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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

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 199 total)
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  • #6527

    Nic

    Have just had confirmation that the little chap was put to sleep soon after he was left with the vets. So pleased I didn’t wait until the next day for the RSPCA to pick him up. He was such a brave little chap – he didn’t deserve to suffer any longer than he had to. Now just need to try to do my best to spread the word, to try to make it safer for all his relations and hedgehogs in general.

    #6533

    Rest in peace little prickly.

    Nic, you showed him love, kindness and compassion and put an end to his suffering. You did the best you could for him and now he is at peace.

    #6548

    Hi Nic

    At last now you know for sure little hog is out of pain & you did all you could for him.

    I sometimes think it would be better if hedgehogs lived miles away from humans as our lifestyles are so dangerous to them. It’s a very double edged sword with the benefits of food & then the horrifying things that they’re too innocent to understand or avoid that humans seem to need these days.

    Lizards running up the curtains would be different! Your cat was one of the devious little so & so’s of the cat world, a friend had a cat who learned to operate the catch & slide the (old) patio door open! As he was a house cat it was a bit shocking to them when he first did it to see him go past the window, then they took measures to stop him as he was also letting out their other house cat.

    The last few days have suddenly been almost hog free, no mountains of poo to clear up in the mornings & on camera only our regular little lady & occasional visits from her unwanted suitor. Even leaving some of the food so must be plenty of natural stuff available for them & maybe busy with babies too, who knows. Hopefully that’s what Digger, Magic & your regular older hogs are up to.

    Wings is not too bad as a name, rather angelic actually. Our little lady hasn’t got a name yet either, I tend to think of her as Patch as she has a light patch on her left side over her hip. Harriet had one too & a bit of me still thinks it’s her, I’ll never know of course but she’s very welcome whoever she is. Also there’s a clear line at the bottom of her back where spines become fur which is very light all the way across, very recognisable with the patch as well.

    A friend recently said she’d read hedgehogs were evolving & learning to cross roads, not having seen more then one in a long time on the road I prefer to think this is correct. Stranger things have been known to happen.

    Hope you’re feeling a bit better & also that your hogs have returned to normal.

    #6550

    Nic

    Thanks for the support Wildlifehaven and Annie.

    I like the new profile pic, Annie – nice and cheerful.

    How ever was a cat strong enough to slide patio doors? My cat had me guessing for ages. I kept thinking, I’m sure he was out when I left home. I even asked my neighbour, who used to feed him when I was away, if she had felt sorry for him and let him in, she said she had thought the same when I was away. If I was in, he used to tap on the flap for me to let him in from the kitchen, so one night I pretended I wasn’t there and a few seconds later he was through the flap. No fumbling at all.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if hogs evolved to learn to cross roads! I think they might need to develop much bigger brains to understand all of our dangerous ways, though.

    Wings and Rascal disappeared in the bushes near the patio last night and more than 2 hours later I could still hear huffing coming from the same area. Not sure if it was still them, but if so Rascal has become more persistent than he used to be. He was originally called Rascal because he used to go up to the bowl of food as if he was making advances to the girl who was eating there. She would start reversing, so he got control of the food and then ignored her. He was always more interested in food than girls and even now makes sure he has a good chomp before chasing any of them.

    #6556

    Hi Nic

    Love the story of Rascal, typical man by the sound of it!

    The sliding door the cat opened was a very old one & easy to move once the catch was down, it doesn’t take much space for a cat to squeeze through. That’s why they get into such pickles sometimes, get in but can’t get out again. Your cat was a clever so & so wasn’t he. We used to have a beautiful black cat called Ellie & she used to rattle the keys in the back door to be let out in their run.

    Our Minx (indoor cat) has 2 soft toy crabs & brings them up to bed every night, dumping them by the bedroom door. In the day she moves them around the house, at the moment they’re on top of each other. Sometimes it’s a job to find them as she puts them in funny places, I take them back downstairs every morning to see where she takes them next.
    Frank has a brown mouse & a grey rat & he brings them up some nights too, you find a heap of soft toys waiting in the doorway in the morning!

    Hedgehog activity still very sparse here, just Patch emptying the dish every night & very little poo around the garden.

