Hedgie house location
23rd August 2019 at 4:55 pm #17525
I have a question on location of a hedgehog house that I’d welcome some thoughts on, but first some background.
We’ve been receiving regular prickly visitors to our garden for over a year now, I started putting food out for them around this time last year and having worked out that the local cats were profiting from this, I fashioned a feeding station from a plastic storage box earlier this year.
Having seen that our hogs go into the feeding station nightly for their feed, I purchased a “proper” house at the start of July in the hope of enticing one to set up home. Everything I can find online seems to suggest that a house should be situated with the entrance facing away from North, with a reasonable degree of shelter from predators (although my trail cam shows me that the local fox takes no interest in the hedgies at all), and out of direct sunlight for most of the day.
In our garden, this leads to the most suitable place being on a gravel area in a corner close to the house which is well away from human traffic, although approximately 10m away from the current location of the feeding station.
First night of the house being in place, I put some hay inside and trailed some food just outside, and was delighted to see via the trail camera that we had a visitor for a few minutes. Second night, same behaviour. Third night, I removed the trail of food in the vicinity of the house, and the house was ignored.
I’ve experimented a couple of times, and in summary, I see the house is entered if there’s some food near it, otherwise they stay away.
Now to my question (finally, you say!) – if I want to encourage a permanent resident over the winter, do I :
a) leave the house where it is (I have read that the hogs remember locations of suitable hibernation/nesting places) ?
b) attempt to re-site the house somewhere else in the garden ?
c) move the feeding station away from the current location of the house ?
Thoughts, comments and suggestions welcome !23rd August 2019 at 11:10 pm #17529
Hi there, I read the house front /tunnel should face east. This makes sense as wind and rain comes mainly from the west. North would be too cold, south too hot. As for taking up residence, as Nic pointed out a while ago, the hogs like it to become part of the garden and so take up can take a while. I got my lovely house with tunnel last year just before hibernation, but no take up. My husband put some straw in the tunnel and only recently has the straw been moved. I am not going to disturb the house in case one is in there with hog let’s and, no, once it’s in the correct position, don’t move things. They like things to stay the same before they try it. Food, feeding station, house, all likely to be used if not moved. They need to trust you before they take up anything really. Thinking about it, who could blame them, there is danger all around them. Plenty of rain water dotted around your garden as well. My hog house is on gravel and I have seen them walking up and down on the gravel so it doesn’t seem to put them off as most of the back garden is gravel except for a wild hedge at the bottom of Hawthorn, firethorn cotoniaster and blackberries. Hope this helps you. In other words…. Just think of you coming home once a week to find someone has turned your house round with your door facing a different way! Best wishes.
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