Hedgehog houses and highways.
31st July 2019 at 8:46 pm #17008
I’ve had hogs visiting for a few years. This year I made highways with my neighbours which the hogs started to use, although their nests were elsewhere. About a month ago I put in a new hedgehog house and within a week one of the visitors became a resident. A week ago the second of my visitors also moved into the house and they are both living there at the moment. One is about twice the size of the other but I have no idea if they are male or female and there is no sign of hogs. I’ve assumed they are both solitary males up to now and I’m surprised they now share the same house and food without any obvious signs of aggression. Does anyone know if this is common behaviour or are they just taking advantage of a comfy and safe house with ample bedding? I’m delighted that my efforts to improve the garden environment for hogs has been successful so quickly!1st August 2019 at 1:14 am #17011
Brilliant that you have made highways for the hogs – just what they need.
It seems unlikely that two adult males would share a house. I wonder whether they are youngsters, possibly siblings. That would be my guess. All adult hogs are solitary, other than females with their young. Are you absolutely certain that they are both in the house at the same time. They do sometimes alternate use. Males, in particular, are inclined to move nests fairly often. Also possible that a youngster could sneak in when an adult is sleeping, but I would have thought that was more likely in the winter, when the nest is likely to be more substantial and the adult less likely to notice if it had begun to hibernate.
Are the the ‘suspects’ those shown on your photos? It isn’t always easy to tell from photos, but it does appear that they are fairly young looking.
Anyway, really good that your hog house is being used! Good luck with them all.1st August 2019 at 6:22 am #17012
Hi Nic, thanks for the reply. The picture is from last year and I don’t know if they are the same pair but I’ve got photos of them both entering and leaving the house within a few minutes of each other over the last few days. I have opened the lid of the house but can’t see anything as it’s now full of bedding and they have burrowed in. I suspect they might be siblings although one is considerably larger than the other. Perhaps this is just a temporary arrangement! I’ve been trying to load photos of them to this site recently but they don’t seem to have appeared for some reason. I was worried that this may be a case of house bullying, as the smaller one moved in first and collected all the nesting material, but there’s no sign of this and they were both eating from the same bowl quite happily last night! No doubt they’ll work it out. Last year the hogs all disappeared around September so it will be interesting to see what happens this year. I feel very fortunate to have them here and will just enjoy the ride!1st August 2019 at 9:32 am #17014
Hi again Nic,
I’ve updated my profile photo which was taken two nights ago!1st August 2019 at 12:18 pm #17022
Unfortunately I couldn’t get a very clear image of your profile pic. But, another possibility is a mother and slightly older hoglet who hasn’t completely cut the apron strings.
I used to have some females here – a lovely old hog who was with me for several years – sadly no longer here – and what I wondered might be two of her female offspring (strong similarities in colouring as well as their behaviour) although couldn’t prove that. They used to be quite happy to share bowls (and I mean quite small bowls – about 4 inches across) two at a time, which in my experience is unusual and I haven’t seen it since those hedgehogs ‘disappeared’. The old girl used to get very cross if any other adult female tried to share and mostly they didn’t dare try! When they had finished eating they went their separate ways, usually at different times.
But hoglets seem to love to share when feeding, either with other hoglets or with adults, which are not necessarily their parent.
You might never know the answer, for sure, so, as you say, just enjoy having them around. It would be interesting to see how long this arrangement continues.
p.s. Best not peak into boxes if they’re occupied – the hog might decide to move on if disturbed. But more importantly, if a female has recently given birth she could desert her babies. It seems possible if the nest is substantial, at this time of year, that it might be a birthing nest. I know it’s a great temptation!1st August 2019 at 2:24 pm #17024
Thanks Nic. I’ll wait and see how things develop and resist the temptation to lift the house lid!1st August 2019 at 8:22 pm #17039
Re the sharing, I don’t know if it is a common thing but I had the same happen last October. A big male built a lovely nest in the HH house. Soon after this a smallish HH turned up and promptly moved in ( I now know this was a female)
They happily shared for a couple of weeks but after we de ticked the big boy he packed his case and left. The little female stayed and hibernated from Jan to April. Sadly she has disappeared recently.2nd August 2019 at 10:23 am #17050
Hi Simbo65, thanks for your comments. My two have only been in the same house for a few days but I noticed on last night’s photos that the smaller one now has a few ticks. Sharing a nest must increase the possibility of this. I don’t plan to do anything about it unless it becomes much worse and, even then, I would take it to the local rescue centre to treat. It’s great to have hogs in the garden but being able to see more of them just increases the things I get anxious about! I refuse to give them names though to reinforce the fact that they are still wild animals and, mostly, have to fend for themselves!
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