My first post – should I buy a house for the newly arrived Hubert??
3rd June 2021 at 11:11 am #31635
This is my first post and I thought to seek opinions please.
Hubert arrived in my garden on monday night (it’s now thursday). By the way, “he” may be a lady as he is on the small side but I dont know so he became Hubert anyway.
I put out water initially and on tuesday bought hedgehog food. On tuesday at dusk he went to the food and water immediately and spent the night scampering round the garden. Same last night too.
Where is he sleeping? Well, next door’s garden is higher than mine and they have some raised decking next to the fence so there is a void under that decking adjoining our collective fence. There is a gap in the fence on my side leading to that void and Hubert has been sleeping under there.
The problem is I have seen cats go under there too (one yesterday upon which Hubert came out about a minute later).
So whilst there’s shelter for him, it’s not totally safe. I also dont know what the flooring area is under there. It could be rocking rather than smooth.
I will tell the story on a blog type post because, amazingly, a second bigger hedgehog visited last night (Horatio) though he had a bite to eat, a bit of a run on the lawn and then left.
So, to my question……………
Do I buy a house for Hubert?
The cause for my dilemma is I plan to move house next year and by “inviting” Hubert to live safely in a house, I am making a commitment which I would be breaking if he hung around as a resident and I left. I couldnt guarantee if the eventual new house owners would put food down or how they would feel about Hubert’s house or if they had a dog.
What should I do?
Also, all of you that bought a house…..how long did you go before buying a house once you had your first visitor.
My heart says buy the house but I dont want to be the architect of Hubert’s eventual downfall when I move.
Opinions would be most appreciated. Thanks.
ps sorry if post appears twice – having problems getting it to appear as says it has been marked as spam.4th June 2021 at 10:49 pm #31726
Hedgehogs come and go from the houses and don’t really become residents. A hog might stay there a night or two then wander off, come back a few weeks later.
My hog house gets used more when the weather is cold or wet. I think they prefer to sleep “outdoors” when the weather is better.
The tiny hoglet we brought indoors in December to over winter was placed in the house when we released him at the end of March. He was huge by then, stayed a few nights and then disappeared, we haven’t seen him since. Cold snap in April and 2 others were using it. Now it’s warmed up again the hog house appears to be empty.
Hedgehogs don’t need houses and they see the food we put down as a bonus to their normal diet. They can wander quite a large area so don’t worry about Hubert if you aren’t around, I’m sure he’ll do just fine. Would be good to make sure he has other exits from your garden so he can make his way around the neighbourhood and find lots of his natural food too.6th June 2021 at 1:25 pm #31738
I don’t think it will hurt if you get a box, as an alternative to under the decking – although the cats shouldn’t bother the hogs. The main problem with cats normally is that they eat the food put out for the hogs!
It probably differs hugely how long it takes people to get a hog house. Some are really keen and get one as soon as they see a hog and others take a while. But some hogs don’t take to a house until it has become part of the surroundings i.e. sometimes years, whilst others will move straight in.
But a hog box is just a structure like any other possibly more natural ones within which hogs can make a nest or choose to spend the day. Some hogs do seem to like staying in boxes (sometimes a bit too long!), but others, as alnat mentioned may only stay a day or two. But one hog will sometimes intermittently use the same box. But in the wild, even if they made an actual nest, they tend to move nests – even apparently during hibernation time. Probably a good tactic to avoid the build up of parasites.
The thing is, you don’t know when someone new might remove the decking as well. But I suspect Hubert will have other potential nesting/sleeping sites in other gardens. But maybe the new people will become interested in hedgehogs too. That would be good!
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