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Hog identification

Home Forums Champions’ chat Hog identification

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    I have a feeding and nesting station which is visited by more than one hog most nights. I have a camera inside the feeding section but I cant distinguish which hog and how many. Some visit, eat and leave some others eat then sleep for up to an hour then leave Any ideas on how to distinguish each hog.

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    Hi cheshirebrian

    I wrote some notes a while back with tips to identify hedgehogs naturally, which you might find helpful.

    Also, I’ll copy this – how to tell male from female:

    You can’t reliably tell male from female by size. Some females are bigger than some males.

    Males have a ‘blob’ roughly mid abdomen, about where you would expect a belly button to be, which can sometimes look a bit like a fifth appendage. So if one conveniently scratches in front of the camera and you can see that, it’s a male. You can also sometimes see underneath them on video, especially if they get up on their legs a bit, although If one is particularly furry underneath you can’t always see for certain.

    You might get the opportunity to tell from their behaviour. The males circle the females during ‘courtship’ whilst the female is within the ‘circle’ and turns round and round, huffing as she goes, so that her face is roughly facing his and he is unable to get to the rear of her. This circling and huffing can continue for hours. It sometimes makes you wonder how they ever manage to produce any hoglets with all the time they waste circling!

    Mature females often start the circling process with a pitter patter of their feet (sometimes described as looking a bit like jig) and tend to go backwards. They huff at the same time, usually in time to the jigging. You can often hear the huffing from a fair way off and that is the sound people often used to hear before ever seeing any hogs, and wonder what what on earth it was.
    The males tend to be more aggressive and roll each other up if they meet. They don’t normally roll up a female except very rarely, seemingly by mistake. The females might on occasion nudge males or other females, but not usually anywhere near as roughly as the males will. Some of that might depend a bit on the character of individual hedgehogs.

    The males tend to return from hibernation earlier than the females, so that you might find that most of those around earlier in the year are males.

    I hope you find some of that helpful. It can be fascinating once you start to recognise individual hedgehogs by their natural markings.

    Good luck and happy hog watching!


    Thanks Nic Thats most useful. I will try and be more observant. I will reposition the feeding bowl so they face the camera when they feed.



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