Feb 2022 – hedgehog(s) on camera every night at feeder again
11th March 2022 at 7:54 am #36158
hi, slightly quieter nights this week – hog(s) still visiting but not eating as much which I hope is a sign that they are starting to find more natural food during the milder nights we have had. Very greedy little mouse also visiting.
Annoyingly, I also found that a ‘new’ cat had managed to bend through into the feeder on several nights despite my precautions. Fed up with rearranging slabs and stones, so yesterday took delivery of a pair of purpose-build hog tunnels to go onto the sides of my feeder. Surely this will keep the cat out! Last night the hog/s visited, as did the mouse, but no sign of the cat.
Saw first lambs of the season last weekend, a skeins of geese flying overhead heading north.11th March 2022 at 1:43 pm #36161
Love the thought of a fat frog ready to spawn given the right visitors, hopefully you’ll get some tadpoles swimming about in a month or so if they do.
The camera which I repositioned now I’ve checked the bottom feeder is only visited by hogs has recorded a pair of quite small looking hogs doing the circular dance the last two nights. Well over an hour each time of persistent attention being shrugged off by an unwilling participant. Lot of pics of this to delete, have abandoned for now as takes so long. Makes you wonder how they ever reproduce/find time to eat.
Did you try putting one or two objects near the feeder to put off the rats, an old shoe, small garden tool or something as it’s recommended because they’re suspicious of change. Move each night so they’re always different. Your one eyed rat has been around a while.
I have a female blackbird & a robin who both come to ask for food, Mrs B is very demanding & leaves me in no doubt what she wants, Usually she appears at dusk when I fill the hanging feeders ready for the following day, clucking away & landing in the tree just next to me.11th March 2022 at 2:06 pm #36162
I also have mice visiting, they set the camera off frequently & must eat a fair few kitten biscuits.
I find even the purpose made tunnels don’t deter cats, you need as many angles as possible & as Nic said reduced height as a hog is very able to squish itself to get under, over or past awkward shapes whereas a cat isn’t quite so bendable because of their length. One entrance to my feeder has an inverted V shaped wooden tunnel the height of the doorway in the centre of the V (like a regular house roof shape) with 4 (2 end to end with 2 on top to form a wall) bricks directly opposite the open end of it leaving (about 3 & a half inches) no space for anything as big as a cat to enter, the other entrance is close to a resin shed & has an elaborate arrangement of screwed in place space reducing bits & bobs which the very fed up cat has finally admitted to being defeated by. It’s taken years & much head scratching to come up with the answer, but finally cracked it. Wile E. Coyote has nothing on cats!!11th March 2022 at 4:14 pm #36163
hi Annie Mac, yes the wee mouse seems to be stashing a lot of hedgehog food.
my purpose built feeder has entrances at each side leading into a tunnel the width of the feeder with an entrance into an unfloored central feeding area. I reduced the entrance height with slabs etc but still found a cat getting in.
The 2 new separate timber tunnels fit at each side of the feeder and have entrances at their ends which align with the original feeder entrances. This means anything entering has to walk up the new tunnel and double back through a ‘door’ at the rear side of the tunnel which aligns with the original feeder entrance. (photos on Riverside Woodcraft site). Hoping the fact they have to get up one tunnel and double-back through the original feeder tunnel does the trick as there are so many cats here.
Last year I had used a home made plastic storage box feeder with added tunnel which I again had to reduce the height of with slabs. I find the purpose built one much easier to keep clean – no gaffer tape!13th March 2022 at 3:31 pm #36173
You have the same feeder as me I think, be interesting to hear if the new tunnels help. I was determined to make my own deterrent for my feeder & so glad it works at last. I cut a double layer of vinyl flooring to fit in the central area where the food dishes go, makes cleaning up muddy paw prints & poo simpler, just lift it out each day (& it helps stop water freezing in the little dish I put between the food dishes).
I also bought their Eco Snug box as an additional feeder They refer to it as a hedgehog house but it’s actually quite unsuitable for that as it’s far too small & extremely vulnerable to predators but OK as a shelter from the weather & as a feeder. An assortment of plant pots, bricks & proximity to a fence make it cat proof & it does good business in the hedgehog (& mouse) community.
My original feeder was an inverted plastic storage tub somebody dumped in the street, it seemed to work well but I may well have had cats going in it & didn’t realise, it was early in my hedgehog feeding days. It’s much easier keeping the Riverside box clean as you say.
I also have the Riverside Gold nestbox which is occupied by a fairly large hedgehog who comes trundling out each evening as the light goes down.13th March 2022 at 7:02 pm #36175
so far two nights with no cat burlaries – tunnels working so far. I have not attached them to the feeder (it’s heavy enough as it is and the tunnels are hefty solid timber) but put them in place by the feeder, with heavy stones to keep them from being moved.
Put the trailcam outside last night rather than in the feeder and the footage did show a couple of cats sniffing around but not getting in. Vinyl flooring is a good idea, at the moment my feeder is on a corner of my very rough lawn but I plan to place it on slabs. I do hope it continues to keep the cats out, as it’s been such a battle since autumn 2020 when I started.
