20th March 2019 at 7:43 am #14053
Hello again! We have 2 hedgehogs that started visiting our garden post hibernation. We have a feeding station with one dish (every night fresh wet dog food). However for the past couple of nights the camera is getting some nasty fights between these hogs. They come usually almost same time (around 30mins difference) so inevitability they meet at the ‘diner’ and sharing seems not an option anymore (as end of last year they were more behaved and shared food nicely even among 3 hogs! Maybe they are not the same as this year?). Usually the hog that arrives first steps inside the food dish and when the other comes round, he curls in a ball INSIDE the dish, as like a stone! Then bumping heads start until one or the other gives up.
Any suggestions on what should we do? Maybe setup another feed station and should it be far or just side by side would work? Don’t want one of them to be put off by the most dominant, greedy hog 🙂
Thank you in advance!20th March 2019 at 9:32 am #14054
The hogs having just come out of hibernation are hungry, so I would set up a new feeding station further away. The dominant hog may well decide both dishes belong to him if you put side by side. Also you don’t really want them spending energy fighting over food at this point
The males usually come out of hibernation first ( not always ), and they will be trying to get ready for mating as soon as the females appear.
Toward the end of the year they are less interested in mating and more interested in fattening up, hence the reason you’ll have different behaviours – assuming they are the same hogs
Hope that helps20th March 2019 at 12:04 pm #14059
Hi Steph, yes that is very helpful! Will buy another plastic box (for our makeshift feeding station) and setup tonight to see how it goes. Pity we only have one cam so won’t be able to watch them on both locations.
Thank you for the explanation about end of hibernation and their behaviour, loving to learn little and more about these spiky friends!20th March 2019 at 4:24 pm #14074
Hi the Gallaghers
Totally agree you need more than one feeding dish if you have multiple hedgehogs. At the end of the year there are likely to be mostly youngsters left and they are quite happy to share. Adults, especially males are usually not. Some adult females will sometimes tolerate sharing with certain other adult females but not always.
You are probably best having several different bowls/dishes spread around – maybe a yard or two apart, especially if you have several stroppy males visiting – even with only 2, I would offer several different (smaller) bowls/dishes. If the bowls are in boxes a less dominant hog may just become trapped in the box by a more dominant one. If they are outside at least they have the chance to escape. But you may find that the hogs gradually vary the times of visits to avoid too much aggression. You could try moving your camera further away so that it covers more than one bowl.
You are lucky that you already have enough hogs back that it has become a problem!21st March 2019 at 8:52 am #14080
I have had the same problem with 2 large hogs in the feeding station at the same time. One hog blocked the entrance and wouldn’t let another in. On another occasion after a fight one curled up against the entrance/exit hole and wouldn’t let the other out. On two occasions I found droppings in the feeding station which seemed to indicate a marking of territory or panic. Normally there are no droppings inside the station. After a bit of persuasion my handy husband agreed to build another feeding station with a new design of two entrances (one at each end). So far no hogs are using this but it’s only been there for 2 nights. Should I put it near the other station? At present it’s in another area of the garden but I know the hogs walk widely around my garden.21st March 2019 at 9:11 am #14081
Hogs don’t have territories though they do fight over foods and females.
They do have a ‘fast’ gut transition time so it’s perfectly normal to get poo around and in food dishes – they aren’t fussy. Initially there may have been none as they were just out of hibernation and therefore empty
Leave the other feeding station a distance away – they will find it26th March 2019 at 10:47 am #14213
This answers my question. I have seen hogs fighting in my feeding station too. Last night one got stuck in the corner while the other pushed it around and then dominated the food bowl. It took the other quite a while to unroll. I also had a hog that just entered had a sniff and left.
