Is a house mounted on hardstanding OK?
7th October 2019 at 11:02 pm #18665
I’m fairly new to all this, but am blessed with a well-attended feeding station by at least 3 different ‘little buddies’. I’ve put the feeding station outside my back door which leads on to about an acre of grass and clumps of trees. It’s just a simple plastic storage box with a 5″ hole cut in the corner, and it stands on the path.
I had a house delivered today and was wondering if it would be OK to put it nearby the feeding station. The alternative would be to move both into my (enclosed) front garden which has a wide-spaced fence around it and easy access for the ‘little buddies’. There is also a fairly wide path around one side of the garden (nearest the house), and a small tree. The path is well sheltered and it would obviously be easier to replenish the feeding station if it was on the path. Would it be OK to put the house on the path, too, and near to the feeding station?8th October 2019 at 2:13 pm #18686
Great to hear you have hogs visiting there.
Not sure whether you mean the hog house doesn’t have a base, in which case I might put it on a hard standing, unless it’s a hogilo type, which I would probably put on the ground so that it could be properly pegged down, to avoid predator attacks. If it is wooden and has a base, that would be o.k. on hardstanding too.
But I wouldn’t put a nesting box too close to a feed box – might attract unwanted visitors to the nesting box. Nesting boxes are best located in a quiet part of the garden, possibly with bushes, etc. around. So I would be inclined to leave the feed box where it is (and where the hogs know it is) and it’s easy to replenish, and put the nesting box elsewhere. If you wanted to put it on hard standing, you could use paving slabs to keep it off the ground if necessary.
(Having said that – about the proximity of nesting and feed boxes – sometimes a hog will decide to build a nest in a feed box and so could end up nesting close to a feeding area.)
Don’t be too worried if a hog doesn’t immediately move in. They sometimes need to get used to houses being there before they use them. I would put a handful of appropriate nesting material – i.e. dried leaves, long grasses, etc. – into the box to give them the idea, but leave plenty of other suitable nest material fairly nearby – hogs usually like to make their own nests and are pretty good at it!
Good luck. Hope you get a tenant soon.8th October 2019 at 5:59 pm #18692
Hi Nic. Thanks for the reply. The house is solid wood with a base and a (hinged) felt roof. I’ve just added a magnetic catch to the roof so that it requires a little effort to raise it (cursed with night-roaming cats around here!). The entrance to the house is baffled so only a hog can get in. There was some straw supplied with the house and today I gathered a bunch of early fallen leaves and twigs which I intend to add. I’ll take your tip and just leave them nearby and, hopefully watch Mr or Mrs Wimpey-hog (!) construct their own abode. I’m expecting delivery of a couple of wi-fi cameras in the next few days.
One thing I meant to mention is that I read somewhere there should be a ventilation hole put into one of the walls of the house? My house doesn’t have one, but it would be a simple enough task. Just don’t want to do it in case it’s not really necessary – we get really bitter winters up here (Tyneside).
On the feeding station front, I think I’ll install a second one at the other end of the front garden. I also read that sometimes a hog will ‘pop out’ during the hibernation period to forage. It’s a fair old trek around the house to get to the regular feeding station.8th October 2019 at 6:32 pm #18696
Good idea putting a catch on the roof. One of mine is hinged one side and has a wing screw on the other. The other (mainly a feed box) just gets weighed down with bricks – same problem – cats!
I do have ventilation holes in my boxes, but 4 or 5 small ones, rather than one larger. I’m assuming there is a bit of an overlap on the roof, so if you put them near the top, they should be protected from the rain. But hopefully you can put the box where it’s a bit protected from the wind. I’m not sure how essential they are – the nest built here, filled the whole box, so they were probably covered, but I would still have them.
Hogs do sometimes pop out during hibernation, but they, apparently, sometimes even make new nests to move into, so it’s a good idea to leave plenty of nest building material around during the winter as well.
Good luck with the cameras. It is interesting to see what the hogs get up to when we aren’t around.8th October 2019 at 11:54 pm #18721
Hi berniel & Nic, I’ve put holes in our hog house as it’s supposed to help stop condensation! Ours has a screw on roof, so we put air holes at the top of both sides and some sheeting over the top with bricks on. It’s under a trees low branches and the tunnel faces east, as was the suggestion, as most of the rain comes from the west. Facing north is too cold and south too warm. If you are a man who has a lot of tools, including a under floor inspection camera, make one of the holes big enough to get the camera in. I made the mistake of not doing this which has really annoyed me. Its less disturbing looking in the box with a camera than lifting the lid. You may not see much if the hog packs the box full, but you will be able to see if a rat or mice have got in there. My wooden hog house is on flags and has two strips of wood along the bottom that lifts it off the ground a little. Best wishes.9th October 2019 at 12:17 am #18722
Hi Nic and Annker
I think it’s a shame there’s not an option to add photos in this forum! My house does have an overlap to the roof at the front, so I’ll take up both suggestions and make a row of ventilation holes underneath the overhang and make one of them big enough for a camera. I’m going to mount another one on a nearby fence so I can observe traffic around it.
Interesting what you say, Annker, about facing direction of the house. I read (again can’t remember where (!)) that it should face south! Ideal for me because the fence and tree where I’m considering putting the house are at the north end of my front garden. It would mean the entrance being open to the garden, but I think I’ll build a little wall in front of it that only a hog can squeeze behind to get into the house.
