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Hedgehog Tails

Home Forums Hedgehog tales Hedgehog Tails

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • #33429

    Is footage of Hedgehog tails rare ?
    Our hedgehog (Helga) moved in a couple of months ago, and we have been watching footage of her (and then posting it to you tube)
    Last night, during a scratch, we got great footage of her tail. Not seen it before.

    Avatar photo

    It isn’t really rare, as such, it’s just that people don’t tend to notice their tails as they’re quite small. Although some of the hogs tend to keep them fairly well tucked under. It varies a bit from one hog to another whether they let on that they really do have tails! Hogs can be very secretive about some things!

    But with that nesting behaviour, it’s possible she’s preparing a nest to give birth in – assuming she really is a female. Sorry I was skipping parts, so may have missed her illustrating that she really was a female by showing her underneath!

    I hope all goes well for her if she is about to produce.

    Good luck and happy hog watching!


    Hello IvanB. Enjoyed your video, and have to say what really interested me was the hedgie taking bundles of hay into the house.
    I think my hedgies have lived under one or other of my sheds (with no help from me) but this winter I built two houses for them and have been leaving handfuls of hay very close by, really just to see if if gets trampled and that might show these houses are occupied (daren’t look!)
    After seeing your video I had a look and find all the hay I’ve been leaving over the past couple of months has gone ! I checked a few weeks ago and saw it was trampled but not looked since so someone has been busy meantime.
    You have encouraged me to start hay distribution again – along shed bottoms and close to the two hedgie properties, just in case it’s needed now for nesting.
    Always find such useful info from posts on here, thanks.


    Hi Nic,
    When she first appeared in our garden (12th July) we took her to a local animal hospital. She was in the garden, in daylight, and didn’t move when we approached. They checked her out and said she was ok, a little underweight, but had recently had babies. So we brought her back (made her a temporary cardboard box house) and left her a mix of cat biscuits and mealworms the vet had kindly given us.
    Next morning, she was gone (and so was the food) so we started putting food out and she became a regular visitor.
    Now we have a hut, and proper hog food, and we make sure there is food and water every night.
    We put the hay in a dry place, and she collects it most nights, though one day when she stayed out, we took a quick look in the hut, the hay is really compact.
    So, that how we know she is female 😁
    And if she’s expecting, this might explain the occasional “night out” – guess we might have to get another hog house for the kids ?


    Hi daffydill – we have a dry spot that we leave the hay in (Helga’s Hay Barn is now under construction). It’s fascinating to watch her picking up hay. The funniest episode was when she tried to take some twigs in…. sideways…. She bounced off the entrance a few times before she made it in.
    It’s on one of the early videos 😁
    The plan is to try to get a video of her every day (unless we are away)
    Takes time to do the editing, but she’s fascinating to watch
    And all because we found a poorly hog in our garden !!!


    Hi Ivan B, great to see the footage. And hear the story behind it. Just a quick note: apparently mealworms are bad for hedgehogs. Hopefully it was only a small amount and it didn’t do her any harm, but please don’t give her or other hedgehogs any more. According to Nic, they’re especially bad for young hogs, as they cause bone deformities.

    You may well need more hedgehog houses for her offspring, with any luck they might be following her on her journeys to your garden any day now. Or they might have wandered off to go it alone already. At six weeks they’re already pretty much independent. Either way, if you’re feeding them you will probably get more hedgehog visitors. I love the set up you’ve made for her, no wonder she seems to like it


    Hi Kitty878

    Most of the food is proper hedgehog food, and we add a few cat biscuits and mealworms for interest. A bit like Parmesan on the top of pasta 😁

    We’re going to get some Calci worms instead, as the mealworms were originally for the birds. It looks like Calci worms are much better for hogs ?


    I think we are going to have to wait for Nic, the resident expert to confirm this, but I think the issue with mealworms is that there’s an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus that causes the calcium to be leached from their bones. Although the calciworms have extra calcium, I think I remember Nic saying it goes too far the other way, and and may also not be good for them? Is that right Nic? In the meantime I’d hold off on the worms altogether and stick to hedgehog and cat food.


