Register with us or sign in
I haven't seen a hedgehog for years and feel quite deprived
Hi I am new to the forum. I also love hedgehogs and have been lucky enough to have heard and seen a pair in my back garden in mating ritual, grunting and dancing about, so sweet! I have not however seen babies yet but I have an old wine box with a hole at each end under a bench at the end of my garden. This was used last year as I had put some leaves in it but noticed fresh grass at the entrance. There are quite a few hedgehogs in this area and they can easily access my garden as my gates have a small hole cut in the bottom to allow my cat a quick getaway if anything chases her.
I saw a young hedgehog slowly walking up a friend's driveway. I managed to get hold of my friend before he came home to lunch and I was afraid that he would run over it. He put it in his greenhouse so I do hope it survives the winter.
Could I ask Lynne Box about the plastic crates she puts over the hedgehog food. where, please, is the 10cm hole made, at the side? I live in Worcester as well but the only hedgehogs we have seen was 30 years ago when we first came back to Worcester and we have sern none since, though we would love to do so. How big are the crates you use and could you tell me, please, where to get them?
I put out dried mealworms and chopped nuts with raisins for the hedgehogs. Even though my garden is small - only about 30ft by 20ft, I get lots in the Summer - sometimes 5 or 6 at a time, often there are males snorting loudly and trying to mate with the females all night (we have to close the windows to sleep!). In the last couple of days, I hav found three very small hedgehogs in the garden (two were 150gs and one was 280g) and I have taken them to the local hedgehog rescue centre as they are way too small to survive the winter. I think that if you put out food for the hedgehogs they are quite likely to come to your garden now days, because gardens are generally so barren nowadays compared to years ago, and their natural diet of beetles, caterpillars and earthworms are a lot harder for them to find - I'm sure it's a relief for them to find some regular nutritious food.
Make sure they can find their way in to your garden - we have cut archways (we call them hedgehog gates) in the bottom of our garden fences so that the hoggies can wander from garden to garden. As well as putting food out a bowl of fresh water is essential as they get very thirsty (that's why they try to drink from garden ponds, often with sad results).
Great to hear these tales of hedgehog sightings. Dovefromabove's comments about garden ponds got me thinking. I was sure I'd read somewhere that hedgehogs were supposed to be good swimmers. But then it occurred to me that many garden ponds are sheer-sided fibreglass or concrete constructions and even if they could swim around a bit, an unfortunate hedgehog would not be able to scramble up the slippery sides. I eventually found a swimming report in one of my favourite animal books, 'A beast pocket for the pocket' by Edmund Sanders, 1937. He also reports that "There is some evidence for the current belief that they suck cows' udders" and that they will try to taste anything "including boot polish!" I recommend this book, often to be had for a few quid from second-hand bookshops: http://bugmanjones.com/2012/02/01/four-rabbits-make-one-felt-hat/
There are a couple of good helpful hedgehog sites, one is hedgehog street, many helpful people only to willing to help with any enquiries,easily found on google etc. The other one is BHPS, again very helpful.
I 'left' a small pile of pet hay in a dry corner of the garden yesterday - by yesterday evening most of it had gone and there was a trail of hay leading to one of the hedgehog houses
Richard - they can swim really well, but as you say they can't get out of many ponds. I had a very small pond - 3ft by 4ft and I found one hedgehog swimming around in it which I had to scoop out by putting my hands underneath him each side, and very sadly another one dead in it. I ended up putting loads of big rocks in it so that hedgehogs could at least get out of the water, and eventually I ended up getting rid of it and putting out bowls of water around the garden for the wildlife instead. Luckily, I've found 6 baby hedgehogs in the last week or so and got them to a rescue centre for overwintering, so hopefully that makes up a little bit for having one drown on me! The lady at the rescue centre told me that an estimated 4 1/2 million hedgehogs have been lost this year in the flooding - taking them from the endangered list to the near extinct list. She also told me that at the moment, rescue centres have been asked not to release any hedgehogs into the wild next Spring as they are considering starting up a nationwide breeding programme to try and restore their numbers. So sad.
We've had small holes cut at the bottom of the fences so that the hedgehogs can wander from garden to garden - it's quite easy to do and so important!
Here's how to do it http://thehedgehog.co.uk/garden.htm
When I lived in Norfolk many commons had cattle grids to keep the cattle from straying on to the roads. These were not good news for hedgehogs as nightly many fell between the grids and could not get up the sheer sides. We implemented special planks of wood laid slanting from top to bottom so that they had an escape route to scramble out which they quickly learnt to use. Anything to help them survive is so important. thought this might interest you marianne
Suecamp wrote (see)
I have put some water outside and some food that I bought specially from a pet shop as I wasn't sure what they ate apart from slugs and snails. ....I'm now hoping that they'll help me next year when they come out of hibernation by eating the slugs and snails on my vegetable garden!
Guys/Girls, Please be aware that Hedgehogs DO NOT eat large numbers of slugs and snails. The majority of a hedgehog's diet comprises insects, beetles, caterpillars, small vertebrates and sometimes eggs. They will eat about 5% slugs and snails but only if VERY hungry. Slugs and snails are a very bad food for hedgehogs as they contain lots of lungworm larvae and fluke larvae both of which are killers.
If you see a hog out in the daytime (ever) or any small hedgehogs at this time of year please pick them up and take them to a hedgehog rescue centre asap. Hedgehogs need to weigh at least 800g to hibernate successfully, so if you see smaller ones now please rescue them immediately. Pop them in a bucket, put a towel on top of them, bring inside to keep them warm and call the centre. If you do find a small one please check around as there will frequently be siblings. Most hedgehogs have hibernated by now. They do wake up to eat and drink but only for very short periods, so most you see out and about now are in trouble.
I have a couple of injured hogs in my walled garden who came from a rescue centre as they are too damaged to survive in the wild. They are truly lovely little animals, (although not terribly bright) and it is very rewarding to see them bumbling around at dusk. The simplest and best food for them is a meat based small cat or kitten biscuit. If you regularly see hogs in your garden it would be kind to keep some out, preferably in a catproof feeder (see websites mentioned above for design), as well as some fresh water for hibernating hedgehogs who have stirred.