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Hedgehogs disappeared

Home Forums Champions’ chat Hedgehogs disappeared

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    We’ve been lucky enough to have a few hedgehogs visiting our garden from the spring and throughout the summer. However in the last week the food has not been taken and there has been no hog activity on the camera. I’m wondering whether they could have already hibernated, though it seems early? We’re currently having some work done in the garden, having a summerhouse built, and I’m concerned this may have put them off as due to the terrible weather, we’ve had to have a tarpaulin over the area. I’m feeling really sad not to see them every night. Any thoughts? I’m still putting out food and water in two hog stations.

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    Hi SandraN

    They could be hibernating already – especially if they are males, who tend to hibernate earlier. I haven’t had any hogs here for a while now, but still putting out a bit of food and water is always available – just in case.

    Hopefully there and here they will return in the Spring.


    Hi Nic,
    Thanks for that. Certainly three of our hedgehog visitors are males so maybe they’re already hibernating. I’m still putting out food and water though as we also had a couple of juvenile hogs until recently visiting quite regularly.
    Fingers crossed they’re all ok.
    Sandra N 🦔

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    Hi Sandra N

    Good idea to leave out some food and water. You never know when a late hoglet might suddenly turn up when other people have stopped feeding. I suspect mine is mostly being eaten by a cat which is seen on video getting into all sorts of seemingly impossible positions to avoid the water trays (meant to keep it away from the food) and at the same time get right under some quite low perspex. At least there’s something to laugh at on the video when there are no hogs around!

    Yes, hibernation is always a worrying time. All we can do is, as you say, keep our fingers crossed and look forward to the Spring.


    I’ve had a hedgehog living in my hedgehog house for 3 weeks, but the night before last it seems to have moved on. It sniffed intently at a patch just in front of the nest box, went for a quick snack at the feeding station, and hasn’t been seen since – I’m still leaving out food and water, just in case, but I am a bit worried about her. She’s definitely big enough to survive winter though, which is a good thing.

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    Hi CatS77

    If the hedgehog there is still missing, it may have already gone to hibernate. Many of them have now. It’s a good idea to leave a bit of food and water out for a while, as you said. Hopefully there will be some hogs back there in the Spring.


    I think as well it depends what part of UK you are in. The further north the earlier they will hibernate as it is colder.

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    Hi mypoppet

    What triggers hibernation is quite complicated and we probably still have more to learn about it. It isn’t only about temperature. For instance some hogs, mostly the males who don’t have hoglet duties to attend to, will hibernate as early as September (but then return earlier in the Spring). Other hogs more likely hoglets may not hibernate until December and some not at all. Those that don’t hibernate will continue to visit all winter, however cold.

    The ones here that haven’t hibernated in the past continued to visit on a daily basis only missing a few days when there was snow. Although they did have boxes/nests nearby that they would have a nap in (or maybe a warm up!) between snacking, before returning to where they came from. They must have had other nests somewhere, outside my garden, where they normally spent the day.


    I have had a hedgehog coming each night for the food and it has been waiting for me each night for weeks until this last five days when it has disappeared and the food remains untouched each morning when I go to collect the dish. It has been using the Hedgehog House and has taken leaves in to make a nest, along with the meadow hay that was already in the house. I am really upset and hoping it will return to its nest. Does anyone know if they might make more than one nest?

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    Hi lynbe

    It’s quite likely by this time of year that the hedgehog might have begun hibernation. It may even be hibernating in the box you have there that it was taking leaves into. But yes, they do sometimes make more than one nest.

    It’s always a worrying time of year, but all we can do is hope for the best that the hogs return fit and well in the Spring.

    You might want to continue leaving food out for a while, just in case that hedgehog or another one turns up. Some people leave food out all winter, but it’s important to always leave water available in case a thirsty hog comes out of hibernation for a brief period during the winter – they sometimes do.

    Fingers crossed for a safe hibernation for all the hogs.

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