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Our little hog friend of last year hasn't reappeared

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Our little hog friend of last year hasn't reappeared

  • This topic has 198 replies, 12 voices, and was last updated 5 years ago by Avatar photoNic.
Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 199 total)
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  • #6383
    Avatar photo

    Hi Annie

    Yes, they do have tails, but not very long ones. Some of them seem to walk around a bit taller (with their legs stretched) and the tail shows more, but others, or at other times, you just don’t really notice.

    The pallet bug hotel sounds brilliant – hope you get lots of occupants soon – more for the hogs to eat! Poor little bugs!

    Glad to hear the hogs there are arriving at a civilised time and that there are more of them. We’ve had a fair bit of rain here as well now. We’ll all be complaining it’s too wet now! I was looking in the pond to see if frog was there the other day, and there were 2 frogs – very exciting. I jokingly said somewhere, before, that I hadn’t started identifying frogs by their natural markings – yet, but the new frog has completely different markings to the original, so maybe, accidentally, I am!

    Strange that Spikes is running out. Mind you, they do seem to get a fair bit of publicity on here. I have always used ‘I Love Hedgehogs’ which I get by mail order. I buy the most you can get at a time to make it cheaper. It also has the advantage that most cats here aren’t interested in it so that is an added advantage.

    Very enterprising using your mobile phone for a night cam! Did it work well. It is handy being able to operate the light from inside. I tend to leave mine on whilst I am watching for an hour or two and then turn it off for the rest of the night.

    Digger was here last night, but not for long before she disappeared again. I’ll be quite glad when they all settle down a bit again, for a while – all this coming and going is quite exhausting, just to watch! Haven’t checked the cam yet, but I didn’t see the rat last night, which was good.


    Hi Nic

    Spoke too soon about early visits, back to midnight now!!

    Put up the light & you’re quite right about the infra red camera not noticing, however the hogs did, they’re used to darkness I suppose but sure they’ll get used to it.

    The phone when it’s on charge records continuously until I put it off when I wake up, eats lots of memory so have to go through it deleting empty bits, then enjoy the action. Have to wipe it all off later & watch as I go along or the phone will stop working! Last night just 2 hogs, but one is scared of the other & always does a big wee (& of course a poo!) before beating a hasty retreat. You can put it on the desktop to watch a bit larger, technology is wonderful sometimes even if it doesn’t always work….

    I suppose when you look closely at all sorts of animals you can see differences to mark them out from each other, even frogs! Bit of entertainment for you having an extra frog to watch as well as the hogs, rat, cat etc.

    Found dry Wild about Hedgehogs’ Hungry Hedgehog food at our local garden centre but they hate it, meticulously eat everything else & leave it in the dish. They also prefer GoCat dry food for indoor cats to the outdoor one, expect they’d like me to shop at Harrods too! All part of the fun but will buy the food you use I think.

    I’m glad I’m not a bug, but think the hotel must be fairly well inhabited by now, lots to go round & leave some to just be bugs hopefully.

    Hope Digger & co have settled in to a routine for you!

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annie

    Re. the food. I notice in the article Penny posted about not feeding mealworms, etc. that they mention Ark Wildlife Hedgehog Mix, which looks to be very similar to the food I give the hogs. Most of the cats ignore it, but I do sometimes put in some kitten biscuits to help keep their teeth clean(!) and the cats do go for those. The hogs used to leave them, similar to how you described above, but they do seem to have got used to them now. It sounds as if there are a lot of hedgehogs around who would like us to shop at Harrods for them! Not sure the food would be any better for them though.

    Haven’t seen Digger, or one of the other females for a few nights. Hope they are ok and that they are not going somewhere where they feed unsuitable food. I suppose it is just possible they are having hoglets already – but it is still early for that. I stayed up late last night and for the last hour and half not a single hedgehog appeared, so that was a waste of time. Haven’t checked the cams yet, but they aren’t behaving very well either – don’t think they liked the rain.

    It is also a worry that the hogs might be attacked by the excessive marker. One of the poor boys turned up the other night about half his spines covered in something. In clearly delineated blobs, so couldn’t have been by accident. What are these people thinking. One of the other boys turned up with his face covered in what looked like the same stuff, presumably from biffing a marked hog. I just hope they don’t get hold of Digger, or any of the girls as this stuff could well come off on any hoglets they had. It is sad to see the poor hogs defaced in this way. As if the poor things didn’t have enough to deal with without people doing that to them.

