Feeling really disheartened
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- This topic has 21 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 7 months ago by Hedgie Lover.
17th September 2019 at 4:26 am #18286
well I got my trial camera, very pleased with it.
However, over the last two weeks, I’ve noticed a definite reduction in either hedgehogs visiting or reduction in the frequency of their visits. Also, a hedgehog, Klepto was nesting in my garden and he has up sticks and left.
So I got my camera last week, and I have realised that their is a massive fox that comes in the garden a good part of the night – and he seems to be interested in the hedgehogs.
I felt really upset and distraught about it, but I’ve made progress in trying to accept the situation. I will just have to leave wildlife up to it. I realise I don’t think there is much I can do.
Getting fencing and making small holes so only hedgehogs could fit through would be the obvious way to deal with it – however, I can’t do this as they come in through the garden at the back, and it’s a massive communal garden that stretches along the street, for all the maisonette council flats – only the front garden and the side garden is mine to do what I want with it.
All the hedgehogs are coming in from the back gardens, and underneath the school fence. So putting fencing up isn’t possible, and anyway, I don’t want to stop the hedgehogs having the freedom to roam a large space of area.
I ‘m hoping the reduction in them visiting is because they have smelt the fox and realise it’s danger – the other alternative, which I don’t want to think of, that the fox has been eating them.
Thankfully the camera hasn’t picked up at the fox carrying a hedgehog in it’s mouth yet – but last night a hedgehog was making it’s way to the feeding station, and the fox appeared not long after and it’s body language was in hunting mode – and went in the direction of the hedgehog. Thankfully, the next shot on the camera, about 10mins later, was the hedgehog making it’s way back home so I suspect the hedgehog got into the feeding station before the fox got there, and perhaps the fox gave up waiting for it to come out.
I looked up to see if their are organisations that can trap a fox and put it somewhere else in order to protect the hedgehogs, but I found out that foxes are also a protected species, like hedgehogs, and they don’t like foxes being dumped into the country side where they don’t know there way around, and other established foxes are likely to attack them, they prefer foxes to be where they are, even though it puts other wildlife at risk and pet rabbits and guinea pigs.
So all I can do really is try to accept this horrible situation and try to tell myself that it’s wildlife and can’t change it.
I was advised to put things down like Scoot, which smells of fox poo, to put the fox off, but I saw many reviews about different types of fox deterrents, and many people say they aren’t worth the bother, as they aren’t very effective, so I don’t think I’ll bother.
I find it really disheartening that my garden isn’t safe for hedgehogs anymore. I felt I had created a sanctuary for them where they can get food and water every night, which is always going to be the case, but they are putting themselves at risk of getting attacked by the fox if they come to my garden. It’s so upsetting.
The fox itself, I’m terrified of it – and I feel scared looking at my videos in the morning, thinking, the next one will have the fox on it – and instead of getting enjoyment watching the hedgehogs coming to and fro, instead I’m fearing what each video will show. But, nevertheless, I’m finding the camera a good thing, as I don’t see half of what is going on in my garden at night.17th September 2019 at 12:15 pm #18287
fox didn’t come last night – so no scary videos of the fox to watch – relief!
perhaps he’s realised hedgehogs have spikes and decided not to bother anymore.
I hope so, I’ll just keep monitoring the situation.
At least the hedgehogs are still visiting and eating the food.17th September 2019 at 12:33 pm #18288
Hi Hedgie Lover
Don’t be too disheartened. This is the time of year when hogs seem to disappear. The Males, in particular, I find. Males do tend to change nest quite often, too, so that may be why Klepto moved on. It’s a way of minimising the parasite risk. They turn up again in the Spring. All the males seem to have disappeared from here already.
The fox may be one of the ones who doesn’t do the hogs any harm. If it is looking like it’s hunting, possibly not. As I understand it, the ones who specialise in hedgehogs sit and wait until the hog unrolls and then pounce. That’s why I don’t think it’s a good idea to feed hogs and foxes together, in case, because the hogs would already be unrolled. So if the fox was actively hunting, hopefully the hogs would run, or roll. I have heard that it is the young foxes more likely to chase the hogs and possibly damage their back legs – maybe playing – so an adult possibly not.
It’s also possible it’s the hog’s food the fox is interested in rather than the hogs themselves.
