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Minimum size golf hedgehog house.

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Minimum size golf hedgehog house.

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    What is the minimum size for a hedgehog house? I bought one which is a semi detached design, two separate doorways with a corridor 14cm by 29cm and the sleeping chamber the same size. There is a dividing wall the the other size is the mirror of the first. A hedgehog was in one size scraping; I removed it in case it was stuck, did I do right. Should I convert it into one large house and can it have two entrances or only one?



    I wouldn’t worry about the scraping, unless the hedgehog seems to be truly stuck or distressed. Their prickles flatten down a lot but it can be quite loud when they go through gaps. But 14 cm should be more than big enough for a corridor. Is the sleeping chamber 29×29 cm? The room should be bigger than the tunnel, but it’s not clear from your description.


    The house is 60cm length and 30cm width and the hard board it’s made from is 8mm thick. Taking account of the thickness of the external and internal walls there are for chambers all 28.4cm by 13.5 cm; the two chambers at either end are corridors with an entrance of around 12-13cm with same size door into the two separate inner living chambers. The hedgehog didn’t seem to have enough room to turn around. Is it best to have just the one entrance corridor and convert the three other chambers into one large one around 38cm by 27cm (add more ply board to thicken the sleeping chamber walls and floor for insulation)?


    I wouldn’t worry so much about insulation, as they can build their own nests, but it does sound like the sleeping room is a bit on the small size. Might be suitable for a juvenile, barely. I would remove the walls as you said. I read somewhere the nest boxes should be around 30cm by 40cm, so if you turn it into one large chamber with an entrance tunnel that should be close enough. Most of mine are closer to 30cm by 30, though, and they still get used.

    Is the hog house off the ground at all? Flooding can be a major problem with all the rain we’ve had.


    If you’re feeling crafty you could just divide the house into two chambers by removing the walls that make the tunnels, then build tunnels on to the outside of the house using bricks or similar. Might not be as neat but that way you could potentially accommodate two instead of one.


    I think I will just remove two of the inner walls and block the extra entrance to make a very large sleeping chamber. I have glued three pieces of wood that are around one and a half inches thickness as legs to raise it from ground level.

    Thanks for all your help 😉

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    Hi CutePinCushion

    It would be fine to rest the hog house on bricks to raise it off the ground. Hogs can quite easily climb up a brick. Easier than adding wood, which could also rot if it gets wet.

    Those hog houses with two entrances may have been originally designed for feeding boxes. It’s a good idea have two exits in case two hogs end up in there at the same time – so one can’t trap the other in. Although, I wasn’t completely sure, but it sounded as each entrance only went into one chamber, so maybe not.

    But re. the size, I agree a big size might be better, but hogs will also make nests in smaller sizes as well. I have one here – a large male who decided to make his nest in a feeding box with quite a small end chamber, when he had the choice of two other hog houses nearby, which I might have thought more suitable. But it was his choice, so who am I to argue with that!

    But what you need to do if you want a hog to hibernate there is make sure there is loads of material nearby, i.e. medium sized leaves and long grasses. If you think of how much you think might fill the hog house loosely, multiply that by about 10 – but basically lots. In a well built nest the leaves are layered together a bit like tiles, that also creates a waterproof nest. (so they use far more leaves that way) They have to be good enough to be as waterproof and well insulated outside as well. i.e. in a hedge which would be a hogs natural nesting place. The hog may want to move to another nest mid-hibernation, so loads of material is best left available all winter.

    Good luck. Hope you get a tenant! Don’t forget to leave water available for the hogs all day everyday, including during winter, just in case.

    p.s. re. the scratching noises – hogs will often make a fair bit of noise, i.e. moving bedding around and scraping against the floor with their little claws. They will dig a bit in nests on the ground, so it may even have been trying to see how solid the floor was. But they are incredibly agile and can turn in surprisingly small spaces.


    It may well have originally designed as a feeding station as I have seen them with two entrances, but this one in divided into two houses which are both too small. Will hogs choose a house with two entrances, I have read elsewhere that they only like one, but I would have thought it best with a second door i case of emergency.

