Where’d they go???
3rd October 2021 at 6:27 pm #34271
Hi hedgie 59
I’m not sure who you mean by the Hedgehog Preservation people. Do you mean BHPS? If so, what they say on their web site is:
To supplement their diet in the wild, please offer hedgehogs either a good quality meaty hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or dry biscuits for cats.
Only ever offer water to drink.
This is Hedgehog Street’s information re. feeding: https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/help-hedgehogs/feed-hedgehogs/
Yes, I think the advice about cleaning out hog houses can be a bit late. Some male hogs start hibernating in September. It isn’t ideal to open a box which might have a hog in it, but if you open the lid very carefully just a tiny bit, to have a peek, it would probably be ok. Might be better than potentially leaving parasite eggs in there and a hog deciding to build a nest in there later on. Hopefully no-one will be using it yet.
Good luck. Hope all goes well.4th October 2021 at 9:00 am #34279
Hi, yes, I meant the BHPS. The recommended Spike – which I’d been using for a few years already, and said they sell it themselves.
I’ll do the cleaning earlier next year, but for now I’ll be very careful. The problem is all the houses have covers over them to keep them from leaking – which they all seem to do eventually – and then lots of natural stuff on top and around. So you can’t really get to the lid to take a tiny peek without practically waking the dead. But the temperature is set to go up by the end of the week, so I may have a good little window. Certainly the food dishes were licked clean this morning, to my great relief.
For bedding I use organic hay, and then leaves outside, but in the village there is a business that makes wooden garden trugs, the obvious by-product of which is very soft wood shavings. Got a sack from them yesterday, and have put some piles outside the houses to see what the hedgies make of it. If it starts disappearing inside…4th October 2021 at 1:32 pm #34284
The hogs will probably use all sorts of things in their nests, if they don’t have much choice, but wood shavings do not sound ideal. i.e. they would not be waterproof like leaves could be if they are layered – I would think they would absorb the moisure and stay wet. So personally I would give the woodshavings a miss and rely more on leaves. Also, hay, is ok – up to a point. But longer grasses are helpful for weaving the nest all together and making a good sturdy structure.
Re. the feeding. I know BHPS sell Spikes and so probably think it is ok in terms of brands of hedgehog food. (Although I don’t believe selling something is necessarily an endoresement of it.) But that is not the same as recommending it, over cat or dog food, which, from their statement on their website, they appear to think is also as suitable.
Good luck with the cleaning. Hopefully there won’t be a hog in residence. All you can do is be as careful as you can.6th October 2021 at 10:07 pm #34320
The lady I spoke to at BHPS specifically recommended Spike, actually. But since she was also the one who said I should wait until October with cleaning the houses, perhaps she wasn’t as well informed as she ought. So what, then, is the best food? What would you recommend? I always wonder about dry food, because it’s so processed and as far from their natural diet as you can get. Is high quality cat or dog food better then? Something high in chicken contents? And how about fresh uncooked foods? Asking because my dog is on a raw food diet and she’ s never been healthier. So what could I give the hedgehogs that would most approach their ideal diet? I’d love to know.
Re wood shavings being wet, the houses here are dry as a bone – no rain gets in there. Apart from the wood shavings – which I saw today have been busily tracked into various entrances – they also have piles of leaves they can use when they want to. I pile stuff up close to the houses and they just use what they want.
Anyway, very grateful for your advice!7th October 2021 at 2:13 pm #34331
There has, perhaps been some misunderstanding. I was saying that BHPS recommend (on their website) cat/dog/meaty hog food. I wouldn’t want anyone feeding other brands of cat/dog/meaty hog food to think they were doing the wrong thing. I probably can’t do much better than quote again BHPS’s current advice which has now been slighly updated:
“To supplement their diet in the wild, please offer hedgehogs either a good quality meaty hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or dry biscuits for cats. TIP: Check meat is first ingredient listed.
Only ever offer water to drink.”
I have spoken to BHPS today and they confirmed that is correct. They (as an organisation) do not specifically recommend Spikes hedgehog food over the foods mentioned in the quote above. You may wish to check with them again to confirm that.
This information from Vale Wildlife is also useful re. Feeding.
But the best other thing we can all do is to make our gardens as hog friendly as possible and encourage others to do likewise, so that the hogs are able to find some of their own natural food as well. Whilst also linking gardens by making hog holes in fences to create a hedgehog highway.
As said, hogs will use all sorts of things in their nests if they have access to them (including litter if they happen to find it). The thing about wood shavings is that the hogs won’t necessarily always be using your ‘dry as bone’ hog houses – they may choose to build a nest elsewhere. Wood shavings aren’t something they would find naturally, but as many naturally found materials as are available could be useful to them.
Other people read these posts for ideas and don’t always comment themselves, so it’s useful for people in general to know that wood shavings are not ideal as an alternative to leaves, other than, maybe, in your particular circumstances. My own personal feeling is that it is better for the hogs to use the more natural materials they have been using for millions of years. Both from the waterproofing aspect and the insulation aspect. i.e. medium sized leaves, long grasses etc.
You’re welcome. I always have the best interests of the hogs at heart and so am happy to help them in any way I can.7th October 2021 at 6:57 pm #34366
Points well taken, many thanks.
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