The Return of the Hogs
15th May 2017 at 8:36 pm #6375
My patio is turning in to a gladiatorial arena for hogs and it ism’t making for pleasant viewing! I have a small male that is getting some rough treatment from a larger male and an even larger male. The small male and large male where having an altercation last night when the larger male turned up and I can only say this male then proceeded to undertake acts of GBH to both the other hogs which us humans would probably got to prison for! The smaller male rolled up pretty quickly, he was sensible, but the large male was up for the challenge but took a real beating before it also rolled up. The larger male then proceeded to head butt my water bowl across the patio – this guy is seriously pumped up – I think he needs lady in his life!
It seems I’m watching something more akin to the red deer rut you see on Autumnwatch but I believe they do call it the rut as well for hoggies.
Anyway once the aggressor had left the scene of the crime the small hog unrolled pretty quickly and walked off seemingly unharmed but the large male stayed rolled up for a long time and when he did unroll he stayed stationery for ages.
As I was worried about him I stayed up very late to observe him to make sure he was ok but he then started moving around and eating what food he could find before he eventually toddled off. He certainly looked shaken but there were no oblivious injuries I could see but he was moving slower than he normally does so I will check him again if he comes tonight,
I don’t believe in intervention in nature, other than as a last resort, but if the big hog turns up while the others are there I might just open the door which might stop him in his tracks or alternatively I will also get a severe head butting!
It would be nice to see some courtship dancing for a change, which I saw last year, but for the record I have still yet to see a female hog this year.15th May 2017 at 9:44 pm #6376
It appears that the city hogs here are a little better behaved or they know too much bad behaviour is not going to be tolerated I would be out with gloves and a broom for gentle sweeping purposes and separation. Interestingly I haven’t mentioned that the one fox is quite used to me and I can go into the garden while she is there and she doesn’t run away we get quite close – I’ve separated food and both plates were empty this morning so it may have worked but forgot to put the camera out to check – it’s raining here so have put food out and rushed back indoors so camera will be out another night . I did catch one of the hedgehogs trying to woo the brush the other night as it is a real spiky one so have brought it in the house to avoid any confusion think this is also a hog that needs a lady love thankfully he isn’t huge in size yet!15th May 2017 at 10:41 pm #6378
We have I think 3 hogs visiting, small hog which is Igor which I’m guessing is one of last years juveniles a med/large one which is now living in our maternity size box at the back of the summerhouse who we’ve named Bramble and the beast of the bunch football size Growler. Not seen any dancing or argy bargying going on, nearest we got to it was when Bramble and Growler were feeding at the station and Bramble went to try and eat from the same bowl as Growler but appeared to know it’s place and tottered off. Will they all be males?? Do the females come later from hibernation than the males.16th May 2017 at 9:20 am #6384
I think the hogs sometimes go a bit slowly after they have been ‘rolled up’ in the hope that the aggressor doesn’t notice them, as often here, he will rush back if he has heard one unrolling. A few years back the boss hog here was a real terror and he would sometimes have four other hogs rolled up at once and he seemed to keep a careful eye or ear out for them unrolling when he would rush back and biff them again. At the same time he had be known to be courting two ‘ladies’ at once. I’m not sure they were that impressed by that, but hung around – they must have thought he had good genes. There are still a lot of hogs around with a remarkable resemblance to him.
I wouldn’t intervene in that sort of thing, if I were you. I have noticed a sort of pecking order here, and if you were to interfere, the antics might just get even rougher out of sight. I have never seen any of them too much worse for wear afterwards – they are pretty well insulated by their spines. They do have the choice to run off if they want to – and some do. My feeling is they should be left to sort it out for themselves.
Bernie, that did make me laugh, a hedghog trying to woo a brush!
Wildlife haven, and all. The females do seem to return from hibernation later than the boys, but I would have thought most would be out by now. They just may not have found their way back to where you are yet. One of the ‘regulars’ here from previous years has not been seen yet. I am still hoping she will reappear. One of the others has only reappeared in the last week, but since then has visited every night.
