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They like playing with their food bowl cover

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings They like playing with their food bowl cover

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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    I cover the bowl with a plastic microwave dinner plate cover. Last night had two hogs playing, (or mating perhaps) under it. They kept leaving then getting back under it for a few minutes until they got bored and decided to eat the food instead. Was quite a funny show. Have visits every night now and the food is mostly gone by midnight, (when the street lights go out).



    Hi ronnyd

    They certainly can be very entertaining! Better than TV.

    Happy watching.



    One of our hedgehogs has been tonight he usually comes at about twenty past nine, as usual he had a drink went into the feeding station, then another drink and more food. When he came out of the station he stopped kind of went on his side and had a good scratch, went a bit further and did it again then he had a roll around outside the summer house, haven’t seen this before is it normal behaviour do any of you think, it was as if he was scenting his trail. We have seen another hog and what looks like a juvenile too…..



    Hi Jan

    Difficult to say, but maybe it was just a very itchy hedgehog. They do seem to be able to manage to reach just about anywhere with their legs, and several times I have seen them rolling right over, when they have been scratching.



    Thanks Nic, he came again later and seemed to be fine, it’s just because it is a new behaviour to me! We have seen another couple of hogs and what looked like a juvenile. The big one (Ralph) is always very punctual, I think he is living behind the shed because it is still light when he first comes, he has a definite path around the garden. One of the others also has a path, but comes from the other side of the garden, it is slightly smaller with a lighter face. We did see them in the garden together ignoring each other last year but so far this year it’s been at separate times…… thanks again



    Ralph our resident hedgehog has been again this evening, he visits around nine twenty to half past each night. We have had rain so it is much harder to see with the ground so dark giving little light contrast. Which cameras do you all use, ours is quite good but the images are small so it is difficult to differentiate between our visitors. We do have a slightly smaller one visit, and we thought there was a juvenile the other night. Ralph is always the first out, and most nights seems to be the only one, he has taken residence up in the new hog house I got him. Is there a way to be able to tell males and females apart other than physically checking do you know? I love reading all the posts and feel so blessed having these lovely visitors. I’m going to get an second hog house just in case, and set up a second feeding station. I used to line the station with newspaper and one morning woke to find it spread all over the garden, checking the camera we discovered its our very cheeky Magpie who tugs the paper out of the box along with the food dish clearing up after Ralph’s final visit! The starlings have also cottoned on and brazenly go into the box two or three at a time! To help with visibility I now put sheets of white copy paper into the box, makes the contrast much clearer on damp nights, and the Magpie has to plan his strategy a bit more!


    Hi Jan,

    I mainly use an Aldi Maginon camera (£79.99). I bought mine around this time last year so they may be having them in soon. If you place your camera on a brick or something similar just above the ground you should be able to tell whether or not your visitors (of the hog variety!) are male or female.

    Glad to know that someone else likes magpies and their clever antics. I know that they have a bit of a bad reputation, but they eat side by side with all the other birds in our garden with no issues. It always makes me laugh how they will check to see if anyone is in the kitchen before they come up to the dish outside the back door to steal the food.



    Hi Jan

    Judging by the footage I have seen from Penny’s cam, the picture is better than mine and that is a very good price too. Some of them are really expensive.

    Not everyone will agree, but you can tell the difference between males and females from their behaviour, but mostly by watching over a period of time. Both can be grumpy at times, but, here, I find that the females usually just grumpily nudge another hog out of the way, rather than the full blown ‘biffing’ and fighting which the boys get involved in.

    If you see the hedgehog courtship ‘dance’ it should be fairly obvious who is who. The female tends to back off from the male when he approaches. The male circles the female and she turns round and round (and kind of goes backwards) in the middle of the circle so she is pretty much keeping her head towards him. By circle, I don’t mean exactly a circle, as this ‘performance’ can move along a bit. She is usually the one doing the ‘huffing’ i.e. making the characteristic noise. This can go on for hours until either she decides he is a suitable father for her hoglets, or one or other of them gives up and runs off.

    You cannot tell male from female by their size. Some males can be quite small and some females quite large. I think they tend to get larger as they age. Having said that, here, the really big hogs are males. Apart from the squabbling, they have an easier life in general. Once they have done their bit, the females are left to get on with rearing the hoglets on their own and it is unlikely that the males even know who their offspring are – especially as one litter of hoglets can have more than one Father.



