Shock in the night with Hedgehog and Badger (hedgie okay)
5th September 2017 at 5:59 pm #7567
Hi Penny, sorry to hear you’re also worried about your local prickles. A couple of things come to mind as a possible cause. Firstly, when we’ve had rain we usually find the hogs when around, don’t eat as much as usual, they are finding their own natural food source. Secondly, could it be that the males are running a mock trying to find females for a second late breeding frenzy, other females could be nesting perhaps. Lastly, fields are being ploughed at the moment, hogs could be in there searching for worms…………. all could offer a bit of a diversion but I wouldn’t think it would cause a total diversion of so many hogs. We had been putting down four large bowls of hog food each night, sometimes they needed topping up before we went to bed. Nothing is left in the morning. This last week all the food has gone untouched. Last night I reduced the bowls down to one, again untouched. Regards the link you provided, I found a skin of a poor hog around seven years ago around the corner from our house. I was shocked to find such an item, I first thought a person was to blame, but googled it and found it would be a badger.5th September 2017 at 6:42 pm #7570
Most of the ‘regular’ males have gone missing from here too. They have done the same other years, but been back the next year, so I don’t get so worried about them any more. The occasional female could still be having hoglets, so that is a possible explanation for the female missing.
Snufflewoofs. I understand that if the hedgehogs scent that badgers are around, they will avoid those areas. So putting that together with it being a funny time of year re. absences, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have all been eaten. Even though, it is very sad for you not having the hogs around.5th September 2017 at 7:17 pm #7575
Even better, hopefully other people are feeding them in other areas of the village.6th September 2017 at 7:41 am #7591
Hi Snufflewoofs & Nic,
I’ve been through some camera footage from this time last year and the numbers of adults visiting was similar, down to 2 or 3, but there were a lot more juveniles including the young Boris and Arnie. I suppose they could have all gone into hiding just like the blackbirds, or gone in search of the ladies further afield, but the fact they all went missing round about the same time and haven’t been back since is a worry.
Like you Snufflewoofs, I found a husk in the garden a couple of years ago, but it still had the limbs attached (sorry to be so graphic!) wouldn’t a badger have eaten the limbs as well?
I hope your hogs turn up soon, it really is a worry. I am off for a few country walks and to do some detective work to see if I can find any evidence of badgers.6th September 2017 at 11:29 am #7592
Hi Penny, re the husk, it does sound like the work of a badger from the internet searching I’ve done. The badger I saw was really large and when it half ran away it was bounding and running off at an angle it was that big, lovely creature, really small head for its size too. Compared to other badgers I’ve seen, this one was a biggie. Hopefully your hogs will return shortly. None again last night for us.6th September 2017 at 12:16 pm #7594
Numbers of adults have gone down here too, but, like with you, they did last year as well. Only one or two persistent males around (ones which are normally a bit lower down the ‘pecking order’!) The mature females here last night, very sensibly, don’t seem that interested in the boys any more. If they got pregnant now, any potential hoglets would be unlikly to have time to put on enough weight for hibernation. But also like you, the numbers of hoglets are well down on this time last year. There were the three early ones here, but none since. One mature adult female is missing – bit of a worry as she is the one who used to come through the building site garden – and two younger females. Potentially, all could be on hoglet duties. Otherwise, not sure what is happening re. hoglet numbers – although having said that, last year was a bumper year here for hoglets. But hope there aren’t going to be too many that need over-wintering.
Re. the husk, I read somewhere recently (but can’t remember where it was so can’t find it again at the moment!) that foxes don’t leave such a ‘clean’ husk as badgers do.
Came across the following which gives the top 7 reasons for deaths of hedgehogs which went to a wildlife hospital. Ok, they were in Kent, where there may not be as many badgers around as, say, Devon, but even so, it tells it’s own story.
http://www.uksafari.com/hedgehogs5.htm6th September 2017 at 1:34 pm #7596
Hi Nic & Snufflewoofs,
The husk in the garden is really a bit of a mystery and I could kick myself for not taking more notice of it at the time, but I was so upset that I just wanted to dispose of it as quickly as possible. The previous evening we had been sat in the garden at dusk on a late summers evening. Out of nowhere appeared a hedgehog which proceeded to criss cross its way across the lawn and then did the usual vanishing trick! I was chuffed to bits, as it was the first time I had ever seen a hedgehog on the back garden in nearly twenty years. The following day I noticed something propped up against the shed at the top of the garden which looked like a pile of straw. At first I had no idea what it was and still thought that it was straw, until I saw two black legs poking out. It was completely flat and the only explanation that I could think of was that it had been baked by the sun, that had bleached its spines and a cat had then dragged it out from a hidden corner and left it there. The problem is, our garden is very shady and to have been baked by the sun it would have to have been in full view for some time. Looking back now, I think that it must have been a blonde hedgehog and it was either eaten by a fox or a badger. We have had the occasional fox on the garden in the past and later that year I took an autumn juvenile to the local rescue which had very pale spines. A fox or badger would certainly explain some of the mysterious movements of the feeding dishes in the past!
An interesting article Nic, but they are only the ones that make it to a rescue; I doubt any victims of a badger attack would ever make it that far.
The formidable Brenda is looking larger than ever, so it’s possible that she could be expecting hoglets, but then again, it would take an incredibly brave male to take her on….maybe she’s just been at the pies again! 🙂6th September 2017 at 3:40 pm #7597
Penny, it sounds like you had a paler prickled hog, even blonde. We have found that even the regular brown prickles have different shades between hogs. One that visits has incredibly dark spines, nearly black.