But, as long as you have a safe place for the hogs to feed, that is probably the best thing you can do. It’s when they’re feeding that their defences are likely to lower. When they’re out and about being wild hogs they are likely to be more alert.
Try not to worry too much and enjoy seeing the fox as well. Nice to have wildlife if your garden, of any description. It may be that the fox has also been visiting for a long time, but you just didn’t know about it before you got the camera. Glad to hear the camera is a success.
Good luck.17th September 2019 at 1:02 pm #18289
I love the camera- it’s one of those things that you can’t live without – and I feel like that after only a week of using it.
The feeding station has got one hole but it’s only 4inch by 4inch – it was originally 5inch square, but the cats where getting in every night – so made it smaller and it’s deterred the cats away – the cats that visit are only interested in hedgehog watching, they now leave the food alone. So the fox, with it being big – it certainly cannot fit into the feeding station.
So I don’t think he’s interested in the food (well he might be it’s just he can’t access it), when he appears, he is not near the feeding station, rather he hides near where the I put the hedgehog house, as it’s a sheltered spot but the highway for the hedgehogs to come in. I decided to place the camera so it aims on this highway (it’s the part of my garden which separates the communal back garden to my side garden, covered in bushes and trees, but there’s a little space between the bushes which is now used as a path by the hedgehogs to enter into my garden – hedgehog highway).
When I sit on the porch at night, I can only see the feeding station, the camera isn’t on the feeding station.
So the fox knows their route, and waits for them I think, and I think it prefers the bushes as it can hide from me when I sit on the porch.
I just hope maybe he’s seen these small moving things at night, and decided to investigate and see if he can eat them, but I hope he realises that they are spikey and decide to give up.
But I guess if there is food on offer, in reality he probably won’t give up and keep trying. after all, with urban foxes, they can’t access bins any more as the wheeley bins are virtually fox proof now. Plus, there are parks and green spaces around me, but I haven’t seen any wild rabbits in them, so I can’t see that he has much food on offer.
Some people feed foxes to put them off the hedgehogs, but I’m not going to do this, because the fox will definitely come every night if there is food on offer, and i don’t want this. What I’m hoping is that when the hedgehogs hibernate, the fox will also disappear and hopefully find somewhere new to hunt. But in reality, it will probably come back again in the spring or summer.
What I’m unhappy about is that I thought the hedgehog house was in a good spot, well it is, but it’s disappointing that the fox waits in the same area for hedgehogs, so now it’s make the home an unsafe spot – I can’t think of anywhere else to put it. But I think I’ll just leave it there for now.18th September 2019 at 1:02 pm #18307
no sign of fox last night.
So happy – and I had a lot of visitors last night – the camera picked up 6 visits by hedgehogs (but can’t be sure if some came back later on) and two cats – but no fox, so feel very relieved. There was also a little one that came in from the front garden, which I saw sitting in the porch but camera didn’t pick it up.
So it seems like they’ve come back now they can’t smell the fox.
Hopefully this situation has now resolved itself. Hopefully my garden can go back to being a safe sanctuary for the hedgehogs.
I do hope that the hedgehogs avoid going to an area if they can smell a fox, because if so, I’ll be less worried about hedgehogs not visiting as much if the fox is around, and not worry so much that they’ve all been eaten.
Nic, do you know if hedgehogs will avoid an area if they can smell danger? or would the temptation of food override the smell of a fox?18th September 2019 at 1:46 pm #18308
no fox again tonight – relief!
Lots of visitors aswell, the camera picked up 8 visits by hedgehogs and two visits by cats – plus I saw another small hedgehog (that the camera didn’t pick up) that came in from the front garden, and put it’s front paws in the gravel tray to get a drink (1st time a hedgehog has been in the gravel tray).
So feel very relieved.18th September 2019 at 3:18 pm #18310
Hi Hedgie Lover
Glad to hear there’s been no sign of the fox again.
Lovely that there’s been a small hog there. I’m slightly worried about the gravel tray being too deep for hoglets. Have you got something in there so that they can climb out, for instance, if it rains and the whole thing gets filled up with water.18th September 2019 at 3:56 pm #18316
it’s only one centremetre deep. But if there are baby hoglets, it could be a problem. It’s not quite level, so it’s deeper at one end – (as in deep about 1cm), and barely any water at the other end. I tried to make it level, but gave up in the end.
