Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs

Has anyone else been helping these special little creatures? I had seen the occasional black deposit in the garden over the past few years but never realised until this year just how many were busy touring the area during the night. I started put hedgehog food from The Ark out in the Spring nights, and regular as clockwork have been having visitors from 8 15 p.m. onwards throughout the night. The big surprise was when a mother brought her 4 babies and showed them where the food is and then left them to it.. The big ones I think have gone to hibernate, but I'm doing my best to fatten up some young ones. I am told they have to weigh 1lb to ensure they come through hibernation safely. At least two are still on the small side but weather not too cold at the moment. As long as food disappears I shall continue putting it out. I sit for hours at night watching through the window waiting for them scamper towards the food and water. It's as though they are running on clockwork. They are such noisy eaters and have no table manners. Local cats were eating their food so I made them a feeding station with an upturned plastic storage box , made a cd size hole in one side and padded the edges, turned it upside down and put a couple of bricks on the top and they can eat in safety without Toby cat getting in. sorry Toby I know you are well fed at home. I now have three hedgehog houses in my garden buried under leaves, hay and twigs. A few weeks ago I found one fast asleep at 5. 0 clock in the morning in the food dish. He was definitely to be in trouble when he went home! I know they have a home under a pile of logs , but am hoping they also use the houses. Won't know until next year. To think all that was going on here in the night - and I never knew. What a revelation and what fun I have had this year.

28 Replies

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  • That's so lovely! We have lots of hedgehogs here , I depend on them to keep the slugs in order 😀 they are such noisy eaters! When we had our dog Rex he used to bark at them and then try attacking them so I've rescued quite a few! , now Max has not seen one as far as I know but I think he would leave them alone.Now they are protected as a species because so many natural hedge rows are no more it's such a shame.huff 😀💐

  • OMG I HATE SLUGS DO GOOD ON THE HEDGEHOGS. WHAT'S A BABY ONE CALLED ?

  • Hoglets! No kidding 😀

  • they are lovely to watch I went out the back door after dark in the summer and see something run by off down the path I though it was a rat to start went and got the torch at it was a hedgehog see it several times after that you could see a little track where it goes under the fence into next door my neighbours garden resembles a hay field most of the summer so he had plenty of places to hid and get food lot of slugs round our area so he should have been well fed

  • Wow, to think all this goes on so close to us and we don't often see any evidence of the little hedgehogs. I can just picture you watching like a soldier on guard !! Please keep us posted. I'm going to have a little peep outside into my garden through the window, so maybe I'll have "somebody" to report on in a few days!

  • I hope so - at least one of the little ones is still coming to eat. It's a great "hobby" hedgehog watch if you don't sleep well:-)

  • I haven't seen a hedgehog for a long time! I live in a rural seaside village with plenty of wildlife around but can't remember the last time I saw a hedgehog.

    Now that you've posted that, I'll be keeping an eye out! 😀🌻

  • We have had lots of new fences put up around here and they have concrete bases so the hedgehogs can't roam around like they used to, which is a shame.

    We had one hibernate in a nest of straw and leaves at the bottom of our rabbit cage once.

    Not only noisy eaters....they frightened my neighbour with the noises they made when courting....that's not surprising really !

  • Hedgehogs, love the little blighters but haven't seen one in a few years now. What I have seen though is hedgehog sized holes in the bottom of my compost heap so maybe their hibernating or I'm not eating enough carrots to be able to see them when its dark :) .

    Just recently there has been a scraggy looking fox around in broad daylight, I first spotted him a few weeks back sat on my bird table and he was back today but I've not managed to get him on camera yet.

    Keep looking after your hedgehogs AJS as their not as common as they used to be, lots have been killed on the roads and slug pellets etc have a lot to answer for also.

    Tony.

  • I'm doing my best to persuade people not to use slug pellets. I've found in my garden anyway that they like snails. If everyone made holes in their fences the hedgehogs might not have to cross so many roads.

  • Husband was careful this morning (clearing oak leaves). Last year we had a hibernating hedgehog under a conifer under a mound of leaves. Sure enough there he/she was(I do not know whether it the same one). I think it has decided to hibernate early as I would have thought too warm at the moment. Kaye.

  • It won't be the only one that visits your garden I am sure.

  • Hi Jennifer

    We have two that visit our garden regularly, and my husband made a hedgehog box for them to spend the winter in...it's full of hay and dry leaves so we don't know if one is in there or not.

