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Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Nest-Building

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    Hello everyone, some very exciting news…

    Had a hedgehog in the garden a couple of years ago; didn’t spot anything last year but found droppings a couple of months ago and circumstantial evidence pointing towards a hog.

    This morning, in good light and at a distance of only 2 metres, I spotted a hedgehog gathering up dried leaves and twigs then running through a gap under the fence. As there was a nearby way of looking over the fence, I was able to see that the hog took these leaves and twigs under next door’s wheelbarrow, then returned two or three more times to get more twigs and leaves before I went in.

    I’ve no doubt the hog was building a nest; it seemed to be totally coordinated and in very good health, so I don’t think it was out during daylight hours due to a problem.

    My question is, what can I do to help it? I’ve already told next door and they’ve undertaken not to move/go near the wheelbarrow; should I be putting down any straw to assist the hog in nest-building? We keep three rabbits so have plenty of straw, but if it’s going to smell all of humans and freak out the hog, we don’t want to do that…

    Second question is, if the hog is building a nest, is that because she’s a she, and pregnant? If so, how long do the young remain in the nest for? And other related information would be helpful too, if you have any!

    Any tips gratefully received!

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    Sounds like a female nest building. They are sometimes still out during the day. You could make a bit of straw/hay available – it’s her choice whether she takes it or not. But she may already have finished building.

    Good news that your neighbours aren’t going to move anything.

    Assuming that the hog is about to give birth, the young might start venturing out with Mother after about four weeks, but you might not see them until they’re a couple of months old.

    Make sure you leave a source of water available all day every day. If you have somewhere in the shade that would be handy. She might pop out for a rest from the youngsters and welcome a drink. Especially if it’s hot. If you normally offer food, I would continue with that, also – at night. The mothers sometimes go out during the day for a break, when they have young ones, but are likely to be under vegetation, rather than right in the open (unless it’s to access water).

    Good luck. Fingers crossed for them.


    Many thanks for this! Water and straw went out last night and the straw was taken away by the hog between half nine and half ten last night. We’ll put more down this evening. I’m slightly concerned by the fact we’ve got two cats but I’d imagine an enraged mother hog would be enough to put them off any funny business.

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    That’s good news! Don’t worry too much about the cats – they usually give way to the hogs.

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