Soft releases for hedgehogs
20th April 2018 at 1:31 pm #9151
Hello, I am new to the site. I have been hibernating two hogs over winter. One will be going back leaving me with Harry to release at 1037g. I am getting two pairs tomorrow to soft release too. What does everyone else do to soft release. We have 3 houses for the girls and harry with a pen around them and then we have two more boys.
Do you put communal food and water in the pen and leave the houses just for sleeping so they get used to looking for food?
Thanks for your ideas in advance 😊20th April 2018 at 3:07 pm #9152
Usually it’s better to release one at a time, otherwise they are all likely to scarper and none of them stay around.
Remove the pen as that won’t encourage them to come back. Spread the houses out as they won’t want to be near other hogs and don’t put food too close to the houses. Site the houses somewhere so the entrance is away from prevailing sun/wind/rain
Some of the females may decide to hang around in your garden but the male will likely leave as soon as he’s had his way with the girls!
Then it’s just a case of providing food and water regularly.
Let me know if you need anything else
Good luck20th April 2018 at 6:35 pm #9157
Hmm 🤔 other people have said pen them. Our problem is that I though I had
Less hogs to release but the hog centre has suddenly been let down and need to me to have more. Is it worth while keeping them safely in hutches? How long for each hedgehog? And when would you transfer from hutch to hog house? Thanks for your advice20th April 2018 at 6:52 pm #9158
Everyone has different ideas on releasing hedgehogs. You have to bear in mind they are wild animals and they suffer stress in captivity – no matter how long they have been in it or how big the cage is.
Do you know anyone else who can do a release so they don’t all go from your garden?
You need to start immediate releases so they can get breeding before the year gets much later and we end up with juveniles.
I would release one every day or 2 days – keep the others in outdoor hutches in the meantime. Don’t mass release or they will all leave.
My advise to all my ‘customers’ is to put them into a hog house/box where you plan to release them during the day of release. Keep them confined until the early evening then quietly remove the door so they can get out. Put food and water close by and leave them to it.
The normal pattern of behaviour most people report is that they come out, eat and go back and then come out again later and leave. Some stay a day or 2 and I had one that stayed 6 months but it’s then their choice.21st April 2018 at 9:14 pm #9169
I have managed to say no to 2 couples, so my friend is going to release one and then I can release two. Feel much better as I felt overwhelmed by the amount and thought it was too many for our wood and fields. Thanks very much for your advice I feel much better about what to do. 😊22nd April 2018 at 4:35 pm #9180
Hi Claudiac and lovely to hear about new releasers and volunteers in this.
As mentioned- lots of techniques- and I have a few things you might want to think about on this. I’ve been releasing in this way for quite a few years and it seems to provide best results.
Each hog to be released separately- unless they have been raised and kept as cage mates, in which case they can be released together.
I use the biggest run I can at the bottom of the garden near release site and put the hog in a house in the very middle one evening at dusk. I put the hogs own bedding in the house so it’s a familiar smell to them made from their overwintering nest they’ve had.
I cover with some tarpaulin over the run to keep it shaded and dry.
I scatter some food and provide water in a place I can reach and replenish easily with minimal disturbance.
I leave them like this for 2 nights usually.
They will parade the edges until worn down and also try to dig their way out in this time so important to secure tightly!
On the third evening I transfer them in their house out the run to a good release site and position the house away from others in a shaded and secure area with entrance away from drafts.
I make sure they have continued food and water supplied in stations they can find easily.
I position a camera so I can watch them for a day at or two
Often they return to their house for quite a while- depends completely on hogs confidence. We have had females stay and raise young in the houses.
Have some tissues at the ready as it’s quite an emotional experience!
We have done similar this year by using neighbours gardens to support the dispersal process.
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