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Does The Same Hedgehog Use A Wooden House All Year Round?

Home Forums Champions’ chat Does The Same Hedgehog Use A Wooden House All Year Round?

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    Grateful for your advice please. Believing my wooden hedgehog house was vacated, I attempted to clean it out about a week ago (see PetsAtHome website post) but discovered a hibernating hog. Quickly restored the nest material and all was well.
    From the disturbed entrance corridor and marker I can see the hedgehog emerged last night. Happy to have provided a safe home over the winter ๐Ÿ™‚ However, I am 99% certain a delicately mannered little hog (Darcy – after Bussell!) rested in the house during the day. It always emerged at roughly the same time from under the tree/ground cover where the house is located (not near one of the entrance/exit points of the garden. )
    Sorry to be long winded! So questions – is it best to leave nature alone and just leave the hedgehog house untouched? Can the same hog hibernate and rest by day in ‘their’ house, using it year round? Is there potential for infection in this artificially created nesting environment if old bedding left in place? I don’t want to harm so grateful for your valuable thoughts.
    PS – PetsAtHome website still brings up ‘mealworms’ when searching for ‘hedgehog food’ ๐Ÿ™
    PPS – Heard a racket early this morning – there was a magpie trying to squeeze into the feeding station for the last of the crumbs!


    I moved in 12 years ago… realised I had hogs and built a house.. moved in within 48 hours and never been unoccupied since.. no chance of cleaning it unless I did it in the middle of the night.
    .. I have an additional three logpiles.. all occupied… that I know of.

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    Hi Celeste

    Hogs in the wild would naturally move nests from time to time – probably not least because of the potential build up of parasites. They apparently will even move nests during the course of hibernation time. A hog who has hibernated in a nest, may continue to use it for a short while, but will normally naturally move on.

    All things being natural, hogs would not have used that nest again, but built a new one somewhere else. So if we want hogs to continue to use the boxes we provide, it’s up to us to make sure that they are properly cleaned out – preferably between occupiers. I will include the link again for others who may also read this.
    But it’s also up to us to make sure that the hog has completely vacated (by which I do not mean only out for the night) before any cleaning. That way that or another hog would discover a ‘new’ potential nesting place was available.

    Sometimes there is a hog who will stay put. Hogs natural behaviour can be impacted by their previous life experiences. So it may be that if hogs have been ‘in care’ they might be less inclined to move on – not sure whether anyone has actually researched into that so it is speculation, but possible. But it seems, from what we hear on the forum, that it is a small minority of hogs which stay put for too long. But there is the problem of lack of potential nesting places which might also play a role.

    If a hog stays so long that the house becomes really messy and the hog gets, say, covered in ticks, etc. then it might be a good idea to try to put another hog house next door and hope it moves in there and clean out the original.

    I have had starlings going into feeding boxes before now, but nothing as big as magpies! I imagine it got more than it bargained for – especially if there were twists and turns to keep cats out – no wonder it was making a racket!


    I’ve seen various tracking studies which shows hogs generally have about 3-6 homes and shift between them over a few miles distance. Some (few) can stay put and I guess those are the ones that found a a human to stick food down for them day after day. Whether hoggies share homes as in, you’re not using it so I’ll use it while you’re elsewhere, like a freebie tent, or whether then have to make their own each time I don’t know – but after a few years it does look like some will stay put, and others will move on (or die).

    If you get into your hogs, just be prepared, they’ll move on eventually.


    Thank you ‘Hog Emperor of Mankind’ (love it!!!) for the information and your thoughts. I just find it all so interesting – the more you learn, the more there is to learn. Will scrub the house out soon; hopefully it will attract again as a ‘des res’ either as a winter nest or safe place during the day. Its good I’ve had a lodger over the winter and currently there is busy traffic through the garden at night.

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