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Hedgehog House

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    I am almost certain I have a mother and two young hedgehogs living in my hedgehog house. I have read that they don’t usually hibernate together so plan to buy another two houses so they all have the option of a hibernation site does anyone know how far apart I should place them? Thank you.


    I think they will hibernate quite close to each other. i don’t think there are any definite answers but 10 meters apart would be my guess.


    Thank you for your response Baldwin hedgehog. I was hoping just a few feet apart as my garden is quite small so I may have to rethink my idea.


    Hi Annig,
    Have you got a garden shed? These make good hibernation/nest sites if there is access underneath. Apparently multiple hedgehogs can be found in separate nests under garden sheds.

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    Hi Annig

    If you want more hog houses, I would try them out as far apart as your garden allows, or where you have suitable sites. We don’t really know how close together is best. Hedgehog Street have been doing a survey, but as far as I know they don’t have results yet. Just be aware that the hogs may decide not to use them. You are lucky they are using the hog house you have – they sometimes prefer to make a completely new nest for themselves, such as under a shed, as Baldwin hedgehog suggests. Just depends how much money you want to spend.

    The thing which occurred to me is, if the hoglets are still with their Mother, you may need to keep an eye out for them to make sure they make the minimum weight needed to survive hibernation (450g). Although, if you are feeding them (not mealworms or sunflower hearts) and the weather stays reasonably mild they should have a bit more time yet, to put on a bit of weight.

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    Another thing to bear in mind, Annig, before you go to the expense of getting any new hog houses, is that when the hoglets leave their Mum, it is possible they may disburse a bit and move to other gardens.


    I have hog houses in my garden for about 5 years and other than having a quick snooze they have never used the, that is until this year! I was checking one of the houses was clean the other day, as I also use it as a feeding station in the warmer months, and there was a hog curled up in the cardboard box, it has dragged moss, grass and leaves into the nest too. The thing is it was filthy so I had to carefully take the hog and cardboard box out whilst I cleaned it (good job I did as there were a few maghots and ticks in there). I then put everything back in place and hoped the hog would stay. It has (so far!!). Fingers crossed it stays and survives the winter.


    Thank you for all the responses. I do have a shed but it has a concrete base so they would not be able to nest under it. I had a peek inside my hog house yesterday and there was a nest of leaves, I didn’t disturb it so couldn’t see if there were any visitors but obviously it has been used so I will buy another house so at least they have the option.
    In terms of feeding Nic, I hate to admit I do feed them mealworms, until I saw your post at the weekend regarding mealworms I hadn’t realised we shouldn’t feed them. I bought some hedgehog food but they ignore it. As it is almost the end of the feeding season I don’t want to leave them with nothing as they come every evening at the same time. I feed them for a maximum of an hour and a half as I cannot leave food unattended due to the presence of rats. The hogs then go off and find their own food. I have made a wild area where there are lots of snails, beetles etc so they do get a varied diet. The hogs do appear healthy and have grown considerably they have been visiting since they were first weaned in August so I now have a dilema, what do I do?
    Next year I will only give them hog food. and keep the mealworms for the birds.
    Incidentally I received a PTES appeal the other day concerning saving hedgehogs and their picture featured hedgehogs with a dish of mealworms so obviously they are not aware of the dangers either.

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    Hi Annig and Jack

    It can’t do any harm to have an extra box, Annig. Even during hibernation hogs appaently sometimes change nests, so it will give them extra choice. Hope the hogs appreciate it!

    Like Jack, my boxes have only been used for snoozes – between snacks (possibly due to their location quite near the feeding area), but still useful, especially in the spring and later autumn when the hogs seem to value them for that purpose. Glad to hear, Jack, they have made a move to make a nest in one of yours. Not normally advisable to clean a hog house out when it is occupied, but in the circumstances, as you suggest, maybe necessary. Good luck with the hog – hope it stays using the box.

    Re. the mealworms. It is unfortunate that PTES have used that particular photo. Probably, because it was a good picture of the hog(?) They are aware of the mealworm problem. Please see:
    is another link, with a video telling you about metabolic bone disease. The start of it is a bit distressing, but it is worth persevering so that you understand what it is all about.

    Hoglets are particularly at risk, being both, the most likely to become addicted and needing calcium for their growing bones.

    Maybe try a different type of hog food? Or alternatively cat food or cat/kitten biscuits? Try sprinkling a few mealworms on top of (or mixed in with) some other food to start with (to get them interested), and you may find that they eat some of it as well – then gradually reduce the mealworms. I feel it is important that what we feed has as good nutritional value as we can make it, even if it is only for a short time each night. Your wild area sounds brilliant, but numbers of beetles, etc. do tend to drop off as it gets colder so the hogs rely more on what we put out.

    Good luck. I hope you manage to persuade them to eat something other than mealworms.


    Thank you for your suggestions re weaning them off the mealworms, Nic. Obviously I don’t want to cause them harm and as I am going shopping tomorrow I will get some other food and try as you suggest to mix the food and hopefully this will work. I will post again with an update as it may be useful for others in the same position.

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    Hi Annig

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Of course we all want to do our best for the hogs and we can’t know something until we find out! It is only fairly recently that the problem with the calcium/phosphorous levels has been more widely known.

    I recall recently someone having a similar problem with mealworms and they switched to ‘I Love Hedgehogs’ food, which looks to be very similar to the Ark Wildlife Hedgehog Mix which some of the hog rescues apparently use. I think both of these have a very few mealworms in the mixture. As I recall they were able to cut out the extra mealworms comparatively easily and the hogs liked the new food. Hope you manage to find something the hogs there like. Will be interested to hear how you get on.


    Hello Nic,
    I thought I would let you know that I am having success in weaning my three visiting hogs off the mealworms. I took your advice and covered the new food with meal worms gradually reducing the amount of mealworms each evening. Tonight one of the three dishes has been left uneaten because they have too busy eating their kitten chicken biscuits. They still refuse the hedgehog food so I will continue with the biscuits and a few mealworms. Thank you for your advice.

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    Hi Annig

    That’s really good news. I wouldn’t worry too much about them not eating the hog food, as long as they are eating the cat food (in one form or another!). Just annoying after you went to the trouble of getting it – our dear hog friends are not best known for their gratitude!

    Good luck and I hope the youngsters continue to grow well. I still have two (rather large now) hoglets visiting nightly, as well as one venerable female – possibly not their Mum.


    Gòod morniñg all,

    I am please to say that the hedgehog that was living in one of my houses is still there ( even after I took the little cardboard box with him in out so I could clean it). I know this as I placed my trail cam outside the house to see if he appeared during the night. He did, at about 1230 he’d pop out and have some water, potter aròund for a while and then go back in.
    I have moved the other house to outside my back door, put a cardboard box in it and last night placed a pile of dry leaves around it. This moŕning, as I type, I may have a hog building a nest in there. I can hear the leaves being crunched up and scuffling sounds coming from the house (at least I hope its a hog and not a rat!!).
    I have lined the bottom of each house with a gardening kneeling pad or thin polystyrene to give a bit more insulation on the bottom but I think its the cardboard box they like.
    My advice is to find a cardboard box big enough to fit a hog in but small enough to fit the hog house and see if you get a lodger. They may not stay but as I said even the one I disturbed is still there.
    let me know if you try this and it works. Don’t forget it’s taken at least 5 years for me to get a lodger and now I may have 2!!!


    Just a quick update, I moved trail cam to outside hog house to see what was taking leaves in, and it is a hog! Fingers crossed it stays, hibernates and is around next year too.

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