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Messy smelly hedgehogs

Home Forums Champions’ chat Messy smelly hedgehogs

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    I have a hedgehog feeding station (re-purposed hedgehog house) and I’ve had one regular visitor throughout the winter – probably just a bit too small to hibernate. It’s a nice tidy considerate hedgehog who doesn’t mess the feeding station. I didn’t have to change the newspaper flooring every day, and although it smelled terrible whenever I took the lid off, the inside of the feeding station looked nice.

    Now the bigger hogs are back (lots of fighting every night) and they’re the messiest feeders I’ve ever seen. They wander in, pee and poop everywhere (including in the food bowl), and it’s just nasty opening it up in the morning. It’s not confined to the feeding station – they’ve left “evidence” across the whole garden – which is fine, but how can they poop so much??

    I’ve now set up a second feeding station, as my camera showed one hog was hogging the first – blocking access to the food and seeing off the others. That may explain the messiness – maybe they’re marking their territory. So now, every morning, I’m faced with two dirty disgusting feeding stations.

    I know this is what they do, and I’d rather have hedgehogs with filthy habits than none at all, but does anyone have any tips on what flooring to use or any other cleaning tips? If newspaper is the best option I’ll carry on with that, but it’s just so nasty picking up damp smelly shitty paper with bits of food stuck to the poop.

    Also, should the opportunity come to go away for a few days (which won’t be for several months) I would find it hard to ask someone else to step in, given how disgusting it is.

    If I scatter food onto the lawn or leave it outside in bowls the neighbourhood cats are there in a flash.

    On the plus side, the emerging hogs seem big and fat and healthy, and I’m thankful for their normality – even if it’s normal for them to be unhygienic.


    Well your post certainly gave me a laugh.

    Hogs have a fast gut transition time and as a result they poo a lot!
    They don’t have a territory, but they will fight for food and girls
    I can’t help you with the mess I’m afraid – I feed mine on the lawn so the mess isn’t so bad, and move it around
    A jet washer is very handy…


    I also just made my husband’s day by telling him all about my ungrateful hogs, so I’m glad they’re amusing everyone.

    He also suggested a jet washer so, yes, I shall try not lining the houses with paper and will try to jet wash them every day (at the risk of getting shit-water all over myself).

    Bloody things. I do my best to help them and they give me nothing but grief …

    I’m also trying to encourage amphibians, having recently built a pond, and I expect nothing but trouble from them too.


    You have to look at each piece of poo as a gesture of gratitude.


    I can see me needing therapy for this ๐Ÿ™‚

    Avatar photo

    Hi Antique

    I’m afraid it’s the price you have to pay for it being a popular place! Only one hog may not mess in the feeding station at all – as you found out over winter. I found the same here. The ones who have overwintered here (and for that time were only hogs) never messed in the feeding station.

    I don’t think it’s territory marking, but it may be contributed to by ‘nervousness’ of other hogs being around.

    But yes, I think your best bet is to have a washable surface so that if possible you can partially sweep/scrape it up and if you’re lucky enough to have a jet washer, finish the clean up with that.


    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s not hard for me to swoosh them out every day, having just installed a proper outdoor tap (our water pressure is amazing).

    And if I ever go away ever again, the hedgehogs will just have to do without, because I’m not going to ask anyone else to do this for me. The hogs will have no-one to blame but themselves ๐Ÿ™‚

    In future, I’ll go for feeding stations without a floor. Or I suppose I could take the floor off these ….

    A neighbour is going to teach me how to make hedgehog houses and bird boxes, once it’s safe to mingle. I don’t have a clue; we had to do dress-making at school which was a pretty useless skill (for me). By then I should have a good idea of what I want to make,. The current repurposed hedgehog houses make good feeding stations because only the most bendy neighbourhood cats can get in, but I’ll work on a design that might be easier to clean and will still be cat-proof. Or just resort to an upside down plastic container, maybe.

    You can tell I’m at a bit of a loose end today, discussing the messy habits of hedgehogs…


    I use upside down storage boxes with a tunnel entrance for both my feeding stations and place a weight on top to stop cats/foxes moving them around. I have a couple of paving slabs that I put them on and just sweep the poos and old food off when they get dirty, I use a dedicated ‘hedgehog dustpan/brush’ which I only use for this purpose as they can obviously be a bit unhygienic


    That sounds sensible.

    I have a friend who’s using the exact same hedgehog house as a feeding station, as I do, and she’s reporting the same problem. I think it’s time for a change.

    I have no idea what to do with the 6 hedgehog houses that they never use! One of them is now positioned on a tree house platform, to see if any kind of exotic bird (owl, maybe?) decides to nest in it.

    Maye one day I’ll get hedgehogs that want to hibernate in them rather than just feed in them….

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