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Hedgehog has now moved into the house we made

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Hedgehog has now moved into the house we made

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    Hi, well, we made a house to see what would happen. It consists of an outer wooden box with a tunnel leading in made from guttering. An inner box made of plastic with lid and hole in the side for entrance. The whole thing is covered to protect it from the weather. We put ripped up newpaper for bedding inside and low and behold we now have a resident hog. It has started dragging more bedding in from my garden, leaves and grass etc, so is it a female and is there going to be hoglets I am wondering? I am a little surprised though as we have quite a small garden and the house is under our kitchen window next to our back door. I thought it might be a bit too close to us to be put to permanent use but there we go. Can anyone tell us what to expect next please???


    Having made such a ‘des res’ I’m not surprised that an early hog has already bagged it as home!!!!! but how lucky you are – I’m still feeding a solitary mouse!

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    Hi ElsieD

    Good to hear there is a hog there. Males will also take bedding into a nest box. It is probably more likely at this time of year to be a male, because they tend to return earlier from hibernation – having usually gone into hibernation earlier. The females are sometimes up to 2 months later to return than the males.

    If you are going to make another box, or when the hog vacates this one, the only thing I would suggest is that you make some ventilation holes if you don’t already have them. My wooden boxes even have ventilation holes as well as the entrance and it is more likely that plastic could get condensation.

    Good luck with the hog/s.


    Right, didn’t think of that at the time. Will have to wait until it is out I suppose. When we had a look the last time the hog was in there. What do you do about the poo though, very smelly with some poo at the entrance to the plastic box. Don’t like to disturb it when it is in residence. Might remove the lid while it is in there as that is possible, drill some holes and put it back. I think we can do that without disturbing it too much. Cheers for the advice.

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    Hi ElsieD

    Re. the poo – I would try to remove it, or the worst of it, if it’s easily accessible and the hog is likely to tread in it every time it comes out. You know what hogs are like – standing in their food and water!

    Re. ventilation holes. If you are sure it won’t disturb the hog and it won’t effect the waterproofing otherwise – with it being the lid. My boxes have the holes at the top of the back wall, underneath a slightly over-hanging roof. But maybe your outer box is waterproof enough?


    Hi Nic, job done. We removed the outer lid and replaced the inner one with a thin plastic sheet with holes drilled in it. Then the top lid we have left a gap on the side that is protected by an over lapping wall and put a cover over as well so that it is doubly protected but still ventilated. I think we have done a sufficient job now on that. When we opened up the inner box the hog has buried itself in loads of grass and leaves as well as the ripped paper I put in for it. We couldn’t even see it. I will remove as much of the poo as I can then. I have contemplating buying a hedgehog house but am not sure what sort is best, any advice?? Would be much appreciated as I think I will send for one in early summer and replace our makeshift one with a proper one. The wooden box we have used is not going to last as it is old and it was exposed to the weather for a long time. Where we have it now is totally protected by first of all a low wall on one side and our house wall on the other, a table with legs over that, and a very large table top placed over the table. That stops the driving rain getting at it all. We get lots of rain and stormy weather here in Cornwall so that is why we did all that. Nothing can blow off either as we have half a breeze block on top of the top table. I hope you can understand all that as it is probably quite hard to imagine. It seems to work anyway. We have lots of hedgehogs around here I am glad to say. We have a back lane that they all use and lots of people have holes in the bottom of their garden gates for them. One of my neighbours once had lots living in her garden and she had 37 hoglets at one time. That must have been a sight to see I think. Regards Elsie. Thanks for all your help.

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    Hi ElsieD

    I’m always happy to help – especially when it comes to hogs! Glad you managed to get that done without disturbing the hog.

    Re. the hog houses, it’s difficult to advise as there are so many types. One thing I have found is that ones that open at the top are much easier to clean out. (My first one had a sliding door at the front but only part way along and isn’t easy to clean at all). Also, I think the ones where they go in and have to turn immediately left or right are slightly more cat proof than the ones they go in and straight on down a corridor – although I have had cats get into mine. You might find that they still leak a bit, so you might still need your table arrangement or some reinforcement for the roof.

