cat/fox tunnel will stop that setback happening again. Also, your sharing the disaster will help others.

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    Hi Insectivore

    Sorry to hear about the hoglets. But, it’s unlikely to have been a cat that killed them. They may not even have been killed, they may have just died – for all sorts of reasons. There is a fairly high mortality amongst hoglets. There may be others of the litter still around, so be careful about disturbing anything too much.

    You mention feeding, but I hope you are leaving out water as well – very important preferably available all day every day. Hogs may be able to find food in the wild, but water is more difficult. Wide but shallow plant saucers are ideal.

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    Hi Phileus

    Sorry to hear about the hog there too. I’m glad to hear that you now have others visiting.

    Just one thing about feeding and hog boxes. If you want a box to be used for nesting it’s best not to use it for feeding as well. Any particular hog may not appreciate having other hogs visiting to feed right next to it’s nesting area. Also there is the potential to attract predators. So best to keep the areas separate.

    I am guessing that you provide a water source for the tortoise(?), but don’t forget to leave a water source for the hogs as well.


    Further to the good advice you’ve already rec’d.
    From the sounds of what you’ve written the mum has moved her hoglets and left the dead behind
    They will often move from the birthnest after a while as it starts to smell – especially if there are dead babies in the nest.
    Hogs are multiple birth animals and as such there is often a high mortality rate before they leave the nest

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