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Do hedgehogs feed during hibernation?

Home Forums Champions’ chat Do hedgehogs feed during hibernation?

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    I’ve had 2 definites, maybe 3 hedgehogs this year for the first time. A big one has settled under a shed and a smaller one is in the hedgehog house I think.
    They stopped coming to the feeder 23rd November, although I put food out for a few more nights, but have now stopped. Will they come out on milder nights to look for food?
    If not, what time of year do they wake again?
    Would I disturb the little hog if I lifted the lid of the house to check if it’s in there?

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    Hibernation is a bit variable from hog to hog, adults to hoglets and males to females. They do apparently sometimes come out of hibernation and have even been known to make new nests during that time.

    However, it is best that you don’t disturb any hog by lifting the lid of a house to check on it. It could disturb it and make it waste some of it’s valuable energy. They have two particular types of energy – one to keep them ticking over during hibernation and the other to enable them to wake up sufficiently afterwards. Both are vitally important to the survival of the hog.

    Some hedgehogs don’t hibernate at all and for that reason many people leave food out all winter in case. It is possible that the ones who briefly come out of hibernation may welcome a top up of food and water too. I always leave a source of water out for them all year round, in case.

    The end of hibernation can depend, to some extent when the hogs began to hibernate. Usually the males hibernate first and come out of hibernation first – so this can be as early as September and returning in March. The females usually wait until any hoglets have become independant and so are, perhaps a couple of months later (or more if they’ve had late hoglets). Some may not return until April or even May. I find the hoglets tend to disappear last. Hibernation is a very risky time for hedgehogs and some don’t survive – for various reasons. So it is always a worrying time for us hog lovers waiting and hoping that our old friends will return in the Spring.


    My two hedgehogs definitely ar sleeping now. I gave them some minced meat with added eggshell and conveyance food but stooped that because it will spoil. I made a kind of bird feeder out of a plastic bottle filled with dry cat biscuits and a small bowl bend. On top of the food which is also corvered I put a little sachet you will find in some of human foods, to keep the moist out. To make sure the food won’t get damp. But make sure it can’t go through the bottles neck because it’s no food! So if they will come out there is some food. Also I have a feeding station made out of a bucket which I made a door into and some zig zag stone corridor in front. Of course you need to put something heavy on the bucket so cats can shove it to the side. In front of the corridor I put some dried hortensia flowers so I can see if somebody had gone in. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And please don’t check on them. You just have to wait until spring when you clean the house to see if they are in there, just like we have too. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    i have a couple of rescue hedgehogs in hibernation that will be released in the spring, both have HD cameras monitoring them 24/7 one went into hibernation early Nov, she has stirred 3 times so far, just to remake her bed, the male in the house/run who’s a grumpy hog has woken up every week on average for a night of burrowing in the leaves in the run, there is plenty of compost worms (small red worms) and beetles under the leaves so just guessing its eating them, its not interested in any food i put out, but it does enjoy a good drink of rain water, it also spends time making its bed, i think hedgehogs are as complex as humans, no rule suits all, but they make me smile…

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