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Submissive behaviour?

Home Forums Hedgehog tales Submissive behaviour?

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    Last night I watched two hedgehogs feeding in our ‘hedgehog cafe’ via a small camera that’s linked to our TV. The first hedgehog had neatly eaten all the dried cat food we put out when the second one came running in and tried to head butt it out of the way, the first hedgehog was bigger and couldn’t be budged. that was when the oddest thing happened and if it wasn’t for our grown daughter also observing it I would have wondered if I imagined it. The smaller hedge hog then lay on its tummy, flattening itself down and lifted up all four of its little legs and feet. It didn’t stay there for long, the first hedgehog just kept its head in the bowl and ignored it. So the second hedgehog got up and started trying to push its nose into any small gap it could.
    I put out a second bowl of food and the hedgehogs both ate their fill. The smaller hedgehog then started sniffing around the bigger hedgehog in a friendly way.

    We wished we had filmed this behaviour but it was too late.
    Has anyone else ever seen a hedgehog do what looked like a yoga pose?

    Avatar photo

    Hi Socs

    It’s very difficult to make an any informed explanation of behaviour from a verbal description. Even video clips are often to short to tell what’s really happened.

    At a guess, I wonder whether the the smaller one was a male and the larger a female. The smaller (possibly last year’s younster) didn’t immediately realise that it was a female and so butted it, or maybe just hadn’t outgrown it’s hoglet behaviour and thought the large one might be willing to share (adults often will share with hoglets, or even give up the bowl to them, but once they get a bit bigger all that stops). The small one then realised the larger was a female and was overcome with hog emotion (maybe, think teenager) – hence the strange pose (which I have to say is quite difficult to imagine without seeing it, but it sounds similar to behaviour I’ve seen). Sniffing round the larger hog in a friendly way, sounds like the beginning of hedgehog courtship behaviour (hence my thinking large hog was female, small hog male).

    Large, mature, female hogs will not always react to very small, young, males as they would with more mature male hogs – i.e. start jiggling their legs up and down and reversing. They may, understandably, want the best father for their hoglets and not think a youngster fits the bill.

    All, of course surmise, with so little to go on, but mostly possible.

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