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Where have my hedgehogs gone?

Home Forums Hedgehog tales Where have my hedgehogs gone?

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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    After have nightly visits from up to three hogs for 5 months they have disappeared in the last week or so. I put out food and water daily, check activity with a garden cam and our gardens are connected. I know it’s too early for hibernation so maybe the cooler, wetter weather has provided better natural food sources for them. I will continue to provide food and water but was wondering if this is typical behaviour. I know they are wild creatures but can’t help feeling concerned.

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    Hi 5sandown

    I know it’s always very worrying when our hog friends don’t turn up, but there are many reasons why this could be and it isn’t unusual, as such. I know it seems early for hibernation, but some of the males do seem to ‘disappear’ in September. They don’t have the worry of hoglet duties! They also come out of hibernation early.

    I think it’s a good idea to keep leaving out food and water. As you say, they may just have found a natural food source. Also round this time of year newly independent hoglets sometimes appear. But, sometimes, when it gets to this stage, it’s just a case of waiting until next Spring and hope they appear again.


    Thanks Nic, I understand that nature goes in cycles and we have had hog visitors for a number of years so expect to see them back when they are ready. I’ve monitored them more closely this year so probably have become more sensitive to their comings and goings!

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    Hi 5sandown

    I know the feeling! There are always pros and cons to watching them more closely. I keep telling myself not to get too attached to certain characters, but it seems I’m not always listening! There is one old girl – I think she must have been 5 this year – and I haven’t seen her for weeks, now, so I fear for her. But earlier this year a female hog who I hadn’t seen for 8 or 9 months suddenly appeared again. Sadly she disappeared again, too. I still have one hog visiting who makes several visits a night so is producing plenty of video! and the wood mice, of course.

    Good luck. I hope some of them come back before hibernation. But do keep an eye out of hoglets.


    After 3 weeks of no hedgehog sightings one of my visitors returned from its wanderings last night!

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    That’s really good news! So pleased for you.


    Our hedgehogs have also stopped their nightly visits for food though it does seem very mild for them to be hibernating already.
    We think it is partly due to a plentiful supply of natural food which is good.
    There have been huge numbers of daddylonglegs around over the last few weeks and earlier in the year we kept finding body parts of stag beetles around the garden so they seem to be another favourite.
    Our neighbours told us they once watched a hedgehog catch a frog and run off with it!
    On the subject of food (we feed ‘The Right Food for Hedgehogs’ from Tescos which is very good and much cheaper then other brands) we are amazed at the amount of water they drink. They frequently drink from the water we leave out for up to ten minutes at a time, then take some food and go back for more! Water seems to be equally as important as food for them.

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    Hi Margaret

    Yes, I would say that water is even more important to leave out than food. The hogs have some chance of finding ‘wild’ food, but not always water.

    I think hibernation is more complicated than just availability of food and the temperature – although I’m not sure if anyone has completely worked out quite what it all is about – if that makes sense! You may find they or some others may still make an appearance, so I would keep leaving some food out in case. As I keep saying, often newly independent hoglets turn up at this time of year.


    I wonder do they also have a liking for salt?

    I was sitting outside with bare feet one evening this summer watching a hog feeding when along came a second one, and on seeing the feeding station occupied it wandered over to my chair and licked my feet all over – what a weird sensation that was!

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    I would think it is more that they can be very inquisitive rather than liking salt. Especially young ones. It may be that it was hoping to find something it could eat there! I imagine it must have felt very strange, but it isn’t something that I, personally, would encourage. I think it is better for hedgehogs if they maintain a healthy respect for humans. We are predators, after all and too much familiarity with one predator could make them less wary of others. Having said that I appreciate if one suddenly came up to you like that, you may not have wanted to scare it by moving. I’m glad, at least that it only licked and didn’t bite!


    Don’t worry Nic, we do not encourage any personal contact with them. The last thing I was expecting was for it to lick my feet!

    The only time we interfered was when one fell into our garden pond and nearly drowned. We rescued it just in time next morning, kept it warm and dry and released it that evening.

    We filled in the pond the same day.

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    Hi Margaret

    Well done for rescuing the hog. That must have been a horrible shock, finding it in the pond. Lucky you got there in time.

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