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Please Don't Mark Hedgehogs!!!!!

Home Forums Champions’ chat Please Don't Mark Hedgehogs!!!!!

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    I’m sure I’m preaching to the converted here but please don’t mark hedgehogs,

    Over the years I have seen a few that have been clearly marked with some substance or other,

    As Nic has said in his posts if you observe the hogs you will soon be able to identify them from their individual markings without painting them different colours!

    They may all look the same/similar on first viewing but. with a bit of patience, you can tell the difference in most cases (although there are some that will always be a bit more tricky) and for me this adds to the joy of watching our spikey friends.


    Hi Hogmeister,

    Thankfully we have had quite a few hogs return over the past week and two of them have already been marked…GRRRRR!!! It becomes very confusing to those of us who take the trouble to identify them by their own markings. I know it’s not always easy, but there is usually something that makes one hog stand out from another. I have found that their legs and feet often have varying features or markings that show up on trail cams.

    How would we all feel if our garden birds started turning up with artificial marks or our pet cat or dog turned up covered in white emulsion!


    Hi Penny,

    Realy good to hear about your returning hogs but GRRRRR!!! indeed to hear that 2 of them have already been marked.

    One of my returning hogs seems to have had 3 small white stripes applied to him and you make a great point about how people would feel if other animals, particularly pets, started turning up with artificial marks.

    For me, although I do make an effort to recognise individual hogs, just seeing them and knowing they are visiting my garden is enough to provide enjoyment without getting artistic with them!


    Hi guys. On our night camera I can see our hog has a fair few “white” patches showing up. Not sure what they are. Also looks like he may have a fair few ticks around the neck area. I was pondering removing them or just leave him be? Curious as to what these patches are though.

    Avatar photo

    Hi Catdog

    Sadly, it is most likely that the white patches are where someone has artificially marked the hedgehog. It is sad, not only for the hedgehog, but also all the other people who’s garden that hedgehog visits.

    It is actually not that difficult to identify hedgehogs by their natural markings, as with any animal, so that it is completely unnecessary to artificially mark hedgehogs. If it is for properly organised scientific research to help hedgehogs as a whole and for which a licence has been obtained, that is different. But I think in those circumstances, they would be very careful how they marked the hogs. Sadly, when people are marking them for their own benefit, that isn’t always the case. And unfortunately this marking of hedgehogs, can, potentially, not only cause problems but also cover them up. It is bad news for hogs, for so many reasons.

    My own view is before any close contact with hedgehogs we should ask ourselves is this is for the benefit of this hedgehog or hedgehogs as a whole. If the answer is no, we should leave them to get on with their lives in peace.

    With regard to the ticks. It isn’t unusual for hogs to have a certain number of ticks, so that it’s really a question of weighing up whether it seems an excessive tick burden for the size of hog. The only thing is that the larger the tick, the more likely it is that it’s about to drop off. Hogs using ‘wild’ nests would move nests from time to time so that the parasite burden would not be so bad. So if you have hog houses, make sure that you clean them out from time to time (but only when you are sure there is no-one in residence – disturbing a nesting female can cause her to desert her babies if they are very young). Use boiling water to kill any parasite eggs in the cracks between joints, not any chemical. This could help to prevent the hog from becoming re-infested.

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