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Strange hedgehog behaviour

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Strange hedgehog behaviour

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    Our hedgehog turns up every night, has some food and then goes in a box for a nap for a couple of hours then will go off then come back for a nap then go off again.
    Is he sleeping too much ?

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    Hi Hector

    Personally, I wouldn’t be too worried about that. I have had hogs, here, behaving in what sounds to be a similar way. As long as he is behaving normally when he’s out and about and you aren’t worried about him in any other way. It’s possible that the males are even beginning to wind down towards hibernation after a Summer of hectic activity. The weather has been so odd, that it wouldn’t be surprising if they got confused and the males tend to hibernate earlier than the females anyway – no hoglet raising duties.


    What are the chances of him hibernating in our box or will he stay in his nest ?

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    Hi Hector

    He might use your box, but there’s no way of knowing. Hogs seem to like to keep us all guessing! It would be nice if he did. Keep a look out in case you see mouthfuls of bedding going in. For their hibernation nests they use an enormous amount of material. So if you leave suitable materials lying around nearby, it might encourage him. Suitable materials are medium sizes leaves, long grasses, etc.


    I’ve got five hogs nesting in my garden, one in an outside nest and four in a couple of boxes in a shed that they can easily get into. I have a camera in the shed as well as outside and it’s surprising how often the hogs come out, have some food then go back into the nests for a sleep which they do several times a night.. The hogs inside the shed are all siblings who used to be in the outside nest but were probably told to move out by their mother as the nest was rather crowded with five of them in there. When I had to find one of the young ones because it had a bad leg I looked in one of the boxes that I thought it was in and got it out but it wasn’t the right one so checked the nest again and there was another one in there, still not the right one so checked again and there was a third one inside. Thankfully I eventually worked out which one had the bad leg. The nests were very hard to look through because they have used shredded newspaper which they prefer to leaves and natural things and they pack the paper in so tightly that they can hardly get in the box. It’s very funny to see one of them stealing paper from one nest box and taking it to another box and another hog coming along and stealing it back!

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    Hi Spindles

    Good to hear about all the hogs.

    I can understand why you needed to catch the hog with the bad leg, but it’s not ideal to rumage through their nests. They are very carefully constructed with overlapping layers, hence the newspaper being packed tightly. If you need to catch one for health reasons, it’s best really to try to catch them when they are out for food, etc. so that the structure of the nest is not disturbed.

    Newspaper may be o.k. inside a building, but for a natural nest outside, would probably become soggy fairly quickly, so in general medium sized leaves are best for the hogs to make their nests – hibernacula, in particular. Sometimes it’s a matter of what materials the hog is able to find. We, humans, tend to underestimate the amount of material needed to construct a good hibernaculum.

    I hope the hoglet with the bad leg is o.k. They might soon become fed up with sharing – you might need some more hog boxes! But yes, it is fun watching them nest building and ‘re-arranging’ the material in different boxes!

    Happy hog watching.


    Our hogs are fine, both eating tonight & using their box to “dine in ” how do I know as & when to reduce the food, as they have left a few hog biscuit’s recently inside their house, both are healthy the smaller one has gained weight since we spotted them in September

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    Hi Wren23

    Good to hear the hogs are doing well and that the little one has put on weight. Re. the food, I would adjust it a bit according to how much they eat. So if they leave a lot, give a bit less, etc. But I would also continue to leave a small amount of food out for a couple of weeks, even if the hogs disappear to hibernate – just in case some other hogs turn up. Sometimes hoglets ‘miraculously’ appear late in the year when other people have stopped feeding.

    Some people leave some food out all winter in case. But if the hogs don’t hibernate, just keep feeding them as normal.

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