And because it’s not level, when more water comes in, it overflows at the deep end – so the water never gets more than 1cm.
So I think it will be ok.19th September 2019 at 4:08 am #18332
no sign of fox tonight – I’ll see if the camera has spotted him –
so much happier now than I was earlier in the week.
It’s been a busy night with the hedgehogs.
What am I going to do when they hibernate over winter? gonna miss them so much – I hope they remember my garden in the spring and come back.
I’ll always keep the bowl of dried food topped up and put out fresh water each night, just in case one gets hungry during the winter, but I’ll stop putting the wet feed out.
At least it will save me a little bit of money – at present I’m buying a bag of spikes semi moist and it only lasts two weeks, plus on top of that I give them cat biscuits about one small box per week, plus dog food on top of that, about 2 cans a week.
However, there does seem to be a lot of hedgehogs that come visit – so it’s not as if I’m making just one or two of them obese – plus, they need the extra food to survive in the winter.19th September 2019 at 7:56 am #18334
I know how you feel, I am really going to miss my hogs when they go into hibernation. However if we have a mild winter we may continue to see them for a while yet.
I was going through those small pouches of spikes semi moist every fortnight too, and they are quite expensive at my local garden centre. I’ve found a seller on eBay that does the 1.5kg bags at 10% discount, so I am buying from there now to save a bit of money!20th September 2019 at 3:53 am #18353
I’ve decided to call the fox Terminator as Arnie says ‘I’ll be back’ and I feel that might be the case with this fox.
Last night, again no sign of Mr Terminator – so that was a huge relief.
There was a very small hedgehog out tonight – it could smell the dog food but couldn’t work out that he had to get in through the entrance, it was trying to get through the plastic.
There was another medium sized hedgehog in there at the time, so glad it didn’t get biffed – but I’m really worried that it might be too small to get through winter.
This is the first time I’ve seen a hedgehog that small – so I think it must be a hoglet (I thought I saw a hoglet before, but realised it was just one of the smaller hedgehogs)
I hope it comes back and finds the entrance and fatten up a bit.
A hedgehog, not sure if it was Huffy (but makes same noise to Huffy and goes in same direction but doesn’t look like him) was busy making a nest quite early on this evening, but I don’t think it’s a permanent nest – just an inbetween snack nest. It might be Huffy as Huffy used the same nest when I first started feeding them. I hope so as I haven’t seen him since Klepto biffed him last week.21st September 2019 at 10:13 am #18383
Glad to hear you are enjoying the clips from your camera, Hedgie Lover. If all the hogs hibernate, at least you will have some video to watch during the winter!
Regarding the small hog, I would just keep an eye on it. Hopefully if it finds the food, it will grow quite quickly (they do at that stage) and there is still wild food around as well. Personally I think it’s too early to start thinking of rescuing hoglets to be over-wintered (unless they are sick or injured). It isn’t the safe option – not all of them surive – and it’s very stressful for them to be confined. I would give them a chance to put on a bit of weight for a while yet. Then when the weather starts to get cold (which is likely to be when the wild food becomes more scarce) assess the situation then. You would need to contact a rescue place, anyway, to see if they could take another hoglet, so you could ask advice relating particularly to your area, at the same time.21st September 2019 at 11:43 pm #18399
I didn’t see it last night and the camera didn’t pick the hoglet up – so I wonder if it will come back, given it couldn’t access the food and gave up –
but if I’ll see it again, I’ll definitely monitor it and hopefully the hoglet will be able to find it’s way in the feeding station.21st September 2019 at 11:57 pm #18401
no sign of Mr Terminator again last night – had the camera switched on all night, about 7.30pm to 6.30am – and absolutely no sign – had 13 videos to watch this morning, one was a cat. The last one arrived about 5.45am – which is really late, usually they stop at about 3am.
but tonight, it hasn’t been busy, at least one has visited as the dog food has been eaten, but haven’t seen any tonight myself. It’s weird how it can be busy one night, and the next barely nothing.23rd September 2019 at 10:33 am #18405
Hi Hedgie Lover
Glad to hear you have been fox free – for a while, at least. The hogs are very clever at evading the cameras at times. I know, because there have been times when I’ve been watching something interesting, only to find that the camera has missed the whole thing! But either that or another hoglet may visit. I had one here for a couple of nights a while back, but then none since. I have a feeling they explore a bit, so may be checking out the area.
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