Three and possibly a forth one that has visited recently looked heavily pregnant to us. I do hope they are not pregnant as it’s really late in the season now for their little ones to gain weight for their hibernation.6th September 2017 at 5:51 pm #7598
Hi Penny and snufflewoofs
Very sad about the hog, Penny. Unfortunately it stays with you – like the poor chap who got strimmed. Not things that are easily forgotten.
I came across something recently which was talking about how many hedgehogs actually get killed by foxes as well. What with foxes, badgers and humans to cope with, it is a wonder there are still so many hogs around. Sadly, not all hogs who end up dying as a result of human carelessness make it to rescues either. Which reminds me, I wonder whether they will be starting a new petition re. The dreaded trap.
There are quite a few hogs with much paler spines, here too, including one who is pale and slightly gingery. But most of them have dark noses. But these days it is not always easy to tell what colour their spines really are, with the excessive markers at work. One chap, who I know has, normally, quite average coloured spines, has turned up at various times almost covered in dark stuff. But, I have seen a naturally very dark one too, although not here – quite striking, though.
If the hog there is about to produce any minute, snufflewoofs, it might not be so bad, especially if there is a late winter. Not sure they would want to be adding the extra roughly 4 and half weeks gestation period on top of that now, though.
Is Brenda the Boris lookalike, Penny? Sounds a scary hog! She could probably compete with Madge. Here dear old Digger is no longer the biggest looking female. Amazingly, she has been overtaken in size. Sorry, snufflewoofs, talking about all these hogs – must be very bittersweet for you. I know I would be very unhappy if Digger and co. stopped visiting.6th September 2017 at 9:14 pm #7607
I’m hoping the will all come back very soon. It seems impossible how such a large amount of hogs can disappear in the space of a week. It’s great to read about everyone else’s hedgepogs, at least there’s others around and people are looking out for them alongside feeding them.7th September 2017 at 9:02 pm #7619
I am only getting three hogs visit each night now. Not seen any juveniles at all so far. This time last year my garden was hedgehog central, and had a job of putting out enough food.
Had a badger come in a few years ago, and I shouted at it, never came back again. I have three cameras watching out in various places around the house and garden.11th September 2017 at 12:37 pm #7672
Still no sign of the missing boys and no new hoglets, that makes only two so far this year. Last year they were too numerous to count. There were no sightings of Brenda on camera last night, which is very unusual as she usually hangs around scoffing for most of the evening. Her belly was so large the previous evening that it was almost dragging on the floor, so here’s hoping that she’s produced some hoglets to boost this year’s tally. If they’re anything like their mother, it won’t take them long to gain weight ready for hibernation. Brenda is the one I used to confuse with Bruno Nic, and he too is still missing.
There’s a strong possibility Snufflewoofs, that some of your missing hogs could have given birth to hoglets. It does appear that hoglet numbers generally seem to be down so far this year, so maybe, for whatever reason they have left it late. Two of our smallest autumn juveniles Tippy Toe and Enzo made it through last winter despite only weighing in at 450 grams in December! Both hogs are now amongst the missing, but thankfully Tippy Toe’s offspring Nagini and Draco are regular visitors.
I’ve not heard anything about a new petition Nic and sadly with everything else that’s going on at the moment; I wouldn’t have thought that it would be very high on the governments list of priorities. It’s always at the back of my mind when another hog goes missing. 🙁
I hope all the missing hogs and hoglets turn up soon…13th September 2017 at 12:17 am #7705
Still no sign of any here as well. I do think there is the possibility some of them could be away having hoglets (hopefully) It’s the shear scale of all of them going missing that has be really worried. Nada, it’s like they’ve all beamed up to another planet! I do wonder if they are in the local fields searching for their natural foods, that’s what I’m clinging to, trying not to think of all the possibilities. Hope your regular visitors turn up soon, yours too William.13th September 2017 at 9:21 am #7709
It was very quiet here last night – only 3 hogs, whilst I was up to see them – haven’t looked at the cam yet (it is still going crazy and so more of a daunting prospect than normal!) Mind you, it was horribly windy and wet. It is easy to forget what happened other years, but when I checked back to this time last year, I see there weren’t many adult hogs around then either. The difference, and it is very marked, is the lack of hoglets, who were swelling the numbers last year. I wonder whether some of the boys have actually started hibernating already. They normally come back from hibernation about 2 months earlier than the girls, here, so it wouldn’t seem so strange. Apart from one regular and the occasional visit from one other, they were all missing in September last year too. The one who is still here is the same one as last year.
The trouble with the trap, Penny, (which is also often in the back of my mind, too) is that now there has been such a time delay, the ‘horse’ has already ‘bolted’. There must be so many more of them out there now. Very unfortunate.14th September 2017 at 11:31 am #7715
Well I did manage to go on one walk. and spotted some black poo on a green lane which could have been a badgers, but I’m not sure. I have spoken to a neighbour who regularly cycles and walks around the local villages and he hasn’t seen any signs of them, so that’s a relief.
I know what you mean about the fields Snufflewoofs, they have such a large expanse of fields and hedgerows to explore around us that I’m amazed that we have had so many visitors and it explains why our hedgehog houses aren’t being used. There’s also the possibility that someone further down the road has started feeding them mealworms and has enticed them all away.
The lack of hoglets generally is a worry, but I think I may have been right about Brenda. She didn’t show up again last night, but she turned up briefly the previous evening and I’m sure that she was a tad slimmer. She was also very bad tempered, with another poor female bearing the brunt of her anger as she tried unsuccessfully to defend a food bowl! I even checked back through previous footage just to confirm that she was actually female, as given the opportunity she knocks the large males around too!
It’s so frustrating about the trap Nic, maybe the Daily Mail could run a feature on it to make amends for their recent ‘cock up’!
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