    Lots of baby birds have been starting to appear in the garden – the young starlings are particularly making their presence known! One of the male blackbirds is getting very bold again – they often do at this time of year – I suppose desperately trying to feed their babies. He has a way of making sure I know he is there so I give him some more food – got me well trained!


    Hi Nic

    Think that’s awful re marking the hogs, what are people thinking when they do that? Seems not so much about the animals as a sort of twitcher mentality where you get points for spotting them. Very sad. Each hog seems to have individual markings, better to be patient & do it that way I think if it’s necessary to do it at all rather than just celebrate the fact they’re there at all in our gardens & enjoy watching them. Marking them must make them easier to see by those without their welfare at heart & that doesn’t bear thinking about.

    We have a very brave/silly/inexperienced young feral pigeon this year who has practically landed on my head every time I put food out for the birds. Today I held my palm out to him/her & when the food I put for it was gone from the top of the post it ate from my hand. Mucky plops & all that but still nice to get so close to a wild bird. Bit like your blackbird, he obviously knows what he wants & is determined to get it. Baby starlings are hilarious & bathe & drink together in an uproarious & incredibly loud way. They’re such an argumentative species aren’t they, use so much energy shouting & pushing & shoving.

    Regular visits each night from one particular female hog, she’s very nervous & runs from light & the attentions of a bumptious boy hog! He hasn’t quite given up but I think he might as well. The hog food is still unpopular, but they’re getting a helping hand so that’s all I want to do really.

    Has DIgger been back to see you?

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annie

    Am glad you are still around – I was beginning to wonder whether everyone else was hibernating – it’s been so quiet on Hedgehog Street!

    Still no Digger, I am afraid. Also another adult female. The rat, and younger smaller rat which appeared one night, have disappeared as well. I just hope there is no connection. It is always a worry when rats appear that someone might put down poison or traps and not take care. I hope it is because they are having early hoglets, but Digger hasn’t visited for over a week now. The one remaining girl came back last night, thankfully, after an absence of 2 days. She is normally a very loyal patron of my hog pub so that was worrying too. The fourth girl, I haven’t seen at all this year.

    Last night, at last, we were back to normal numbers again. There was one small one who turned out to be a girl, judging by her and Rascal’s behaviour. He must be more than twice the size of her, but he still thought she was interesting enough to circle for quite a while. She is still a bit timid at the moment, but hopefully, she’ll continue to visit. If I get to, eventually, recognise her, that is great, but she certainly doesn’t need to be marked for me to value her visit.

    I had to laugh about a week ago – I have a big, fake stone, large, pot turned upside down, so covering quite a big area, acting as the base for a bird bath – and two hogs were circling. She got close up against the pot and he continued circling but took the pot into the circle as well! And he kept circling her and the pot for quite a while. That’s dedication for you! It was really funnier than it sounds!

    Your young pigeon sounds fun. I had a young one here, a while ago and I always thought he was a typical teenager. He spent a lot of time lounging around. I even found him once just sitting there in the water bowl. He seemed ok afterwards, so must have just thought it was nice to have a good cool off. It is fun having the baby birds around. Like you say, the noisy, argumentative starlings are very entertaining. I love their eyes, they look some sort of robot’s eyes. The two frogs are, usually, still in the pond, despite the youngsters boisterous bathing in ‘their’ pond.

    Good that the hogs are still visiting there, despite not being keen on the food. Maybe that is an indication that they are finding lots of wild food in your garden as well.


    Hi Nic

    Hilarious story about the pot & hog dance! I’ve done the same with an upturned pot, the magpies like that one the best as it’s a deep bath. Not keen on them really as they attack the small birds, a baby blackbird died last year & an adult starling I hope was OK after I ran out to stop a magpie attacking it a week ago. All the birds were going crazy screaming at the magpie & divebombing it. I know they’re just doing what comes naturally but not on my watch!

    Sorry to hear no Digger but you may be right & she’s already busy with hoglets, I hope so.

    I spend a lot of my time trying to explain to people about not using poisons of one sort or another to kill things they don’t like, it seems to be the first thing non gardeners think of to solve the problem of not looking after their gardens & having a wilderness to worry about. Something to kill the grass they say but don’t seem to realise it’ll grow again anyway & they’ll be back to square one, also that the poison could affect their own cat/dog/wildlife etc.

    Over the years I’ve learned to grow things slugs don’t eat, if they do eat something I just don’t grow it again.

