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Seen my first hedgehog and now there are more!!

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Seen my first hedgehog and now there are more!!

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    I have never seen a hedgehog before in my life, but at the beginning of this month I saw one in my back garden. I live in quite a new housing estate so I was shocked as there are fences everywhere. It was quite exciting! I spotted it near my shed, it walked across the lawn towards the house, wandered around the patio for a bit and then squeezed under the fence to next door.

    Then the end of last week I saw the hedgehog again outside the shed. It walked the exact same route towards the house and under the fence.

    Tonight, I spotted it again outside the shed but this time there were at least 2, maybe 3, little tiny ones too! The larger one guided the smaller ones down between the shed and fence, disappeared for a while, then reappeared alone and walked its usual route towards the house and under the fence.

    Could there be a nest under my shed? What can I do to help? I’d love to build/buy a hedgehog house. Would they use it if they’re already using another space (possibly under the shed)? Also I don’t have any pets so no cat or dog food to put out. What exactly should I buy to leave out for them? I have left out a shallow bowl of water for now.

    Thank you!


    So exited for you …we discovered we had hedgehogs using our garden April 2017 we immediately made it our nightly mission to leave food and water…we had several hedgehog visitors unit July 2018 then not a single hedgehog for almost 9 weeks….until 4 days ago and we have one back. We have fitted a night vision camera I love to check on them I was hoping to see some hoglets but none yet.

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    Hi Gwenz1991

    That is so exciting! Your first hedgehog and babies as well!

    It is possible that they have a nest under your shed. It is an ideal location for them.

    Leaving water out is brilliant. I always recommend leaving it out 24 hours a day, in case a nursing mum wakes up during the day thirsty. Likewise, they sometimes wake up during hibernation and might welcome access to water. Large shallow plant saucers are ideal, the bigger the better as hogs are very clever at tipping water containers over! The birds will probably make good use of them during the day as well.

    You could make/purchase a hog house. You might find this link useful:
    There is no reason why they shouldn’t use a hog box even if they are currently nesting under the shed. They don’t tend to keep using the same nest, probably to reduce potential problems with parasites such as fleas and ticks. Sometimes they move into a new box almost immediately, for short stays, but other times need a bit of time to get used to the hog house before choosing to nest in it.

    Re. food. Cat/dog/hedgehog food or cat/kitten biscuits are all that they need. Don’t be tempted to feed mealworms as they aren’t good for them.

    If it is a fairly new estate you might like to encourage your neighbours to make hog sized holes in their fences so that the hogs can get around more easily. It also has the benefit that if they have access to lots of gardens, there is less need for them to cross roads – a big hazard for hogs.

    And you might also like to try to make your garden more hog friendly:

    It sounds as if these endearing little creatures have got you under their spell already! I hope you enjoy watching the little ones grow up. Let us know how they all get on.


    Thanks both. And thanks for the links. I haven’t seen the little ones since the other night but have seen the larger one every night at about 8:30 so far. I keep a look out every night now. I find it all very exciting! I might go and buy some food for them tomorrow. And might make a house for them over the weekend, just need to decide where the best place is to put it!

    It seems to already be able to get under the fence to next door and it must go on somewhere from there as their garden is completely paved and I wouldn’t think there’d be much there for them. The green in the centre of the estate has several piles of wood after the council cut the the trees at the beginning of the year but didn’t take the branches away so they may be travelling from/to there every day. But I might try and make the hole a bit bigger to help them.

    I am excited to see more of them!

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    I love it that you’re so excited! I hope you see little ones again soon. It would be lovely for you to see them growing up.


    I have seen one little one since. I put food out for the first time last night and they found it almost straight away. The little one was actually sat in the bowl while the mother/larger one ate from the side. Was pretty cute. All the food was gone this morning. 😊


    Tonight I have seen 2 larger hedgehogs in the back garden and they are making a lot of noise! Should I be concerned? What should I do? Would be grateful for some advice. Thanks.


    Aha! Word has got around about the free food! If they’re making noise then what you most likely have are a male and a female and they’re discussing making babies. These discussions can be very loud, huffing and puffing, but leave them to it.

    If they do make more babies then it’s too late in the year for the little ones to survive the winter (they’re called autumn juveniles). Keep your eyes peeled for tiny (and I mean tiny) hoglets appearing in the autumn because they will need to go to a hedgehog rescue. Do your homework now on finding local hedgehog rescues centres.

    Oh, and welcome to your new addiction! Hogs are very addictive indeed as I found out myself. I’ve never been a rabid bunny hugger type and then I found hedgehogs in my garden. I’m now a fully addicted hogaholic.

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    Hi Gwenz 1991

    That’s good advice from Williamc to look out for a carer. Always useful to know where the nearest one is for all sorts of eventualities. But, yes, it seems likely that what you heard was two ‘courting’ hogs. It doesn’t always lead to anything, but just as well to be prepared. The hoglets need to be over 450g to have a chance of surviving hibernation.

    If it’s a warm autumn they can be allowed to keep putting on weight for a while (if they are already independent from Mum) but if it is really cold they may need help sooner. It is always best to check with your local carer if you find an underweight hoglet, as they are the ones who know the weather conditions near you.

