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Strange Hog Behaviour

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Strange Hog Behaviour

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    Dear All. Firstly I hope you and your families are well in these challenging times we are living through.

    Its been a long time since I have placed a post on the forum but I’m pleased to say the hogs have returned for a 6th year running and I hope this continues as I do worry about our local population as to how well they are doing.

    I have a female hog that has taking up residence in one of my hog houses for 5 days straight now. I leave straw and dried leaves outside the hog house and they have been dragged in to the house and she has made a nice straw ‘welcome mat’ at the entrance very homely.

    i have a covered feeding station to protect the hog food (i introduced this last year) and on Wednesday morning this week i found some straw and leaves in there. Although I thought this was a bit odd I didn’t give it too much thought.

    This morning I awoke to find one of the feeding bowls had been pulled out of the feeding station, to just outside the entrance, and had been filled up with straw and leaves.

    I have never seen this before, and this is obviously very deliberate, but does anyone have any ideas what this is all about?


    One theory I have is it might be a present for me along the lines of thank you for the food and here is some straw in return in case you are running short as I have plenty but, sorry, I can’t help you out on the loo roll front but hope the straw does the trick 🙂


    What a considerate hedgehog you have. Straw could be very useful soon!
    Stay well.

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    Hi Hogmeister

    Hope you are keeping safe and well, too.

    Hogs do sometimes make nests in feeding stations, so the hog might have been thinking of doing that, which might explain things. A hog has done that a couple of times here – once on top of a bowl of food. I’m guessing you don’t have any video to show what was happening, but maybe another hog dug the bowl out and moved it outside complete with straw and leaves but then realised there wasn’t any food left (?)

    I often find leaves in the bowls, but usually only one or at most two. Not sure how that comes about, never caught anything which solves the mystery on video – those invisibility cloaks again!


    Yes a very considerate hedgehog simbo65 but maybe it could get me some quilted straw next time – not so rough on the posterior 🙂


    Hi Nic,

    Sorry no video but I do have a photo but I can’t find a way to attach it to this post so may have to try another route,

    it wasn’t an excessive amount of straw and leaves but was obviously very intentional.

    I think you are right about another hog probably moving the bowl out of the feeding station(which, in fairness, is an open fronted plastic storage box to protect the food from rain and makes it difficult for the cats to get at. i looked out the other night and the bowl was in the feeding station and I looked again a few minutes later and the bowl was outside alongside a disappointed looking hog as the bowl was empty!

    I had a first for me this year – i think I witnessed my first hog self anointing! I didn’t know what was going on at first as the hog sort of rolled partially on its side then it looked like it had been sick on its back and I was very worried about it. But then it proceeded to lick itself all over for must be almost 10 minutes then happily walk off with no problems. This is why I think it was a self anointing as it didn’t appear to be in any distress whatsoever and actually looked like it was having a good time – maybe its equivalent of a shower!

    Anyway hog poo count rising and, with the better weather, I have started putting a few food bowls amongst the flower pots/beds so they have to work a little harder for their dinner (I still leave food in the feeding station) but those snouts never fail to find it 🙂


    Hi Nic,

    I have uploaded my photo to the gallery but it needs to be checked first before being put on there.

    It has the same title as this post thread e.g. Strange Hog Behaviour but i have added ‘Straw Placed in Food Bowl’ after it so hopefully it will be easy to find once published.

    As i say above not the most interesting of photos but you will see the straw and leaves the hog has placed in the bowl and where some of it has fallen out probably when it was dragged out by another hog as you suggested. The photo is exactly how I found it before I empty it to clean.

    Stay safe


    Hi there, I have just seen a hog poking it’s face out at the entrance to one of the hog boxes. It was grumbling away to it’s self. It’s gone back inside now, just wondered if anyone had any ideas as to the reason? Any help would be most welcome and at these times, stay safe everyone.

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    Hi lita28mya

    Nice to hear you have a hog in one of your hog boxes. It’s not really possible to tell what the hog was up to without more information. Maybe he was thinking to himself ‘shall I go out or shan’t I’ ! If only we could mind-read hogs!

    Good luck and please you stay safe, too.


    Hi lita28mya,

    Maybe it remembered it had already had its one exercise session that night hence it went back in to its house and was a bit grumpy as a result!

    if so its a responsible hog and we should follow its lead – stay home and save lives.

    Stay safe everyone.


    Hi Nic,

    For whats its worth my photo has now appeared in the gallery and this is the link Strange Hog Behaviour – Straw Placed in Hog Food Bowl

    Although not that much bedding/nesting material in there the hog must have done this quite purposefully for a reason?

    Stay safe and all the best.


    Hi Nic,

    The link didn’t seem to work so trying another approach

    If this doesn’t work hopefully you can find it easily in the gallery anyway.

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    Hi hogmeister

    Not a lot to go on, but my guess still would be a hog considering nesting in the feeder and another hog dug the food bowl complete with some bedding out. Or they had an altercation and it got moved in the process. In the warmer weather, I have found that hogs will sometimes spend the day in my feeding boxes and occasionally will take in a fairly minimal amount of bedding – more of a floor covering than a bed.


    Hi Nic,

    Hope all is well with you and thanks for your post.

    There was an altercation by the feeding station a couple of weeks ago which resulted in a bit of a mess and the lighter plastic dish ended up on its edge still inside the feeding station.

    One hog seems to have developed the trick of pulling out the lighter plastic dish and this has happened a few times although I have yet to see this ‘trick’ in action. it could be a cat dragging the bowl out but I think its a hog. As one of my earlier posts I looked out and the dish was inside the feeding station and then looked again a few minutes later and the dish was outside with a hog in attendance.

    I think this may be to do with me putting 2 dishes inside the feeding station side by side and, by dragging the lighter dish out, this probably makes things easier for the hogs to get to the food or finish off any leftovers.

    I have only been putting one dish (the lighter plastic dish) in the feeding station over the past week or so and the dish is still in there every morning, minus food, as access is now easier to the dish so no need for adjusting the furniture so to speak!

    I think you are right a hog had an idea of using the feeding station as a day nest and brought across some bedding material and then had a change of heart. The dish outside was probably another hogs doing as you also say which added a little to the mystery!

    Alternatively maybe the hog was making up a bed for a friend to drop by and this was the spare room! If only they could talk and explain themselves to us it would make things so much easier but it would also take away some of the mystique and enjoyment in working out these spiky critters actions 🙂

    Best wishes.

    Stay safe everyone.

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    Hi Hogmeister

    Love the idea of a spare bed!

    Alternative suspects for moving bowls around are birds. I sometimes leave the bowls out for the birds, if the hogs have left anything, and they are often moved around then. i.e. starlings, jackdaws, etc. They do visit early in the morning, too, so when no-one is around to see.

    Some hogs seem to be very clever at tipping bowls over by standing on the rims, even of ceramic, straight sided, shallow bowls. (they sometimes end up getting a facefull of food!) but the bowl is usually moved in the process. But they are also good a looking underneath things – maybe stones to see if there are any beetles, etc. underneath, so moving/tipping over bowls is hoglets play!

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