The bottom of the house has two wooden strips that raise it off the ground, so should be OK vis a vis getting a soaking if (when) it rains.12th October 2019 at 11:50 pm #18860
I’m starting to rethink where to put the (hopefully) hibernation house. To date, I’ve been considering a spot in my front garden, but the feeding station I’ve put out there doesn’t seem to be getting visits, or at least very occasional (and very short) visits based on the minimal amounts of food consumed.
The feeding station out of the back of the house, on the other hand, occasionally needs to be replenished at about 11pm because my 3 regulars have all dropped in and scoffed the lot!13th October 2019 at 9:50 pm #18884
Hi, I guess it may be quieter in the back garden as there’s usually roads at the front of the house, but, that may not be the case with you. I assume the “not pointing south” may disturb the hogs on a warm sunny winters day.
I’m excited to say, one of the littler hogs, Pippa, is using the hog house I put out last year. I went out tonight to check on whoever was still using the feeding station, as I’ve not been out to look for a few weeks now. The only way I know the difference between Pippa and Heidi is, Pippa doesn’t like the light and Heidi has eyes wide open in the light. Anyway, I gave her some cat meat tonight, but she declined it, when she left I managed to see where she went. There is some overhanging green leaves I could hear rustling, then on under the Hawthorn, where the hog house is and straight into the tunnel. I’m really pleased! The hey we left near by has gone inside.
Our hog house is stood on flags, but the house has stripes of wood underneath to keep it off the floor as well. It’s taken a year to become part of the garden, but so happy it’s now in use. Best wishes.13th October 2019 at 10:00 pm #18885
PS, we draped a tarp sheet over the roof and extended it at the side to shelter some hey, which was in a plant pot on its side. Will have to wait till next year now to widen one of the air holes so I can get an inspection camera in for a peep. My neighbours cat’s killed a rat last week and I was worried it was rats in the hog house. Just happy the hog is in there.13th October 2019 at 11:48 pm #18890
If you want to put a static camera into a hog box, that is probably o.k. but I wouldn’t use a camera that you take in and out. It might not cause such a problem in relation to insulation and temperature change, but could still disturb a hog.
Once we have given the hogs a house, it is their house. Fine, if we want to help when it’s empty by cleaning it out, but leave them in peace whilst they are in there.
You wouldn’t necessarily see if there were rats or mice in there anyway. If you are really concerned about that, the best thing to do is to use a footprint tunnel and not disturb the box – in any way.
Hog houses are best placed in sheltered places where they won’t be disturbed.13th October 2019 at 11:52 pm #18891
You can put photos on the Forum, berniel, if they are somewhere else on the internet. You can just put the link on here. Otherwise you can put photos on via the Hedgehog Street Home Page.14th October 2019 at 12:35 am #18894
Hi Nic, I have no intention of disturbing Pippa at all. I had intended to make an air hole a small amount bigger to get an inspection camera in, in future to check if vermin were using the house. I haven’t done this because it was unclear to me just what was in there. So decided this job would have to wait till after hibernation and they were off on their travels. If its packed with leaves, hey… you wouldn’t be able to see anything anyway. It was purely to see if vermin had taken over the box that I wished to see, as I’ve said, a dead rat was found and I did have a complaining neighbour. Now I’ve seen Pippa go in there, she is welcome to have it and apart from leaving some more hey for her I will be leaving her completely alone at the bottom of the garden, in the hope she will survive this coming winter. Thank you for your support and information, best wishes.15th October 2019 at 12:27 am #18912
I still haven’t worked out how to upload video clips! ( yes I’m a dinosaur)
What does format JPEG or png mean?
Best Wishes15th October 2019 at 1:16 pm #18916
Sorry I don’t know what JPEG and png mean either! Although I think JPEG might be a form of images.
You can only load video onto the Forum if it is already elsewhere on the internet – you can just put the link on here. But if you want to put a video on Hedgehog Street You Tube, this link will hopefully tell you how.16th October 2019 at 12:12 am #18931
Some really useful info here. I had already considered just a static and permanent camera in the house and another one that can view traffic around the outside as well as a nearby feeding station.
The problem with using the back ‘garden’ is that it is a communal grassed area of about an acre with clumps of trees that is surrounded by a pathway. I have a feeding station just outside my back door on the pathway and this is the one that is visited most frequently. The other one (outside the front porch) is used, but not so frequently. I’m wondering if there are maybe two distinct communities: one that patrols the front gardens and one that prefers to roam the field.
I’m still undecided about the location for the house – and I now have a delay to contend with, anyway, as I can’t get the cameras that arrived yesterday to work! I’ve spent about 20 hours on both of my computers trying to install the cameras on my WiFi, but I’ve had to give up. The problem these days is that everything seems to be designed for use with a smart phone, so you have to almost have a degree in computer sciences to be able to emulate an android on a laptop.
I’m busy searching eBay now to find cameras that will work directly from my laptop, but that means another waiting period for them to arrive.
About jpeg and png. These are image formats (the most common ones used for computer imaging). jpeg is the one most commonly used for displaying images on screen and png (as I understand it) is used if you want to print an image from your computer.
Thanks for the tip about uploading images, Nic. I’ll give it a try soon.
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