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Our hedgehogs haven't been for 5 nights running….

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Our hedgehogs haven't been for 5 nights running….

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    Hi everyone. Our hedgehogs (two regular nightly visitors) have been every night since we started monitoring them, mid august. They have been very active. Suddenly, since Monday, they haven’t been back. They were regular wandering in and out of our hogitat too, spending a while in there each time. Any ideas why this might have happened? Does anyone else have periods like this where they don’t come for a few days? I am feeling as though it is too early for them to hibernate? Any thoughts gratefully appreciated as we are worried that something sinister has happened to them….


    I’m just wondering if your hedgehogs have returned yet? My five regulars have also mysteriously stopped visiting and haven’t been for a few weeks now. Previously I could have set my clock by them turning up each evening. I have checked the neighbouring gardens for sightings and hazards but to no avail. Like you I miss them and hope nothing sinister has happened… I did wonder whether the heatwave might have influenced where they prefer to hang out or if someone else has started feeding tastier food! I’d love them to return.


    This situation is symptomatic of a phenomena known to us hogaholics as “hedgehogs being hedgehogs”. They do sometimes just all seem to vanish at about the same time for absolutely no apparent reason and then suddenly all reappear (usually just when you’ve given up hope).

    Mine did it this year for about 3 weeks and are now back with a vengeance and being much naughtier than they were earlier this year. This leads me to suspect they were all at training camp for radicalised hedgehogs and have come back armed with new ideas of how to behave badly.

    So it is just something that hedgehogs do sometimes. They may have found a new playground or restaurant which they try for a while and then decide it’s not up to much, put a bad review on Trips Advisor then they come back.

    Don’t expect a postcard while they are away and you’d better make sure your facilities are up to scratch for their return or they’ll poo on your doorstep.


    I have a hedgehog that has been visiting every night for weeks, his temporary nest is in my garden. Intent on feeding him up for hibernation I put food out about 8pm and within minutes he is there munching away. The last 3 nights the food is untouched and no sign. I feel so sad as I’m wondering if he has been killed. I searched the nearby road for remains but nothing and it seems too early for hibernation. We have just had a very cold few days so I’m wondering if that’s prompted early hibernation. Maybe the predicted warm week we about to have will coax him. Any ideas from any experts or experienced hedgehog watchers?


    How I enjoyed that post William. I hope my hedgehog reappears.


    I have just posted something similar. I really hope they return 😊

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    Hi LornaD

    Male hedgehogs do often disappear surprisingly early for hibernation so it could be that. They do tend to hibernate about a couple of months before the females, but also return from hibernation a couple of months earlier. The males don’t get involved at all in the raising of hoglets, so haven’t had the same responsibilities. The females, once the hoglets are independent, have to put on sufficient weight themselves for hibernation.

    It is always a worrying time of year, but try not to worry too much. He may return fit and well in the Spring. I would, though keep leaving food out for a while in case he, or another hog turns up. Often newly independent hoglets appear, miraculously, at this time of year. Good luck.


    Hi All
    That’s really interesting to hear that some males have already started hibernating. Because suddenly earlier this month my hogs stopped coming to feed, after coming regularly each night since early Spring. One of them really is very big, and I suspect it might be a male. I’ve been worried about them, especially and the fact they’ve suddenly disappeared, as I’ve heard about hogs dying of slug pellet poisoning. I hope their disappearance is early hibernation and not the latter. Thanks. Good luck everyone.


    Hi All,

    i have had regular hog visitors in my garden this year from April onwards and they have also been using my two hog houses on and off as day nests.

    From the start of September i still had two visitng hogs, both males, regularly arriving between 9pm abd 11pm to feed up but the last time i physcially saw them was the 21st September. However i kept putting out food, which was still being eaten presumably by the hogs (i am still to invest in a trail cam – on the Christmas list!), but the last time is was eaten was the 27th Septmber after which, although I have continued to put food out, there have been no takers. I have also checked my two hog houses and, sadly, no snoozing hogs either.

    On the morning of the 28th September, following the last night the food was eaten, there was hog poo near the feeding bowls so maybe that was a present left to thank me for all the food provided over the year before they went in to snooze mode!

    I was planning to stop putting food out after this weekend but, on waking up this morning, rather than being greeted by the usual full bowl of uneaten food, it was all snuffled up!

    I give them Wild Things hog biscuits, which the cats don’t touch, so, especially as nothing else has eaten the food over the past 7 nights, chances are its a hog, possibly a female, so I will now continue to put out food until I’m certain there are no takers.

    Last year they kept coming to feed until October whilst in 2016 they continued well in to November so we will see!

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    Hi Hogmeister

    Don’t forget hoglets often appear at this time of year, so it might be one of them. I think they tend to disperse a bit. Some of the hogs went to hibernate early December, here last year, so it can be very variable. But I find it is usually hoglets who are around latest and they really need food to help them put on enough weight, so I would keep leaving some out. I have had some hoglets turn up here in about the last week.


    Thanks Nic good point about the hoglets.

    The food was untouched last night but it was a pretty wet and windy night and i have noticed before that the hogs sometimes don’t put in an appearance when the weather is wet and windy.

    As you know from previous posts I always try and apply some sort of logic to this – maybe they reduce their range as they can find plenty of natural food, snails and slugs coming out in the rain, without the need to pay my garden a visit or maybe they just don’t like getting wet! When I have seen them in the rain I have often seen them do a good full body shake, exactly like dogs, too shed the rainwater which always puts a smile on my face.

    Nevertheless I will keep putting food out, regardless of whether its eaten or not, just in case I have an infreqeunt hog visitor.


    When I went out into the wind and rain last night to check if the feeding dishes needed replenishing as usual (around 10:00pm) none of the food had been touched (unusual) and the straw indicators showed that on two of the houses no one had yet emerged, on the third someone had gone in.

    Come the morning and one of the guests had ventured forth and half the plate of food had gone, the other nearby house showed no signs of anyone having gone in or out, whereas the third house’s straw had been re-triggered.

    All the food in the second station had been eaten.

    So, only around half the food normally consumed overall, and less signs left of comings and goings, mostly in the small hours I guess.

    A very distinct chill in the cold North wind down in Kent this morning, but temps are expected to climb again during the week.

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    It must be difficult for the poor hogs to know whether they’re coming or going with all the fluctuations in the weather!


    Hogmeister, I have discovered that trying to apply logic to hedgehog behaviour is a waste of time! They truly are a law unto themselves. They appear at the feeding station without being seen anywhere in the garden on the approach, the food vanishes without any evidence of hedgehog involvement, poo appears – as if by magic! I have decided that all you can do is feed them and hope!


    Just like other folk here I have had 3 hedgehogs visiting for months & like clockwork. Then mysteriously all 3 ( they have also been coming from different directions), they have all just stopped coming. Feel very sad & worried as first time no hedgehogs in my garden for years….. any suggestions welcome? Thank you

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