15th January 2019 at 5:01 pm #13517
Our Humphrey has just begun to hibernate in the last few days. It could be the mild Autumn and early winter. He is living in his hedgehog house against one of our fences which he has been using all Summer. He is one of 5 hedgehogs that visited on a regular basis but the others disappeared one by one looking for their own area I suspect.20th January 2019 at 10:02 am #13547
Sorry no-one has replied sooner – it tends to be a bit quiet here at this time of year!
You are lucky that the hog is still using the hog house it used in the Summer. Often they move nest sites more often, in part probably to avoid too many parasites.
The other hedgehogs may have disappeared to hibernate. Some of them do tend to hibernate much earlier than we expect. The males here often disappear in September but then do tend to come back earlier as well. But, if they were youngsters, it is possible that they have spread out a bit when they got a bit older, although you may find that some come back to visit from time to time.
Good luck with Humphrey and the others.2nd February 2019 at 7:38 pm #13663
Just joined the site and forum, our resident ‘hog has been active even with the snow on the ground! She was out this afternoon gobbling up mealworms I’d scattered on the patio for the birds, and probably bits of suet pellets the birds drop under the tree. We have a feeding station, (well two, but the first one isn’t in use, it’s a heavy paving slab on bricks that’s really difficult to keep clean, so I made a new one out of a cheap Wilco’s 14 ltr storage box with a hole cut in one end), and she’d cleaned the plate of kitty kibbles and mealworms which I’d topped up yesterday. She’s been around next door as well, my girlfriend could see her tracks in the snow.
I made a number of sleeping quarters out of upturned old plastic flowerpots, but only one has been used, and she’s around every day, even in the daytime recently; I guess being warmer during the day, and being within an environment she’s familiar with and comfortable in, she’s happy to be out during daylight hours.3rd February 2019 at 3:19 pm #13668
Hi and welcome to the forum.
The hedgehog being out during the day rings alarm bells with me. It may be because she is actually very hungry. It isn’t normal behaviour for a hog. I have a hedgehog here too which isn’t hibernating and turns up in minus 0 temperatures (although the recent snow has been a bit too much for him). But he never turns up during daylight and neither did the one who was here last year, all winter. It is not necessary for them to do that with the nights so long.
If it is so, that the hedgehog is very hungry, it is very important that you try to prevent it from eating mealworms and instead provide plenty of cat food or good quality hedgehog food. They love mealworms and will fill themselves up with them in preference to anything else if they get the chance – a bit like humans and crisps. But they have very little nutritional value as well as a bad balance of phosphorous to calcium. This can lead to calcium being leached from the bones causing something similar to osteoporosis. It is also very important to provide water. Hard, I know in freezing weather, but if there is a sheltered place you can put it that might help.
If I were you, I would leave cat food out during the day as well. Try to keep the bird food away from where the hog feeds and hope that it eats some of the more nutritious food. It should gradually revert to visiting at night as it should do. (it is important to realise that there is very little wild food around when the weather is very cold). You could also try to catch the hog and weigh it. If it weighs less than 450g. it might need help from a local rehabilitator. You can find your nearest one by ringing the BHPS on 01584 890801. You can also ring your local rehabilitator for further advice. If you have to take the hog to a rehabilitator, make sure that you can have it back for release where it came from once it (hopefully) has recovered.
Good luck4th February 2019 at 8:54 am #13673
We have a hedgehog visiting us for the last week. I have a feeding station with a camera inside. I have left 3 bowls of food, one Spike hedgehog food, dry cat food, and tinned cat food. Last night we had a hedghog visiting between 11.23pm and 7. 20 this morning. The tinned cat food, approx three quarters of a large tin had been eaten and a little of the other foods.4th February 2019 at 12:44 pm #13676
It’s interesting to hear that you still have a hedgehog visiting. Sounds as if they are well catered for! Don’t forget the water as well. It seems there are quite a few hedgehogs who aren’t hibernating, although, it’s also possible that some hogs might wake up during hibernation and welcome some supplementary food. Sounds lovely to have a camera actually inside your feeding station.
The hog who I have had visiting during the winter, unfortunately, is one of those hogs who shuns boxes so I have to leave the food outside for him. I now put it under some perspex type sheets to try to stop the cats from eating it!6th February 2019 at 9:09 pm #13687
I have been putting out cat food, as well as kitty kibbles, mealworms and suet pellets with insects, so our female isn’t stuck for anything to eat. She was out a couple of times today, around lunchtime, then a bit later, and she’d polished off a plateful of chicken cat food, a posh one, then tucked into some of the other munchies, then went back to bed after a drink and a wander round the patio.
She’s certainly not looking skinny, quite plump, actually. I put some more cat food on the plate while she was in the restaurant, ‘cos she was pretty much licking it clean, and took a couple of photos – she sat still for a couple of minutes or so, then carried on eating.
This was Monday when she was just outside her bedroom after a quick wander around the garden:
You can see the little bit of fern she placed by the entrance as well, there seems to be no real reason why she put it there, it just turned up from a fern a couple of feet away.
I worked out the other day that ‘hogs have been around the house for at least forty years! My then girlfriend accidentally kicked one down the front path as we were leaving one night, and I’ve heard them in the garden off and on ever since. It was only because last summer was so hot we were sitting outside until quite late and watching hedgehogs cleaning up the food dropped from the feeders in the tree, so we started putting out dished of food and water because everything was so dry! At one point we had five in the garden, a big male, our regular female, two hoglets and one other briefly.6th February 2019 at 10:54 pm #13689
I cannot stress to you too strongly how important it is that you don’t put mealworms, suet pellets, sunflower seed or any other bird food where the hedgehog feeds. None of these are good for the hedgehog and some positively harmful. Please just leave out the cat food or hedgehog food for her. It sounds as if she is very hungry if she is finishing everything.
Photos can be deceiving, but if that is the hedgehog we are talking about in the photo, she doesn’t look plump to me. She appears to be small and potentially underweight. Possibly one of last year’s hoglets, not yet full grown. All hedgehogs appear, to people who aren’t used to them, to be plump because of their spines, but this can be very deceiving. The fact that the hedgehog is out during the day time is a danger sign. I would recommend that you try to make contact with your nearest carer and discuss the situation with them. You can get their number from the BHPS on 01584 890801
I think many people were lucky enough to find they had hedgehogs visiting their gardens in the hot weather last Summer. Water is so important for them, really all day every day. It’s really nice that there have been hedgehogs there for so long. I hope they continue to be there for another 40 years.
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