Hedgehog has moved in ….
24th September 2018 at 6:10 pm #12043
Hi- We have sightings on the trail cam of a regular sleeper in a hedgehog house. After about 5 days he/she has been taking in some of their own bedding.
Right next door to the house we have an enclosed feeding station. The trail cam has picked up the hoggy coming out at dusk, having a feed and water and then going back into the house. It did this about 4 times last night. There was an hour or so when it seemed to go off but some of that time I think it is nearby but foraging naturally. I have put LOTS of food out which is always gone. We do have a couple of others that visit too but not so much since this one has been around. Is this behaviour OK? concerned that it is too reliant on the hedgehog food.
Thanks25th September 2018 at 9:06 am #12051
This behaviour is perfectly normal and I wouldn’t worry too much about the food source – you are giving the hog a better chance of settling early and making it through a hibernation period if they decide to.
One of the things that is noticeable when observing hibernation in hogs – and the experts agree on this – is that they don’t simply decide one day that its hibernation time and that’s it for months – they do spend quite a lot of time assessing whether they want to hibernate or not and sometimes have a little go for a few days or a week or so and then stop, only to try again in a short space of time. the active interludes become shorter and the hibernation periods start to elongate until they do go for the long haul.
some hogs decide not to hibernate of course and the youngsters can tend to be confused in their first year about it all, which puts them at risk.
Not enough is known about what drives a hog to hibernate – certainly daylight hours, temperatures and food availability are some, but I suspect it is very much more complex than that. Knowing more would help us to help them for sure.
In the meantime – the best we can do is keep a watchful eye and provide them with resources from a distance.
Good luck!25th September 2018 at 9:42 am #12054
He or she was back last might and we have at least 70 clips of it taking stuff into the house. They seem to like the leaves and dead heads of the hydrangeas. I will be monitoring every night and leave lots of food and water.
IF he does hibernate should I leave some food in the feeding station still and how often should I change it. We use ARK hedgehog food.
Simone.25th September 2018 at 9:57 am #12057
As Jan Marie said, It sounds quite normal. Last year a hoglet here decided to build a nest actually inside the, then feeding box. As it turned out, he didn’t actually hibernate, but just used it for sometimes daytime sleeping but also naps between snacking! So I would continue putting food out until well after you are sure no hogs are around, and maybe even leave some dry food out all winter, if you aren’t worried about wasting some of it. I had to change from the food I normally use to kitten biscuits because a rat turned up. I knew the little hog was fairly reliant on the food, so it was important there was something there for him as in the middle of winter there isn’t much wild food around. He took to it with no problems. If it’s dry food, probably change it every couple of days if it isn’t eaten.
Regarding the hog becoming reliant on the food, this would not be a good time of year to cut down, even if you were worried about that. The hogs may have become accustomed to it, and in the run up to hibernation need good food. So as long as it is good nutritious food I would continue as you have been.25th September 2018 at 10:47 am #12058
It’s a good time of year to be collecting fallen leaves and stacking them in the garden, under hedges etc, for hedgehogs to use.
But only collect leaves from neighbours that they intend to get rid of (hopefully not by burning). Removing leaves from woods etc deprives the hedgehogs (and other creatures) of a natural resource they depend upon.25th September 2018 at 12:55 pm #12060
Thank you all for your replies.
Will keep you posted of any new developments25th September 2018 at 1:09 pm #12063
Noteworthy point is that they need dry bedding – they wont collect if its been raining and the bedding is wet. there may be ways you could help keep stores dry that they can select from and use. You can imagine that when we get weeks of wet weather at this time of year it becomes very difficult for them to build their hibernaculum – and I guess increases the risk of mortality for them.25th September 2018 at 1:44 pm #12068
Hi Jan- Marie,
I guess everything that went in last night was dry.
We have scattered some more shop bought hay and leaves that we have been drying. The forecast here is dry for the moment so hopefully any others will be OK if they build now. We will scatter more under hedges if it rains and hopefully that will keep it dry.25th September 2018 at 4:46 pm #12071
Sounds like he’s got a local support team helping him out. If they are building nests now they stand a better chance of getting a good dry nest in place – who knows what the rest of the winter period will bring for them (and us!).
Fingers crossed.27th September 2018 at 5:49 pm #12108
I have been feeding my hedgehogs for sometime now and decided to get them a hibernation house. Lucky for me my dad decided to make one!
I placed the house in the garden 5 nights ago and after two days it had a resident!! My hog has now been using it for 3nights and has not left at all. Is it too early for hibernation?
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