I don’t know if any hogs nest in the garden, when I have seen them they have appeared from the grassy back lane.. I do have an ‘igloo’ style box which I bought back in 2020 and tucked away under a shrub but have considered checking and replacing it. If they do nest in the garden I expect they would be under my garden shed.
This year have been feeding since mid January when I spotted a big hog in the front garden. Up till the last week they were getting through a lot of food and leaving nothing, but now have been leaving more so have been able to reduce the amount – maybe finding more natural food as we progress into spring.10th April 2022 at 2:51 pm #36439
Well done deterring cats, hopefully the hogs are back eating food again as I doubt there’s that much natural food available.
Vinyl makes keeping the food area clean easier as if your lot are like mine they leave mountains of poo behind them!10th April 2022 at 4:41 pm #36442
Hi Annie Mac, yes hogs have been visiting and eating constantly. The occasional nights when they leave more food are usually followed by nights when they clear the dishes. To begin with they seemed quite well ‘house-trained’ but as soon as I congratulated myself on their relative cleanliness, they started pooing in the feeder almost every night. My front doorstep is another regular toilet area. The cat tunnels seem to have done the trick as the camera has not caught any feline intruders. Hope your visitors are well.10th April 2022 at 6:34 pm #36444
Hi, I have just joined the Hedgehog Street community after finding we have at least three different hedgehogs coming into the garden. I bought a hedgehog house last year and one has been hibernating in it. He or she has left now but is still in the garden.
Recently my hubby bought me a garden camera and I have some lovely footage of at least three separate hedgehogs (I feel blessed). We put out cat food, hedgehog dry food and they are also eating our bird food.
Last night, two of them were courting…amazing noises they make!
It’s lovely to be here amongst others who also love these adorable animals.12th April 2022 at 5:57 pm #36470
hello Lindyloo22 – I joined the community earlier this year when I realised there was hedgehog activity in the middle of January in the garden – had to dust off the feeder and camera and get them out again. It is really enjoyable to read all the posts in the forum. I also have at least 3 different visitors and they enjoy meaty dog food as well as hedgehog dry and semi moist food. I even tried a lightly beaten egg last night which went down very well with one of them. The other regular visitor to the feeder is a wee field mouse.16th April 2022 at 8:41 am #36587
I watched our garden camera footage last night and was surprised to see one large hedgehog, in a ball, literally come rolling in front of the camera. Swiftly followed by another hedgie who had obviously given Mr Rolled-up a hearty nudge. Small creatures but lots of attitude! I’m not sure if this was a “I fancy you, how about a date” or a “Move it pal, this is my patch!”
I am reading all the literature and books on hedgehogs to try and figure out what their behaviour means. Fascinating. I am so glad my husband bought me this camera, it’s invaluable.
Happy hedgehog watching!16th April 2022 at 8:17 pm #36589
That will be two males – one of which has just rolled up the other. Hogs don’t have territories, but have ranges, which overlap. Male hogs will often biff and roll up and roll along (as you saw) another male hog which enters into his personal space. Some people think it is because of food, but my personal feeling is that we see it more in feeding areas because that is where we have (inadvertently) encouraged the hogs to gather. I have had cameras in parts of my garden away from food and seen the same behaviour if two males meet.
A female being around also might be likely to make the biffing more frequent.
Yes, it’s great having a camera and being able to see the hogs’ behaviour. You might even be able to recognise which is the dominant male if you learn to identify the hogs by their natural markings.
Good luck and happy hog watching to you!16th April 2022 at 8:35 pm #36590
Glad to hear you are enjoying having the hogs visiting. You would find that hogs eat all sorts of things which aren’t necessarily good for them. It’s best to stick to meaty hog food, cat or dog food and cat or kitten biscuits. That’s all they need from us. Experimenting with with other things, however logical they may seem, can lead to problems such as the one which was discovered with the imbalance of calcium and phosphorous in meal worms. So the safest thing for the hogs is to stick to the food I previously mentioned. That is treat enough – what we feed is only supplementary to what they find for themselves ‘in the wild’.
I hope you continue to enjoy the hogs’ visits.17th April 2022 at 9:06 am #36598
hi Nic, thanks. I had read about hogs possibly eating the eggs of ground-nesting birds so put out an almost-out-of date hen’s egg in the feeder, rather than chucking it into the garden for the jackdaws which I usually do. The last week or so the hogs have been leaving more food in the dishes so have cut down the amount a bit. Hopefully this means more natural food is around as spring progresses. Will not feed them egg again though!17th April 2022 at 7:41 pm #36602
Yes, hogs are known to eat eggs of ground nesting birds occasionally, but they would be tiny in comparison to a hens egg.
The hogs leaving more food may have more than one potential reason. There could be more natural food around, but it could also be because their time is being taken up more with courtship and the males biffing other males. More of the females may now have appeared – then tend to go into and come out of hibernation later than the males. But also there may be more people beginning to put food out again, having realised that there are hogs back.
But the hog season does seem to be getting into full swing now, which is very exciting – but hopefully they are managing to find lots of wild food as well as what we offer.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.