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Hogs and hibernation

Over the past three weeks I have been leaving meaty cat biscuits (chicken, turkey and veg mix) on the patio underneath a home made feeding station in order for hedgehogs to have a better survival chance over winter. They immediately took to my home made device although, initially, only half the amount of food vanished. Any left went the following night! It (or they) now attend nightly and nothing is left next day. I thought by this time of year they would begin hibernating, but last evening when I went to put out the food there was a hog inside the feeding station waiting. I also keep a clean shallow bowl of water close by.  What a pleasure. I do see them regularly in our garden which is a haven for them with all the bushes and undergrowth for security. I don’t mind my messy garden as I gain so much pleasure from seeing these beautiful creatures. I am lucky to live in a very quiet cul-de-sac with very little traffic and the gardens are easily available with hog access areas.

Any suggestions when they might go into hibernation? I don’t want to stop feeding until they do. I know to keep a supply of meaty cat biscuits available should any ‘warmer’ weather occur.

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,564
    It depends on teh wetaher as they'll stay active while it's warm enough and also need to get to a minimum weight to be safe and survive.  I'd keep putting food out as long as they're taking it and have some to hand in case they wake up in a warm spell or to move nesting site.

    This site should help you - https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/about-hedgehogs/hibernation/  
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hi maisie-mac - there is an active forum post on here - Help Save The Hedgehogs II, if you scroll down a few days on this Wildlife section you will find it.  There is plenty of hedgehog addicts here who will be able to fill you in on the hogs activities at this time of year.
    I am pleased that you enjoy your little visitors and they are a delight to watch. It is always a worry to see young ones at this time of year and we have recently taken 2 to our rescue centre because they were so young and too small to cope with a cold winter, the centre feed them up, keep them warm and they will be released back into our garden in the Spring.

    Personally I have had up to 5 at our feeding bowls over the past few months, but now I am down to 2 or 3 and last night was so cold and windy we had just one.  Mine normally feed until mid November and then hibernate for a couple of months.  It all depends on the weather which has drastically changed in the past few days over here but is supposed to warm up a bit this week.
  • Thank you for your comments. They are very welcome. I will look at Help save the hedgehogs 11 site. 
  • madpenguinmadpenguin Isle of WightPosts: 2,448
    Hogs really only hibernate if the weather is really cold.They can also come out of hibernation or move to a new place to sleep.
    In the winter of 2014/15 my hogs were around everyday throughout.
    The main problem for them is a supply of food and water when they wake up to keep them going,so keep putting out stuff for them.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    Hope you figure it out okay maisie. It is so nice you care too. They are a worry. I think we can only do our best and try to keep an eye out.
    Wish they would book ahead or leave a note to say they are not coming, so we know what to do!
    I worry if ours comes and goes erratically.
    As long as they are big and not little ones who need obvious help, I think we have done our best to help them along. I would be a liar if I said I did not still worry though.
  • Thank you madpenguin and Rubytoo. I was concerned that my hog would not return this evening after I disturbed it with its food just before dusk, but it has come back tonight. Fancy finding it sat inside the feeding station! Almost as though it was waiting to be served! Wonderful.

    I will continue feeding and watering throughout winter as suggested on other posts.
    🦔🦔🦔

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