I think i may have at least 3 visitors that make multiple visits during the night. I am beginning to recognise individuals by size and mannerisms.26th March 2019 at 1:27 pm #14215
You’ll find that some hogs, males in particular, will fight if another hog comes into his personal space. It isn’t always to do with food and females. But they are more likely to fight in feeding areas, because that is where they are most likely to meet other hogs. I have also seen males fighting on video nowhere near the food. They are solitary animals and it isn’t normal for them to gather together in numbers (other than when they are young) – in that respect we are potentially inadvertently changing their behaviour by providing food.
Re. recognising the hogs. You would be better of trying to use their natural markings rather than size and behaviour, although that can sometimes help. But size and behavour can be misleading – they grow and also can look quite different in size when they change shape depending on what they’re doing. If you look closely you will see there are numerous markings/colourings, etc. – many on their faces which, in combination, make it quite easy to identify a hedgehog – especially in the small numbers that visit a garden.29th March 2019 at 8:46 pm #14284
I have got quite use to the hog rut and all the fighting now although I remember the first time I saw it, and didn’t know anything about this behaviour, I found it very distressing (and I’m still not a fan to be fair),
I place my feeding bowls in different parts of the garden in the hope the hogs will just go to individual bowls and avoid the fighting but they sometimes just go straight past the feeding bowls and head for the other hog it has smelt out and the fighting begins – some just seem more interlorant than others but more so at this time of year.
I have had 2 hogs coming to feed. a small hog and a large hog. but its the small hog that gets the large hog rolled up!
Last night a third hog entered the fray (the first time I had seen it) and squared up to the small hog (it was also small but a bit larger than the small hog) and I witnessed one of the most brutal hog fights I have ever seen (they appeared to be biting each others snouts) and they were pushing and shoving then one would lose their footing (their legs look so fragile when this happens) and crash, bang, wallop they went flying whilst the other hog tried to press home its advantage.
The smaller hog won out, and has been at the feeding bowl this evening and looks unscathed by the experinece, so hopefully the loser also came out ok as well.
I much prefer it when the hog just rolls up in a ball agaisnt the agressor, as I know they are pretty welll protected then, but sometimes neither will yield and thats when you see the worst of the fighting.
On a lighter note last year I had a dominant hog that had 2 hogs rolled up but a fourth hog snuck in and helped himself to the food whilst the commotion ensued nearby – I found this hilarious especially as the feeding hog kept glancing over to check the others were still preoccupied.
Happy hogging all,31st March 2019 at 10:38 am #14307
Hi everyone, thank you so much for all the tips, responses and added stories!
We have now set a second feeding station near the first, and noticed that apart of some occasional meet/bump of bodies, both hogs eat separately so glad both are now getting food.
I have another question (not sure if I need to start a new thread, so will ask now and if needed, i can ask separately in new one). It is about whem to clean their houses. We have 2 setup and both being used (during night) as we see hogs coming in and out them. We want to clean houses as noticed hogs increased scratching of bellies and the shiny horrible ticks. But if they are using it to sleep, given coming out of hibernation they need a good clean but how do fellow hog champions go about it? I have read the article https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/cleaning-out-boxes/ but not clear how to do if they are using the house, leave it be?
I know they are wild animals, just want to try do something to reduce fleas/ticks. Sorry long question, just that it is the first time we had houses and used for hibernation.
Thank you again!31st March 2019 at 1:14 pm #14310
Now we’re here, it’s ok. to use this thread, but the advantage of using a new one is that people would realise we were talking about cleaning out hog houses, and it might answer their question too.
You shouldn’t disturb a hog whilst it’s in residence. Even looking can be harmful. For instance, if a nesting female happens to be in there. She could desert or kill the babies, if they are very young. So you will need to keep an eye on the boxes and once they are empty have a quick clean. Use boiling water to kill any parasite eggs, etc. not any chemical. Having said that, some hogs go in and out of boxes for short naps between snacking, so it may be that – in which case it would be ok to clean them out if the hog isn’t there during the day.
Normally hogs don’t continue to use the same nest they used during hibernation, and even sometimes move nests during hibernation. Hopefully if the parasites get too annoying the hogs will decide to move out!
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