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First time hoglet sighting

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings First time hoglet sighting

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  • #10706

    I’ve been hoping to see a hedgehog forever. Yesterday a hoglet visited me in the heat of the noon sunshine. It was snuffling around in the leaves at the back of my border and I didn’t realise what it was – I’d assumed it was a neighbours cat.
    Later on when I was watering the pots, I saw it!
    I’ve never been so excited. I rushed next door to get some wet cat food from my neighbour and put it out. It really enjoyed it. Then I remembered that they’re meant to be nocturnal and now I don’t know if I should be worried if it’s been active all day.
    This morning it was gone. I really hope it comes back.
    I have pictures but not sure how to load them here.
    So excited and now worried for it too!

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    Hi Deeb74

    I don’t want to detract from your excitement at seeing a hedgehog, but your instincts are right. The little one shouldn’t be out during the day. it may be because it is unwell, starving and/or dehydrated.

    The most important thing to do is to leave some water out somewhere in the shade – but all day in case the little one comes out again and keep leaving food out. If your neighbour has cat biscuits they may be less likely to attract flies. That is in case you don’t see the hog.

    Make contact with a local carer, as soon as possible. You can get the number from the BHPS 01584 890801 then if you see the hog you can catch it and take it to be checked over. This is important even if it seems well. Their condition can get much worse very quickly – a hoglet shouldn’t be out during the day.

    Good luck. I hope the little one comes back. Let us know how you get on.

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    P.S. to the above. I suggested dry food to leave out for the daytime, to hopefully not attract so many flies. Otherwise, if a hog is dehydrated, then wet food is really better for them for leaving out overnight. But most important of all is leave lots of water around for them 24 hours a day. Shallow plant saucers are ideal – large enough that the hogs don’t tip them over but shallow enough that a hoglet can’t get trapped. Try to encourage all your friends and neighbours to leave water out too.


    Hi Nic – sorry this turned out to be longer than I expected!

    I haven’t seen it during the day again, but I have been leaving food and water out 24/7. I got dried cat biscuits as it was mentioned elsewhere on the site and I also put out some broken up fat balls. These were all received gratefully by something – I was praying I hadn’t just started feeding a rat. I’ve also made a shelter, following the plans(as best as I could) on this site.
    So, completely excited by it all and desperate to see what we were encouraging into the garden, we got a wildlife camera, and put it up last night. It had come back! It had a good drink and a munch (I bought some dried bugs and soaked them, plus some more fat balls) also my watering – no hosepipe ban here yet) seems to have drawn some slugs back to the surface. I can’t believe I’m happy to see a slug, although I think the one I saw was too big for little hoglet 🙁 there a couple of guys in the planning team at the council where I work who are champions for Nottingham’s hedgehog highway, and promote holes at all approved new builds. They have advised some live mealworms might be a nice treat for it, but I’m not sure if that would be a step too far for my stomach. I’m assuming I would have to store them in the fridge!
    Now I know it’s definitely our little friend I will start putting a bit of wet cat food out at night as well. If you think I should wait up and try and catch it to get it checked out I can do that. what is the best thing to put it in once I’ve caught it please?


    So lucky you have seen a hoglet.
    We too are very new to this. We have a hog house and a separate feeding station and the camera. I am addicted and check the footage every morning.
    I am by no means an expert but I have read, and the really knowledgeable people on this forum, don’t recommend feeding mealworms. It has something to do with calcium levels and can be very dangerous for the hedgehogs. I don’t know about the fat balls.
    We feed ours Ark hedgehog food. I now but it in 10KG bag as it is free postage and split it with a lady in my street who also feeds them.
    Good luck and keep us posted with your news.

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    Hi Deeb 74

    I’m really pleased to hear the hog hasn’t been out in the day again. Hopefully it found you in time.

    Not wanting to detract from your excitement, but the best things to feed hedgehogs are cat/dog food, cat/kitten biscuits and hedgehog food, provide water and nothing else. simbo65 is right, mealworms, dried or live are not good for hogs and can be positively bad for them. As well as not providing sufficient nutrients, they have the wrong ratio of calcium to phosphorous which means that the calcium can be leached from the bones. It is particularly dangerous for hoglets. They can also become addicted to them. Please pas this information on to your friends at the hedgehog highway team. (I’m really pleased to hear that they exist!) High fat foods can also be bad for hogs, in the same way that they are for humans, so I would say cut out fat balls too.

    I don’t imagine any damage will have been done in such a short time, but please start feeding cat/dog/hog food (as you mention you’re planning) and cut out the rest. What we feed should only be supplementary and anything you can do to make their habitat better would be brilliant. Wild food is what’s really best for them, but as things stand, there isn’t enough suitable habitat around for them, hence the supplementary feeding – food and especially water, particularly welcome in this hot dry weather.
    Please leave water out 24 hours a day – the birds will probably enjoy it too!

    If you are worried about the hog, please ring your local carer to get their advice. You can get the number from BHPS 01584 890801. They will tell you the best thing to do. If you do need to catch a hog at any time, put it in a high sided cardboard box with newspaper on the bottom and lots of torn up paper for them to hide in. Don’t forget to put food and water in as well. They will probably spill the water (newspaper at the bottom handy for soaking that up). Be aware that hogs are VERY good at escaping from boxes! Alternatively I usually use a cat carrier.

    Good luck and happy hogwatching.


    Hi Deeb74,

    So glad to hear that you have a hoglet and that it has come back…welcome to your new addiction!