    Hi penny and Nic, we placed one of our cameras above the Hog house yesterday and waited with baited breath to see if Ralph has infact had taken up residency. I put the food into the feeding station at nine o’clock as usual, and shouted of Ralph, never in a million years thinking he’d actually respond, but before I got back into the house the camera watched by husband showed him sticking his nose out and have a good sniff. he must have decided it was just a tad early and too light so he went back to bed for ten minutes. When he did venture out he had an enormous stretch, and spent ten minutes scratching. He went on to get breakfast from the station. We have watched the footage over the night just now, which shows him backwards and forwards into the house. On one occasion he had something fairly large in his mouth. He fed at the station four times through the night, his last feed about quarter past four, the other camera picked him up straight after going to bed. He does seem really itchy, do you think there is anything we can do to help him with his lodger load, i’d hate to think he is so infested that it may be detrimental to his health……… I have had a good look online and the systemic spoton’s and frontline are not good for hogs, though apparently there is a dusting powder you can put on. I just wondered if any of you had any ideas at all. I am going to get in touch with Tggywinkles and see if they have any suggestions. I’m so thrilled we have a resident!! I will look at the camera you have suggested penyy



    Hi Jan

    Hedgehogs have very strong sense of smell so he may well have smelt the food you put out. Also I think they sometimes get used to the sound of the bowls being put down.

    Sounds like he is getting a bit too used to the cushy life of having his food right outside, so he doesn’t need to do too much!

    I would take the advice of Tiggywinkles as you suggested re. the scratching. It may be that if he keeps going back in the box, that he is getting continually reinfested with whatever it is. Really nice though, that someone has taken to your hog house.



    Well, we saw Ralph last night, and had set a camera up above the hog house. We put some fresh dry bedding near the door and spent a good half hour watching it being pushed and pulled and carried by mouth into the house, then he/she came into the garden for a feed and back to the house for another hour. On his next visit he fed had a drink and off he went leaving the feeding station at about half ten, I checked the cameras this morning and I didn’t see him in the garden any more, i normally see him having his last feed after his travels between 3am and 4.30am. Nothing he didn’t come home….. He didn’t come out at his usual time tonight and hasn’t been seen in the feeding station. I haven’t seen any Hedgehog accidents on the roads at all. I do hope he/she is OK does any one know if this is usual for hogs to go walkabout and settle to sleep somewhere else like Im hoping he has done…. I cant help but feel worried.



    Oh and Nic, Tiggywinkles said to leave well alone regarding the itchy scratchy behaviour. I had read that cat and dog spot on systemic drops are dangerous to hogs. We would never want to do any thing to endanger our friends.



    Hi Jan

    I know it is worrying when they disappear for a while, but it is not unusual. They do apparently sometimes even move to a different nest, during hibernation.

    I would have suggested giving the box a quick clean out while he/she is away if he/she has been using it for a long time ( I usually use boiling water to hopefully try to get rid of any unwanted visitors’ eggs in the box – rather than any chemicals, which might be bad for the hog), but having heard from someone else that a hog had recently produced hoglets already, you would need to be very careful in case it is a female with hoglets. Although, she would not have left them that long – but cameras can sometimes miss hogs, I find. They have been known to eat very small babies if they are disturbed at the wrong time, so it is not worth taking the risk. I would keep an eye on the box and only consider cleaning it out if no-one visits for several days. Maybe put a little bit of bedding in and a bit more outside, like you did before. It is getting a bit late to do it, but if you are absolutely certain it is no longer in use, should still be ok if it is not being used.

    It is not a good idea, if a hog is actually in residence, to take it out to clean the box.

    Hope Ralph (not sure what the female version of that is!) reappears soon.



    He is back!!!
    We saw him in the feeding station Saturday morning then he went to his hog house. Last night he was very active in the garden going to the feeding station several times in the night. Finally at about 3 am going to bed no doubt for a well earned rest, i would love to know just where they go!! Tonight he cam out of the house had a bit of a furkle about dragged some fresh hay around and….hasn’t been out again yet. The scratching routine we have observed seems to be a form of hedgehog ablutions. He/sh methodically scratches the length of his/her body right up to the ears, then kind of twists his spines side to side so he can have a wash and brush up of his uppermost side. It takes him a good ten to fifteen minutes, then he’s off foraging. Happy days



    Good News, Jan.

    Not quite such good news here. It’s been very quiet the last few nights. Hope it is just a blip.

    Interesting, your observations of hog ablutions! They certainly do seem to be very agile when they want to be! He sounds a real character.

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