    Likewise if Mum goes off to hibernate and the young aren’t yet independent they will need help anyway (in other words if she deserts them). That is when you might see tiny hoglets out and about on their own. The same would apply if she deserts them for any other reason.

    Last year there were two hoglets (and Mother) here late into November. The weather was mild, so it was ok. They were both over the required 450g. One disappeared to hibernate within a day or so of when the Mother did, but the other one just decided not to and kept visiting all winter. But don’t worry too much about timings at this stage. You will find that people start talking about it on the Forum when it’s time and most of the hogs go off to hibernate normally.

    I love it that the little one was sitting in the bowl and the adult confined to the edges! Sounds typical hoglet and yes, they are really cute! Most adult hogs seem to be incredibly tolerant of hoglets (until they reach a certain size) and allow them to get away with completely taking possession of a bowl of food from them – even if the hoglets aren’t theirs. I always think it’s a really endearing characteristic. Even the grumpiest male will usually give way to a hoglet! And the hoglets take full advantage, needless to say!


    Thanks both! I had thought that maybe they’d heard about the food! Haha However I also saw this morning that a house around the corner from me also had out bowls (I’m assuming for hedgehogs – I have not seen them put out food before!) so others here are getting involved too which is great! I have not been putting out food every night, only because I will be away soon and I don’t want them to get to used to the food being there.

    I’m also quite lucky that a friend of mine has a sister who is a hedgehog carer whom I have now found on facebook so I have her as a contact now.

    If I do find some little hoglets how will I know how much they weigh/what to do?

    I know, the hoglet in the bowl was very cute! I’m gutted I didn’t get a picture!! Last night one decided to also knock over one of my empty milk bottles outside the front door! When I opened the front door to see what the noise was, he was just sat there outside the front door as if to say “sorry!” Made me giggle!

    I now have also installed a hedgehog house in the back of the garden. It is empty. Should I put anything in it?


    Can anyone tell me why I cannot start a new topic… the option is greyed out for me??
    Found hogs on my patio (3) about 4 weeks ago and I started to feed them. I bought the Spike semi moist food which they like, I offered them apple but they left that.. They like mealworms but I have read these are not good so I only let them have about a teaspoon once a week.
    I have just ordered a dome type hog house from amazon as they were reduced and I am on a budget.. It does not seem to have a base/floor should I make one? or just site it on the earth?
    The hogs come each night now and eat the food and drink loads of water… I think they live in next doors garden as I can see a little path under the fence where there is a hole….
    this is the house:

    Thank you.

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    Hi Gwenz1991

    Good news about having a contact with a hedgehog carer. Also that someone near you is feeding too. Takes the pressure off worrying when you are away!

    When it comes nearer the time, and you see a hedgehog who looks small, you can catch it and weight it. Once you have weighed one, you get a pretty good idea of the size you need to be looking out for. But it is much to early to be worrying about that for a while yet. If they are over the required weight, you can leave them to hibernate at a time of their choice. Obviously the longer they are about the heavier they are going to get and greater chance they have. The hoglet who stayed up here last winter turned up on even the coldest of nights. He made a nest in one of the feed boxes which he used for a nap now and then and occasionally spent the day there, but not always.

    There is, sadly, quite a high mortality rate during hibernation, however heavy the hedgehog is and not all of them will survive. In the same way, not all the hoglets who are taken in for over-wintering will survive. It is very stressful for them to be taken into captivity, hence seeing what the weather is like and giving them a chance to put on weight ‘in the wild’. Likewise, it’s stressful to them to be weighing them too often, so that you don’t want to start weighing too soon.

    Re. the hog house. You might like to read:
    I can only say the hoglet here just started from scratch. There were a fair few leaves and long grasses around and he took in a mixture of all, including some fresh green vegetation which he ‘picked’. All was woven together. So I would leave lots of suitable materials nearby and let them decide what they want. They are much better at building nests than we could ever be!

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    Hi Laurabiding

    To open a new topic:
    Click Forum
    Click, say, Champions Chat
    Scroll down to near the bottom of page
    in Start new topic write a ‘title’ (make sure you stay within the limit for minimum no. of characters)
    Click in the big box below and start whatever you want to write.
    Then click I’m not a robot and follow instructions
    Then click submit

    If you have put a message on to the end of this topic, it should let you start a new one. If it doesn’t then you may need to contact and explain what’s happening.

    Pleased to hear you have some hedgehogs there. I’m glad you’ve cut down on the mealworms. Personally, I would cut them out completely, especially if there are hoglets around. You’re probably best sticking with the Spikes

    Re. The hog home. It is really personal choice whether you put them on a base or not. If you put it straight onto the ground, the hedgehogs have the option of making a small ‘hollow’ in the earth if they want and you can also peg the dome down. I have one that is a sort of igloo shape and I have it on the ground under a bush but also pegged down with some wire over the tunnel part and pegs (I have seen tent pegs suggested) to make sure no predators can tip it over. Leave some materials, such as dried leaves, long grasses, hay, nearby and let them take them in. You could put just a small amount in to give them the idea, if you wanted to.

    Good luck. I hope someone takes up residence soon. Happy hog watching.

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