Hedgehog House Help.
4th June 2020 at 4:16 pm #24295
I few weeks ago my partner made a wooden hedgehog house with a tunnel entrance. It has been covered in plastic, then dried out bits of old tree bark, dirt and leaves mounded on top. The house has been put in a sheltered, shady part of our garden. Within days we had a hedgy show interest in the home and believe have spent some nights in it already.
This morning I came down to find the hedgy out at 0830, pulling out lumps of grass from the lawn and taking it back to the house, making multiple trips. So obviously building a nest. Our problem is, when making the house and the excitement to put it in the garden we forgot to drill a hole in the side and put in a piece of hose for ventilation. Obviously it is too late to drill one now when we have a nesting hedgy.
Would you suggest we leave it to later in the year to try and make this alteration, or leave it completely. Obviously we’re had some really warm weather recently and don’t want the hedgy to suffocate or get to hot because or our build error.
Would be grateful for your thoughts.4th June 2020 at 7:09 pm #24298
If the hog is planning on giving birth, you’ll have to wait to make any alterations until later. Presumably there is a comparatively large door which the air can get in through, although I would have been happier if it wasn’t covered in plastic – which might be more likely to lead to condensation. (although maybe you only mean the top). Hopefully in the shady part of the garden there won’t be so much difference in temperature to cause condensation which might be more likely in the winter.
The main thing is that the hedgehog has chosen it, as it is, and we have to trust in the wisdom of hedgehogs to choose something suitable for it.
Brilliant news that it sounds as if it’s building a nest. Fingers crossed for a litter of hoglets wandering round your garden later on. Let us know if you see any out and about.
Good luck and happy hog watching!5th June 2020 at 10:33 am #24331
I too have an upturned plastic box with an archway cut on the side. It used to be our feeding station box until we redeveloped it.
05.30am this morning I saw hedgie pulling at the rotting leaves of bluebells and taking them in the direction of the box. I didn’t wanted to follow is case I disturbed them.
Can I put out things like hay and lambs wool to help?5th June 2020 at 10:30 pm #24370
That sounds promising! Hay, is o.k. Personally, I think I’d give lambs wool a miss for hogs, but leaves, if there are any around. They like medium sized ones best.
Fingers crossed for some healthy hoglets.13th June 2020 at 8:09 pm #24642
Thanks Nic for your speedy response! The reason we wrapped the plastic around the wooden house was because on multiple sites it said to. I presume the ventilation hole would release the hot air/condensation caused by the plastic. So we decided to leave it.
Today we came in from a afternoon walk and I thought i’d check the strawberries. When I did, on the edge of them was our hedgy having a snooze. Unfortunately, I woke him/her up before realising they was there. So we backed off and watched from inside the house as the hedgy moved under the leaves of a nearby lily wedged against the side of our decking and fence.
We saw this opportunity to check the hedgy house and put in the ventilation holes and pipe before the hedgy returns later. Upon inspection we saw an ants nest inside. Also our hedgy has brought in fresh grass and moss adding to the dry roots, hays and shredded paper we had put inside.
We are now a bit concerned about the plastic as there seems to be a lot of moisture inside the house. Would you recommend we remove the plastic that has been stapled on? I have updated my profile picture with an image of our hedgy house.
Many thanks in advance.14th June 2020 at 2:48 pm #24671
I think I would leave the hog house for now, if it is in use – even though the hog might have nipped outside for a while to sleep in the undergrowth. But once you are sure it has vacated completely, I would be inclined to only leave waterproofing on the roof. Others may have different opinions. The hog may have decided to move out anyway because of the ants. But the ventilation holes will probably help a bit with the condensation.
I know some people seem to recommend covering in plastic. Personally I don’t think it’s a good idea. I think the wood needs to be able to ‘breath’ and I don’t know for sure, but suspect they might rot more quickly if covered with plastic, because of the condensation problem and not much chance to dry out because any moisture is retained by the plastic. But I’m also inclined to think that, for hogs, more natural materials are best. A hog house is only a suitable area within which a hog can make a nest. If it wasn’t a box it would likely be in some undergrowth or between some bush stems.17th June 2020 at 3:47 pm #24790
The hedgehog seems to have abandoned the plastic box and moved all to under and upturned wheelbarrow. The other thing is leaves at 21.00 and comes back at 04.00, totally ignoring the fact that I have fresh water, spikes food/whiskas chicken cat food on offer.
Thought we might have a female nest building but leaving the nest all night am I right in thinking the likely of hoglets is very slim?17th June 2020 at 3:56 pm #24791
Well that was very ungrateful after you went to all that trouble to provide food and water!
Disappointing that it sounds like maybe wasn’t a female (at least one about to produce, anyway), but there’s still time for hoglets to make an appearance. At least it gives you a chance to do any renovations before you get a new tenant.27th June 2020 at 10:30 am #25151
Please excuse me butting in on this thread, but I’m very new to this site and, in fact hedgehogs! We only got our house last week. Unfortunately, despite a description to the contrary, our cats were able to get in. So we’ve built an extension tunnel and an en suite restaurant and have had visitors 3 or 4 nights running now. This morning, the house was actually occupied and our hog was gently snoring away! Is there a chance it’s a pregnant hog? And is it ok to lift the lid if there is an occupant? Obviously, I didn’t know there was before I did this morning!
Thanks in advance and sorry again for butting in on this post. I haven’t yet worked out how to start a new topic!!
Karen27th June 2020 at 3:10 pm #25154
Welcome to the Forum!
It’s unlikely to be pregnant unless it’s made a nest – but has it? If there’s a chance it’s about to produce it’s best not to lift the lid. Ideally best not to disturb anyway. Some hogs are more sensitive than others and might immediately move out, which might not be such a good idea in the daytime.
Hogs do seem to quite often take up residence in feeding boxes but, here, it’s usually just for a couple of days, maximum. But they probably would only take in a minimum of ‘bedding’ if that was the case.
You might need to find a temporary alternative place to feed!
If you want to start a new topic you need to choose which of the four sections you want it to be in and when you’re in the contents page for that section you scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you’ll find the ‘create a new topic’ area. The advantage of it is that sometimes posts get overlooked more easily on the end of another topic. But don’t worry it happens all the time.27th June 2020 at 3:59 pm #25155
Many thanks, Nic! Our resident hog has been there all day now! It hasn’t actually taken up residence in the feeding station, but in the house attached to it. I’ve made my profile pic the house, restaurant and tunnel so that you can see.
Anyway, there’s lots of hay inside the house, so I wouldn’t know if it had made a nest in addition to what was there. I guess we’ll find out in due course! Many thanks, and I can see now how to start a new topic 🙂27th June 2020 at 11:15 pm #25161
Sorry I slightly misunderstood that. In the long term, it isn’t ideal to have the feeding station right next door. Especially if you want to potentially have a female and hoglets in the hog box, She may not like having other hogs coming in and out to eat so nearby. Also if she wants to nip out for a break from any potential hoglets, might she have to go past other hogs eating to get out, or am I still misunderstanding the layout? Having said that, you would be lucky if a female took up residence – it’s just as likely to be a male!28th June 2020 at 12:31 pm #25166
No, you’re spot on. It wasn’t that I wanted a female, I was just wondering. But that’s good to know about a possible female and hoglets. I suspect we’ll end up getting another house anyway.
Many thanks again 🙂
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