Mutant Rampaging Hedgehogs!
15th May 2017 at 4:58 pm #6373
The ‘boss’ hog sounds almost as bad as Simba and he’s nowhere near the biggest hog either.
Last night’s trail cam footage made rather depressing viewing this morning, with one female hog going down twice on her back legs and a male with eye problems, not to mention others with the sneezes, although nowhere near as bad as little Tippy Toe. I suppose it was only a matter of time before one of the males showed up with an injury after all the fighting that’s been going on. Simba and Bruno are looking particularly bedraggled at the moment! The back leg problem is particularly worrying; I’ve looked back through the video footage and the other hedgehog with the problem is a male, so that’s put paid to my pregnancy theory. I always worry about all the chemicals that are available to gardeners, especially the ones that promote the ‘perfect’ lawn. Heaven only knows what they may be doing to a hedgehog’s nervous system!
On a brighter note, the camera also captured some footage of a female self anointing. It followed a bit of a scuffle with another female inside the feeding station, so not quite sure what that was all about. Judging by the contortions, I don’t think there was anything wrong with that one’s back legs!15th May 2017 at 6:53 pm #6374
Oh dear, they do sound as if they are in the wars a bit. There is a boy who is an occasional visitor here, quite small, but not a youngster, who I thought had a bit of a limp. Not always easy to tell, as there are lots of dips and cracks on my patio, but I caught him on film going across the lawn. It didn’t look too bad – he could move pretty speedily and then when I saw him the other night beating up one of last year’s hoglets – who is already bigger than him, I thought well he can’t be too bad.
I agree with you about the lawn thing. I just think some people just don’t seem to realise that if they buy grass seed in these boxes, they often have all sorts of nasty chemicals in as well.
Must have been interesting to see the self anointing, but even that is slightly worrying – they don’t seem to know why they do it, and is it due to some chemical as well? So many problems for the poor little things to deal with.
Did you see the thing on Supervet where there were 4 hedgehogs with broken back legs, which they fixed and 3 of which were successfully released?16th May 2017 at 8:19 am #6381
Yes, I did see the Supervet, I have to admit that I am a bit of a fan. It’s nice to know that he’s a bit of a fan of our hedgehogs too.
Only males showed up on camera last night, not one female and the food in the feeding station hadn’t been touched. It had been raining all day so I suppose that there were lots of other goodies on the menu. It is still possible that the female with the back leg problem was about to give birth, she did look a bit uncomfortable and it is that time of year…time will tell.17th May 2017 at 9:03 am #6397
I always try to watch Supervet. (Although it can be extremely sad at times. ) That was good PR for hedgehogs.
The thing about the leg problems, is that you never know whether someone nearby is putting out loads of mealworms for them to stuff themselves with. The message about that just doesn’t seem to be getting through.
I was thinking of trying to do some tips about natural id-ing in the story section, because then I can use pics/scans. I wondered if you would mind me using your photo in the gallery of Simba, as a model?17th May 2017 at 6:18 pm #6404
Three girls were back again last night; makes you wonder where they all got to. Thankfully, no signs of any problems for once.
I asked Lynda, the lady who is caring for Tippy Toe, if the back leg problem could be down to metabolic bone disease and someone feeding them too many mealworms. She showed me a video of one of her previous patients and the poor little soul could barely put one foot in front of the other, so it is unlikely that that could be the problem. She has however, written a very good article on the dangers of feeding too many mealworms and what we should be feeding them instead. I was thinking about posting it on here, because like you say, the message just doesn’t seem to be getting through.
Yes, by all means use Simba as a model; I am sure he would be flattered. I won’t tell him though, his ego is big enough already! I cannot understand why someone has felt the need to daub him with yellow paint, because out of all the hogs that I have seen, he is the one that is most recognisable.17th May 2017 at 6:43 pm #6409
I think it would be a good idea to put the article re. mealworms on here somewhere. The ones I put on seem to have been ignored by some. People still seem to be talking about feeding mealworms. Whilst they may be feeding something else as well (there is no way of knowing) they are not mentioning that and other people read it, and think mealworms are ok, and so it goes on. Part of the problem is that they are still on the list under what to feed hedgehogs and people don’t realise that they should only be given in small amounts not just on their own. Good to hear they don’t think that is what the problem is with the ones there.
