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My tribe!

Home Forums Hedgehog tales My tribe!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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  • #18215

    Hi, we’re new to the forum but just wanted to share our story about our little tribe.
    We have been feeding a group of 5 chogs for about 5 years now. In the early days two of them became quite tame and would even sit on our laps and be hand fed. They will all come together and feed at the same. Often there may only be two or three at a time but all 5 will happily share. It sometimes gets a bit feisty during breeding season but after a bit of barging about, shoving and honking, they will usually settle down to chomp.
    I honestly believed that this was quite normal but when I was talking to a colleague at work about my ‘tribe’ he asked if that was what you called a group of chogs. I didn’t know, so I Googled it and found out that a group was called an array. At the same time it stated that they were solitary creatures and rarely came together in a group except during mating season.
    My tribe seem to be extremely happy together and rarely fall out.
    I have to say that I do indulge them a bit and will often feed them up to three times an evening particularly if they turn up in drubs and drabs.
    I feed them, predominantly, dried mealworms and hedgehog dried food.
    I just wondered if anyone else was blessed in this way

    #18216

    Hi Foggyparrot
    Sounds like your very lucky to have so many hogs visiting, what fun!
    I’ve not been on the forum long, but I’ve found it invaluable in learning about hedgehogs.
    A word of caution though, one thing I have learnt is to avoid feeding meal worms as they have very little nutritional value and can cause actual harm to hogs, particularly the little ones!
    I know they love them and can become addicted to them. But as new studies have shown meal worms to be harmful it sort of negates the whole purpose of trying to help them survive!
    Nic put a really interesting post on the forum about the harmful effects – might be worth you reading it.
    Happy hog watching! x

    #18226

    Thankyou for that. I would be interested to read the article/post but have no idea how to find it!
    Chog is at least 5 years old and Chonk is at least four. They have been on the same diet since I started looking after them and they all seem to be very healthy.
    We have had quite a few hoglets over the years.
    I adore my chogs and really wouldn’t want to compromise their health

    #18233

    See below posted by Nic.
    If your hogs are addicted to mealworms you will have to wean them off gradually.

    —————————————————————————-

    Hi Lucycroft

    It might seem that way until you look into it more deeply. If you are feeding mealworms you are potentially encouraging the hedgehogs to fill up on mealworms and not to eat natural food which would be much better for them. Also if they are really on the verge of starving, they will eat something else. I suspect that the hogs you thought died of starvation may have had other underlying problems. If they eat only mealworms that could cause them to die of starvation, in that they would not be getting sufficient nutrients for their survival. Becoming addicted to mealworms can definitely be life threatening to hedgehogs. The young ones, in particular, can become horribly deformed as a result of eating mealworms and probably suffer a great deal of pain. I take it you have seen the Vale Wildlife Hospital video including the image of a young hedgehog with metabolic bone disease.

    So in answer to your question. No I don’t think it is worth risking them getting bone density problems (sounds so insignificant described as such) nor malnutrition by feeding only mealworms.

    The best thing you can do for the hedgehogs is to improve and increase their habitat so that they can find their own natural wild food and water. You say you already have a large garden/wood, which sounds brilliant. I think all of us could improve our gardens for hogs in some way and if you haven’t seen it already, it is worth looking at https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs/helpful-garden-features/
    and of course make holes in fences and encourage others to do likewise.

    31st March 2018 at 10:38 am#8910REPLY | REPORT

    Lucycroft
    Thanks for the reply and information. A few years ago I took 4 hoglets to the Hedgehog hospital nearby. They were out in daylight and malnourished. I had only one fatality last autumn and again it was underweight. I will lower the amount and frequency of the mealworms but pre-hibernation I cant see them starve. I caught slugs for them and left them out but the hedgehogs didnt touch them.

    31st March 2018 at 1:05 pm#8914REPLY | REPORT
    Nic

    Nic
    Whilst I admire your dedication, slugs aren’t their favourite thing to eat and I don’t think they like the larger ones anyway. Luckily it is the smaller ones that reputedly cause most damage in the garden, but they are much harder to collect.

    It must have been distressing finding the malnourished hoglets, but mealworms are not the answer. You suggest feeding the hedgehogs mealworms pre-hibernation. They will simply not put on the right sort of fat they need for hibernation on a diet of mealworms. This very likely would lead to them not surviving. If you continue to feed them mealworms, you will be doing them more harm than good. They should only ever be used in very small quantities as a very occasional snack. As you will have seen from the video, many recommend not feeding them at all and that is probably safest. You have heard about the dangers. A disabled hedgehog is unlikely to survive for long in the wild.

    If you want to feed hedgehogs, give them cat/dog food, cat/kitten biscuits, or hedgehog food and no mealworms. if they are hungry they will eat it. If you are still providing mealworms, they will very likely show a preference for those. It is like humans with crisps and chocolate.

    This time of year is a good opportunity to offer them something more nutritious. They will be hungry when they return from hibernation and if you offer them some nutritious food they will likely tuck into it. Please don’t be tempted to give them any mealworms at all, or you will be starting the cycle off again.

    Please always provide water.

    #18240

    Nic

    This is a link which includes information re. mealworms.

    http://www.valewildlife.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Feeding-wild-hedgehogs.pdf

    p.s. the link re. the video of the hoglet with MBD no longer seems to work.