    I will make sure I don’t move the leaves from the garden and May collect extra from elsewhere fir bedding, plus I may buy some bags of straw.. I will leave water out every night while they hibernate and possibly food but don’t want to waste it if they don’t come out to eat.


    I have also read that they prefer having just one entrance to their nest boxes (unlike rats, foxes, badgers and most other creatures, who like having multiple exits to their burrows). I think Nic was referring to feeding boxes having two entrances? Hogs will often encounter each other at feeding boxes so there’s more possibility of conflict, so a second way out isn’t a bad idea.

    Nic, I know what you mean about hogs and their choices- I have a very large adult in my garden who regularly puts away ridiculous amounts of food, who seems to have taken up residence in the smallest hog house I have- it’s about 30cm across but it’s a cylinder laid on its side, so has less space than if it had corners. Not that the hog seems to care. As long as they feel secure, that’s the important thing.

    In other news, I am pleased to report that this summer’s hoglets have finally put some winter weight on and seem to be almost visibly growing. I’d been worried about them before as they’d stayed pretty small, but at last they seem to be bulking out a bit.

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    Yes, for nests it’s best to only have one entrance, although if there were two, the hog may well block the second – that is, if it was good at making nests! But they can block one entrance with their spines so it’s safer really for nesting to only have one entrance. When they make hibernacula (if it is well made), there is a central round hog sized chamber for them to curl up in the middle. The entrance ‘tunnel’ is pretty much closed behind them, probably to minimise draughts.

    But, for feeding of course that could be inconvenient if a second hog got trapped in a feeding box, with the other hog blocking one exit, so a second exit could be useful.

    Yes, hogs do like to keep us guessing! Glad to hear the hoglets are putting on weight. Hoglets are often last to hibernate, so they have a bit of time yet if they choose to stay a bit longer and put on more weight. Some hoglets, of course, choose not to hibernate at all.


    Have to say people on here are lovely and really helpful, give yourselves a good pat on the back 😉.

    Will hedgehogs choose a house that is out in the open? Our back garden tends to flood at the bottom of the garden in heavy rain; unfortunately that would have been the most suitable site for the house(s). As such I have placed it on the patio, below my bedroom window. I did have one of the hogs in it thd other night so they have curiosity about it. We have three that come do want to get two more, would it be ok to have all three on the patio without cover near each other (they will all be treated externally with water based treatment. Thank you all again for your comments.


    I’m not sure… Hedgehogs seem to like going around the perimeter of the garden, so if it’s in the middle of things it might take longer for them to find it. Mine are clustered at the bottom of the garden, perhaps eighteen inches from the wall of the shed, because I didn’t want the rain from the shed roof coming down directly on the houses! The hogs often wander between the shed and the houses, but they also go between the houses and come round the front to access them.

    But yes, if you have the space and the resources, I’m sure more houses would be appreciated. If you have seen three hogs you might well have a few more, as they can look very similar and can often be mistaken for each other. Additionally, they can move into a new nest during hibernation, so it’s good to have some spare houses if you can manage them.

    How bad is the flooding? If it’s just a bit soggy and not actually prone to disappearing under inches of water, it might still be ok to put the houses there, just raised up on bricks or whatever.


    It only floods with torrential or persistent rain and can be a couple of inches deep. There are conifers there which would provide good shelter but it would have the houses north facing which I have read they prefer the entrance to be south facing.

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    Hi CutePInCushion

    It should be ok on your patio. Ideally it’s good if there is a bit of cover fairly nearby. But, for instance I keep my feed boxes on my patio and the hog has chosen to use one of them to nest in – and similar has happened before. They need lots of material nearby but will collect it from a nearby border. They do tend to use a bit of green material as well, which they ‘pick’ for themselves.

    Don’t worry too much if you don’t have suitable space for more hog houses, the hogs visit several gardens – they can travel up to 2 miles in a night, so there may be other suitable nesting places in the other gardens they visit.

    By the way, Kitty878 – it’s only some hogs who like sticking to the outside of the garden. It’s always made me laugh that most of the hogs here mostly use the path! Always have – and that includes ones who didn’t like going into boxes, so real wild hogs.


    Thanks, that’s good to know. I do have a couple that will go straight across the lawn etc but most of the time they like skirting around the edges!

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