Friday night is Hog party night
10th April 2022 at 11:02 am #36426
Hi all, we’ve been watching Helga come and go from her hut for a few weeks now, and her routine is quite regular. She heads out for a wander about, popping back for a snack on the food we put out, or a snooze in the hut. On average she’s out for nor more than a couple of hours each time.
Except for last Friday night. She went out for a wander for 6 1/2 hours, and then returned for food, water, and to sleep in the hut. Saturday night (last night) she was much later getting up, but was back to her normal short trip routine.
So, and this is me speculating, is this normal hog behaviour of her heading out to meet other hogs ?
Pretty sure we saw the same thing a couple of times last year too.
Keeping a record this year of the time she gets up, and the time.she goes to bed.10th April 2022 at 11:24 am #36428
Sorry to be boring, but hogs are not sociable animals. It might just be that human behaviour changes on Friday and Saturday nights, which might interfere with the hogs normal routes, etc.
However, if Helga happened to be a male, at this time of year, when females may be beginning to appear, male hogs waste a lot of time circling females and biffing any other males they might happen upon – so may be distracted and change their previous ‘routine’. The males will ‘patrol’ their ranges, presumably hoping to find a female and to try to make sure no other male gets there first.
Likewise, a females’ time may be taken up with males seemingly endlessly circling them. For instance in my garden the hogs have to come up the garden to get to the feeding area and if a female was late to the feeding area it has in the past been because a male has intercepted her on her way up the garden – but that could happen anywhere and any night of the week.
So, nice thought, but no hog ‘parties’, or not in the way that most humans seem to perceive them anyway.10th April 2022 at 3:07 pm #36441
Helga’s story is that we found her in the garden last summer in daylight. A quick vets trip confirmed she was ok but had recently had hoglets. So we returned her and started putting out food (we always have water for the birds). Not long after that we bought a hut, and, to our surprise she moved in. Until late October, when she vanished (we assume she went to hibernate in another nest).
We are in a built up area, and the house on one side of us does not have any other exit from their garden, (the house the other side of use has open access) so when she goes on any long wanderings we know which way she heads out. The odd thing was the duration of this one trip being much longer than usual. So I was just thinking whether she was looking for a mate, or is it a bit early for that sort of thing ?
Happily, we have a couple of wifi cameras with night vision, so I’ve been downloading and editing the footage each day. That way we know whether she’s in the hut and can keep an eye on her, but her routine seems usually quite fixed.11th April 2022 at 8:58 pm #36453
Definitely a female then! She may have been waylaid by a male or more than one male on her travels. If there are males and female hogs around, it’s never too early for that sort of thing!17th April 2022 at 11:50 am #36599
So, we had a feeling of disappointment on Friday night, as Helga went out but did not return.
But then we realised this was the perfect opportunity to clean out the hut !
We were amazed at how clean it was inside. There was some poo in the entranceway, all in the same spot. So I’m guessing that’s her marking her territory. We took all the hay out, saw possibly one flea, no ticks. Used boiling water to clean the hut and let it dry in the sun. Put fresh hay in, added some of the old hay which had been out all day to ensure any bugs left, and to re-introduce her scent. Put a pile of the old hay nearby, and some fresh. Then set the cameras up and hoped for the best.
And about 11pm, she came back. There was a lot of sniffing but I guess that’s to be expected, then at 5am this morning she went back into the hut
😁22nd April 2022 at 8:04 pm #36697
Great news Helga came back and wasn’t too miffed about her hog house being cleaned.
Well done for cleaning it out with boiling water. Personally, I wouldn’t have put any of the old bedding back in – it could have parasite eggs in it – even though it sounds a logical thing to do. But hopefully she didn’t have too many parasites to lay eggs in it.
Fingers crossed for some more hoglets this year!
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