    It sounds really lovely for hogs there – being able to get into all those gardens – that’s ideal for them. Plenty of places for them to forage. Much better for them if they can get natural food, even if some supplementary food is probably useful as a top up.

    Fingers crossed for a good hog year this year.


    Hi again, our arrangement seems to work pretty well, the tunnel goes in from the front and then the hog has to turn left to get in the second box. As you say that will stop cats but the only cat in my garden (when the weather is fine) is our own and she is not at all bothered about the house. I stopped cats getting in years ago as I have been feeding birds for a very long time and didn’t want cats lurking to catch them. I am a member of the BTO’s garden BirdWatch team so I report all wildlife and insects etc every week on line to them. I am very lucky where I live, 40 years here and always seen hedgehogs around. Our part of the village is old terraced houses with back lanes between them so it is ideal for hogs. I will look at the houses again in a few months, in the meantime ours is keeping nice and dry under the table tops. Haha, what we do eh?? Oh I did manage to clean out most of the poo, which was just around the entrance to the inner box and in the tunnel. The little critter didn’t even know we were in there as far as I could see as there was no movement. It has piled the leaves and grass right up to the top, packed tight. I can lift all the tops off quite easily so it is quite a good arrangement which I will keep when I get a new house I think, as you say it will keep it dry. Cheers.


    There is a chap called Jim Martlew 01942235273. He makes really good sturdy houses on legs with slate roofs at a very reasonable cost – much less than some tat from the garden centre that won’t last.
    I have several of his and they still look as new as the day I got them. They also have lifting roofs for easy access and cleaning


    Hi Stef, where is he based, we live in west Cornwall. How much do they cost? Has he got a website? Sorry to ask so many questions but might be interested in getting one from him. Thanks in advance. Elsie.


    Hi Elsie
    Sorry I’ve only just seen this. He’s based in Wigan but he posts them. I usually get it the next day or the day after. He does all kinds of boxes for animals/birds and you can also usually find his stuff on ebay. I think this is him on this link



    Those hedgehog houses look really nice, and cost less than my quite basic one I got from Amazon! Does it need a longer entrance hall though, or is the little second door enough to keep cats out?


    Hi F_,

    we bought one from this seller about 18 months ago and were very impressed with the quality. They are quite heavy as well – which is reassuring
    The longer entrance hall on some is quite good at keeping draughts out of the house apart from anything else – hogs don’t like draughts! but it is also good at putting cats off because cats don’t generally like the tunnel that they cant see the end of. I’m always conscious of the badger and fox issue as well, so anything that deters them from sticking their noses or paws into to explore can only be of benefit to the hog.
    Having said that – this type of house has been no more or less popular with our resident hog population than ones that don’t have a slate roof or tunnel. we have tried the hogiloo, too, which is the recycled spiral type – which some winters has been ignored completely and at other times fiercely coveted by several prospective inhabitants (which is quite funny to catch on the camera’s – with hogs even hiding in wait for one to exit, then dashing in to claim occupancy – only to be turfed out again the next evening).



    Haha, that sounds amazing! We have a hogiloo and no inhabitants yet, but I didn’t put any bedding in this year, I had put some just outside it for them to take in themselves, so perhaps they were expecting a bit more luxury! Thanks for the info!

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    If anyone has a cat problem, don’t be persuaded into thinking cats won’t get into hog houses with corridors – some can and do. and bearing mind it would be dark, they wouldn’t be able to see, once they’ve blocked the doorway with their bodies – that doesn’t seem to bother some of them in the least. The only thing I have found that works (without added outside barriers), is to make the tunnel more shallow as well (by using bricks, for instance) – they don’t find it so easy to bend when having to squash themselves vertically at the same time. Hogs being shorter in length don’t seem to find it so difficult.

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