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23/04/2014 at 16:24

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

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!!  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.

23/04/2014 at 16:28

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 

23/04/2014 at 17:49

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 . 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

 

23/04/2014 at 20:24

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...

Vic

23/04/2014 at 21:03

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.

23/04/2014 at 21:08
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!
23/04/2014 at 21:15

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

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/43313.jpg?width=307&height=350&mode=max

 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 

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 

Vic

23/04/2014 at 22:35

That does look very much like hog poo  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 . 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  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.

24/04/2014 at 13:28

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 . 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. 

24/04/2014 at 13:32

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

24/04/2014 at 16:13

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

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

24/04/2014 at 16:28
Victoria Sponge wrote (see)

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 . 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. 

You can put the tunnel and box directly onto the ground if you don't have any patio slabs or concrete. The tunnel needs a bend in it to prevent cats getting in. I've taken a few pics of mine but I can't find the lead to download to pc, so will have to wait til hubby gets home later on. Both my feeders are sat on patio slabs that are placed on grass. You just need to line the bottom of the box with paper. I don't think a hog house would be large enough for a feeding station but it depends on the size of the house. My plastic boxes are large enough to accomodate 2 hogs feeding from 2 bowls side by side.

24/04/2014 at 16:40

Oh, I get you now  so it's a storage box with a lid and the hogs go into the box. I was thinking an upside down tub...

I don't think I will use my hedgehog house anyway, I just uncovered it and it's a snaily creepy crawly mess and I don't like the idea of tinkering with that every evening in my Jim jams.  The storage box with lid sounds nicer 

Thank you for your help, it's much appreciated!

Vic

 

24/04/2014 at 21:29
Victoria Sponge wrote (see)

Oh, I get you now  so it's a storage box with a lid and the hogs go into the box. I was thinking an upside down tub...

I don't think I will use my hedgehog house anyway, I just uncovered it and it's a snaily creepy crawly mess and I don't like the idea of tinkering with that every evening in my Jim jams.  The storage box with lid sounds nicer 

Thank you for your help, it's much appreciated!

Vic

 

You are quite welcome  Any other questions please feel free to ask. I'm far from an expert, just a beginner in fact, but I might be able to help. The plastic boxes are easier to clean and they have the added benefit you can see the hogs inside scoffing . Hubby doesn't know where lead has gone, so will have a hunt for it tomorrow. The pics will clarify exactly what I'm talking about.

25/04/2014 at 11:28

Hi everyone, delighted to hear you’ve all seen hedgehogs visiting your garden 

Pinkypoo and Victoria Sponge, after watching hogs in my garden over the last 7 yrs I agree with all Hartleyhare has said – some good info there especially on not putting out bread or milk. I agree with others saying they can visit regularly and then not appear for a spell.

I have blogged hedgehog visits with my observations, photos and video over the last few years. If anyone is interested in a lot more hedgehog chat there’s some at http://blog.shirlsgardenwatch.co.uk/2008/08/hedgehog-visits-and-links.html. Although I can see now I have some major updating to do on links and info here. You’ll see details of my very first basic feeding station using an upturned box at http://blog.shirlsgardenwatch.co.uk/2007/08/hedgehog-still-visiting-garden.html .

My present feeding station is a hard plastic (no longer required) single floor, rabbit/guinea pig hutch integrated into a garden border (seen 5th photo down http://blog.shirlsgardenwatch.co.uk/2013/02/end-of-month-view-feb13.html). It has an IR cam and I enjoy watch hogs feed in there at night (some images here http://blog.shirlsgardenwatch.co.uk/2013/04/hedgehogs-visiting-garden-again.html.  

25/04/2014 at 13:10

What a lovely garden you have  Would you like to come and do mine - haha! I couldn't quite make out the feeding station, is it under the tree to the right of the picture?

I've tried various things for making feeding stations, I was going to try using an old bedside cabinet with a few adaptations and weatherproofing but then I found out about the plastic boxes. I can see how a plastic or wooden hutch would work, especially with a tunnel added. I tried the upturned box and also bricks with a tile on top, but I found the cats could get the food.

 

My 2 boys are being released tonight  Wish them luck on their adventures in the big wild world. I am happy to see them go but I cannot help worry about them when they go. Hogs face so many dangers, a lot of it of mankinds making, I just want them to stay safe and  healthy and live long happy lives. And make lots of baby hoggies  

25/04/2014 at 17:09

Hi Shirlsgw,

I've looked through your site; very interesting  Also I followed the link to the british hedgehog preservation society which was worth reading. It'll soon be hedgehog awareness week! Also useful numbers if I find a pig in distress.

A few years ago I found a hedgehog in the daylight not really doing much and I rang the RSPCA emergency helpline who told me to give it some cat food and leave it. Well the next day it was still there in a ball and I ended up finding a hedgehog hospital but it died on the way. If I'd ignored the RSPCA the hog lady might have been able to help it in time.

I was especially cross because I'd rang them previously about a red squirrel I'd found injured and they insisted it was just a grey with red markings like that was the important thing I was calling about. I ended up taking that to the vets and they eventually put it down, but they ran out to catch me in the car park wanting info on where I'd found it since it was a red after all.

Oh, I wasn't able to watch your videos on my iPad but the music was entertaining 

Hartleyhare, do you actually rescue hedgehogs then? Are you the hedgehog lady? 

Vic

25/04/2014 at 18:06

Hi again 

Hartleyhare, thanks for your kind comment. Over the weekend I'll look through my many photos to illustrate better what my feeding station looks like and what I did. I like the fact that it is hidden in my garden. I'll put a blog together showing as many images as I can. Delighted to hear you have hogs strong enough to be released but I fully understand your concern 0 I would feel the same.

 

Vic, delighted that there were links of interest to you. My blog takes up a lot of time, so sometimes bits don't get update as much as I would like. This thread has prompted me to sort the hedgehog tales soon. Sorry to hear about your RSPCA experience - that's not good at all. I've called the SSPCA a few times and they have been brilliant about the hedgehogs. The staff at the end of the phone have been as helpful as the ones who came out to my garden. Ah... some of this videos are old ones so maybe the format doesn't read well on your ipad. I had great fun picking music for the clips 

26/04/2014 at 20:28

Here are a couple of pics of one of my feeding stations. You can add extra bends in the tunnel if so desired.

 

http://i765.photobucket.com/albums/xx299/flavrat/box1-1.jpg

http://i765.photobucket.com/albums/xx299/flavrat/box2.jpg

27/04/2014 at 20:04
Victoria Sponge wrote (see)
Hartleyhare, do you actually rescue hedgehogs then? Are you the hedgehog lady? 

Vic

 

I am not a rescue, I don't have enough experience for that, but I do what I can where I can. I found 2 baby hedgeghogs and have successfully handreared them. I have also taken in the autumn juveniles I have found in my garden and overwintered them. Truthfully I never intended to have hedgehogs and if I had not found Jaye Jaye ( my first baby ) then I  probably wouldn't be where I'm at today. I also did not know how stressful caring for them can be, especially when they are sick. Considering that hedgeohgs live quite simple lives they are very complex little creatures to care for. I had 8 hogs overwintering last year ( 2012/13 ). I was not prepared for all that, JJ and Poppy ( who came form a local rescue up here ) were more than enough for me to cope with. I had nowhere to put all the extra hogs, so they ended up in our new bedroom. We had the garage converted, had lovely bespoke furniture and a bespoke bed made but we couldn't use it as it was full of hogs! Hubby and I slept in the caravan all winter. This winter I've had 5 juveniles. The 2 boys have been released ( 2 nights ago ) and I've got the 3 girls left to go.

 

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