    I do litter picking & get mad when I see those plastic things that join cans together discarded without a thought, my Mum rescued a starling once wearing one round its neck. Had a lovely morning by the river Taff in Cardiff yesterday with Cardiff Rivers Group collecting the garbage other people think it’s OK to chuck in the bushes after they’ve stuffed their faces/had a drink/cigarette, not to mention so called disposable barbecues, drug bags etc.

    Pigeon was waiting for me this afternoon & happily took everything I offered in my palm, very heartwarming.

    Last night has a word for it which is SLUGS!!!! I saw a hog go under the cathouse to eat & come out again very quickly so thought another hog must be there as I could see movement. Went to check & was horrified to see a multitude of very large slugs of all colours everywhere on the ground & in the dish, no wonder the hog left in a hurry there was nowhere for it to stand. Never seen so many in one place. I put another dish in the centre of the peashingle equidistant from the borders so they’d have further to slime their way giving the hogs a chance to get there first. Assuming the cats left it alone as it had a few mealworms in (seems to put them off even if only a few in the dish) it was all gone this morning & the slugs had left the cat biscuits under the house. Yuck doesn’t go near how it felt seeing them all there, revolting.

    Judging by the plants I find trampled there’s much hog activity in the borders during the night, probably eating natural food so you could be right about the not eating hog biscuits as there’s plenty to be found. The plants are growing so fast because of the weather & there are evening primroses growing like triffids in the cracks in the path, the baby starlings disappear into the leaves & rummage about in them eating goodness knows what & expect the hogs do too!

    Hopefully hogs don’t mind thunderstorms as the one we had Friday night was the most stunning display I’ve ever seen & the thunder like nothing I’ve heard before, then the deluge that followed was spectacular too.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Annie

    Haven’t had time to read your message yet. I am very upset. A poor little hog turned up over an hour ago with a horrible injury – a slash from ear to ear and the spines behind shaved off. Looks as if it might be a strimmer injury. I have spent the last hour, plus, trying to get someone to help. It would be a Bank Holiday weekend. The place I usually go to is temporarily closed. And the next nearest wildlife rescue place has closed completely. Vets are closed. And I can’t drive at the moment. I kept being referred back to the RSPCA and was just hanging on for ages. Finally got through and am now waiting for them to ring back. The poor little thing looked rather bemused. You wouldn’t believe the smell. It smells as if it has had the injury for a while, but if that is the case, not sure how it has survived. So sad – if only the people who use these things could see the injuries they can cause, they might be more careful.

    Avatar photo

    Hi again, Annie,

    Bad news, I fear, for the poor hog. RSPCA couldn’t pick him up until tomorrow, so I had to go to plan f or was it g! I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him suffering all night. He was left with the vets. The actual vet hadn’t seen him yet, but (I think, one of the animal nurses) said he would probably have to be put down as his injuries were so bad. I hadn’t seen them – didn’t want to mess the poor chap around too much – but there were apparently maggots. It looked to me as if the injury had been there for a while. I hate to think what the poor chap had to suffer. He looked very thin as if he hadn’t eaten for a while. I will ring to check tomorrow just in case, but am fairly sure what the answer will be. I don’t even know who he was – he was such a mess.

    The first hog who arrived this evening was very hesitant and then only stayed a few minutes. The next couple also only stayed a few minutes. I imagine that they could smell the poor injured hog. I haven’t been able to get the smell out of my house. The good news is that I think the little female hog from last night was here again. She stayed a bit longer than the others, but by then it was raining so that might have dampened the smell. Only trouble is she seems to arrive rather late. The cameras seem to be misbehaving. They are not always filming the hogs which I have actually seen, so could not rely on them catching the hogs which turn up later.

    No Digger still, but the other ‘regular’ girl was here earlier.

    We had some quite dramatic thunder here too. I am quite pleased to have a bit more rain. It had been very windy here, as well as sunny so the poor plants will be glad of some rain.

    Well done with all the litter collecting. A friend of mine is a keen litter collector – does regular litter patrols where he lives – and it has quite put him off humans!

    I have tried to adapt my garden to non-slug-edible plants too. I used to go out on slug patrols, but decided it was easier to just get things they didn’t like. Evening Primroses do grow a bit like triffids, don’t they – slugs don’t seem to like them! I often get slugs eating the hog food. The hogs seem to happily ignore them. They are often the big ones, which I don’t think the hogs eat, but sometimes smaller ones too. What was really disgusting was when I used to see slugs eating dog poo, when I was out for a walk! Bad enough the dog poo was there in the first place.

