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Too early for hibernation?

Home Forums Hedgehog signs and sightings Too early for hibernation?

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    I have been feeding my hedgehogs for sometime now and decided to get them a hibernation house. Lucky for me my dad decided to make one!
    I placed the house in the garden 5 nights ago and after two days it had a resident!! My hog has now been using it for 3nights and has not left at all. Is it too early for hibernation?

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    Hi Vicky

    Some of the males may have started hibernating already. They tend to hibernate much earlier than the females and also emerge earlier in the Spring. So the hedgehog may be hibernating. I would continue leaving food, as well as water, available for a while in case he re-appears. Also sometimes hoglets turn up at this time of year.

    Good luck.


    Thank you, I will continue to feed them. 🙂


    That’s really interesting to hear that some males have already started hibernating. Because suddenly earlier this month my hogs stopped coming to feed, after coming regularly each night since early Spring. One of them really is very big, and I suspect it might be a male. I’ve been worried about them, especially and the fact they’ve suddenly disappeared, as I’ve heard about hogs dying of slug pellet poisoning. I hope their disappearance is early hibernation and not the latter. Thanks.


    I’ve been feeding a Hedgehog for a few months now, even purchasing a Hedgehog Hotel for it, and for the last 3 nights has not fed. I hope it has gone into hibernation and nothing has happened to it. I shall continue leaving dry food out for it, incase it wakes up and fancies a nibble.


    We have a hog in residence in our garden (we bought a hut for her)

    Last night she went into the hut just before midnight, but did not get up again.

    We have a wifi camera pointing to the hut, so I can review the footage through the night. Normally, she’ll snooze for an hour or two, and then get up for a snack and a wander.

    Last nights behaviour, of not getting back up again, is new to us (this is our first year of having a resident hog). I watched all the footage from when she went into the hut, to dawn this morning, so I know she’s definitely in there.

    We’ll still keep putting out food and water, but her visits to the food bowl have tailed off considerably in the last week, and now she appears to be sleeping a lot more.

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    Hi IvanB

    Yes, I think it’s a good idea to keep leaving food out. I usually leave some out for at least a week after I see the last hog.

    A water source is best left available all day every day, even through winter. Hogs do arouse for periods during hibernation time and are known to sometimes even move nests. They might welcome a drink if they are up and about at those times.

    Some hogs choose not to hibernate, but might slow down a bit, so it’s a good idea to look out for that too. She might yet be back out again. They sometimes like to keep us guessing, I think!

    Good luck hope all goes well.

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    Hi Piddhog and Mileage

    Yes, hibernation is a very worrying time for all us hog lovers. It’s easy to suspect something bad might happen to them. But we just have to hope for the best and that we will see our hog friends safe and well again in the Spring.

    Good luck to hedgehogs everywhere for a safe hibernation time.


    I have had a very large hog visiting every night since spring. For a short time there was a hoglet and a smaller, presumably female, hog. Recently I have only seen the larger hog but in the last week hardly any food has been taken and the last 2 nights none at all. I am hoping she / he has gone into hibernation now. I will follow the advice to keep a snack and some water available and hope they reappear in the spring 🤞.


    My male hog may have gone into hibernation. It went cold here a couple of days back and since no food or water has been had. Think he’s in one of the houses at the back of my garden but forgot to put the camera out. Going to continue to put food/water out well into November and water all through the winter just in case he pops out for a drink and to stretch his legs. He’s been cleaning his food bowl off every night for the last month.


    Hello, My male hedgehog may have gone into hibernation. He had some food Monday night, left some of our chicken, but last night put food out normal time &he did not turn up.

    Do I leave any dog food out or just biscuits over the winter months? Thank you


    Hi, Im new and very excited to have a hedgehog house with a camera. We have had so much joy over the past 2 weeks watching a large hog coming into the house and eating?
    No visits last night ( possibly because there was no food monday night as the mice ate it all) and field mice continue taking the food pelets.
    How do you cope with mice eating food?
    If i was hoping the hog might hibernate in the house should i move the food out to a nearby place?
    Are mice less likely to eat dog food?

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    Hi Ghunter9

    Welcome to the Forum! That’s great to hear you are excited to have hogs there.

    Ideally it’s better to have separate houses for feeding and, hopefully, hibernating. And not to keep the food too close to a nesting box. But the hogs will sometimes take over a hog feeding box/house to build a nest in. It’s happened here several times! The first time I had to get a new feeding box. This year that feeding box is being used for hibernation! So you might need another box/house too!

    But the thing to remember is that a hog box is just a structure within which the hogs can build a hibernating nest – so materials are as important as the actual box. Most natural materials are medium sized leaves, long grasses, etc. So if you want to remove leaves from your lawn just rake them into the borders so they are still available for the hogs. Hogs are known to move nests during hibernation time, so materials left available all winter are helpful for them.

    I do get mice here, but they don’t normally have much impact on the food. (and any cats that visit, hoping to get some hog food, seem to totally ignore them!) Are you sure you don’t have a rat as well. They will take cat/kitten biscuits and cache them elsewhere. Mice will cache as well but may not be so keen on cat biscuits and here, mice haven’t ever taken all the food.

    The hog may not have visited because it has started to hibernate elsewhere, but if it has you may still get another one to use your box. Good luck.

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    Hi Keith59, Wren23 and Acer62

    Yes, it’s a good idea to at least keep putting food out for a good two weeks after the last hog is seen. If leaving food out all winter, cat/kitten biscuits are probably best because not only can they be left out longer before going off, but also wet food is liable to freeze when it gets really cold. But if the hog has only missed one night, I would leave his normal food out for a while yet.

    Some hogs choose not to hibernate and may suddenly turn up unexpectedly. But also hogs are known to come out of hibernation for short periods during hibernation time and even move nests. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out. I tend to keep my cameras going all through the winter. They probably don’t work quite as well, but are still useful. Then if you aren’t still leaving food out, you could leave some out the next night.

    Yes, it’s important to leave water available all day every day, including during winter.

    Good luck. I hope all the hogs do well.


    I have had hogs in the garden for a good few years now and always saw them at the feeding station, food always gone by morning but for the past 3/4 weeks now the food hasn’t been touched. I would have thought it was too early to hibernate then, especially as the weather has been so mild. We did catch one on the camera but it didn’t go into the feeding station. Last year we had a nest with mother and 5 babies but there is no sign of anything at the hog house or the nearby nesting sites in the garden, should I be worried.

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