I’ve missed them!
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- This topic has 16 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 3 years ago by tin tin.
29th March 2020 at 2:35 pm #21688
Well hi everyone, hoping you and your hogs are all well. It’s been a long wet winter here in Lancashire. Noting was going into the feeding station. On a cold day I replaced food & water. A week or two later, food gone, I’d missed them..! I set too and cleaned feeding station, replenishing food and water again, then, like a fool, stood there shouting, Kitty, Minky, Pippa, Heidi, Benny. Went in the house and a half hour later my husband shouted “ones gone in” and there was Heidi! She has only missed one night since. I haven’t been out to see her yet, but sadly I’ve missed the others, with no idea if they’ve survived. Unfortunately, this seems to be the “year of the dog” with neighbours at the back. One Greyhound got loose and ran through my neighbours and my garden, chasing my neighbours cats, who were running for their lives. Another mini dog has now appeared, same again, running through our gardens, urinating, chasing people and running into the road. As no one is working, it’s hard to get this sorted, but I am trying29th March 2020 at 2:41 pm #21689
Sorry, pressed the button! So to finish, Best wishes to you all and let’s hope for a good season for the hogs, with many hoglets. If you are strictly quarantined stay strong.29th March 2020 at 6:55 pm #21703
Great news Heidi is back.
I have 3 big boys visiting at the moment.
We also have dogs around us but we can only do our best. Sadly hogs have problems wherever they are. We have started to reduce the amount of food we are leaving. They should be able to get good amounts of natural food now and we have been rewarded with some great looking poo! I was being quite liberal when they first came out so as to make sure they put on weight but now want them to be more natural and wander and forage. Always got water out and if conditions change will leave more food but just great having them back. A little ray of light in these strange time.
Take care29th March 2020 at 7:27 pm #21707
Glad to hear there is some hog activity there again. So lovely to have them back to cheer us all up.
Stay safe and happy hog watching.1st April 2020 at 8:44 pm #21776
Hi simbo65 and Nic, lovely to hear from you again. I may have been expecting too much, could it really be that they have still been asleep? We had a few mild sunny days and it’s gone back to being cold. I’ve noticed more poo in the box, so decided to look back on cctv, and there he is, our Big Benny! I saw a tiny one running around last March, but it was a lot warmer last year. People were out in summer clothes then. I’m constantly turning our heating up and down its so unsettled. Anyway, we are a lot behind all of you in the south of the country. I hope you all stay safe and your hogs do too. Yes, I’ve missed seeing them and now hope they have all managed to survive. Last year was the year of the cat and this the dog, but the cats are still here and growing in numbers.
Best wishes.1st April 2020 at 8:54 pm #21778
It’s still quite early yet, especially for the females. The adult females are usually back a bit later than the males. So don’t worry too much if any of them are still missing.
The cats here all seem to have decided not to try to compete with the hogs and are leaving the food to them. I probably shouldn’t have said that – they will probably be back en masse tonight, now!1st April 2020 at 9:28 pm #21779
They will all be back soon. If I remember rightly the only female last year came out of hibernation on April 14.
She was the only female we caught on camera and I am sure she is sadly no longer with us. I hope my 3 male visitors find some lovely gals somewhere. Would love to see hoglets (that survive) this year.
If not I will just watch the box set of Alan’s hedgehogs!
Keep well in these sad times4th April 2020 at 9:20 am #21821
It’s so wonderful to see them back!
I’m interested, how can you tell if a hog is male or female? We have no idea. We are new to the world of hedgehogs (only realising we had them last September). This is our first year that we will be able to appreciate them from first emergence after hibernation. It’s so exciting and joyful. The most wonderful thing to keep our spirits up in these very sad and strange times!
Does anyone have any advice on the best wet cat food to use? The food I’ve put out is obviously not good enough!!!
Thank you. Stay safe everyone!4th April 2020 at 5:44 pm #21827
Hi tin tin
You can’t reliably tell male from female by size. Some females are bigger than some males.
Males have a ‘blob’ roughly mid abdomen, which can sometimes look a bit like a fifth appendage. They sometimes conveniently scratch in front of cameras. So if one scratches and there’s a ‘blob’ there roughly mid abdomen it’s a male. If one is particularly furry underneath you can’t always see for certain. You can also sometimes see underneath them on video, especially if they get up on their legs a bit.
You might get the opportunity to tell from their behaviour. The males circle the females during ‘courtship’ whilst the female is in 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!
You might have seen some of this behaviour on Alanfrew’s videos. Some of the females there are youngsters and so not behaving in the way a more mature female would.
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.
The males tend to return from hibernation earlier than the females, so that you might find that all those around so far are males.
Re. the food. You will probably find the hogs will eat the food if they’re hungry. I tend to use kitten biscuits and hog food. But you could end up with as many answers as there are different cat foods! Don’t forget to leave water available all day every day. Very important.
Good luck and happy hog watching.4th April 2020 at 10:46 pm #21831
Hi Tin Tin.
Re the cat food. I use dry hedgehog food from Ark that always seems popular. I found wet food attracted more cats and foxes . Also as the weather gets warmer I prefer dry food.