    #6558

    Nic

    Hi Annie

    Very quiet on the hog front here tonight. It’s very wet and windy and I don’t think they like it very much. Can’t hear or smell much in this weather.
    Only 2 hogs and last seen the second disappeared into the same box the first one went into. They were both boys, so not sure whether they declared a truce, bearing in mind the weather outside! I was hoping to put some of the remains of the food in there to stop the cats getting it too. Might have to have a change of plan.

    Good thing Frank’s mouse and rat are only toys. I was looking after my neighbour’s cat once, and I wondered why the front door didn’t want to open. Turned out there was a rather large dead rat on the doormat. Not what I wanted to find!

    #6559

    Hi Nic, glad your up and about.

    I haven’t seen sight nor sound of any hedgehogs since the 29th May. Bramble whose been sleeping in the nest box at the back of our summerhouse has not been seen nor any of the others. Is this normal is there a drought spell whilst they’re busy having babies? I don’t know the sex of any of our visitors yet – I suppose Bramble could be a lady.

    #6566

    Nic

    Hi Wildlifehaven

    I have been getting a bit worried about two of the girls who have been missing here for more than two weeks. Including Digger, who has been visiting here for a long time. Your ‘post’ prompted me to check more carefully through my records for last year. I had been thinking I hadn’t put May and June onto the ‘table’, but found I had and they were just buried! It is so much easier to easily notice patterns on a table. I remembered that the girls had been absent for short periods of time, but I see that one of them was ‘missing’ for nearly 3 weeks, and Digger for 2. The absences last year were in June, but it is possible that climate conditions could have had an effect and made their absences earlier.

    I never worry so much about the boys, because, apart from one, at the moment, they are not as regular visitors here as the girls. One will come one night and one another and some just pop in occasionally.

    It would be nice if Bramble turns out to be a girl and she turns up with hoglets one night.

    #6586

    Thats interesting, it has turned cold and wet maybe they are as good as my cats are at predicting the weather. The washing behinds the ears they are 100% accurate. Fingers crossed Bramble is a lady it would make my year.

    #6603

    Nic

    Digger Returns!

    Yes, she’s back again. She ate quite a lot, but kept disappearing every few minutes. Probably wishful thinking, but maybe she had hoglets hidden in the undergrowth? They would have had to be nearby, because she wasn’t gone for long between each visit.

    I have also realised that Wings is probably little Erin one of the overwintered hoglets. Last night I finally got round to drawing a sketch of her and then realised it was almost identical to the old one I had of her. Then I saw the pink patch on the side of her nose – when I managed to catch a moment when it wasn’t buried in the food bowl! Aceus was there as well. They are both looking more confident now and more compact. Both being courted by boys, although I would have thought they are still a bit young to breed. I should have checked my sketches sooner then I might have realised before!

    #6631

    Hi Nic

    Hooray, so glad Digger’s returned! Be fab if she has got hoglets, you’re in for a treat if she has – & a whole lot of worry on their behalf.

    Have stopped using the recording facility on my phone because it was messing things up on it & making it overheat so just using it to monitor while I’m awake. Patch comes every night but last night later on must have had a larger visitor too (maybe Sherman) as huge poo out there, far too big for her. She scurries in under the cat house, out for a drink, seems to do a tour of the garden as she disappears for a bit then back under for more food.

    Nice you’ve identified WIngs, how old do hogs have to be to breed?

    Saw a cat on the camera the other evening, it tried unsuccessfully to squeeze under the cat house after the food but I’ve strategically placed obstacles (concrete owls!!) around so only a hog can fit – entrances back & front so they can escape if a bully turns up. I’ve read that slugs love cucumber slices (!!!) & to put them around to keep them away from the hog food but seems a bit far fetched. Guess they wouldn’t want them with salt on like I do…..

    #6632

    Nic

    Hi Annie

    I saw Digger arrive the other evening (she was half an hour early and I was still doing hog preparations) and she didn’t have any hoglets in tow. Probably a bit early for that anyway. She was here eating (in total) quite a long time tonight. The first visit was about 20 minutes then she went back to her, here 2 minutes, gone 2 minutes. I wonder what she is up to in between. The camera half way down the garden, more often than not just catches a hog arriving, just about to disappear out of view, or the back view of a hog leaving. (Nearly always using the path!) So doesn’t throw a huge amount of light on what is happening elsewhere.