I think the girls are as interested in finding boys at the moment as they are in finding food. One of the girls who has been a regular visitor here the last couple of years has not made an appearance yet this year. I am still hoping, as one of the others only came back within the last week.
Sorry to hear poor old Simba still yellow – I was hoping the rain would wash away some of the excesses. Thanks for letting me use him as a model – he is posing very nicely in your photo, showing off his skirt, etc. as well as part of his face. Will have to get round to writing it now!19th May 2017 at 8:43 am #6423
I am very disappointed that poor old Bandit has been attacked, again, by the excessive markers. He is the very large hog who visits. I would estimate that more than half of the area of his spines are covered in dark marks, as well as part of the side of his face including around his eye. The marks are too regular to have happened by mistake. These marks aren’t even in the same positions as the old ones. I have no idea what the substance is, but it comes off on other hogs. One of the other males turned up with a dark face, when actually he has a pale one. As you said, with Simba, Bandit is one of the hedgehogs which is easily identified, even in black and white on the night cams. I wonder if it is just coincidence that Bandit has become more aggressive since this ridiculous marking started.
What are these people thinking. No-one who truly loves hedgehogs could do such a thing to them.
Apart from anything else, it is counter-productive. Whoever has done this can have no idea who the individual hedgehogs are if they put marks in different places when the hedgehog reappears. If anyone wanted to mark a hedgehog for identification all that is needed is a mark so small that someone else wouldn’t be sure whether it was an artificial mark or just dirt from somewhere.
This excessive marking has got to stop. Hedgehogs deserve better.19th May 2017 at 8:58 am #6425
Sorry to hear about Bandit Nic, is there any way that it could be fence paint, especially with it being on his face? There is one at our local rescue that is covered in the stuff.
Thankfully Simba’s yellow splodge is wearing off and with all this rain I’m hoping that it will be gone soon.19th May 2017 at 9:10 am #6426
When the hogs first started turning up with these marks, I did wonder, but there were too many different hogs and the marks are too regular for that to have been the case. The mark on his face, could have come from another hog, if he biffed another marked hog, but the blobs are too defined. Wish I could put it on here to show you. The sad thing is, his previous marks had been beginning to get fainter and I was hoping they would disappear soon and then this. Hope Simba has better luck!31st May 2017 at 3:16 pm #6517
Well, after an uneasy truce with the neighbourhood cats, things had once again started to get out of hand. Apart from the usual food theft, a nest box full of great tits narrowly escaped a massacre, the ‘cat from hell’ has once again been taking swipes at the hogs and the poor wood mice hunted to the brink of extinction…time for some creative ‘cat proofing’. The hedgehog access holes in the fences have been made smaller and hubby and I have been busy building feeding station mark 3 out of wood. The ‘cat from hell’ was caught on camera trying to squeeze through one of the smaller holes in the fence, but just couldn’t quite manage it. Ha! Ha! Ha! So the new feeding station has got the same sized access holes with a baffle at either end to make doubly sure the cats are kept out! Our hogs have never been that keen on the old feeding station and prefer to eat out in the open; I suspect it may be because there was only one way in and out and being trapped in there with a much larger bully couldn’t have been much fun. Hopefully with an exit at either end they will make more use of this one and be able to make a quick getaway if need be.
The hedgehogs might be behaving themselves at the moment (although their slug management skills are appalling!) but we are now under siege from demented squirrels! In a misguided attempt to stop the squirrels destroying the new bird feeders, I thought it would be a good idea to get them one of their own after I spotted them in a local garden centre. A large squirrel soon fathomed out how to open the lid and proceeded burying its contents all around the garden, including making good use of one of the hedgehog holes and burying them all over our next door neighbours garden too. One week later and no corner of our garden has remained unturned, every plant pot and every crevice now contains a peanut. So if I thought that all the holes in the lawn created by the wood mice were bad enough, that’s nothing compared to the amount of holes in it now! …And that’s not all; despite the feeder still being half full, one little devil is now busy going round all my plant pots digging them all back up again, Arghhhh! Our garden is rapidly being turned into a peanut plantation!