    Glad to hear Pidge is still keeping you entertained. I have a little robin in the garden who seems to be around a lot when I am out there. Usually, here, they are more wary and it is the blackbirds who are slightly braver, so it makes a nice change to have a tamer robin. The new frog is much jumpier than the old one. It is a bit bigger, so I am hoping it is a female and they will have tadpoles next year. The new one is quite dark and the original (if it is the same one) was dark to start with and gradually became spotted, so I don’t know if the new one is actually younger and will eventually become spotty too.


    Hi Annie & Nic,

    Sorry to hear about the injured hog Nic, I hope it’s ok, our local rescue has already had a few in with horrific injuries from strimmers. I get so I can’t bear the sound of the dam things. Someone was strimming the footpath that runs along the back of our house the other day; I went out after to check that there wear no casualties and thankfully there weren’t. We have now put a hole in the gate that leads to the footpath after our new neighbours inadvertently blocked one up. I have had a camera trained on the new access for the last four nights, but up to now only the wood mice have made use of it. It seems that the hedgehogs don’t use the footpath as much as I thought they did which is a relief.

    Our blackbirds have been very busy too; Sven has been tirelessly raising his young and has kept them very well hidden. One of the blackbirds turned up with a small frog in its mouth last night, at first I was horrified, but then realised that it was quite crispy so had obviously been dead for a while. He seemed to be quite chuffed with himself and sat on the roof waving it around for a while, I don’t think he knew what to do with it, it was a bit of a mouthful!


    Hi Nic & Penny

    Oh Nic, so sorry about the little hog, it’s always a Bank holiday when things go badly wrong. You did right by him/her & thank goodness it was you who found it & were able to protect it from further harm & get it where someone could alleviate its pain & hopefully more besides.

    I expect the hogs could smell it when they came, think it would put me off my free supper too if it was me.

    My next door neighbour strimmed her front garden yesterday & sometime will do the back which is about 18″ high, I did warn her to take care & look out for hedgehogs, she knows they’re around here but it’s all too easy to hurt them as we know.

    I do my local neighbourhood too re litter, as a volunteer with Keep Wales Tidy, they provide the picker, gloves, bags & hoop to keep it open & a nice fluorescent waistcoat so nobody runs me over! And they insure me in case somebody actually does or I fall in a hedge or something.

    Yuckety yuck re eating poo, lots of bags of that in hedges left by charming dog owners too lazy to take them home. Watched our regular girl hog on camera last night stop & inspect a huge slug, she wasn’t impressed.

    Hilarious description about the blackbird’s crispy frog Penny, one of our cats used to bring frogs in through the catflap & if I didn’t spot them & let them go would come across their poor little dehydrated crispy bodies on the carpet behind a chair. I’m not laughing at the frogs, wish cats didn’t feel the need to collect everything that moves if it’s smaller than them – & sometimes when it’s bigger. A friendly Burmese cat used to visit us & steal our cats’ toys & he also liked sticks, he tried to carry a 6′ beanpole out of our garden, over a 3′ wall & through a 5′ thick hedge. Dropped it on the wall in disgust eventually but you had to give him points for trying.

    Glad Sven has succeeded with his latest brood, just realised I haven’t actually seen our blackbird pair with babies in the garden yet, just the adults but even them not as often as usual. Hopefully they had their nest further from here than last year, they were taking nesting materials a few weeks ago & he sings on the rooftops every evening, I can hear him now.

    Hope your hogs return when the smell fades Nic & your garden becomes a nice place for you all again. I also hope the news is better than expected for little hog.

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    Hi Annie and Penny

    Thanks for your kind words re. the poor hog. I rang this morning but could not find anything out – Bank Holiday! I don’t hold out much hope after being told more than once that the poor chap would almost certainly have to be put down. They didn’t even bother to take my details. I was trying to look on BHPS site to see if they had a poster re. strimming I could put up, but could only find the info. re. labels to stick on the machines, etc.

    Not long ago I contacted Willows Hedgehog Rescue who were running a National Strimmer Awareness Campaign – I don’t think BHPS had started doing it then – suggesting that they might contact Network Rail, because they use strimmers etc. clearing the lineside, where I imagine no end of hedgehogs (including some of my hog visitors) live or spend time. Last time I heard, they had made some really good progress re. information about wildlife, training for staff, etc. Amazing what a comparatively small organization can achieve. Hopefully the nation’s lineside hogs will be safer as a result.

    Crispy frog – sounds like some bizarre sort of delicacy for blackbirds! They do look funny when they appear to have taken on something a bit too big for them.

