25th November 2019 at 7:47 pm #20005
I don’t know if this an answerable question but do hedgehogs hibernate gradually. I think two hedgehogs are living in my garden. One is quite small I found it sitting under the hedge early yesterday morning so weighed it (550gm) so I popped it into a box with water and food (heard it munching kitten biscuits for a short time) and then I watched it go into one of my hedgehog houses. It came once last night for food but hasn’t been out tonight so far. It seems to come intermittently missing the odd night so is it starting to hibernate? I am almost sure it’s in the house now as I can see fresh leaves in the doorway and they haven’t been moved yet. I also have another juvenile that was born earlier in the year who lives elsewhere in my garden and was coming three to four times a night for food and that one comes less often and is now missing some evenings too. Sadly I can’t leave food unattended but I spend quite a few hours in my greenhouse each evening so I can feed and observe them. I also have a long hedge with lots of leaves etc underfoot so maybe they are finding enough natural food at the moment. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.26th November 2019 at 11:01 pm #20018
I have found with some hogs in the past that they might disappear for a night and then come back before disappearing to hibernate. But I have one at the moment who has done that a couple of times and maybe decided not to hibernate after all and kept visiting again. She was a hoglet last winter and didn’t hibernate at all, despite being heavy enough, so I’m waiting to see what happens this year. But she has started visiting later in the night, which is not ideal. They do seem to like to keep us guessing!
At least you know that the little one is over the minimum recommended weight, so has a good chance. The hog here is still seen on video foraging, so there seems to be wild food still around, so there probably is where you are as well. But you might just have to wait and see re. hibernation.27th November 2019 at 1:57 am #20021
I do think this is the case with some of them! I was worried that one of my hogs had gone into very early hibernation but it appeared to be that she was practicing as she’s been back out again, filled her boots with plenty of food gained lots of weight and has since gone into hibernation fully!27th November 2019 at 7:17 am #20023
Thank you Nic and Natalie for your responses. I am reassured that the smaller one is above the minimum recommended weight, so will hopefully survive. Last night was the first night I had no visits at all and with the weather forecasting colder weather that might be it for this year and like yours they are possibly hibernating fully now. I think I will have to invest in a wildlife camera for 2020 as I might get a better insight into their behaviour.27th November 2019 at 10:37 pm #20039
I’m sure you’ll find it interesting having a camera. It can be a bit frustrating if you have been used to watching the hogs in real time, as sometimes they move just out of frame when something interesting is happening! But it does give the opportunity to see what’s happening in different parts of the garden, as well as who is visiting once you are no longer watching.
I wouldn’t want to be without my cameras now, but I have to say that I did learn most about behaviour when I was watching in real time.28th November 2019 at 2:13 am #20045
The camera I’ve got is good, as I can have an estimate each night of how many visits I’ve got – but they do come in from different parts of the garden, so I get more visits than the camera shows.
However, watching them on video doesn’t compare to watching them yourself.
I’ll quietly sit on my porch freezing cold for 20mins or so, (perhaps 3 or4 times each evening) watching them eat their dinner in the feeding station. I also like to watch where they run off to.
But since having the camera, I’m getting sleep now – as in the summer, I’d stay up almost all night as I didn’t want to miss anything. That’s not appealing anymore now that it’s really cold.
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