Young and adult hogs mixing
26th June 2021 at 10:59 pm #32112
Been hedgehog obsessed since last summer when I created a new big flowerbed at the front of our house which had previously been gravel. They have been visiting nightly ever since. I then got two hog houses and created a highway in the fence and we put cameras out front and back to capture their antics! Since March , we’ve had 4-6 hogs visiting. ( so hard to tell them apart – my husband suggested putting number plates on them :). ). This week, three young ones have appeared which is thrilling.
My question is whether the adults might pose any kind of threat to the young ones? There seems to be a lot of huffing, puffing and argy bargy between the adults in the vicinity of the youngsters. I did wonder if the huffing was the mums warning off any interlopers while the youngsters are feeding but I can’t find much online to explain it. All the hogs look healthy, busy and full of mischief !26th June 2021 at 11:39 pm #32113
Great news that you have young ones there! Well done for providing the hog homes and holes in fences.
I think the young ones should be alright. In my experience the adults, whether they are the parents or not, are very tolerant of hoglets and let them get away with things which wouldn’t be allowed by other hogs.
It isn’t a natural thing for hogs to gather together in any numbers (but we, in effect, encourage it by providing feeding areas) and I believe a mother may keep her young ones away from a feeding areas (where there may be gatherings of hogs), until they reach a certain size. That’s what has seemed to happen here. Possibly the mother of the young ones there either thinks they are old enough to fend for themselves, or it’s possible that they are already going it alone.
The huffing will likely be a female or females during courtship. So she would not be warning other hogs away from young ones. If the hoglets are already weaned this early, a female may consider having another litter and so may become involved in courtship behaviour (but it may also be a different female).
The males may biff each other in the presence of hoglets, but until the hoglets reach a certain size are unlikely to biff them and if they get in the way, they can roll up, or otherwise keep out of the way.
If you are concerned about all the activity, you could try spreading your feeding space into a wider area. But the males are still likely to biff each other if they meet. I know some people believe that they are ‘fighting’ over food, but my own personal thoughts are that the biffing just happens more in areas where there is food, because that is where the hogs are likely to meet other males. In my experience a male is likely to biff another male, if it happens to come into its personal space, whether food is around or not and also if there are multiple sources of food available.
If you are interested in identifying hogs from their natural markings, I wrote some notes a while back: https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/forums/topic/identifying-hedgehogs-from-their-natural-markings/
Good luck with all the hogs and hope you continue to enjoy watching those hoglets and all the hogs! Happy hog watching.27th June 2021 at 10:22 pm #32139
That’s great – very reassuring . The babies are so well behaved but the adults are asbo hogs . All that stuff about them being shy and meek little creatures – our visitors are real divas!! I scatter food in lots of different places in both front and back gardens with water bowls too, and they still manage to hit the same ones at the same time:) .. it’s such a joy getting to see them and to feel that you’re doing things to help them along .2nd July 2021 at 9:11 am #32271
Yes, hogs can be a bit argumentative if there is more than one (especially male) around! But they also seem to have different characters. Some will eat very neatly and others dig around in the food and send it flying in all directions! Great fun to watch, though. Keep up the good work!
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