11th August 2022 at 6:11 pm #39141
Afternoon, we regularly have several hog visitors to our garden and I bought a house last year, although I’ll admit I’ve not done much with it this year -been trying not to encourage them into our garden too much because of a constant battle with our dog (she likes to eat their poo and it makes her sick).
However, we’ve had a lot of visits the last few months, and on one evening had at least 3 in the garden at once, two whom were clearly eating together.
This afternoon, I have discovered a hoglet which has unfortunately died, just outside the house. So I’ve checked inside, and in on compartment found another dead hoglet which I’ve removed, as well as the surrounding leaves (which were attracting flies). The other compartment has been completely filled with leaves, in addition to the hay I’d placed, and the food bowl (which was empty) has been moved in there too. It’s packed solid, and I believe there was some movement as I swept the leaves out the other side. I’m assuming there could be babies and potentially a mother in there?
Any advice? I can’t put food out because of the dog, but the adults usually eat the bird food that’s fallen to the ground (there’s a lot of it), but there’s fresh water down. Should I check it again in a few days? Or just leave it be?15th August 2022 at 8:19 pm #39220
So sad to hear about the poor dead hoglets.
It seems best, at this stage to leave the other nest alone. If there is a mother (potentially a different one) in there with youngsters it would not be good to risk disturbing her in case she deserted them. Being packed solid with leaves sounds reminiscent of a hibernating nest, although not at this time of year. I suppose it’s possible the hog could have used more of a hibernaculum type structure to insulate from the hot weather we’ve been having – but that is complete speculation. The ideal thing would be to aim a camera at the hog house entrance, but I’m guessing you don’t have one? But I wouldn’t check the nest, unless, i.e. you saw a lot of flies going in there.
Bird food is not really good for hogs – it tends to be things like sunflower hearts/peanuts, etc. which have an imbalance of phosphorous and calcium which can cause, particularly hoglets, to grown in a deformed fashion. So bird food is best cleared up so that hogs don’t eat too much of it. Would it be possible for you to make a feeding box (which your dog couldn’t access), where you could offer the hogs some more suitable food, i.e. cat/dog/meaty hog food or cat/kitten biscuits?
It’s important to leave water available for hogs, all day, every day – especially in dry weather. It is often easier for them to find wild food than to find natural water sources. Wide but shallow plant saucers are ideal – not so deep that a hoglet could get into trouble.
Although, I appreciate, you are a bit concerned about your dog eating the dog poos. I sympathise. We once had a dog which took to eating from a nearby dung heap and then sicking it up in the house! But it sounds as if the hogs have voted with their feet and like your garden! Hopefully hog poos are fairly easy to clean up. They are often situated where the hogs tend to congregate – like feeding areas.
Good luck and happy hog watching!
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