Enjoy the hedgehogs. They are absolutely wonderful. Keep us posted.5th April 2020 at 3:12 pm #21843
Hi all, thank you so much. I wouldn’t have thought they would be so late coming out of hibernation. The hog I thought was big Benny isn’t him. I saw it through the window and the marks on it (it had two lines of cut prickles) says its Tommy. He is looking better than last year, but since he emerged Heidi has disappeared. Re difference between male and female, I have found that males leave more poo in the feeding station than females. They generally like to mess all over and sometimes tip dishes over. Tommy has left an awful mess each night. Glad I saw him through the window, I remembered Big Benny always walked around the feeding station looking in through the plastic box to see if anything was in there, before he ventured in. I said last year, I put cardboard down in the box, it lasts longer than newspaper! Provided there’s not a pile of wet poo in there it’s easy to remove with kitchen towel. It’s also a bit better to stand on for the hogs and if you do get a frost it seems to keep the food and water from freezing. Hope you are all well, I’ve been knocked flat by antibiotics for tonsillitis. Best wishes.19th April 2020 at 11:08 am #22168
Hi Nic, Simbo and Annker,
Thanks for all the information!
Over the past few nights I’ve just been putting out dry food, which they’ve wolfed down! I have three bowls of water around the garden and we’ve seen them all being drunk from, which is so cute to watch. Unfortunately they haven’t obliged us with a nice view of their abdomens, so we’re still quite clueless as to their sex!
Also, we’ve only ever see one at a time, so unable to observe behaviours in presence of another hog as yet.
The hedgehog house is definitely being used, as we’ve seen hogs eating and drinking then scampering off to the house. Very pleasing to see!
As far as hog poo is concerned we have never had poo inside the feeding stations. They love leave lots of ‘presents’ for us mainly in two areas of the garden, on gravel on the edges in two corners. Interestingly, they manage to poor up walls! Very acrobatic!
Thanks to all for your help. Annker I do hope that you are fully recovered from your tonsillitis.
Take good care everyone, stay safe, and happy hog watching!!!29th April 2020 at 10:21 am #22471
Hi everyone, thanks, I’ve recovered from my tonsillitis and we are still here, thanks to a lot of very brave volunteers who have shopped for us. Reading tin tin about the hog poo, I can’t get over this, what is going on? I’ve heard they can and will poo on the lense of a trail cam, (clever little things) but this is ridiculous. Poo, all over the place. I’ve cleaned it all up (or as much as I can) for the sake of my wonderful shoppers and two days later, it’s even worse! It’s on the gravel, everywhere, all over the back path, around and inside the feeding station, all over the side path, on the gravel around the lawn, the paths at the front, the back and front door mats, just everywhere. I’ve never seen this before. I also haven’t noticed the smell of wee, just this poo all over. My security light near feeding station has gone wonky (does anyone have anything good to say about led’s) so not catching what’s happening there. I’m about to put out my trail cam again as my shoppers have brought me some batteries. I had it out a few weeks ago, exactly the way they go coming out of the feeding station. Over 2,000 pics on it, just 1 of a hogs backside. So, need to think where it will go this time!
Just heard on radio that hedgehogs are living it up at the moment, less people, less traffic, probably more babies this year. If this is all what it’s about, I’ll suffer the poo. It just shows what we all mess up in this world. It’s been able to breath. Best wishes to you all. Stay safe and enjoy this breathing space we are giving back to the earth.29th April 2020 at 12:03 pm #22481
Hi Annker and tintin
Are you sure that all the poo is hog poo? Is there any chance that cats or a dog could be sneaking in as well. Spraying up the wall sounds more cat like. I keep finding dog poo on a part of my garden which is easily accessible to outside – not been a problem in that area before. It seems as well as all the lovely things people are doing for each other, a minority are being anti-social.
I think time will tell if these changes in behaviour of humans will benefit or be bad for the hogs. There are pros and cons. i.e. if the restrictions are lifted and more traffic is around, just when any hoglets are beginning to go out and about that could undo any good that was done previously.30th April 2020 at 1:58 pm #22541
Hi Nic, think it was tin tin who said the poo was up a wall and previously, someone said they managed to poo on the camera lense. We were having trouble with a couple of dogs, but our lovely dog warden has sorted after someone put one dog on face book, sent pic to our PC, who also contacted dog warden. It’s definitely hog poo. I’ve seen plenty of it before, but never this much. My neighbour has 6 cats, but it’s not them either, in fact, cat poo and dog poo stink. This doesn’t, it’s black, the same as gets dropped in the feeding station and with the dry weather we’ve had its set rock hard outside, despite all the water dishes we have around for drinking. It’s stays wetter in the feeding station. It all looks OK, to me anyway. I haven’t detected the wee smell yet. We have 2 ground bird baths, 3 assorted cat and dog bowls and a tray for a paddling in, all of which are being used. I’m so grateful we’ve had some rain as I’ve got over 10 ltrs of rain water I’ve stained. I’m just off out to get another lot before the heavens open again. They must be having a rave up every night😉 oh, too late, its hale stoning. Best wishes.
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