Even the blackbirds are becoming more brazen, their favourite game at the moment is Grannies footsteps, seeing just how close they can creep up on me from behind before I notice and I’m sure that if I left the back doors open for long enough they would be in the kitchen raiding the hedgehogs stash of food.
Tippy Toe (AKA Belladonna) is doing well, has put on weight and should hopefully be home soon. 🙂1st June 2017 at 10:24 pm #6534
Hi Penny, we have the same problem with peanuts and squirrels. Thank god I think they’ve been sterilised or something – if they all germinated we’d be living in a peanut farm. The only positive, it’s scarifying the lawn!2nd June 2017 at 11:51 am #6547
It’s good to know that they shouldn’t start sprouting all around the garden; I’m forever pulling up all sorts of trees that they have buried and forgotten about. Thanks to the squirrels forgetfulness we have a magnificent horse chestnut tree growing in a pot that is now about 10 feet tall. So much for their personal feeder, the little devils are still stealing from the bird feeders and have already chewed a chunk out of the lid in an act of mindless vandalism!
I collected little Tippy Toe (AKA Belladonna/Houdini!) last night, now weighing in at a not so little 893 grams. She was sealed in a cardboard box and placed under the trees ready for release as soon as it was dark. I watered the plants, put out the hogs dinner and set up a camera ready to capture her departure, only to discover that she had already gone! The sneaky little devil had ripped two small holes in the sides of the box that were concealed from view and had somehow managed to escape… Looks like she’s had plenty of time to brush up on her counter surveillance and anti capture techniques whilst in solitary confinement then.
The camera captured a short glimpse of her later on with two of the boys once again in hot pursuit and judging by all the number twos ground into the patio this morning, there was plenty of action off camera too, even Horace the concrete hedgehog managed to get a coating and has had to have a good hosing down! 🙂24th June 2017 at 10:36 am #6760
Well, there had been no sightings of little Tippy Toe for a few nights and then last night at 8.45pm, just as I was about to replenish the hoggy rations, who should emerge from the feeding station, but Houdini herself. This secretive little hog who only ever emerges from cover once every last human is safely tucked up in bed, was busy feeding her face during daylight hours! Putting all of the available evidence together; two males in hot pursuit the night before she was packed off to the rehabilitation centre for ‘wild’ hedgehogs, rapidly gaining weight during her stay and now an inexplicable deviation from her nightly routine can only mean one thing…. she has hoglets! I don’t know why I am getting so exited, if her previous behaviour is anything to go by she will have them trained up in the art of avoiding the trail cameras in no time at all, so the chances of getting a glimpse of the prickly little bundles are very slim.
But with more pressing matters to attend to, her usual covert operations were once again picked up on camera as another hog yet again barricaded her exit from the terracotta hedgehog house. How on earth the much larger hog (sporting a freshly painted stripe across its back!) managed to squeeze in there as well is beyond me…
And it’s not just the hedgehogs that have been busy reproducing. The squirrels too have been up to all sorts of naughtiness and have now sent their own offspring to wreak havoc and bore holes through the new squirrel feeder. Despite the feeder and the lawn now in shreds and the bedding plants uprooted, it has been worth every penny just to watch their crazy antics!24th June 2017 at 11:38 am #6763
That is so funny Penny! He looks bigger than the hog house – how on earth did he manage to squeeze in and turn round to get out again. Then she keeps on huffing after he has gone out, as if she seriously thinks he would be able to circle her in there. Meanwhile he is studiously ignoring her and having a chomp. I hope you are right and that she already has hoglets.
The squirrels look little bundles of fun too.24th June 2017 at 1:32 pm #6764
I can’t imagine how he managed to turn around either, it’s a shame that there’s a one minute break between the clips. I think it is probably Bruno and to give some idea of his size, all the other large males, Simba, Arnie and Boris can all get through the access hole in the new feeding station with ease, but Bruno was captured on video three times the previous evening attempting to get in, but giving up. At least he can still get under the hedgehog pot….Just!
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