    I was also very pleased to hear about the hedgehog champions on Nottingham’s planning team promoting the ‘Hedgehog Highways’ on new builds 🙂 . I have been meaning to write to Barratt homes about ‘Hedgehog highways’ on the new development of over a thousand new homes on the outskirts of Bingham, do you know if they have been promoting them there and if not will they be doing so? Chuffed to bits that we have hedgehog champions on the council, I just wish that they could stop these large developments in the first place, whilst we still have some wildlife left.

    Happy hog watching! 🙂 🙂 🙂


    First saw hedgehog a week ago about 7.30 in the morning collecting leaves etc. Put some water out for it and a small bowl of food at dusk. To my delight at around 9.30 we saw him/her coming out to eat the food. This continued till last night when he/she never came out to eat or drink. He/she has made a nest in the garden, when I went to have a look to see if the nest was still occupied I heard grunting and hissing sound, but still no sign. I have put food out again tonight along with fresh water. I don’t know what to do if he/she doesn’t come out. Is it possible that it’s a female and has made a nest to have her babies? I hope that he/she is ok. I don’t want to disturb it if it is a female, I hope I am doing the right thing.


    Hello everyone.
    All advice completely understood. Mealworms and dried bugs are no more, unless they find them naturally. I’ll save those for the bird feeders, unless you also know about them being bad for birds. I’m going out tomorrow to get the hedgehog food but wet cat food has gone down tonight and also a plant saucer of freshened water and I’ve put a small ice cube in the water to cool it down a bit. We did that for our cats andand they seemed to love it!

    Penny super excited you are in Bingham. I’m in Beeston, but I have a friend in Cropwell Butler who is part of a group in her/your area who are going out and putting out water etc where they know there are hedgehogs and badgers.

    I work at the City Council, but I know some folk in planning in Notts (Rushcliffe) I’m not sure which district Bingham falls into, but if you let me know I can easily find out if the County Council has a highway plan, and encourage them if they don’t!

    I’ll also tell the guys in our team about mealworms. They care desperately so I’ll have to break it to them gently that they’re wrong,.

    The house I made has straw in it and I’ve put some around the outside too, in case it wants an outdoor nest while it’s hot. I usually leave a bit out for birds to use nesting anyway. There’s the bug hotel too and I’m also off to collect some logs this weekend in the hope of giving more things somewhere to live, so that there is some natural food for it. I’ve saved the details for the BHPS so if it does seem poorly in any way I will be straight on the phone. I have a cat carrier that is no longer in use for cats so my new pal will be able to hide away in there if it’s needed. Would love to know if it’s a boy or girl, but don’t mind either way, just incredibly happy it chose our garden.

    I’m so glad to have found this forum. Is it too soon for a name? If it is it’s too bad, we’ve called it Tomsk, because it’s quite a fast mover very energetic just like it’s namesake womble 😀


    I live on the border of beeston and lenton abbey. Nice to know that the hedgehogs are doing well around here 🙂 . I have anywhere from 4 to 6 or more visiting my garden on a nightly basis.

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    HI Deeb74

    Sounds like you are doing a great job there and any hogs will be lucky to find you. Ice in the water – brilliant! And the bug hotel will hopefully provide lots of natural food for the hogs.

    Re. boy or girl. If the hog conveniently scratches in front of your cam you might see if it has a ‘blob’ roughly mid abdomen, which will be a boy if not a girl. It can be misleading, so it’s useful to have behaviour to back it up, once you have more than one hog visiting.

    Good luck. Hope all goes well.

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    Hi Papps66

    It’s possible it’s a female with babies, which might be why she didn’t come out for a few nights. I would keep leaving the food and water out so when she comes out it’s there ready for her. Make sure you don’t disturb them as female hogs with tiny babies can be very sensitive. I would leave water out during the day as well – in the shade. Females with babies sometimes come out during the day, especially if it’s hot and she might welcome a drink.

    Fingers crossed that’s what it is and that some hoglets appear in your garden soon!

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    P.S. to Deeb74
    I hope you and the guys from the hedgehog highway team don’t feel too bad about the mealworms. Many of us used to include them in our feeding, until we found out about them and hogs do love them – like us with crisps! A very few as a treat very occasionally probably won’t do any harm, but the main problem is people who feed them (and sunflower hearts and peanuts to some extent) to the exclusion of anything else. My feeling is that if we are going to offer hogs supplementary feeding, what we offer should be as good for them as we can make it. In reality, of course, none of it’s ideal!

    Maybe one day there will be enough habitat for the hogs so that we don’t need to supplementary feed any more – we can but dream! The hedgehog highway guys are doing a good job to try to make that a reality. I wish them every success.


    Hi Nic

    Thank you for your advice. I will move the water dish nearer her nest, same with the food. If she has had babies how long before I know ? I will keep you posted on any development. Also if you don’t mind me asking, I have brought a house and bedding, should I put it near her nest or should I just leave alone for now? Just want to do the best thing by her and babies if she has any.

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    Hi papps66

    I would leave the food where you have been putting it. She will know where it is then. If it’s too near the nest it might attract unwanted visitors.

    Likewise, I wouldn’t want to put the house too near to avoid accidentally disturbing her, especially this early, if it is babies. If there is somewhere else in the garden you can put it, it might be handy for her if she wants to have a rest away from the babies, etc. In this hot weather, especially, I would be inclined not to put the bedding in, but leave some nearby which she can take in if she wants. She sounds a very resourceful hog if she’s make her own nest from scratch! I have a couple of males who keep alternately spending the day in one of my feed boxes and they have just taken in a very minimal amount of ‘bedding’. Also, some hogs are fussier than others and will empty out everything you’ve put in!

    Hope all goes well.

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