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Hog Piling on the Pounds!

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Hog Piling on the Pounds!

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    Since the reappearance of the hogs on 1st March I have seen one hog regularly plus one other hog that put in an appearance for a few days but I haven’t seen it now for a while (hope it is ok}.

    The regular hog has been making 2 or 3 visits a night to my feeding bowls (thats only what I see} and its visabily putting on weight which is good especially when I think back to the rather small hog I saw first off.

    Hope everyones hogs are waking up now and are getting ready for their hog year!

    Happy Hogging!!

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    Hi Hogmeister

    Lovely to hear about the hog activity there. They do seem to put on weight quite quickly once they’re back. The over-winterer here has gone from being a hoglet to a hog over winter. No returners yet, though.


    Hi Nic,

    Yes my regular visitor is getting quite chunky now which is a good thing and nice to hear about your hoglet progressing to a hog over the winter (although I have seen a few posts now suggesting some of our hogs might not be hibernating which probably isn’t a good thing?).

    I had another new arrival yesterday (23rd March) which was again quite small (a returning female maybe?). I watched it and it was moving fine but quite sluggish so I was a bit concerned about it. It was eating and drinking quite happily and it has retuurned tonight and I saw it do a little sprint in to the flower beds which was probably my fault as I think it caught sight of me. It came back again quite quickly and set about eating and drinking again. If it has only just come out of hibernation would this sluggishness be quite normal? I will keep an eye out for it over the next few nights and check its putting on weight and getting a bit more active.

    I have been checking my 2 hog houses and there have been no takers so far but interestingly I have a small wood pile, on which I put garden cuttings, mainly to bring in invertebrates but I noticed this morning there had been a lot of disturbance and wondered if a hog had been ferretting around or maybe even used this as a day nest.

    Moving back to my small spikey friend above I put the hog food out around 6.30pm and heard noises coming from said wood pile and I saw said hog. I didn’t think the hogs would use this as a home but I think it must of and buried itself under the pile (mostly small logs/twigs and a nice topping of rotting greenery) like pilling a blanket over itself. It may have just turned up early but it definatley wasn’t in either house so I’m fairly sure it must have been in there instead. If this is the case it shows how a small pile of logs/twigs/vegetation might be enough to provide a temporary home for a hog which everyone could do/manage in their gardens.

    Hope you have had some returners now.

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    Hi Hogmeister

    Good to hear the hog there has been putting on weight. The over-wintering hog here was one that didn’t hibernate. That is the second year running that has happened. Both were hoglets and it would be interesting to know if it is more likely to happen with a first winterer rather than an adult. I don’t think it necessarily matters if they don’t hibernate, as long as they can get enough food and water. The hog here did a fair amount of foraging on the grass, etc. as well as what I fed, so there must have been natural food around, to a degree.

    I think there needs to be more research about exactly how many are not hibernating and what age group they come from – i.e. hoglet or adult. Maybe this is something which will be done in the future.

    When they wake up from hibernation, it isn’t an instant thing, so not surprising if they are not quite so active to start with, especially if they have not fed yet. I have a returner here, now. He turned up one night but I didn’t see him the next, but last night he was here again. I wasn’t too worried – although he had turned up before I put the food out the first night(!) – because I remember that happening before. They are possibly a bit more tentative than usual when they first wake up, as well, until they refamiliarise themselves with their usual haunts, etc.

    How lovely if the hog is using your hog pile, although he may have come from further afield and been hunting for beetles – equally good – bearing in mind how much ground they can cover in a night.


    Hi Nic,

    Really good to hear you have a returner in your garden.

    Re not hibernating as you say I guess as long as they can find food and water then this shouldn’t be an issue and you are right that it would be good to undertake research in to non hibernating hogs especially as winters continue to get milder.

    As its a work day I put the food out a bit later than the weekend (about 7.30pm) and listened for any noises and I heard something rustling in the log pile and sure enough out popped the little guy within 10 minutes or so of putting the food out and he (I know it is a he – read on!) started munching.

    I’m not sure if he is living in there or just foraaging for natural food but as you say both are good and I’m not going to start disturbing anything just to find out one way or the other – let sleeping hogs lie I say! (or maybe I should invest in a trailcam)!

    Just after 8pm the big fella turned up and I was worried about the little guy as I was thought he may be in for a biffing but none of it. The little guy moved straight in and got the big fella curled up in a ball in no time.

    Seriously the big fella is almost twice the size of the lttile guy – I was really shocked at this outcome. Every time the big fella uncurled the little guy was back in and made him roll up again.

    Well thats the first hog fight of the season over and done with but it won’t be the last whatever I do to try and keep them apart – those snouts just find each other (although this is what I guess also brings in other hogs to my garden).

    Hopefully I will see more females this year (I didn’t get many last year) and I saw no hoglets at all last year (or not knowingly but I guess some of the smaller hogs may have been hoglets a bit further down in the development).

    Although I see a fair number of males I do wonder what the hog health is like in my neighbourhood and how viable the population is. I know the nearby allotments had a nesting hog who had hoglets last year and they were putting out cat food for them so hope all is ok.

    I also worry that, if the allotments are ever sold by the local council, this could spell the demise of the local hog population. There was a worrying time last year when the lease was up for renewal but the allotment association is strong and, with us local residents also chipping in as well as best we could, the lease was renewed.