The girls tend to go into hibernation later as well. The boys don’t have to worry about the hoglets at all, so are able to put on the weight needed for hibernation more quickly. It also has the advantage that the boys are able to put on weight after hibernation before the girls reappear, after which they must use up an enormous amount of energy tearing around all over the place, looking for girls, having altercations, etc. ! I think the boys have larger ranges than the girls, so there always seem to be more of them around.16th May 2017 at 5:50 pm #6392
I have 3 new males that have shown up this week, Thomas, Jerry and Zippy.
Thomas was 920g and had 4 big ticks which i removed.
Jerry was 940g and had 25 big ticks which i removed
Zippy was 1080g and had 10 ticks which i removed.
They were all very good and patient as i talked to them telling them when i found one, where it was and when i was going to pop it off.
Jerry and Zippy had gotten into a pushing match next to my yellow recycling box with the hole cut into the front which i use as a rain cover to keep the food dry.
I had wondered what all the noise was until i saw the box trying to wander up the path.
I grabbed both and weighed, deticked and marked them so i could keep track of weights and who is who (nail polish on a few spines in various color combinations and locations)
This way i can see who is doing well, who isn’t and which of my ladies is pregnant.
This brings the total of my visitors up to 22.
I suspect Tiggy is preggers so i hope she will introduce them to me when they are born.
My oldest cat Wingnut Cubert Picklebutt loves them and will happily watch them playing and stuffing their faces either outside or from his perch on the kitchen window, Clancy Faladoodledoodah McHooligan isn’t really bothered with themand she will watch them but only to see if they will do anything interesting and my semi feral Poppydoppy Frankenkitty doesn’t know what to make of them since they are almost as big as she is (she is tiny) so she watches them whilst hiding behind her adopted big brother (whom she loves) Wingnut.16th May 2017 at 7:49 pm #6395
It is good to hear you have lots of hogs visiting there. Please just remember that they are wild animals. I know you want to help them, but, it is not always a good idea to get hedgehogs too used to people. Humans are predators and not all humans are necessarily nice to hedgehogs. It won’t only be your garden which they are visiting. It is really better for them, in general, if you watch from a bit of a distance and leave them to be wild hedgehogs and not interfere with their hoggy activities, even if it is fighting.
If you do feel you need to mark the hedgehogs a very small mark with water based emulsion paint is better than nail varnish – it is apparently less smelly. You can easily mark all the hogs which come to a garden without using any more than 2 small, discreet marks per hedgehog. Hedgehogs have a very strong sense of smell and nail varnish would smell very strongly to them and so not be advisable. If you are really fond of the hedgehogs, perhaps you could try to identify them from their natural markings. It is really not as difficult as it sounds and much nicer to know that you can identify them without upsetting their lives. It also means that you can identify them year after year without remarking them. Putting any foreign substance on hedgehogs is likely to be unpleasant to them. They will appear to be patient if you pick them up, but that does not mean that they do not find it stressful.
I am glad to hear the hedgehogs aren’t too bothered by all your cats. Must have been funny seeing the recycling box moving up the path!17th May 2017 at 7:49 pm #6410
The last 2 nights have been fight free (or at least I haven’t witnessed them anyway) however I have only seen the large male, who I have now named the Hogminator (as it can’t seem to be bargained with or reasoned with and it absolutely will not stop bashing other hogs ever it seems!) and the small male which I have named Snorty.
I haven’t seen the other male that walked slowly off in to the night after its beating but I hope its ok – maybe its decided its not worth getting clobbered by the Hogminator and found somewhere quieter to roam.
As for Snorty I had to laugh as the night after the big fight he turned up earlier than normal and snuffled up most of the food on offer – I amused myself by thinking that the thought going through its mind was those other 2 hogs might have given me a bit of a bashing but I’m going to eat all the food before they get here!17th May 2017 at 7:52 pm #6411
I also thought the hog wooing a brush was very funny but I think it will be a short lived romance however.
Also glad to hear that the city hogs are a bit more well behaved than their country cousins although mine are urban hogs really as I live in town.
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