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Loss of Appetite

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Loss of Appetite

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    This year I’ve seen three hogs in the garden together a couple of times, but mostly now it’s two, and on some nights they’ve been going through the courting ritual. I always leave out cat food and cat biscuits, and they usually polish off the lot. However, for the past few nights, the food has been untouched apart, sometimes, from the odd mouthful. I know at least one hog is visiting as I see him/her every night, and last night he/she was eating the bird food.
    Wondering if anyone can shed any light on this sudden change of diet?

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    Hi Dizzydog

    I sometimes think they just like to keep us guessing! But it may be that they are finding more ‘wild’ food. Also if they have been ‘courting’ they may just not have had time to eat the cat food and one may have just eaten the bird food because it was nearer (?). I would try to make sure they don’t get too much bird food, though, as it isn’t that good for them nutritionally.

    I find, sometimes the males seem to go walkabout and stop visiting every night. Then I may have visits from other male hogs who only visit occasionally. They have a bigger range than the females, so may be concentrating on other parts of their normal range. So it could be different hogs having different preferences. Maybe you have had more hogs visiting than you realise!

    Having said that, the hoglet here who was eating kitten biscuits most of the winter, changed quite happily to hog food and chose it in preference to the kitten biscuits.


    Hi Nic. Yes, I was wondering whether I’m getting a variety of hedgehogs visiting, as different foods seem to be eaten on different nights, plus the diners arrive at varying times. Guess I’ll never know for sure as I’ve never marked any of the hogs, and after reading the posts about excessive marking, am not about to start.

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    Hi Dizydog

    I’m glad to hear you aren’t planning on marking any hogs. It is possible to tell them apart by their markings. Some easier than others and easiest if you actually see them as opposed to on video. Having said that, it is a bit of a mixed blessing and leaves you open to more heartache, because you know who is missing. I keep saying to myself that I should give up trying to recognise them, but don’t seem to be able to help it! I used to do drawings of each one, using the template which is my profile pic, and making notes. That way I have been able to recognise them year after year when they return from hibernation.

    Arriving at different times isn’t always an indication of different hogs. I find that some tend to only visit once or maybe twice a night, but others return multiple times. Different foods, could be different hogs. I have found the hogs here tend to stick to what they like – hog food, and if I put kitten biscuits out they just ignore them. So I suppose if you have always offered a selection, it’s possible different hogs may have developed a taste for different things.

    The females here, who have always behaved fairly regularly have been behaving a bit randomly this year. So with a hog, you can’t always rely on them having habits and sticking to them!

    Good luck with the hogs. Hopefully one of them will produce some hoglets. I have been seeing some suspiciously small hog poos recently, but no sign of any hoglets. Maybe they are born fully able to avoid being caught on camera!


    Nic, I know just what you mean about the pros and cons of being able to recognize different hogs. Even though I can’t tell my visitors apart, I’m always uneasy when they don’t turn up. The other night I managed to spot one leaving the garden and wanted to see which direction he headed off in. I live near a road junction – thankfully not a main road, and miraculously traffic-free that night, because he made straight for the middle of the road and looked like he meant to stay there! My heart was in my mouth, and I was about to go and move him on (although in my pyjamas!), when he ambled off. My other half says we can’t control what happens to wild animals, but you can’t help feeling protective of them, and a bit proprietorial.
    As for hoglets, have never seen any young ones, and my hog house appears uninhabited at present. There’s been a lot of goings-on in the garden romantically speaking though, so am at least hoping to see some babies dropping in.

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    Hi Dizzydog

    I had a hog who used to cross the road. I don’t know whether she still does, but it is a worry. I used to look out for her to see where she came from, but after a bit I stopped. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing her being run over. I just keep hoping that she will move to this side of the road. Having said that, your other half is right, of course, but like you say, it is difficult not to feel protective of them.

    I also saw a lucky one once, who was in the middle of the road with a car approaching – luckily the car stopped. Phew, that was a relief.

    Things have gone a bit quieter here. I hope it is because the females are having hoglets. But like, you there was a bit of courtship going on a couple of nights ago, but he seemed to give up rather quickly. Luckily a third female has turned up. For a long time there was only one 5 year old female, which was a bit worrying. She is missing at the moment, so I’m hopeful for hoglets from her.

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