TOO YOUNG TO MATE?
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- This topic has 5 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 5 years, 10 months ago by Nic.
14th July 2017 at 3:54 pm #6959
OVER THE PAST WEEK A VERY SMALL HEDGEHOG HAS BEEN VISITING – APPROX 6 INCHES LONG. ASSUMED TO BE A VERY EARLY INDEPENDANT JUVENILE.
ONE OF THE OTHER LARGE MALE HEDGEHOGS HAS BEEN COURTING THIS SMALL HOG FOR THE LAST 2 NIGHTS. IS IT NORMAL FOR ADULT TO COURT JUVENILE OR COULD SHE BE A VERY SMALL ADULT?
ALSO HE RUNS OFF SEVERAL TIMES TO EAT (OUR FOOD IN A BOWL ) AND DRINK BEFORE GOING BACK TO RESUME COURTING. IF THE JUVENILE IS NOT INTERESTED WHY DOESN’T SHE ESCAPE WHEN HE GOES OFF TO DRINK? ANYONE ANY IDEAS?
( HE ALSO BUTTED ANOTHER HOG WHO ONLY CAME IN TO EAT, DOWN OUR PATIO STEPS AND ALMOST ROLLED HIM OUT UNDER THE GATE TWICE!)15th July 2017 at 12:07 pm #6964
Interesting that you should mention this now, because I have recently seen an adult male doing the courtship ‘dance’ with a small hoglet, I would estimate less than 5 inches long, but in any event, definitely this year’s hoglet. The adult male in question is an early hoglet from last year. He has become quite large, but is still pretty low down the ‘pecking order’. He doesn’t usually get much of a look in with the girls, so maybe thought it was a good opportunity to practice his ‘dancing’. Not really sure what he was thinking – it was never going to go anywhere, the poor little thing is far too young (I have read that hogs in the wild don’t breed until they are 9 to 12 months old). I am not even totally sure the hoglet is a female. (some of the females seem to behave towards it as if it is a male). I have been watching hogs here for many years, but have not seen this before. Usually I find that the adult hogs are very tolerant of hoglets and let them get away with a lot, but, although they sometimes go up and sniff them, pretty much leave them alone. I have always assumed that they must smell a bit different, but suppose that could possibly have led to the confusion with a young male. All surmise. None of the other males have reacted in the same way.
I haven’t seen the two of them here at the same time since, so it will be interesting to see what happens if they both turn up at the same time again.
It is not unusual for the male to go off in the middle of the ‘dance’ to eat or drink, but the females often just stand there looking bemused/miffed .. The young adult chap here did the same – went for a quick eat between circling. I thought, some of the time, the little hoglet didn’t really know what was going on so just ‘froze’ but did move away some of the time, but the young male found it again. The adult male gave up in the end and left. The little one continued coming and going as before, so didn’t seem too upset – maybe liked the attention(?)
Re. the biffing. They will sometimes push another hog along for yards – until they meet an obstacle – (sometimes just for crossing their path) (and often go back and roll one up again if they dare to unroll!), so if steps got in the way, I guess that would be the result!16th July 2017 at 10:56 pm #6968
THANKS FOR YOUR INTERESTING INPUT NIC.
THE SMALL HOG IS STILL VISITING. WE THINK IT MAY HAVE TAKEN UP RESIDENCE IN OUR GARDEN AS WE NEVER SEE IT ARRIVING OR LEAVING. “BULLY BOY” HAS NOT BEEN SEEN FOR 2 NIGHTS BUT WE WILL KEEP WATCHING!17th July 2017 at 2:41 pm #6978
The young male missed a night, but then he was back last night. The two little hoglets were there and the one he was circling the other day went up to him, so obviously wasn’t afraid of him. I thought he was going to ignore them, but when I went out to get the bowls in, there he was circling one of the hoglets again. Not sure if it was the same one – the other one was nearby but they are very alike and were in deep shade. I thought it might just have been a one off, but obviously not. He must be at least 4 times as big as the hoglets! Although they are growing incredibly fast.
I’d be interested to hear what happens with the hog there. Nice if the small one has taken up residence in your garden. I am wondering about the two little ones here. One seems to come from the direction of a hogilo half way down the garden.19th July 2017 at 11:42 am #7001
Hello Nic – our hoglet is appearing each night around 9pm at the food bowl without accessing the gate. There is no other way in as garden is surrounded by a brick wall so we assume the big Hog has not put her off and she is resident. He has been back but courting another female. Unfortunately our “victim” of previous bullying came in for a drink of water rather too close to the courting ritual and was once again head-butted down the patio steps. This time we intervened by opening our rather squeaky patio door and Bully Boy and his lady friend both disappeared into the bushes. Our victim stayed put for a couple of minutes then made his escape. We have named him Mr Wobbly as he is rather unsteady on his feet. Last night we were gratified to see Mr Wobbly courting the adult female with no sign of Bully Boy. He rather blotted his copybook later though when he went off to have a long feed at our biscuit bowl, then turned and left a huge poo on top of the food! And all this during the pouring rain, lightening and thunder!!
We await the next instalment……..19th July 2017 at 6:32 pm #7005
That is so funny! Can just picture the poor hog, with a tempest going on all around him, doing what hogs do. And some of them never do seem to learn not to get too close to a big hog. Good news that the little one is now a resident. Hopefully she will be able to have a peaceful hoglethood in the safety of your garden.
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