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Weird behavior

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Weird behavior

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    2 hedgehogs visited my backyard today. One of them was doing something strange, he or she was walking backwards and making a huffing sound.
    Is this normal behavior or should I be concerned?
    Thank you

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    Hi Juliettex

    Don’t worry – that sounds quite normal. It was likely a male and female and the female would have been huffing. The male normally circles the female as she turns round whilst huffing away, but sometimes during that she reverses and sometimes he loses interest and disappears, so she may be appearing to go backwards more than usual – if he has gone, she has no need to continue turning round.

    It sometimes looks as if it is some sort of endurance test for the males and either male or female may get fed up in the middle of the circling and wander off! It’s amazing they ever manage to produce any hoglets at all with all the (sometimes fruitless) circling!


    I’ve seen this lots of times and is exactly as has been said, a huffing female being courted by a male. Talk about stamina, I’ve got videos of this going on for nearly TWO HOURS! The male either got his way or walked off. Videos of them actually mating have shown the female chomping away on dried food while he’s at it so not very romantic! The huffing is a good way of telling what sex the hog is, huffing = she, circling = he or if there are two males one is usually duffing up the other one. This can be very rough, either rolling it along or even biting the spines on the back of the neck and shaking it like a dog with a toy – hardly the bumbling lovable creature we all love!


    Hello, we have a hedgehog in our enclosed garden. He has an access point in the gate to get in and out which I believe he uses. Recently he has been in the garden a lot. We see him early evening just before dark and he slept in a corner once, secluded but not hidden. We have a cat who watches him from a distance but he seems totally unbothered by her. We have a house that he uses a lot at night. He appears to barricade the entrance with leaves and twigs when inside. THIS MORNING, he is laying inside with his face poking out, eyes open. The house is in a secluded, shaded area, but is this normal/healthy – at 11am??? Thanks


    To follow up, I placed a little cat good with water in it in-front of him. Initially, he curled into a ball, but 5 minutes later he had eaten all of it and barricaded himself in with his leaves and twigs. Hopefully he was ok…???


    Sounds like your he may be a she and has babies.
    Obviously I cannot guarantee that, but the behaviour you describe does indicate this.
    I’d keep putting out food and water but not too close to the house as you don’t want to attract predators.
    If the hog comes out and appears to be sunbathing then call your nearest carer – number is on this page to find details, but do be aware mother hogs do take time out from the babies to both eat and rest
    If she has had babies then in approx a month she will start taking them out and about. You will probably be able to hear if she is as there will be a lot of rustling in the nest and you may hear the babies ‘peep’
    As long as she keeps appearing purposeful and eating she is probably okay


    Thanks Steph. Super helpful. I did wonder if it could be a she. I hope my cat will not upset any babies. I suppose mum would not have made a nest there if she worried the cat would be trouble! 🤞🤞🤞


    The cat will be fine unless one of the babies makes it way out of the nest before it’s properly prickled


    Hi Stef. You were right. Mother hedgehog has had 5 hoglets. They are venturing out this evening while mother is off foraging. The hoglets seem quite large. About avocado size and look just like mini hedgehogs, so hopefully have proper prickled and safe around our cat. Should I stop putting beef cat food out with the hoglets around??


    How wonderful for you. It’s unusual for them to get 5 up to weaning stage so that’s lovely
    They will forage with mum for a few days and then they are on their own, so please keep putting out the cat food, and in this weather kitten biscuits are a good idea as less likely to attract flies. Also make sure they have good access to water – hogs drink a lot.


    Great, thanks Steph. Very helpful. They have a big bowl of water that I see them drinking out of on my camera. There are actually 6 hoglets! Poor mum must be hot or exhausted or both as she comes out and lays down just outside while babies have a sniff around for a while, then she gets them back inside. I worry about them going under the gate into the drive. It’s a long long way to the road but my neighbour uses the drive like Brands Hatch!


    Have uploaded a video to website via the transfer page

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