16th September 2017 at 8:41 am #7733
Since we started observing the hedgies in our garden, we have the following
observation to make. We first realised that we had hedgies when we found
this very black approximately one inch long pooh. After that we started to leave food out each night for them. We built a little house and put feed in it as well as putting feeding bowls out on the grass for them. After shopping at
the local pet store we purchased Spike’s Dinner – Delicious Crunchy Dry Food
2.5kg – approved by Hedgehog Hospital. They have now been fed regularly
over Spring, Summer and into Autumn, with the dry food. So far we have had
no complaints, just little parcels of compliments. However the pooh colour
has gradually changed from jet black to light brown. Does this mean we are
over feeding them the biscuits, or even more worrying are they becoming solely reliant on them. We would appreciate other people’s thoughts on this.16th September 2017 at 11:19 am #7740
The poo pretty much varies according to what the hog has been eating. So a normal wild hog who is eating lots of beetles, etc. tends to have dark poos with, often, shiny beetle wings visible.
For many years when I was feeding the hogs round here, the poos remained looking like normal wild hog poos. The feeding is supposed to be supplementary. I only leave food out for a few hours each night. But, recently, when it appears more people in the area are feeding as well, I am noticing that the poos are becoming paler and, if broken open, look to contain the remains of artificial food. This indicates to me that the hogs have access to too much artificial food, for too much of the time. This is a problem – anything we feed the hogs is far from ideal and they would be better off if they ate more wild food. You cannot blame the hogs – if they have access to easy food for all hours, why would they not take advantage of it.
So, it may not be you, alone, who is giving them access to too much artificial food – there may be others as well, feeding the same hogs. With all night access to artificial food, it seems to me, the hogs could become reliant on it. That is not what is meant by supplementary feeding. We should just be supplementing the wild food they can find for themselves. That is where Hedgehog Street comes in. The point of Hedgehog Street, as I see it, is to try to increase and improve the habitat for hedgehogs, so that they can find their own wild food. To this end, we could all take advantage of hibernation time to improve the habitat for the hogs. I like to think my garden is reasonably wildlife and hog friendly, but know there is always more I could do.
Having said all that, there are times when the hedgehogs are more in need of help from supplementary feeding – and one of them is now, in the run up to hibernation.
Now is not a time to make reductions in the amount we are feeding.16th September 2017 at 4:21 pm #7749
I understand what you are saying, and take note. I agree that at this time
of the year there should be no decrease in food. The food we put out for the hedgies is regulated so they are not overfed. The hedgies here are more
than likely only using our feeding stations. We are too far from our other neighbours, and 500 yards away, along one side is the barrier of the M5 motorway. Have you any suggestions for a change of food? We have a cat and a dog, so could some of their food be given as a supplement? Just a little worried that the passing rats, foxes or cats etc, would smell it and get to it before the hedgies. So far we have had no trouble from the badger set about quarter of a mile away, but we are wary that such food could start to attract them. We certainly do not want the hedgies enemy coming to our doorstep. We know for a fact that the hedgies go around the front of the house. They forage for the food that the birds have dropped from the feeders. Infact one hedgie in particular, we call “Surrey” because of her fringe, likes to partake of water at the outside dog bowl at the back door. We some times find her there on the coir matting outside snuffling about down the sides of it. Looking for grubs etc. We assume she is not interested in the fish pond in the same location. Though I do occasionally drop the odd fish pellet. The pond is too high and steep for her to climb into. We also think that because of the amount of water there is in this location she is attracted by the smell of it. Bit of a dilemma really as I don’t want them to become self reliant on the food we put out. However at the same time I would not have them go without. Problem?19th September 2017 at 10:25 am #7774
I’d be inclined to stick to what you are feeding already, if the hogs like it, and your local wildlife hospital has recommended it. Unfortunately, putting out any food could attract unwanted visitors and pretty much anything we feed them isn’t as good for the hogs as the wild food they find themselves.
Perhaps, bear in mind for next year that, presumably, the hogs were managing ok on their own before you started feeding them. So feeding can be an extra ‘helping hand’ without completely replacing what they can find naturally.
I wouldn’t rely totally on the hedgehogs not being able to get into the pond because it is too steep, and make sure there is provision for them to get out, if they do manage to climb up there. (If you haven’t already). Some hedgehogs are incredibly good climbers, and I’ve heard before, people thinking that the hogs couldn’t get into a pond but they have.
I like the name ‘Surrey’ (musical fan?). I often give the hogs slightly descriptive names.24th September 2017 at 8:46 am #7830
I have been monitoring what I give the hedgies to eat and have found that
there is no great change in their motions. It is not as light brown as it was and has definitely got a shade darker. However it is not back to black in all cases. The wandering visitors have the darker pooh whereas our local ones still have a brown pooh. I have tried the dog and cat food, but our hedgies are either too posh [living in South Gloucestershire] or not particularly taken with it [or Sainsbury’s is not too their liking]. For this reason I have stopped using this method of feeding. I am sticking with using the dry crunchy Spikes Dinner food, but have reduced the amount I put out. As I mentioned previously they do not appear to like the moist Spikes Dinner food. I tried that for the reason that the moist food is black, and thought therefore that their motions would return to normal. Well you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink, so I think as far as the hedgies are concerned, leave well enough alone. No doubt after a long hibernation period over winter their system’s will return to normal. Hopefully they do not suffer with hemorrhoids as human beings do?
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