    If they were ever under threat I already have a vision of me donning a hedgehog costume and chaining myself to the fence hodling a placard saying ‘Hands Off Our Hogs’!!! I would have never have thought I would have felt so strongly about hedgehogs a few years ago but our spikey friends have got well and truly in to my psyche.

    Power to the hogs!!


    Well the little guy is still dishing out nightly biffings to the big fella and I have now started feeling sorry for the big fella – after all he was here first and, until the arrival of the little guy, had unhindered access to all the food.

    That said what a transformation from the small sluggish hog that I first saw on Saturday night. He has visually put on weight (but still on the small side) and is so much more active. I’m sure he would have been fine without any intervention from me but hopefully I gave him a boost post hibernation.

    I think he has now taken up reisdence in one of my hog houses (I will take a peek at the weekend) and I’m not so sure he had been using the log pile as a home although he has defintiely been in there (a sort of ‘tunnel’ has been formed at one end but I can’t see any way further in to the log pile unless the hog has been pulling in material to close up the opening).

    With the clocks going forward this weekend it will make feeding easier with the lighter evenings when I come home from work. The little guy was already waitng for his dinner when I got back and went and hid amongst the flower pots when I put the food dishes out but didn’t wait too long to re-emerge after I went back in (it made me wonder what concept the hogs have of being fed as he was probably waitng for the food to appear and felt he would be happy to wait until it, or me, appeared).

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    Hi Hogmeister

    Sometimes there is a hog who is a gentle giant who never seems to roll up any smaller ones. It’s just their character. Good to hear the smaller chap is putting on weight.

    That’s a bit worrying about the allotments. Could make a lot of difference to the local hogs. Good to hear the allotment association is strong and it’s safe for a while yet. But also good to hear you are prepared to go the extra mile to defend it for the hogs. Very funny, the image of someone – anyone, in a hog costume chained to the fence!

    The clocks changing might make it easier to feed the hogs on time, but in general changing clocks are bad news for hogs – although more in the autumn when they are more likely to be out and about when people come back from work. Also more hoglets around then – maybe not so roadwise.

    I think they must have some concept of time. I used to have one here, actually came from across the road – always worrying – who used to arrive like clockwork. If I hadn’t put the food out on time, she used to lurk in the border and, like yours, come out soon after. But the females always turned up before the males – clever things – they could get a bit of food in before the males came along and started pestering them.

    My timing of feeding all had to go out the window when I had over-wintering hogs (when I felt they needed to have access to food and they kept turning up so late), and I haven’t been able to get it back. Partly because of that, I don’t watch them so closely now – but also because it is so disheartening seeing the poor hogs covered in who knows what substance. I still see them on video, but nothing beats actually seeing them.


    Hi Nic,

    I like the idea of a gentle giant and fits well with the big fella. Although the little guy gets him rolled up he struggles to budge him so soon gets bored and walks away leaving the big fella to then uncurl and go back to eating.

    If they ever do submit plans to build houses on the allotments we would have to make sure we made our voices heard for the sake of the hogs and other wildlife.

    Anyway I have found a website for my hog outfilt although, at nearly £300, I think the money would be better off being given to the BHPS:


    Ps I’m not sure what the little hog would make of me sitting in the garden dressed in this outfit but I like to think he would rise to the challenge and give it his best shot to give me a good biffing!

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    Hi Hogmeister

    Maybe you could use the hog outfit to raise money for the BHPS instead. Might be quite an attraction. One word of warning, though from my occasional outings in a panda suit in the past – some young children were actually scared of it, so I had to be careful that I waved at them very tentatively. Others of course were fine with it – just have to work out which are which! It got quite warm in there too – so maybe best choose a cool day. It was quite fun, though, because no-one had any idea who was inside the suit.

    Love the thought of the little hog biffing a human sized hog!

    I have a large hog back here now, too. I haven’t seen him meeting the over-winterer yet, but think they may have met in the feed box – judging by the mess! Feel quite sorry for the over-winterer, having had the place to himself all winter – as well as being a clean and tidy hog – having the place ‘invaded’ by other, more messy, hogs.


    Hi Nic,

    Panda huh – I’m guessing WWF? Anyway thanks for the tips and one day who knows!

    Yes I felt the same way retorspectively about the big fella when the little guy turned up (as I first thought the big fella would dish out a biffing to the little guy but it turned out to be the other way round). The little guy isn’t so little now and it still dishing out biffings to the big fella when they meet but both continue to visit my feeding stations.

    I was a bit worried about the little guy the other night as he came for his early evening feed then went off as normal but I didn’t see him again that night which was unusual as he always comes back for seconds a couple of hours later. The following night I didn’t see him early evening either. The big fella turned up ok, and must of thought his Christmases had come at once as he had first pick of the food.

    I was trying to remain positive and just after 10pm the little guy put in an appearance so happy days. He is now back to his normal routine (probably to the regret of the big fella – I wish they could rejig their timings to avoid each other but they keep coming within 10/15 minutes of each other). Hopefully he found a female to woo hence the non appearance. I still haven’t seen any females only the 3 males but I know they come out of hibernation later than the males but hopefully thet are out and about by now.

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