Feeding station problems
20th February 2018 at 5:02 pm #8682
Advice needed. After our plastic boxed feeding station died a death my hubby built one, it looks fab, perspex on one side for the wildlife camera, it has a 13cm by 13cm hole with a double chicane…..and yet we’ve seen two different cats manage to squeeze, I mean literally half their size to get in!! We’ve put some bricks in front of the hole at an angle and to my dismay they’ve still managed to get in! What can we build in front of the entrance to allow hogs, but stop the cats.??20th February 2018 at 6:18 pm #8683
I have come to the conclusion that it is the height which enabled the cat to get into my box. It has two partial partitions, so that the hog has to turn immediately left on entering, along the corridor, then immediately right, another corridor, then immediately left. These with only narrow corridors, just enough for a hog to get through and a fairly small chamber at the end (only just about room for a hog to turn round). Yet, a cat somehow managed to get in and out again frontwards. I then put a half brick in the first corner, so that it took up almost the whole width of the path, but only half the height. I knew the hog would be able to climb over, but hoped the cat would find it too shallow at that point. So far it seems to have worked. So if your box is big enough you could try something similar inside the box. For instance if the box is high enough for a hog to climb over a brick, block it off, to the height of a brick, after a small entrance area. You could make a sort of step arrangement for the hog if they are big bricks, but hogs are quite good climbers.20th February 2018 at 7:32 pm #8684
That’s a great idea, I’ll try that. We don’t have hogs yet they’re still snoozing, but I’d like to get this sorted before they reawaken.21st February 2018 at 1:51 pm #8687
Quick question, husband was going to put something in to reduce the height, how much height do you think a hedgehog needs, ours are normally wider than higher, but I don’t want to squish the poor hog 😁21st February 2018 at 7:03 pm #8688
I’ve just measured the gap above the brick and it is just slightly under 4 inches/10 cm, although the brick does taper off a little bit to one side. The hog here at the moment is a late hoglet from last year. He was big enough to hibernate – he just didn’t. But, as he is still quite young, he isn’t enormous – a smallish adult size.
Having said that, hogs are very good at flattening themselves. The hogs here frequently go under the lowest part of the gate which must be much less than 4 inches, even though there is a generously sized hog hole a few inches away. I was thinking I might have to remove the brick when the big boys turn up, but by then, I will be watching them more, so can chase off cats more easily – I tend to feed them in the open when possible. The hoglet usually turns up really late (hence the need for the feed box – he has really needed the food in the winter), but in the Summer I only feed for a few hours, whilst I am up to watch, so that they have plenty of time to go foraging. They soon learn to turn up here early if they want some extra food.
You shouldn’t squish the hogs (unless something falls on them), they will just either decide they can get through, or they can’t. I think if they have the width and as long as the low bit isn’t too long, they will be able to squeeze through, but you may have to play it by ear, a bit. That’s why I used the brick – removable, if necessary. It is probably a good idea to wedge it in somehow, though, so the cat can’t push it along.
Two cats have attempted my box since the brick was there, but unsuccessfully. One of them was a much smaller cat than the one that got in there, so I was pleased to see it didn’t manage. The theory was that if they were squeezing themselves widthways, they wouldn’t be able to squeeze themselves heightways as well. However, never say never.
Good luck. It would be interesting to know how you get on.22nd February 2018 at 8:18 am #8690
The video below is a good example of how an hedgehog can flatten and elongate itself to get into small spaces.
This was captured last night.22nd February 2018 at 9:10 am #8691
That is a very good demonstration of why the A24 trap is such a dangerous prospect for hedgehogs. Hope everyone is signing and sharing information about the petition. Only about 3 months left to get the nearly 90,000 more signatures needed for a debate in Parliament.
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/20627422nd February 2018 at 9:19 am #869222nd February 2018 at 9:27 am #8693
Maybe you could draw your video to the attention of the BHPS (via the link at the top of the page) – they might be able to use it in their publicity re. the petition against the A24 trap.22nd February 2018 at 10:32 am #8694
Hi Nic. Have sent off a link to BHPS. Will see what they say.
By the way i measured the width of the tunnel and it comes out at 3 3/4 of an inch. The hedgehog is not huge but large. It decided to build a nest in the feeder near the food.
Willpar.24th February 2018 at 11:45 am #8712
Thank you everyone for your imput/ideas and help. We’ve put a small brick by the entrance (it’s currently an experiment as we have no hedgehogs at the moment, but wanted to solve the cat problem before hoggies wake up)…. The brick will eventually be replaced by a wooden double step – but our wildlife camera has shown that even the most determined cat can get his head, but not the rest of the body due to the reduced height size…. fingers crossed problem solved… 🙂24th February 2018 at 3:41 pm #8714
That’s good news flatheadwifi. We’ll outwit the cats yet!
Hope the hogs stay hibernating a bit longer with all this really cold weather on the way. The little hog here was out and about in the sub-zero temperature last night, although he did spend a bit longer in his nest box than he has done recently. Just have to hope he’ll be ok in the even colder weather.30th March 2018 at 11:19 am #8896
I made my feeding station out of a 32l plastic under-bed storage box as I have found the low height stops cats trying to get in. I cut the entrance hole in a short end and then if you put the food bowls at the other end a cat can’t put a paw in to drag the bowls out. I have my camera trap on a tripod so I can see that cats try, but are soon defeated. A couple of bricks on the lid stop cats/the wind taking the top off. It’s not the most attractive thing in the garden, but the hedgehogs don’t mind and it’s easy to clean!23rd April 2018 at 6:51 pm #9184
A late response. I think it’s one of those problems that a lot of people are going to come across, I had one cat last year that was a bit like Houdini in reverse, never mind what I seem to do, he would always get into the feeding station, which sometimes amazed me and angered me at the same time, I found myself running out the garden when I seen that cat, waving my hands in the air and making crazy noises like a mad person, then he would shoot off, but as soon as I was back in the house. he be straight back there again, it became like an on going battle, and the cat was winning, I use breeze blocks and bricks in front of the entrance to the feeding station, but wanted to avoid it becoming like a crazy maze, or anything that made it more difficult then necessary for the hogs to get into, I finally managed construct something that he couldn’t get into, sorry about not being specific about measurements and height, but all cats are different some more determined than others, also realised that the cat was a stray, which no doubt made him more determined. I’m feeding the cat as well now, anyway good luck to anyone facing this problem, I think it’s a case of try and error and determination, and you will get there in the end24th April 2018 at 9:24 pm #9198
Well we made the hole so small by putting a brick at the front that I was worried that any hedgehogs wouldn’t actually be able to get in – but to my horror, I’ve just watched on my night cam the impossible, the cat – the same one as usual has managed to squeeze it’s body into what I could only believe was a space physically impossible for it to do so – crawl through the chicane and eat the food…. I’m at a loss now lol. I’m not sure what to do next…..
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