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Heavy heart.

Home Forums Hedgehog tales Heavy heart.

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    I only have a tiny piece of ground at the front of the house but I have done everything I can to help the 2 hoggies that have been coming to feed. They have a bespoke feeding house (carefully constructed by my son), a house for shelter, and as many (supposedly rat deterrent) herbs, plants/grasses/little log piles as I can possibly fit in.
    But within the last 2 weeks the camera has caught a huge rat coming in. It’s nest can’t be far away because he comes and goes at incredible speed, taking the same route every time. He can completely devour the contents of a dish of wet dog food and a dish of kitten kibble to take to his nest over the space of about 20-25 minutes!
    My son brought over a humane rat trap which we set up on the top of the hog house with an absolute smorgasbord of food to entice it with, but out of the reach of my hogs. The horrible thing just totally ignores the trap, and it has been out long enough now for it to have become accustomed to its presence.
    My poor hogs seem to have stopped coming. They had a perfunctory forage around but with no great amount of foraging space or real food, they have wandered off and seem to have realised there is no food for them here anymore.
    I am so, so sad. My desire to look after my little friends is sorely tempered by the size and voracity of the rat.
    Apologies for the long post but basically I wanted to ask others who have been through the same experience if my hogs will come back once the rat realises there is no food here for it? It sounds stupid I know, but I will be devastated if all my hard work trying to make a good environment for them will all have been for nothing. I am quite poorly and being able to help our little friends has been keeping me going.

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    Hi Bellasmom

    So sorry to hear about your rat problem. I know how annoying rats can be. The only thing I can suggest is to scatter the kitten biscuits as widely as possible on the ground. The rat would still be able to access it, but it would be much harder work for it. Maybe it would give up and go somewhere which isn’t so much like hard work. I had one here a while back and scattered the food. Since there have been more hogs around it has disappeared, but when it was still visiting the hogs did manage to find some of the food as well. The hogs seem quite happy foraging for the kitten biscuits.

    If you try using the trap again, I was told once that chocolate spread is good for mouse traps, so maybe would be for a rat trap, too (?). Being a paste they can’t grab a piece of it and escape before the trap springs, but chocolate may also be enticing for rodents in general. But if you use the rat trap again, try to get it as high off the ground as possible – hogs can be surprisingly good climbers and there have been reports of hogs being caught in them. Obviously I don’t known the set up of your hog house, but worry that may be a bit low. But you would need to use it on a night when there isn’t other food. So may have to stop offering other food for a while.

    Good luck. Fingers crossed the rat goes and the hogs return.


    Thanks Nic,
    Well we had a turn of events. In the early hours of the morning the rat came, the rat went inside the trap. Down came the door. Unfortunately a cat came on the scene and went right up to the crate. The rat starting screaming and lashing out and suddenly he managed to get enough force to open the door and the snap door was really heavy! Now I am left wondering, will the rat now avoid the trap completely, or if I continue just putting food in the trap will he return to it? I’ve moved it to a slightly different location, well up from hog level. I thought the saga was over.😖

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    That’s amazing – must have been a very strong rat – not to mention a wimp of a cat if it still didn’t manage to catch the rat when it escaped! Not a very helpful cat, it seems. How frustrating!

    Hopefully that will be enough to keep the rat away, but it could easily go the other way. They are quite intelligent so it may not go in the trap again, but you never know. Moving the trap to the new location might work – as long as that cat doesn’t turn up again to foil the plan!

    Good luck with whichever way you decide upon.


    Sorry Bellasmom; I have no solution to your rat problem 🙁
    But, I want you to know I feel your pain – “I am quite poorly and being able to help our little friends has been keeping me going. ”
    I retired after 50 years in the NHS into the first lockdown. Sitting in the still of the evening with the hoggies kept me sane, when there was no human contact.
    Fingers crossed ‘Ratty’ will disappear up his own tail pipe and your snuffly friends will return soon. Keep the faith!

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