    Sorry to hear the phone cam isn’t working out any more. My cams seem to be decidely dodgy. They never seem to capture the bits I am hoping they will! Is Patch one of last year’s hoglets? One of the last year’s hoglets here is very keen on slinking along very low and often goes right underneath one of the hog boxes – he is a boy, so maybe hoping the big boys won’t see him! It is set on some smallish bricks, so quite low. You mentioning the poo, made me realise that my hog visitors have been behaving very well in that respect lately.

    I read that hogs probably don’t breed in the wild until they are 9 – 12 months old. So as Erin and Aceus were late hoglets, it seems unlikely that they will breed this year. I have wondered whether over-wintering late hoglets might be a self-perpetuating thing, if the late hoglets then end up having late hoglets. Erin and Aceus certainly seem quite happy to indulge in a bit of courtship ‘dancing’, but some of the big boys aren’t really very interested in them and either ignore them or give up quite quickly.

    Sounds like you’ve got a good system to deter the cats. One of my hog boxes has quite a good entrance and, as yet, I haven’t seen a cat trying to get in there on the cam. I usually put the remains of any food in there.

    The cucumber thing sounds interesting. The only trouble is, if they really do like it, slugs might smell it and come from all around! They certainly seem to smell the hog food, particularly if it is a wet night.

    #6731

    Hi Nic

    I thought the same about cucumber slices, it would be like opening a restaurant for slugs.

    Patch may well be one of last year’s babies, another darker one who appears to fancy her is I’m sure as he’s quite small. Roughly 3 seem to be consistently visiting, I’ve started using the camera just to watch live til around 12.30 to see what’s what as it’s been such a pain in the bum otherwise. You made me laugh with your description of how your camera gives you shots of more or less before & after any actual interesting footage!

    Being a late hoglet sounds a bit dodgy doesn’t it all things considered. It’s so hot it must be very dangerous weather for so many animals, not least hogs as never see water in anybody’s wildernesses (aka gardens – pity no flowers in them just overgrown grass) round here. Bet there’s plenty of bugs for hogs to eat in the untended gardens just water is so important. Love watching them drinking, it can go on for minutes can’t it.

    Not putting mealworms out at all now as no idea what other food they’re getting elsewhere & don’t want to contribute to their problems. They seem happy with cat food & somebody eats the hedgehog biscuits most nights. One of the hogs trots in to feed, doesn’t always have a drink afterwards (Patch does without fail every time) & often just goes still with its body to the ground. Then it stands up & trots off. Don’t know if I should be worrying about it or not & if so how on earth to catch it as it takes off at a pace into the dark of the garden when it moves.

    Watched a very tiny mouse last night taking a biscuit, like a carrier bag full to him!

    The program last night on hogs with Brian May & Anne at SaveMe was interesting but I thought they could have said more about feeding them & also suggestions on how to do it to keep other animals off the food. Very little was said at all about food considering it was meant to show you how to encourage them to your garden. Loved it though, so nice to see Brian with the little hoglet & Anne & Elaine are amazing. Did you see it?

    Have just bought 2 shallow dishes from Wilkinsons for the food & water as easier for them being so low slung. They call them cat saucers, they’re brown ceramic & are just a shallow cat dish really Β£2 each & perfect for hogs. Nice & heavy too.

    Hope all is well with your hoggy friends & you & they are keeping as cool as possible in this scarily hot stuff.

    #6739

    Nic

    Hi Annie

    That did make me laugh – a restaurant for slugs! Mind you, there have been times when my patio looked a bit like one.

    It seems, here, that it is usually the younger or lower ranking boys who pay attention to the younger girls, although the older girls aren’t much interested in boys recently. One of the other ones who disappeared is back and is up to her old trick again of catching me out by turning up before the food is out.

    Those gardens are the sorts of ones I always find worrying – the sort that someone is likely to take a strimmer to and not bother about any hogs who may be hiding there. And it’s not only hedehogs – they were talking about the damage they do to slow worms and other reptiles on Springwatch.

    You’re right about the water. I love watching them drink as well. You get a really good view of their little overshot noses. I have water saucers all over the place. There is one by the gate near the hogs’ entrance/exit and they often stop there on their way in or out. I am forever warning people not to tread in them if they are not used to my garden, and then I go and tread in one myself – nice soggy socks and trouser bottoms. Amazing how high up it can splash!

