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Hedgehog hibranation already?

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Hedgehog hibranation already?

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    Our hedgehog went quiet about 2 weeks ago. I left it for a week then checked the very new hedgehog home and found he was in there nicely tucked. He probably had a bit of a nuzzle at some food about 5 days ago but if it was him he didn’t eat much. I have put extra hay out for his house. It seems too early to go into hibranation to me. I am worried that he might not last the winter having begun so early.

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    Hi y7usk

    I wouldn’t worry too much. The males do tend to hibernate much earlier than the females. They don’t have to worry about bringing up the youngsters! They also come out of hibernation earlier. But there has been a bit of a sudden change to cooler weather (not that it is completely dependent on that). I would leave him be, but keep leaving some food and water out in case he does ‘wake up’. He may not be in proper hibernation yet. Also hogs do apparently ‘wake up’ during hibernation and sometimes even make a new nest so leaving lots of potential bedding around is a good idea.

    Hedgehogs have been doing their own thing for millions of years, and although we worry about them, maybe they know best!


    Thank you. That is a relief.


    Hi Guys
    That’s really interesting to hear that some males have already started hibernating. Because suddenly earlier this month my hogs stopped coming to feed, after coming regularly each night since early Spring. One of them really is very big, and I suspect it might be a male. I’ve been worried about them, especially and the fact they’ve suddenly disappeared, as I’ve heard about hogs dying of slug pellet poisoning. I hope their disappearance is early hibernation and not the latter. Thanks. Good luck to you and your hoggies.


    Update from posting on 29 September –
    Great news! The last three nights the food I’ve continued to put out has all been eaten – and last night at midnight I actually saw a hoggie feeding! It wasn’t the big hog (who I think is a male), but one of a decent size. So good to know they’re still around! 😊

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    That’s good. Just as well you were still leaving food out! I still have 3 hogs here – one a hoglet who is growing fast.


    The food I leave out is still disappearing with great gusto 🙂

    Sometimes the straw indicator placed at the entrance of a hog house remains in place for a day or two, indicating that either a hog has gone somewhere else to sleep (I suspect some bed-swapping goes on), or is inside having a long nap.

    My hogs seemed to have been spoiled feeding Whiskas cat food in jelly.

    (They obviously don’t like the jelly, so I spend time removing as much as I can to put in the fox dish with other scraps).

    I’ve tried a cheaper brand of cat food, but they are spoiled now 🙁

    I’m still getting through a tin and a bit each night.

    I feed just before dusk and re-fill empty plates before going to bed, all gone by morning (I was thinking maybe I should put out even more food, but remembered that there is plenty of natural food around, so no one is likely to be going hungry).

    I also offer dried cat food, but they may nibble at it, but not much is taken, and I’ve tried a couple of brands.

    As hibernation approaches, and the wet cat food starts to be left in the dish, I want to continue to leave out dried food only. With them not showing much interest in the dried cat food, I’m wondering if I should try a specific hedgehog feed, and which one?

    I’m also looking forward to the day that the hogs come out of hibernation and I can clean out their homes in the Spring, and wondering just when to do this.

    If they are still using the homes for day-time sleeping, I don’t really feel right about turfing them out for a Spring clean.

    (A few years ago I created some ‘hedgehog opportunities’ by rolling some chicken wire into a tube, wrapping layers of newspaper around the tube, placing it all in a plastic bag and filling it with leaves before stuffing it beneath the hedge. Come the Spring I was doing a general garden tidy, tipped the leaves out of the (I thought empty) tube and out rolled not just one, but three hogs! I abandoned this type of nest when one of the tubes was raided and emptied by a fox one winter, now I make sure all homes are fox-proof, but worry about piles of leaves etc being used when there is not enough fox-proof homes to go around. I suppose nature will take it’s course. Foxes and hedgehogs have rubbed along long before I arrived on scene).

    I do wonder if some of my houses have multiple occupation though.

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    Hi Leon

    I found that, despite the hogs not being interested in dry cat food, when there was another choice, when it came to being the only one it was eaten. That was in the winter when there wasn’t much wild food around. I had a rat turn up and was trying to find something it didn’t like! (and, of course, something that didn’t freeze solid). So you might find the same.

    Re. hog food. I use I love Hedgehogs, maybe not the cheapest, but I have made sure that they are very responsible about researching the right balance of ingredients, etc. Some people use Ark wildlife products.

    Re. cleaning out the hog boxes. You are right, you should never clean out a box which is being occupied. Hopefully, with your straw method you will be able to find a time when they are empty, come the Spring. Just be aware that the females come out of hibernation much later than the males.

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