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Nesting? Is it too late for babies?

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Nesting? Is it too late for babies?

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    Our garden hedgehog has returned and as I type, I’m watching it on the wildlife camera hooked up to the laptop. What a personality this hog has!

    We’ve been leaving cat biscuits out every night around the garden for the last 2 weeks and its been hoovering them up.

    This week, its been going mad in the garden and dragging tufts of grass, leaves and even a couple of branches under the shed. Is it too late for babies? If not, how can we help them without disturbing them and make sure they get fat enough for winter?

    So chuffed its back. Didn’t see it at all last year <3


    It might just be making a nest, rather than making a nest for hoglets. Yes it is probably too late for babies I think – you could put extra food out so that they could fatten up, but there is always a hedgehog hospital ready to take them in and keep them warm if you see an underweight one in winter.


    Hi Hedgie,

    Thanks for the reply. There is a local hedgehog sanctuary in Barrow upon Soar, however for now, thankfully its a very healthy hog 🙂

    After looking at last nights photos, I now have a dilemma! The fox is back and is foraging for the same food and having a good scratch around the shed. Mr Fox can obviously smell the Hog.

    Should I stop putting out food to discourage the fox and risk the hog not getting fat enough for winter?

    Who knew having a hog in the garden would be so dramatic! 😀


    This one is a yes and no situation! No, it’s not too late for them to produce kids but Yes it’s quite possibly too late for them to get big enough for hibernation.

    It does sound like SmurfPrickles resident is preparing for babies since it’s too early for building a hibernatorium. I have the exact same problem since there was some very obvious nest building going on recently and yesterday I heard chirping coming from the hog house so I definitely have very young hoglets in there.

    These hoglets are unlikely to strike out on their own until into October and then the chances of them getting big enough to hibernate are really slim. So, all I can do is keep a close eye on things and then once they’ve left mum hope that I can grab them and get them to a carer for winter. I know from previous years though, once they leave home they may not hang around and I may well miss nabbing them. I know I lost 3 last year by them evading capture.

    There’s not a lot one can do for the moment unfortunately other than to be prepared for the right moment to go hoglet hunting.


    Hi Williiam,

    Thanks for the advise. I’ll keep the camera on and will have to find a way to leave out fox proof food. I recall a post here some time ago with some good ideas so I’ll give them a go. While it is lovely to see a fox, I don’t want to encourage them and certainly not have them scratching around the nest.

    Not sure how to post a video, however heres the link if anyone wants to have a look at the busy hog (and fox & mouse that joined the party)

    Nest Building Video

    Avatar photo

    Hi SmurfPrickles

    I agree with WilliamC, it is not too late for a hog to produce young. But, if it is a mild winter any hoglets produced might still have a chance of getting big enough for hibernation, especially if you are feeding them. There is no guarantee that taking them somewhere to be overwintered ensures their survival. It’s actually quite stressful for hoglets to be in captivity for long periods of time and not all of them survive. So it’s a bit of a question of playing it by ear – see what the weather is like and see how well the hoglets (if indeed hoglets are produced) grow and then assess the situation when it begins to get cold.

    If there are hoglets you might like to check with your local hog carer, nearer the time, how big they need to be by which month. It varies a bit from place to place depending on the weather, so they will be best placed to know that. In general it’s pretty much accepted that they need to be about 450g to make it through hibernation, but that might be by November or even early December, depending on the weather.

    It isn’t possible to be sure that if a hog is making a nest that it is going to produce young. Some hogs may already be thinking of hibernating – males tend to hibernate earlier than females – and there is also the possibility that a hog is having a practice session. They do apparently tend to build more hibernating nests than they actually use. I had a hoglet here one winter, who decided not to hibernate, but he built a very elaborate nest which he used alternately with somewhere else to spend days and naps between snacks.

    If it was me, I would make a fox proof feeding station, as you suggest. Don’t leave the food too close to the nesting area, just in case young are being produced as it may attract not only the fox, but also other unwanted visitors. Probably not a lot you can do about the fox otherwise. You can’t disturb the nest. If mother hogs are disturbed when the young are very tiny they could desert them.

    Good luck. Let us know if any hoglets materialise.


    Hi Nic,

    I’ll certainly keep you posted. I’m hoping to stay invisible to the hog/s and have now also banned my husband from going into the shed 🙂

    It’s very exciting to have it back after no sightings last summer <3


    So after the hogs night on the tiles and dragging branches and leaves under the shed, it was not caught on camera for 2 days and now it only seems to come out for food.

    Do hedgehogs have markings? Last night the camera picked up a hog, however this one had a white patch of spines on its back. Could it be the same hog with unbrushed hair or a new hog to the garden?

    Avatar photo

    Hi SmurfPrickles

    Poor husband being banned from the shed!

    Unfortunately, some people artificially mark the hogs, so it’s possible it’s that. Could be the same hog, who has been marked. I find that Friday and Saturday night seem to be the worst nights for that, i.e. hogs will turn up newly marked late Friday, Saturday or Sunday. They do sometimes have very small patches of a few spines that are paler, but if it is a larger patch, I usually find it’s artificial marking.

    They do have their own natural markings, by which you can learn to recognise them. I made some notes, with tips if you’re interested:


    Hi there we are very excited to see a hedgehog this morning in our garden! It’s the first time we’ve seen one : ) it looks to be a large adult and has been building a nest most of this morning. I know they are nocturnal, is this normal behaviour for this time of year. It looks healthy and has been very busy collecting leaves and twigs. Be grateful if anyone can offer advice. Thank You!


    Out little big hog did spent about 7 hours building a den and was dragging all kinds of things under the shed, but I was through the night. I’m not sure if being out in daytime is normal to be honest. Hopefully its just last minute nesting now the cold has arrived!


    Last nights antics in Leicestershire… Racing snail vs the Hog!

    Last nights antics in Leicestershire… Racing snail vs the Hog!

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