Recent little visitor
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- This topic has 7 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 6 months ago by Eastpeak.
19th November 2020 at 2:06 pm #28552
To my absolute delight at dusk a week ago a little hedgehog appeared on my terrace. I got hoggie biscuits and dog food next day and he/she is a very hungry regular visitor. I have spied an adult in my garden in past years, but only from a distance late at night and I’ve never put out food before, but always thought one or two must live under my sheds. What I want to ask here is if it’s too late to construct a hedgehog house in the hope this little fellow will use it for hibernating? Getting so close to hibernation time will it have it’s winter quarters sorted by now or is there a chance it may take up residence? I do live in a mild area of the UK but read that they usually hibernate by November? Any help appreciated thanks.19th November 2020 at 10:01 pm #28553
It’s got to be worth a try. I’ve just put a new house out and one of the hoglets has moved in. I’ve got a mummy and one hoglet hibernating, each in their own house and her other hoglet has moved into the new house but up till last night was still eating the food and water I put out every night. I think he/she will be hibernating soon too as its turned a bit chilly now.20th November 2020 at 12:36 pm #28569
Great news that you have a hog or hogs there. As Jackietb says, it’s always worth a try having another hog house. Some hogs are still around, and some youngsters apparently still sharing and they may want their own places when it comes to hibernating for them. Also hogs apparently sometimes change their hibernacula during the hibernation time – so another reason to have a spare hog house or two around!
As important as the hog houses are the materials with which they can build their nests within them. So loads of medium sized leaves and long grasses are useful to leave fairly near to the hog house to encourage them. They use far more than we might think, as they layer the leaves, so think how much you think would fill the box and multiply that several times. If you don’t have lots of leaves in your garden, someone you know might have some spare. The thing to do is just put about a handful of material in the box to give them the idea and then they can do the rest themselves. They are incredibly clever builders – even hoglets.
Some hogs, hoglets in particular, choose not to hibernate, in which case just keep offering food all winter, but especially leave water out all winter, whether you know there are any hogs around or not. One might suddenly appear. But even if they don’t hibernate they might welcome a hog house to shelter in or spend days in.
Hope all goes well. Good luck and happy hog watching!22nd November 2020 at 2:04 pm #28590
Thanks Jackie and Nic for your responses. I shall have a go at making a house this week (if it ever stops raining!) but of course because of so much rain there is no dry material in the garden. Plenty of leaves etc but all soaking wet. I hear it is possible to buy bags of hay and barley straw, so will get that. Apart from seeing two hogs together is there any way of telling them apart? Just wonder if there are two here because I was assuming the same one regularly eats at 5 pm then returns at 7 pm for more – ( it certainly has a huge appetite) but could it be two !24th November 2020 at 1:08 pm #28626
Good luck with the hog house. When you’ve built it, if you have any spare wood, you could maybe lean some of it against the house as a shelter for some nesting material. Might give it a chance to dry out. They do really like to have some leaves, even if they do have hay and straw as well. It’s best to just put a small amount of bedding into the box and leave lots more nearby, so that they can choose what they use themselves. They are excellent builders of hibernation nests!
If you want to try to identify hogs by their natural markings, I made some notes a while back with a few tips. https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/forums/topic/identifying-hedgehogs-from-their-natural-markings/25th November 2020 at 5:11 pm #28655
Thanks for that link Nic, really interesting ways to recognise each hog. Am happy to report that 2 hogs arrived together to eat the other day, one a teeny bit bigger than the other and I did study them but not yet been able to identify them singly. I stayed up late last night as had 5 separate visits for food and all I could tell was one was a bit chubbier, but could be the same greedy 2 who knows. I do have to replenish the food during the evening though it is amazing to me how much they can eat.
One house completed today but having 2 visiting together tells me I must get on with making another house. Will they live together (I assume the 2 are siblings) or prefer a house each?
I have collected a few buckets of wet leaves and am drying them by the fireplace for nest building – anything to help these gorgeous little ones.26th November 2020 at 12:30 am #28658
Well those hogs went to the right garden! Brilliant that you are planning on making a second hog house! Normally hogs like to have a nest to themselves, so I’m sure will appreciate a second one. Occasionally hoglets will share the same box, although maybe not during hibernation.
Love it that you are drying the leaves inside! Do be careful though that they don’t catch fire. The hogs probably don’t mind if some of them are a bit damp. They would normally have to find leaves for themselves. But they do use a huge amount of leaves in their hibernacula, they sort of layer them like tiles so that even if outside they would be waterproof.
Very considerate of the hogs to turn up together so you were certain there were two of them! It’s a bit more difficult when they are youngsters to tell them apart, but the markings do tend do develop a bit by the time they become adults.
Good luck with the hogs, I hope they like their new houses.1st December 2020 at 11:22 am #28716
Well worth making a new house for them. I only put a one out last Monday. Two days later one moved in (cameras are great to keep an eye out without disturbing then) I made another this weekend and a regular chap with white rear spines is looking around each night. 🤞 Good luck
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