    #18250

    Hi all, I’ve just had a long letter published in our local paper about the problems of feeding mealworm to hogs. I did this because I’ve noticed a few lovely pictures of hogs on the photos page and seen mealworm alongside with hogs eating them. I confess a lot of us have done this at the beginning due to seeing hogs eating from under bird feeders. Sunflower seeds are as bad. After learning very quickly from this site I did not ween them off the mealworm, I stopped them altogether. A lot of us buy hedgehog food, but if funding is tight, cat or dog food is good (no fish) and small cat biscuits are economical. We’ve discovered they will go on hunger strike for about 3 days when you change food, but they come round. If yours are tame enough to sit on you they may take some cat biscuits off you straight away. Best wishes.

    #18252

    Nic

    If you read the above link from Vale you’ll see that fish flavoured cat/dog is not considered bad for hedgehogs, even if they may prefer other flavours.

    Sunflower hearts do have an imbalance of phosphorous and calcium, so are best avoided, especialy in large amounts, but as you will see from the table in the post above, not as bad as mealworms, raw chicken and raw beef.

    It isn’t a good idea to encourage the hedgehogs to become too tame. They are not pets, they’re wild animals and should be allowed to live their lives in peace. Humans are predators, whether we like it or not, and not all humans like hedgehogs.

    In the normal course of events, hedgehogs are solitary animals, other than females with their hoglets. We are, in effect, encouraging them to change their natural behaviour by feeding them together. It seems likely that when they leave our feeding areas, they revert to their solitary nature.

    #18274

    Hi Nic, many thanks for the info, guess you can read too many articles from different places. (regarding fish) I think I’ll stick to hog food and cat biscuits as they go down a treat. I give them some biscuits if I see one as a treat, I’m quite happy they run off after eating them! I just want them to trust me but not too much as they are wild animals, as you say. I know if I’ve managed the half way house when I lift the lid of the feeding box and they don’t curl up and they just keep eating. I feel privileged they come in our garden. Thanks for the information and continued support, best wishes.

    #18290

    I watched a horrendous youtube video, which was filmed in a uk hedgehog rescue centre, with a hedgehog that couldn’t walk properly, he had been surviving on mealworms, and the hedgehog centre had no option to put him down.

    There is no need to put mealworms down, as they really love wet dog or wet cat food anyway.

    I put dried food down which they eat which is spikes semi moist, which a bowl full will last all night and feed all the hedgehogs that visit, with always some left over for the next night – but with the wet dog food, I only put a small dish out and only one hedgehog, the first that visits in the night, will get this as they gobble the whole lot up in one go.

    So I don’t feel it necessary to give them extra treats, as I use the wet food as a treat.

    Best to keep their diets simple, and only put down what is recommend by uk official hedgehog sits, such as BBPS.

    #18302

    Hi all, can I point out that when I said a treat when I see one walking round outside, I mean a cat biscuit. One they normally don’t get in the feeding station. The reason I take the lid off the box to have a look at one in feeding station and give a treat then as well, is to check they look well and have no injuries. I do this about twice a week and may go out several times as a different hog goes in the box. I have actually never touched one or tried to pick one up. They are still “wild” and usually run off when they see me. Best wishes, hope all your hogs are well and missing ones come back soon, they love going walkabout and leaving us humans to worry.

    #18305

    Annker, it’s wonderful that you published an article. Could you copy and paste it on here?

    #18349

    Hi Hedgie Lover, I’m not quite certain that I can. Hubbys thrown it in waste paper bin! He tells me he can retrieve it tomorrow, I could text photo it but no idea how to get it on the forum as we haven’t an online computer, I just use my phone. Oh the joys of tech… I suppose you could look on line if your interested enough, a new paper came out today, so don’t know if someones had a go at me for it, you know how people are! If you want to look it was out last Thursday, letters page Accrington Observer. There’s been some lovely pictures from different areas of Accrington (also know as Hyndburn) of hedgehogs recently, but they’ve been eating mealworms. For the sake of the hogs I felt I had to write. The letter is in my give name, not the forum name. Hope alls well with you and foxy goes soon. Best wishes. PS, I have a bird bath, a ground one, the hogs come, have a drink, then walk right through it instead of round it! My gravel tray is deeper than yours, pushed up to two corner stones, so level with the top and has a shallow brick in so they can climb out.

    #18350

    Pps, that should have said, my given name.

    #18355

    Thanks for the info Annker

    Unfortunately, people, when they don’t like to hear something, they often blame the person who gave them the info.

    I was reading a BBC news report about Greta Thunberg (I think she is amazing) but she has had loads of abuse thrown at her, because people don’t want to hear it, or accept what she’s trying to tell us.

    It’s a ‘shot the messenger’ thing.

    I’ve called the fox Mr Terminator as Arnie’s fave line was ‘Ill be back’ and reckon that could very well be the case, but I haven’t seen Mr Terminator for 3 nights so far, so that’s a huge relief for me.

    #18363

    Hi Hedgie Lover, glad Mr Terminator has moved on. There was a fox around here a while ago, next I saw it in the next town, so they do move around a bit. I’m sorry, I don’t know who Greta is as we don’t have a TV! Yes world, we don’t have a TV! My hogs are having a rave up every night in the feeding station, it’s like a tip! I think I know which one is doing it, Big Benny, (after Benny Hill). He makes me laugh as watching him from the back he waggles along. The 2 little ones are very neat when they eat. Buying Spike Moist on line is so much easier, the bags are 1.3kg. They only sell small bags in pet shops, then they run out leaving you stuck. Best wishes. PS, my letter in the Accrington Observer is under “Your Views” Frid 13th Sept. Glad to say no one has had a go, yet!

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