18th November 2019 at 9:45 am #19814
was reading about making hedgehog houses, and what I did initially with my first (and only) hedgehog house, is I secured thick plastic sheeting around it, then I put a pile of brash over it, mainly twigs and branches.
However, it appears I’ve done it wrong, as the advice I read was to put soil round it first, then dried leaves, then plastic sheeting.
There is a hedgehog in there (who was an autumn juvenile) but has reached the required weight (by eyesight so can’t be 100% sure), who is eating most of the food in the feeding station, who, I think, is unlikely to move out again this winter, and possibly be preparing to hibernating as he spent every night last week collecting leaves.
The home must be, by now rampacked with straw (as there was quite a lot of straw in there to begin with) and quite often I leave a handful of straw in his tunnel, and by the next day or the day after, it’s all gone, taken it inside. So, by now, it must be pretty snug in there.
Obviously should leave it like it is as definately don’t want to disturb him – but does anyone have any ideas of how I could, gently make it warmer.
Should I, now and again, quietly push some dried leaves inbetween the branches? or should I totally just leave it, and perhaps continue, on very cold nights, to put a handful of straw in the tunnel.
I was thinking, if he goes into hibernation, and I put some straw in the tunnel, it might insulate him a bit more, but don’t want to suffocate him. Do you think he’ll be warm enough?
It has a nice thick wooden base, about half an inch, with wooden batons to raise it up off the ground.18th November 2019 at 1:37 pm #19830
decided to leave the home as it is – and sometimes put straw in the tunnel, with a gap so won’t suffocate –
with the new house, for when Sweetpea gets released, my mum has given me a huge box of bubble wrap, so I will wrap the outside of the house with bubble wrap, put dried leaves and some soil on the roof and sides, cover with a plastic sheet, and then cover with brash
As I live next door to a school, workmen were recently cutting back branches, the trees line my garden, (thought they were my trees, but school has claimed them for themselves) and I asked them to leave the branches and leaves along the edge of my garden and explained about the hedgehogs – at the time they also let me come in and clean up the rubbish –
So I’ve got plenty of brash to put over, and since, the juveniles have been making a few nests – I can see two new ones, but don’t thing there is any hogs in them now.18th November 2019 at 7:49 pm #19856
I wouldn’t drive yourself mad about your hedgehog houses.
This is not official hedgehog info – just my thoughts.
Hedgehogs have been around a very long time and their bodies have adapted to survive hibernation. Before we had hedgehog houses they would make their nests in all sorts of places (and still do) and as we have seen on the forum they can go under sheds in disused dog kennels etc.
So a nice wooden house with readily available straw and leaves will be an added bonus for them if they choose to live there. They could just as easily choose to make a nest under a hedge.
I would be interested to see what others say but I don’t think you need to go over the top insulating them as the nest they make is insulated and if it got too warm perhaps the HH wouldn’t go into full hibernation. These are my own ramblings……..
You are doing a great job what with Sweetpea and volunteering and you don’t need to feel guilty about anything you do. Every little bit of help you give is great but we must all remember they are wild animals and let mother nature do her bit.
Would also like to know what you think of the Vale course when you do it.
Take care18th November 2019 at 8:07 pm #19858
Hi Hedgie Lover
The thing about any hedgehog houses we make is that they are just a structure to a hedgehog, similar to a group of shrub trunks and branches for them to build their nests within. They are expert at building nests and they will be insulated to the amount needed by the hog, so that there is no need for you to add any extra. They do use an enormous amount of material in a nest. I would not put any more bedding in the tunnel. If you want to, leave some nearby outside. If the hog thinks it needs to use more, it will easily find it.
Hogs don’t need to be warm during hibernation, in fact they need to not be too warm. They don’t go to sleep, as such, it’s just that all their bodily functions slow down.
So don’t worry about it too much. Hedgehogs are the experts at what they need and they will find it, if there is suitable material available nearby.
You might like to check out this Hedgehog Street information about hibernation: https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/hibernation-faqs/18th November 2019 at 9:38 pm #19860
that’s good news – I won’t bother with the bubble wrap then, I’ll just put a plastic sheet round to protect the wood a bit – and put brash over it to hide it. I won’t bother with anything else.18th November 2019 at 11:58 pm #19869
Good evening, Nic, hedgie lover, simbo65,
Haven’t been around for a few days, captcha obviously doesn’t like my answers and after a few attempts I usually ‘give up’
However, regarding ‘hedgehog houses’ for some years now, when gardening (we have big gardens) I have always left a plastic box minimum 12 inches x 12 inches with 6 inches of roof height’ with a CD sized opening at either end and usually with a couple of bricks, with a slate or similar ‘roof’ as an ‘entry/departure’ points I usually put a bit of plywood raised off the ground with a couple of pieces of broken bricks in the box to to give it a bit of insulation from the ground, I generally put in a couple of handful of leaves and wooden shavings in.
