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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….

Viewing 12 posts - 31 through 42 (of 42 total)
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    Not seen our Hogs since the 15th…prior to that there was suddenly lots of ‘green poo’ around.

    Used to get visits from 20:30 until 06:00 every night (5 or 6 different Hogs) and the food bowl cleared every night.

    Still putting food/water out and also the Trail Cam.

    Night time temperatures down to 3 degree now…maybe they have hibernated already?


    Hi Hal_Chase,

    green poo in hedgehogs is usually a sign of stomach upset or illness. Healthy Hedgehog poo typically goes black as it hardens.
    what were you feeding them before they disappeared? perhaps someone else was feeding them and putting the wrong things out for them to eat (bread and milk perhaps – eek!). As ground scroungers they pick up all sorts of things they shouldn’t as well – possibly even poison that has been put down for ‘pests’ or slug pellets? Its not a good time for them to get stomach upsets as they are trying to fatten up before hibernation and would put them at risk.
    suggest continuing with some good quality hog friendly food and water and see if they reappear. If the green poo reappears you might need to get them checked out by a local rescue / carer (vets have limited knowledge on hog care usually)


    We feed Ark Hedgehog food and fresh water every day.

    Someone online suggested green poo was them ‘clearing their gut’ prior to hibernation but I have no idea if that is a valid statement.

    Prior to the green poo there was plenty of ‘normal’ Hog Poo.

    I’m planning to keep leaving food/water out all winter although my current challenge is out witting a neighbours cat who seems to be a contortionist with a taste for Hog Food.

    I think I had him beat last night though as I added a ‘lid’ to my entrance fortifications and he was seemingly unable to get in and scoff the hog food…

    I don’t think its quite cold enough yet for Hibernation, do you?


    Hi Hal_Chase,

    I’ve never come across a situation of hogs clearing themselves out before hibernation – and I’m sure this would have become more obvious to hog watchers before now. Green Poo for hogs is not a good sign.
    sounds like you have been doing all the right things on the food front – but as we know – hogs will seek food from various available sources, so it could have come from anywhere!
    Hibernation is still a lot of guess work on the part of us simple humans. Temperature is one factor, available day time light and food are also factors – and the hog themselves of course. some don’t seem to hibernate at all – but studies have shown that milder winters result in shorter hibernation periods and increased hog activity than colder ones (but this could also be due to greater food availability if milder). Males tend to hibernate before females, but this is considered to be a result of males not having had to give birth and feed young, and therefore have a less variable body weight and more consistent fat reserves that enable them to do so. they also tend to wake earlier, and that is probably due to their earlier hibernation and standing a chance of looking for females to breed with as early as possible.
    I think some hogs have probably gone into hibernation – and some posts on this forum suggest that also – but I think quite a few are still around.
    If you were seeing 5 or 6 different hogs every night until recently – it would seem unusual that they all decided to go off and hibernate at the same time. But then – stranger things have happened in the Mysterious World of the Hog!

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    The question of green poo as part of gut evacuation before hibernation has been discussed on the forum, more than once, as I recall. Unfortunately, I only kept a copy of one connection, which was when someone said:

    “I read recently that hedgehogs do some sort of gut evacuation at the beginning and the end of hibernation. I remember as the article said it looked like green slime and I have seen this in the garden. It looks a bit like seaweed. The first time I came across it I was worried the hedgehogs may be ill so I was glad to read this was normal.
    I’m no expert and I cannot remember the source but the hedgehogs have been coming here for years and they appear healthy.”

    As with everything on the forum, there is no guarantee that that information is accurate.

    Sadly that was from before the Forum was updated, but, as I recall someone else knew about the gut evacuation before hibernation, I’m just not sure who! Or the details. But, as I recall it did exist. The only thing I can suggest is starting a new topic ‘gut evacuation before hibernation?’ and see if anyone responds, maybe under carers/rescuing hogs?


    @Nic This was normal shaped poo but quite green (like Goose Poo !!)