    I wouldn’t worry too much about not seeing the hog drinking, as long as it looks healthy otherwise, nicely rounded, etc. There may be another garden nearby where he is getting a drink. The main thing is that he has had the opportunity. They certainly can move at quite a pace when they want to, but, would he move that fast if he was feeling poorly? He may be going flat because he has heard another hog or something? Might it be because he is a bit timid?

    What worries me about the mealworm thing is that I was told someone near here was feeding mealworms. It is a sad fact that not all people who feed hedgehogs want to share information, etc. I presume the person who has been inappropriately marking hogs is feeding them something. Dear old Digger is now sporting a rather unattractive mark on her hind quarters going right up one side and down the other. Not a dark mark this time, but a pale one. Completely senseless, as she is one of the most easily identifiable hogs, even in b/w on camera. Apart from anything else, these excessive marks could be having a detrimental impact on hedgehog reproduction. We don’t know. But the hogs would, no doubt, smell different and could potentially be less attractive to males. Very disloyal of Digger to go visiting another hostelry and getting caught! Like you say, all we can do is offer them decent food and hope they come to eat it.

    I haven’t seen any mice recently – maybe something to do with the nightly visits from one cat or another. I sometimes wonder if the cats have got a rota worked out. I mostly only see one a night on the cams. The mice do seem to take a lot of food away. I have sometimes come across a little cache of food. I wonder whether they remember where they have put it all, or sometimes forget, like squirrels with acorns. Which reminds me – I have got a nice healthy looking sunflower plant growing underneath where I feed the birds. I haven’t watered it at all, and it still seems to be doing ok. Strange, as it is sunflower hearts the birds get, and I am surprised that one has actually grown.

    Yes, the hog programme was interesting. It is always good to see hogs getting a bit of PR. I thought it was slightly unfortunate that one of the few things mentioned about food was nuts and sultanas or something like that, when nuts have a not very good CaP ratio and sultanas, etc. are quite sugary and get stuck on their teeth. I think they did mention dog/cat food but not hedgehog food. Or, I might be thinking of some of the hedgehog related bits which were on Springwatch. It was good, though, that they mentioned the linking gardens, wildlife gardening and dangers of strimmers. I suppose there is a limit to what they can fit in to a one hour programme.

    Your new hog dishes sound very similar to the one I got earlier this year. I managed to break 2 of my hog dishes this year. They were glazed pottery ones which I had had for ages. They had slightly incurved sides, so were ideal for hogs like Digger who is a bit of a messy eater. I tried to find plant saucers to start with, but could only find unglazed ones, so went to the pet shop. Mine was probably meant for cats as well, I imagine, but the hogs seem quite happy with it.

    A hog called Mottle visited this evening, he’s one of the ones who doesn’t come every night. He is quite small, but not a youngster, and the poor chap seems to be quite low down the pecking order, so frequently gets rolled up. Tonight he was early, so actually had a chance to make advances to one of the girls. It was not long before another boy arrived and biffed him. Mottle rolled up, but the girl seemed very cross about that and biffed the attacker. I think she ended up a bit disappointed in the pair of them. The attacker made a couple of ‘token’ circuits of her before disappearing. Then she waited around for Mottle to unroll, but he obviously didn’t want to risk getting rolled up again and went off too! What a way to treat a lady!

    #6849

    Hi Nic

    You make me a bit green with envy talking about all your hogs, down to just the one here I think & 1 or 2 nights seem to be none at all. The way one of our cats behaves I think they’re in the garden but must be plenty of food there for them so they don’t bother much with what I put out. Then they’ll surprise me & eat the lot.

    Have watched the camera as late as I can but by midnight am falling asleep so if they come then I don’t see them. Blinking camera, wish it worked properly & I could sleep & then spend time going through footage.

    Decided to try the cucumber thing for a laugh, sliced some up & put a trail towards the border & another line further from the hog dish. All gone by morning & funnily enough less slug mess in the hog dish. Coincidence probably, seems too silly that it would work!

    I think marking hogs is something only a person who is more interested in their sightings than in the welfare of the animal would do. So many reasons why it’s a bad idea, not least because it could make them easier to see by dogs or anybody who isn’t a fan of wildlife. They have their own colours already which help them disappear into foliage & shadows & painting or marking them is very irresponsible.

    Love the story about Mottle & the boys, wish I had that sort of action here. Watching the camera now & hope to see some interesting hogs before I go to sleep.

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