Hedgehog seen in the morning – could this be a problem?
5th June 2018 at 4:40 pm #9828
It has been quite dry in some places recently and that makes it harder for the hogs to find food – especially earthworms, so they might welcome some food at the moment. Other times they would probably especially welcome food is, as you say, pre-hibernation, but also just after hibernation when all their fat resources will be depleted. Also possibly when they are caring for young and need to nip out and get some food quickly.
It is good that part of your garden is wild and 24 hours access to water is good. The ideal is to create good habitat for the hogs. It isn’t all just about leaving your garden wild, but maybe introducing log piles, etc. The following is a link you might find useful. https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs/helpful-garden-features/
At the same time, link your garden to others by leaving cd sized holes in fences, etc.
As things stand, it is debateable whether there is sufficient habitat for hogs to survive in the wild without a bit of help, and I suspect they can in some locations but not in others, so they would probably welcome some food. In the past, as a compromise, I have tended to only leave food out whilst I am still up to watch – so 2 – 3 hours. I have been doing this for many years and the hogs round here have done very well on it. It gives me the opportunity to keep an eye on them and at the same time, they have plenty of time to forage for ‘wild’ food themselves. It also acts as a safeguard, that at least they are getting some food if they really need it.
There are, though, some differing opinions as to whether they really need supplementary food and whether with too many people feeding them they could be getting a less than ideal diet. Obviously, wild food is best. It may be that if you have had hogs there for ages that they are doing ok by themselves that they don’t need regular ‘extra’ food except at the times of special need. It is sometimes a case of personal choice. Ideally, there would be enough suitable habitat and none of us would need to feed the hogs at all, but I’m not sure we are there at the moment.
You probably already know, but in case not – cat food is fine – wet or biscuits. Otherwise good quality hog food. They shouldn’t ever be given bread and milk. Also it is best not to feed mealworms and if fed at all it should only be very small quantities very occasionally.
Sounds like it is possible the hog is making a nest, so hopefully some hoglets on the way soon! Good luck. I hope you enjoy watching them.5th June 2018 at 5:26 pm #9829
Hedgehogs do line their nests with leaves etc, so I wonder whether this was a sign that it was getting a nest ready to give birth? It would be about the right time of year for it. My hedgehog box has an occupant who has built a nest that now completely surrounds her (?). If she is giving birth, then I imagine she will stay like that until she has weaned the hoglets, and only then come out to feed.5th June 2018 at 6:09 pm #9830
Your hog is almost certainly making a nest and this behaviour suggests she’s in the latter stages of pregnacy. You are very lucky to have her in your garden with babies.
Once she gives birth she will stay with the hoglets for the first couple of days but then she will come out for food and most importantly water. Some come out even earlier than that
The female will often leave the hoglets and go and rest up nearby. I suspect that in the small nest it can often get too hot for them. Baby prickles are extremely sharp also.
Hoglets can often be ‘rescued’ by well meaning people thinking mum has abandoned them when in fact she’s in the area.
This is also the time that she may be spotted out during the daytime looking for food
If you can give food and water in a nearby, but not too close locations as you don’t want to attract other hogs, then this will be very helpful for her.
The more time she can spend with the babies feeding the more likely that most will survive the first few weeks13th June 2018 at 10:24 am #9914
sounds like nest building to me if carrying twigs etc – and females will be out at unusual times doing this as I guess they are driven by their hormones and desperation once they realise their babies are imminent.
Leaving food is a good idea – especially if there are young ones in the mix – but you wont see them for a while if at all. Mother will be desperately hungry whilst weaning them and will sneak out for top ups if you leave some food out and may even bring her babies to the food in time. I would try and avoid wet food though as it will attract flies and other pests more readily – so dry cat kibble or Spikes dry food is best and plenty of water also, ideally in a feeding station to deter cats from taking it.
(avoid the temptation to go anywhere near her or them whilst they are tiny – mothers are very intolerant of interference and could abandon them, or worse, if disturbed).
Fingers crossed you are blessed with some hoglet sightings (or Urchins as they are sometimes called)!
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