    To backtrack a bit….we’ve had Hogs for over a decade but this year because I could not see how they were getting in I made a Hog Hole on one side of the garden and also built a ramp as there is quite a difference in level.

    Within 24 hours we had hogs of all sizes using the ramp, then I added a Hog Feeder and after several days they found this.

    Finally I added a second Hog Hole in my neighbours fence (Ssshhhh!!!) and almost immediately they were coming and going via either entrance, eating lots of Hog Food and not leaving me any ‘parcels’…….then all of a sudden they started to poo inside the hog feeder, so much so the younger hogs would visibly reverse out at the smell. I moved the feeder slightly each night so it was on fresh grass but they kept pooping…..then (recently) the poo became green instead of black.

    We went away for a week, left lots of food available and when we returned we were still getting visits, just less Hogs and now nothing!!

    I just want our Hogs back, unless of course they are all hibernating….but I’ll keep putting fresh food out either way.

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    Hi Hal

    I’m really sorry, but due to the quirks of my memory, I can only remember that we had the discussion about gut evecuation. I can’t even be sure what the result was, just that I have a feeling someone knew about it. I don’t recall seeing it myself. At other times of year, as Jan Marie suggests, it can be a worrying sign. However, if you have lots of hogs visiting it’s very difficult to know which one is doing which poo, so there isn’t always much you can do about it.

    I think, at this time of year it’s very likely that some, if not all the hogs from any one particular garden, have gone to hibernate. It’s always worrying, not knowing, but that’s part of what we hoglovers have to cope with. Certainly most of the hogs from here have disappeared and I am left with this year’s hoglets of various ages. I have found in the past that the hoglets are usually last to disappear.

    I think it’s a good idea to leave, at least some, food out all winter. I know the cats can be a problem. I had one hog who didn’t hibernate last year and had both cats and a rat to contend with. Unfortunately, they never seemed to turn up together! Luckily I managed to, eventually, outwit the cats and found the hog very intelligently managed the obstacle course with ease.

    Normally, it’s a case of just waiting and hoping that the hogs all return safe and well in the Spring.


    Having had two weeks when hardly any food was taken and very few images on the camera, they are now back to eating me out of house and home and with frequent visits, starting at anytime after 7pm, right through to the following morning when I let the cat out!! The visitors all seem to be juveniles and of good weight – although I haven’t tried to weigh them but they seem a good size and very active.

    I also tried the “straw indicator” method and my house has been visited every night – whether there is a sleeping hog inside is another question but it is stuffed full of bedding!


    About the gut evacuation…A couple of years ago when the hogs had started to emerge from hibernation we found a large pool of clear slime on the grass several inches across โ€“ never seen the like before or since. The weather had done its usual trick, several days of warm temperatures to get the hogs out of bed and then a sudden icy blast from the north with flurries of snow. One poor hog was sat at the side of a plant pot in the snow looking totally bemused and unresponsive, and in spite of my presence refused to run off or curl into a ball. Fearing that the slime was as a result of poisoning, I whisked him off to the local carer to get him checked over. As it turned out he was fine, probably just a bit dazed by the extreme weather conditions after just waking up. Could the slime have come from the hog, or maybe a mutant slug or snail…?

    Back to the missing hogs, we were down to just two hogs and with one at a carer being treated for lungworm, we are now down to zero. ๐Ÿ™ Looking back at the trail cam footage from 2016, we still had at least 5 hogs visiting in late November including adults and juveniles.


    Thank you everyone for all the input, I will keep putting food out and be patient ๐Ÿ™‚


    I would like to know whether hedgehogs stop visiting. We haven’t seen ours for a couple of days at least.
    It has been quite cold but not freezing.

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    Hi RuthLloyd

    I wouldn’t worry too much, at this time of year.

    The hedgehogs may be re-familiarising themselves with their ranges. There are normally more males than females around at this time of year and they have larger ranges than the females.

    But it’s also possible that hedgehogs may have emerged but haven’t really finished their hibernation so go back into hibernation for a while. It is known that hedgehogs emerge for short periods during hibernation and sometimes even change nests. Hopefully you will see some again soon.

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