I then cover the ‘hoose’ with whatever waterproof materials I have at hand, then I then hoy leaves, and other garden ‘detritus’ over it, and then hopefully let ‘nature take its course.
It doesn’t take a lot of time/effort or money, the construction materials are usually what would be taken to the local tip.
But whether used or not, they provide loads of ‘neuks n crannies’ for hedgehogs …and other wildlife.
Also, I can point out to ‘wor lass’ that I am ‘obeying instructions’ when she queries the untidy bits of the garden.
Win win😁👍19th November 2019 at 12:13 am #19870
captcha doesn’t like me at the moment either! LOL
Glad I don’t have to put tons of effort into making it warm – glad I can just plonk it on the ground, make it waterproof and put brash on it – just like I did with my first one.
This is why I like this forum, you’ve saved me from a lot more extra work!19th November 2019 at 8:44 pm #19885
Hi Hedgie Lover, hope I’m not giving you duff info here, but I read not to wrap the wooden box in plastic as it sweats and causes condensation which could them make inside damp and musty/fungy. What I did was put a loose covering of a tarp over the box with bricks on top and left it sticking out at the sides where I left some hey. The emergency one I made a few weeks ago was out of a plastic box, which was all I had, I stood it upside down on floorboards with a door cut on one end. I put a brick inside like you do for a feeding station, and put hey in behind the brick. Air can get in over the brick and around it. However, with it being thin plastic I did wrap bubble wrap around the outside and put a loose tarp over the top. I had to make a tunnel of bricks. If you have a resident hog in your house now, I wouldn’t go messing with it now so leave well alone. Like me, you are feeling sorry for them out in this cold and we are looking at it from our point of view of how cold we think it is. I for one have to try and get out of the habit of putting myself in that situation! Hope you are well, best wishes.19th November 2019 at 10:41 pm #19888
I think 12 by 12 is probably too small for a hog to build a hibernation nest in, but I agree, a good home for other small wildlife if a hog turns it down. You could make a good bug hotel with a box that size. Just fill it with bits of wood of different diameter (with the ends towards the entrance to the box), with maybe the odd bit of corrugated cardboard rolled up. I have done a similar thing on a larger scale with an old tea chest. It had only been in place a few days before some bumble bees moved in. But there are loads of other bugs, spiders, etc. living in there.
I think it’s probably alright if you insulate before a hog moves in, as they know what they’re dealing with then. But not afterwards. I would avoid plastic.
How to think like a hog – not easy, especially as they seem to like to keep us guessing!19th November 2019 at 11:00 pm #19890
I realised today, the house I’m going to buy from the hospital, has a sloping roof, the roof is black, I think it might be a felt roof, so I won’t need to put any plastic on it I assume. Just put brash on it.
My current house has got brash on top of it, and it blends in really well – no-one knows it’s there, apart from me, the hedgehogs (and unforunately Mr Fox),
I’ll try do the same with the new one. all you can see with the current one, is a square shape with some straw sticking out, but most people wouldn’t see that.
One of my neigbours thought it had got pinched it’s that well hidden- (as I orginally used it as a feeding station and was on view)19th November 2019 at 11:03 pm #1989219th November 2019 at 11:10 pm #19895
It looks fine as a hog house. It wouldn’t be so good as a feeding box – too easy for cats to get in. Looks sturdily built. A bit hard to judge the size, but I’m sure they would have made it big enough.19th November 2019 at 11:21 pm #19896
21x16x9.5 inches overall
Bed area 10×12 inches
you said earlier 12 by 12 is too small?
I don’t know if it’s got a latch for the lid, but either I could put one on, but I’ll think I’ll just put tons of brash over the top – branches, twigs mostly, like I have with the one I already got.
Someone told me to make the outside of it spikey, such as using rose stems and bramles, as appratently it deters preditors.
I have got both brambles and rose bushes – but they have to stay alive for them to stay spikey – when they die, the thorns dry out and lose their spikeyness.20th November 2019 at 12:03 am #19900
I did, didn’t I! It did sound quite small. I think I may have been under-estimating 12 inches. Perhaps I need to get a ruler out more often! I’ll measure my box tomorrow – the hog usually arrives about now. Yes, a latch or a screw is handy for the roof. My main one has a butterfly screw on the top. But I use it mainly for a feeding box, so don’t want cats pushing the top up!20th November 2019 at 12:29 am #19902
I think it’s small – I know that my house I’ve got has a large space, that’s what I liked about it – and he’s used half an inch thick wood to make it, as he uses off cuts of wood the conservation centre gets, as they constantly run woodwork courses (so they get standard size thickness of wood for everything they make).
But it hasn’t got a lid, and I like the divider, the bevel on this smaller one – which my one hasn’t got, instead it’s got a tunnel sticking out of the middle of it, but it’s not a very long tunnel, is a 13cm square tunnel.
But it’s large inside – I can’t measure it now obviously as I have a very cute resident in there.
Perhaps this new home might do for a juvenile – but for a big male hog – it might be too small.
12inch is the size of a ruler, it’s not that big.
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