Hedgehog

So I was brought a hedgehog house when we moved into our new home as I always wanted one and I am keen to attract wildlife in the garden. Being slight more in the countyside now I thought there would be plenty!

I put the house out about a month ago thinking that they would be coming out of hibernation. I also put out some food.....I wait and waited but nothing image

Last week I noticed the straw had been squashed down in the enterance and I took a little look inside to find my first hedgehog!! image Was so happy! Spent a few evenings watching him potter about in the garden and eating the food we put out. He even chased after my very confused cat!

But since then his gone and the food hasnt been touched. Is this normal for them to do that? I have read they move about a lot so dont tend to stay in one place. Any tips on how to get more to come to the garden? I am really keen to have more as I know they are a less common sight now.

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,727

    Our regulars are only coming for food occasionally at the moment - it was the same last year and the year before - this time of year they're meeting up with other hedgehogs for 'other activities' - yours may even be a female and possibly she has little ones somewhere  I'm sure he/she'll be back - maybe with friends or family image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Yes ,it is quite normal for them to roam about, they can wander over a mile on their nightly travels, sometimes more.  He/she will remember where the food was and the house.

    If you can buy or make more houses that may encourage more hogs in. Planting for wildlife will encourage insects and beetles, both of which form part of a hedgehogs natural diet. Slugs/snails only form 5% of their diet..Slugs/snails carry internal parasites which they transmit to the hog, ( earthworms too ). A few do no harm to a healthy hog but if the hog gets too many - either from eating lots of slug/snails due to a lack of other foods or if the hog has suffered a traumatic event ,ie an accident or is unwell for some other reason then the parasites it has will start multiplying and attacking the hosts body. Being in captivity often causes a flare up as the hogs are stressed by being in care - then they will make the hog very ill, sometimes fatally so. If you do have a lot of slugs/snails in your garden its best to move them on somewhere else or collect them up and dispose of them. Using slug pellets should be avoided as they can also poison the hog if its eats slugs/snails who have eaten the pellets.

    What food are you putting out? Quality kitten biscuits, such as IAMS or Royal Canin are good and a quality cat or dog food, preferably the loaf type. Jelly or gravy meats can cause bad tummies.  Avoid the fish varieties. I also feed mine chopped peanuts, raisins, sunflower hearts, bird seeds and a little bit of fruit now and again. You can also offer chopped cooked chicken/turkey and some people give uncooked meats, chicken/ turkey or beef mince. No processed meats. Each hog is different and what one likes another will dislike.

    Please do not offer milk and bread. Its very bad for them. They are lactose in tolerant and the bread swells up inside them. If eaten it can lead to very severe stomach upsets and in extreme cases can be fatal. Dried mealworms are often favoured by hogs ( but not all like them ). They contain no nutritional value and are best fed as a treat.

    , I'm sure others will come - once word gets around you will probably find a disorderly queue forming image. Do you have a feeding station to put the food in ? They are very easily made from plastic storage tubs ( under the bed type ), bricks and a piece of slate or tile. I can tell you how to make it if you would like to know. A feeding station will also keep cats out. 

    Good luck and keep persevering image

     

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 2,409

    That's very interesting hartleyhare, thanks for posting that. I think I've got a hedgehog living in my logpile although I've never seen it.

    I bought it some food from the rspb, but when I dissected it, it seemed to contain what you mentioned above and I thought I could probably make a mix up myself. I hadn't been putting food out when it rains because I assumed it'd be eating the slugs but clearly thats incorrect.

    Do hedgehogs sometimes pull up a worm and then leave it alive and damaged? I've seen two recently but it could be birds...

    image

    Vic

  • I haven't heard of hogs doing that with worms before. I think it would most likely be birds but cannot be absolutely sure of course.

    If you are putting food out then its best to leave it out every night regardless of weather. Making a feeding station will keep the food dry and keep cats out. Its very easy to make. Food needs to be left out all year round as hogs do sometimes wake up during their hibernation cycle and come looking for food. Best to stick to biscuits and seeds in winter though as they don't freeze like wet food but they will need replacing every day or other day as they go soggy. You can add glycerine to drinking water to prevent freezing. I meant to try leaving out a bowl of the rehydration fluid I use as it contains salt to see if it would freeze but we didn't get any frosts this winter at all - first frosts came a couple of weeks ago and I forgot about it.

  • PinkypooPinkypoo Posts: 23
    Thank you Dove and hartleyhare!! Very interesting information! Hartley would you be able to share how to make a feeding station? This seems a good idea as the birds are stealing the mealworms and the biscuits and cat food goes soggy in the wet weather. Also the slugs seem to love sitting in it all!
  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 2,409

    I've just put some food out and found a fresh

    image

     I'm sure that's a hedgehog. Please don't say its a Bigfoot scat or something. From the direction I think it was heading into my neighbours image

    I could put its food bowl under my arbour although it's got a drainage hole. 

    I've got an accessible pond for drinking, but I can look into the glycerine for winter.

    cheers image

    Vic

  • That does look very much like hog poo image Does your pond have a shallow sloping side to it ? Have visions of hog falling in and drowning.

     

    To make a feeding station ......... buy a plastic storage tub ( under the bed type ) and cut a hole on one end using a hot knife. Make a brick tunnel constructing a bend into the tunnel so its L shaped. PLace a piece of slate or tile over top of tunnel and weight with more bricks. Place the box opening against the tunnel opening and weight box with bricks. Its best to site tunnel and box on solid surface such as patio slabs or concrete but you can put them directly onto the ground if you wish. Altough if you do that it might be best to place a rubber mat underneath ( the kind with holes in ). Line the box with newspaper and add bowl of food. All done image. It takes around 20 mins to make and set up. I have 2-3 feeding stations during warmer weather as hogs have been known to get rather impatient about waiting their turn and arguments start image You can also buy wooden feeding stations or make them if you are creative enough. I'll take a pic of my feeding station tomorrow and post it up.

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 2,409

    Yes, I'd like to see a picture please.

    Why does the tunnel need to have a bend in it?

    I might have to have a think about this if I'm going to make one, what with the hard standing etc as I've dug up all my garden for flowerbeds and don't even have a proper path. I could put it under my arbour. I might be able to disguise it under there too by extending the log pile.

    When you say line the box, do you mean the inside plastic sides? 

    Alternatively, I have a hedgehog house that it doesn't live in image. I was hoping a toad or some bees might move in, but could I use that instead of a storage box?

    And yes, my pond has sloping beach pebble sides. image

  • Victoria SpongeVictoria Sponge WearsidePosts: 2,409

    P.S, sorry I've been butting in on your thread Pinkypoo image

  • PinkypooPinkypoo Posts: 23

    Tahnk you for that information! I will look into doing this image

    No worries at all Victoria! Happy you have found out more information for your little garden visitor! image

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