Hoglets in mid-October
18th October 2021 at 10:22 pm #34538
‘Our’ hedgehog has successfully reared a litter and three hoglets have emerged from their house this week. I know the prospects for them surviving the winter are not good but what can we do to give them the best chance? They get some supplementary food from us in the form of Sainsbury’s Kitten food which they seem to be happy with. They have a wooden house under a tree and plenty of nesting materials around.18th October 2021 at 11:49 pm #34539
To start with the hoglets will probably follow mother hog around. Hopefully she will keep bringing them to the supplementary food as well as doing a bit of foraging with them. They grow very quickly when they are young, and the weather is still quite mild, so they may have time to put on enough weight to survive hibernation. I would offer them as much food as they eat. i.e. if it is all finished offer them a bit more until you work out the right amount.
So I would keep offering them food and then in a few weeks times, weigh them. The minimum weight for hibernation is 450g, but if the weather is still quite good and they are turning up regularly for food they might be ok for a bit longer weighing a bit less than that. But you can review the situation at that time.
If they are still very small and light in weight you may be able to find a hog carer/rehabilitator that can take them in until they are large enough to be released. You can find details of your nearest carers/rehabilitators by ringing 01584 890801. They will know the local weather conditions and will be able to give you more specific advice.
Normally each hog would need a separate place to make a hibernation nest, so if you are able to fit in any more hog houses, that might be useful for them. They use a huge amount of material in a good hibernation nest, so as much nesting materials left around as possible would be good.
Don’t forget that water is best left available all day every day, including during the winter.
Good luck. I hope all goes well for them.19th October 2021 at 12:34 pm #34553
Thank you that’s a really helpful reply.
If I can get them do you think wooden wine crates would make suitable boxes (or two together)?19th October 2021 at 1:16 pm #34554
I’m not all that familiar with wine crates, although I have a feeling there are different types. But really any structure within which the hogs can build their hibernation nests could be helpful. Naturally they would have built them in i.e. hedge bases. So the most important thing is a structure within which they can build their hibernacula as well as sufficient materials.
They need hugely more materials than we might first think as they layer the leaves together to create a waterproof and well insulated nest – that is the ones who make their nests well! Also, if they can find sufficient materials, of course.
There is some more information about hog houses here:
https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs/hedgehog-homes/25th October 2021 at 5:18 pm #34647
I had not seen any hoglets all year, while there has been a steady flow of adults emptying several bowls of food a night. The this morning I viewed one of the cameras and was blown away what I saw. As this same thing happened a couple of years ago I can only assume that the Mum has decided to look for a better home and ‘migrated’ her family accordingly. Will need to check on them now and maybe move the one unoccupied house to the same area,25th October 2021 at 5:52 pm #34648
Great video! Lovely to see the little ones. They look quite big already for still trying to suckle! She might have brought them there hoping to leave them and go off to hibernate soon. I imagine they would welcome another hog house – just as well you have one still unoccupied.
Interestingly, I’ve seen a few hoglets on video this year (on their own) but foraging, not visiting the feeding station. Some have even passed by the feeding area but not gone to eat. But it’s nice to know there are some of this year’s hoglets around.
Hope all those there do well.28th October 2021 at 10:27 pm #34840
So 2-3 kids and Mum still in the one house and so things are constantly happening including a bit of sibling biffing . .Here
Put another house a few feet away in case anyone gets kicked out and needs a warm place to stay. Will see if I get any takers !!29th October 2021 at 10:08 am #34847
Love the new video. Interesting when one of the youngsters opens its mouth wide as as if it’s yawning (about 2.09).4th November 2021 at 5:12 pm #34941
Ok, not sure if I have a problem here. I have one hog house which is currently the home to 3-4 hoglets. Mum made the basic nest a couple of weeks or so ago and then left. I thought there were 2-3 hogs but have videoed 4 together. They are sharing the living space but it is very cramped and since the weather has been very mild they have I think been getting too warm, and taken to sleeping in the entrance which is then even more crowded. As soon as one gets to sleep another one will want out and tramples over anyone in their way. It is amusing to watch but I am concerned that this situation cannot last all winter. I have bought another house and placed it a few feet from the occupied one, and put a few leaves and little straw inside as well as just outside the house. Only been a day so no takers yet, and not sure any of the hoglets want to give up their current pad and build a new one from scratch. Should I be concerned, or just monitor the situation. I have two cameras in the area and do have another house which I could move if necessary – Video4th November 2021 at 11:08 pm #34949
Maybe a terrace of hog houses!
The hoglets appear to be sleeping and moving on top of the straw which is not what they need for hibernation. They really need to be surrounded by it! With all those on top of it, it must be getting fairly well flattened. Hopefully they will discover the other hog house – although they might just all move in there!
Not sure what you can do, unless you think they are too small to survive hibernation, other than monitor the situation and if possible provide even more hog houses! I am assuming they are already still coming for supplementary food and water.6th November 2021 at 11:14 am #34954
Hi Nic, the main area of the house is a full top to bottom hibernation nest, but it seems the entrance corridor is being used as the spare room. This too is now filled top to bottom, but does not stop the hoglets continuing to bring further leaves and straw into the property. Still cannot get them interested in the new house, although a large adult has been poking around a few times. At the moment its just wait and watch. At the moment they are out and about from 17:00 until 07:30. I put out a bowl of food and water just beside the house, in addition to the five bowls put out in the two feeding stations.10th December 2021 at 8:36 am #35520
It’s a good news update so far. I built three more boxes (from untreated recycled pallets). One is actually a two cell box with separate entrances but under the same roof. Even though they were placed some way from the original box they found them the first night and spent about a week packing them out with nesting materials we left nearby each day. All four hoglets and the adult (mother?) are still seen every day. What is slightly amusing they don’t seem to be fussy which box they retire to. If it’s occupied they move onto another although one pair seem happy sharing.
Even though it’s mid-December, on mild days they do sometimes pop out for a feed during the day so they have grown massively.13th December 2021 at 9:47 pm #35532
Glad to hear the hogs are making use of the accomodation you provided.
It’s a bit worrying, though that they are coming out durng the day. It suggests something is not right. It may just be that they are hungry or thirsty. Is there usually food left or do they eat it all? But at this time of year there is no need for hogs to be out during the day (the nights are so long). If it continues, I would take advice from your nearest hog carer/rehbilitator.
Good luck with them all.
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