    When I had a cat, years ago, he used to bring all sorts of live mice type things into the house (although I don’t recall any frogs). In the end I put another cat flat on the door from the kitchen into the rest of the house and had it on out only, so any poor unfortunate creatures were confined to the kitchen. I wasn’t taking into account, though, the particularly intelligent cat I had, who managed to find a way to open the cat flap with one of his claws, then use the other paw to lift it up so he could duck his head down and get through. He had it down to a fine art in the end.

    The Burmese cat sounds hilarious. Shame someone didn’t get that on film!


    My goodness Nic I am so so sorry to hear of your injured hog. Made me upset reading it, you tried your best and if nothing could be done to save the poor animal at least you gifted him/her peace and put an end to his/her suffering – let’s hope it doesn’t come to that we’ve got everything crossed for you. The nearest wildlife rescue to us closed its doors this spring due to retirement, seems there are alot closing.

    If only people realised what harm they can do with machinery and poisons. Makes me want to shout out – Stop being lazy and do it the old fashioned way it’s good exercise and you discover more of your garden. I was clearing my garden this afternoon in the drizzle and found another one of those 1 inch lizards beautiful.

    I have a strimmer as we used to have an allotment years ago as our last house only had a small garden. I haven’t used said strimmer for at least 6 years it’s consigned to the scrap heap. I hear people using them and it fills me with horror. I much prefer the old fashioned long handled shears it’s exercise and much safer for all creatures.

    Avatar photo

    I could not get any news about the poor hog. He had been left with the out of hours vets and the ‘day’ vets didn’t have a record of it. I suspect that probably means the little chap is no more. They were going to try to find out for me, but it may not be until tomorrow. I think he probably was one of the boys. I didn’t check. The poor thing was so badly injured, I didn’t want to do anything which could have potentially made his suffering worse. Not very scientific, I know, but the girls, which I know round here, have darker faces and this chap had a pale face.

    When I am able to think past the sadness and the wanting to save the life of a poor innocent animal, (which whilst it was a wild animal, had a human inflicted injury) it is difficult to see how the poor chap could have been released back into the wild, even if he had survived. Given the injury, it seems unlikely that the important spines above the head and on the neck would have ever grown back and without them, life in the wild would have been a very dangerous place for him. Realistically it would not be fair to release a hog without those spines back into the wild and what is life for a wild hedgehog if he cannot be wild. The sad fact is, that once he received that level of injury, his life was doomed.

    I cannot imagine ever forgetting the image of those bright little eyes looking at me from what had once been a beautiful hedgehog. So sorry, little hedgehog. This human says sorry for what humans have done to you – and others like you.


    Hi Nic

    So sad to read your post, think the vet practice could have been a bit kinder to you if they’d taken the time to take your name & number to let you know what happened as you were clearly upset & cared enough to do something to help your poor little hog. Have a huge hug from me & thank you for taking him to where they had the facilities to alleviate his suffering.

    We truly live in a world which is full of those who care & an awful lot who don’t give a damn & I’m glad to be in touch with the caring ones on here.

    We always want to save hurt creatures but sometimes it just isn’t possible & all you can do is enlist the help of a vet. Remember all the hogs you support now & have successfully helped & keep this little one in your heart, I believe animals know when you’re helping them & he’ll have felt comfort from your attention.


    Avatar photo

    Thanks, Annie.

    I still haven’t found out, for certain, what happened to the poor chap. It is because it was an out of hours vet and they are a completely different organisation to the day vet – just use their premises. I have been told several times someone will ring back, but so far they have not. They always sound very nice when I ring them, but don’t have the information. Very frustrating.

    The small female has been visiting the last several nights. I am calling her ‘wings’ at the moment because she has a mark above her head which looks a bit like wings! Haven’t thought of anything better yet. Haven’t seen Digger for nearly two weeks which is worrying. Magic for over a week.
    The other girl visits most, but not every night and the boys come and go.
    The other night, one of the boys had two other boys rolled up and was trying to divide his time between the two girls. In the end he chose the older one. ‘Wings’ still looks quite small. Not sure whether she is really old enough to breed yet.

    Wildlifehaven. Thanks for your thoughts too. It is a worry if the wildlife rescues are closing. Hopefully someone else will come along willing to take on the job. I imagine, though, that it is very time consuming.

    You are lucky having lizards. One of my former neighbour’s cat used to bring them in sometimes – alive – she used to have them climbing up the curtains! But I haven’t seen one here for years. The two frogs seem to be happily co-existing in their not very big pond.

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