    I found the bit I remembered from Nic advising someone else, copied and pasted below:

    I would give the calciworms a miss, if I were you. The jury is out about them – they may not be good for hogs, this time that they have too much calcium in them (the opposite to mealworms). i.e. it is best if the levels of phosophorous and calcium are in sync. to quote from Vale Wildlife The healthy ratio of calcium to phosphorus is considered to be 1:1 or 1:2. In many cases the level for calcium in calci-worms is much higher which could potentially be bad for i.e. kidneys and heart. So that unless they are part of a balanced feed, I wouldn’t risk feeding them – especially when it isn’t necessary. Probably best to stick to cat/dog/hog food as there are so many other things which turn out not to be good for the hogs upon further investigation.

    I haven’t actually seen any definitive information about them, yet, but where hogs are concerned, as you know, I am inclined to err on the side of caution.


    That was from the beginning of August, so should still be reasonably current! Unfortunately hedgehogs have very particular dietary needs in some areas, and we just have to go with the best information we have at the time.


    Hi Kitty878

    Many thanks for the link, I’ll have a read of that. Who knew feeding a hedgehog could be so tricky !

    I’ve built a new hut for her food and hay store (which we are christening as Helga’s Hay Barn) – it also means we can get a camera much closer to see what she’s eating.

    We’ve already seen her up this evening (it’s just about getting dark) so we already have great footage of her eating.

    Turns out, having a hedgehog living in your garden is very addictive


    Hi IvanB!

    Yes it’s really complicated! You’d think as small invertebrates they’d be great food for hedgehogs but no… At least they’re still fine for the birds.

    I totally agree regarding the addictive nature of hedgehog viewing. I swear for the last few weeks, all I’ve been thinking is ‘can I make a hedgehog house out of that?’ Even though I’ve already got a few.

    Daffydil, if you want to see if a hedgehog house is occupied, or at least they’re going in and out, have you tried propping a small stick or even a stiff piece of grass over the entrance to the tunnel? It’s not entirely reliable, but if you do it over several nights you can tell which houses are in use by how often the sticks are knocked over. I often do it in early evening then check later in the night to see how many hogs were staying during the day, and which houses they were using.


    Hi Kitty878,

    So, after a bit of digging on the net (how did we cope before her internet ?) it seems that Calci worms have a much better calcium/phosphorus ratio.

    Finding the information about cat food (we have three indoor cats, so always have biscuits available) is still a challenge.

    So I think we are going to order some dried calci worms, and mix a few into the hedgehog food along with a few cat biscuits. The proportion of mealworms we have been using in the mix is low, but we will phase them out completely. The birds go mad for them, so they won’t be wasted.

    Having originally discovered Helga in some distress, we are so pleased with how she seems to have settled in and how healthy she seems to be.

    She’s providing us with nightly footage, and now the web cam is closer, we are going to be getting great pictures too.


    I’ve just looked it up myself, and what I saw said it was 3.2 calcium to 1.2 phosphorus, so that’s more than twice as much calcium as phosphorus. It’s not balanced, it’s tipped too much the other way. The safe ratio is 1 : 1 or 1 : 2 calcium to phosphorus, meaning it’s safe to have up to twice as much phosphorus as calcium, but not the other way around. The mealworms are at a 1 : 20 ratio, which is insane. It looks like the calci worms have far too much calcium, which causes issues with their hearts, kidneys and so on. I know they love the worms, but I really think they’re better off without. Now I’m just going to check the calcium/phosphorus ratio on the cat food…


    I found it was easier to find the ratios on the website than on the packaging… Unfortunately the cat food I feed them is 1.20 calcium to 1.05 phosphorus, so that also has a bit too much calcium. Nic, is that within acceptable parameters? I’m worried now. The Vale Wildlife people say cat food can have up to 1:4 ratios if you’re not careful, but it doesn’t say what do if it’s more calcium than phosphorus. I would give them an alternate food, but the other cat foods I have in stock are even worse, they all have more calcium than phosphorus. Help! I don’t want to make the hedgehogs ill.

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