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- This topic has 7 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 9 months ago by Mjd7658.
7th August 2021 at 9:00 pm #32908
For the last few nights we have had two hedgehogs In Our garden and last night my camera caught them being very intimate, isn’t it a bit late in the year to be having a litter ?8th August 2021 at 10:23 pm #32920
Yes and no. Females often have a second litter in August/September. Unfortunately these late babies often don’t survive the winter, as they don’t have time to get big and strong and put enough weight on to survive hibernation.
I also saw mating behaviour a week or so ago, I’m hoping the female sets up her nest in my garden or brings the babies to visit when they get bigger, so I can keep an eye on them and hopefully increase their chances of surviving winter.9th August 2021 at 2:17 pm #32942
Yes, Kitty878 is right. It isn’t too late to have a litter. Basically if there are males around and any females around are receptive to mating, they will mate.
It may be that a female had her first litter early, her first pregnancy failed, or the young died for some reason.
Normally the males go to hibernate earlier than the females and return earlier. Which naturally would have regulated how soon litters could be produced. These days, when so many hoglets are taken in for over-wintering, it’s possible that both males and femals are being released at the same time, i.e. earlier than females would naturally have been around. I wonder if this could be contributing to litters being produced earlier in the year than they otherwise might have been. If so, ironically, that could contribute to a second, ‘late’ litter, the young from which might need to be over-wintered by carers leading to a cycle of earlier and later litters.
Climate change could be contributing as well. But there are sometimes quite young hoglets around even in December. Gestation is about 4.5 weeks and after about 5 – 6 weeks the hoglets go it alone. Hoglets conceived now could be out and about with mother hog in a couple of months time. Whilst there may not be quite as much wild food around by then, there may still be enough, depending partly on the weather conditions, but the hogs/hoglets might welcome some supplementary food.12th August 2021 at 6:06 pm #32998
We had a pair of hedgehogs in the middle of the road on our very quiet close two nights ago and they certainly weren’t interested in eating much that night.
Last night we had another two outside our front door these were really grunting and making so much noise we had to go and see what all the fuss was we didn’t disturb them just watched from afar. So it is certainly a second mating as at the beginning of June they were nesting in our back garden and we had at least 2 hoglets.13th August 2021 at 2:49 am #33007
Aww that’s nice to hear you also had a nest! We had a mum nesting with three hoglets but sadly one of them died. But the babies were so cute and funny when they were roaming all over the garden and scaring the cats. And climbing on my plants. They were so light they just climbed on top of the foliage. Do you think the hedgehogs in your area will use the nest again? Unfortunately the nest in my back garden was destroyed by the terrible weather. I did build a hedgehog house for them so fingers crossed.14th August 2021 at 2:18 pm #33033
Hi KItty 878
Don’t worry that the old nest was destroyed by the weather. Mother hog would probably have made a new one (although maybe not in your garden). It is good hog practice to build a new one, to minimise any problems with external parasites, such as ticks or fleas.
Fingers crossed for a tenant in the hog house. Don’t forget to leave plenty of medium sized leaves, grasses etc. nearby. A handful of nesting material might encourage them to consider the house, but most hogs like to do their own interior decorations – and are much better at nest building than we are!15th August 2021 at 10:44 pm #33060
Thanks Nic. I assumed she would reuse the same nest as she’d put so much time and effort into building it, but of course now you’ve said it makes much more sense to start over, particularly from a hygiene point of view. The good news is I still see the mother hog regularly, and one of her hoglets. I think you said female hoglets are more likely to stay in the same general area they were born, so I’m thinking the little one is likely female. The hog house (or Fort Hedgehog as we tend to call it, it’s quite an imposing structure) has had at least one overnight guest, so hopefully they find it acceptable- although as you say they do like to grab their own bedding, as well as a snack from the feeding station.
Do you know if they also like to hibernate in the area they were born? Planning on building more houses but unsure how many will be needed. Seem to be down to three regular visitors at the mo but as one is the mother hog she could well have a second litter in tow in a few weeks. Although I never did see her taking the babies out like I’ve heard they’re meant to… I think one of them tried to follow her out of the garden at one point but she firmly escorted it back to the nest before making a swift getaway.24th August 2021 at 10:03 am #33304
Thanks for all the information very interesting.
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