    People must leave a small hole in their fence so they can roam...they cover a very large area in a night.

    Velvet xx

  • More like your husband please Velvet:-)

  • Hi Jennifer

    Only one Mr V....and lucky me has got him !!

    He also feeds the birds every day....different tables at various heights....same with the bird baths....and various food for different birds...he hand feeds the Robin !

    Our hedgehogs get dog meat...they love it.....and then there is Buggsy the rabbit, who is very well fed.

    We quite often return home and there is a fox asleep on the front doormat...or in one of my flower tubs.

    David Attenborough could do a programme on the wildlife in our garden !!

    Velvet xx

  • heh heh.....Wonderful Velvet - you are true nature lovers. Your garden sounds similar to mine - everything for for everyone and everything. It's so good to hear what is going on! A Duck laid 13 eggs in my front garden under a shrub but a fox came one night and took them all and scared mother duck away.

    I too feed lots of birds of different varieties - the goldfinches arrive in huge batches, I think the collective noun is a Charm, chattering away on the niger feeders, then coal tits, blue tits, great tits, doves, blackbirds - enough to bake in a pie! Blackbirds also enjoy the medlars off my tree. We are pestered by starlings at certain times of the day - hordes of them descend on the garden grabbing anything that is edible- but I'm not cross with them for they eat leatherjackets and anything that the others leave. They also enjoy bathing together...heh heh. Wish I could say there are thrushes but I only know of one pair locally and they live by the fields.

    Hedgehogs that visit love whiskas chicken in jelly - good buys from the pound shop - or the one that Aldi sell.

    Aha - Merlin has risen and brought me a boot so I'll give him his tramadol then I'm off to shower and get ready to go out. Thanks for your lovely letter.

    Write more to us about your garden and wildlife:-)

  • This all sounds absolutely lovely, Velvet. I am in the country but don't have as much going on! There are a lot of rabbits behind my fence who come out regularly to be fed and, of course, the birds are looked after throughout the year. The fox sounds as though he has settled there also. It is so good to hear these stories and makes me feel so much better. Thanks Velvet and all of you for making my day!

  • I couple of years ago my son was tidying the garden up for me when he found a hollowed out 'shell' of a hedgehog. I haven't seen one since then but I have seen evidence of one so my grandson has made me a hedgehog house. I used to get foxes in the garden and also two badgers occasionally, and I've heard that badgers are the hedgehogs only natural predator so I'm not as fond of them, as I was. I'd much rather have the hedgehogs back. You're so lucky to have them, but I'm sure you know that. My hedgehog house is still awaiting residents.

  • Have you put any hedgehog food out? They like sultanas, scrambled egg and home made meusli but no salt and no milk in the egg.

    Yes, shame about the badgers for they too have a right to life.

  • I haven't put sultanas or scrambled egg out, wouldn't have thought of those. I've left cat food (not fish) and an oat and weetabix mix for them, just in case they come - but so far, I've only seen the birds pecking at it, early in the morning.

  • This is such a lovely posting. I have wondered many times whether or not I could have hedgehogs in the garden but haven't seen any black deposits. If I could help them in any way I would do. What sort of food do you put out for them? For years my next door neighbours' had the whole garden covered in decking and I did feel this inhibited wild life, however (whoopee) they have now gone and a woman has moved in who has removed all the decking and now has an ordinary unadorned garden. Maybe we will be able to discover if the decking was preventing wildlife developing. Your article is very interesting to me as I am a devotee of animals and wildlife and will help in any way I can. Carry on the good work and I absolutely love the picture. Would love to see the baby ones alongside the mother! How lucky you are to have them there. Best wishes, Juney.

  • Thankyou june,

    I am pretty sure you will have hedgehogs visiting your garden as long as they can gain access. If you have a quiet sheltered area they may build themselves a winter retreat, but you can buy these too. I buy specialist basic Hedgehog food from The Ark and supplement it with bits of scrambled egg - no milk, no salt, home made shortbread crumbled up, sultanas - I raid the blackbirds supply for this! a little tiny bit of grated cheese, ground almonds, chopped up mixed nuts, just depends what I have handy. They also eat meusli - no sugar no salt. I was thrilled this morning to find that two dishfuls of food had been eaten, so they haven't all gone to sleep yet. They must have arrived after 2.30 for I was in and out of the conservatory with the blind up until then. I am lucky, but I only saw the first one by accident a few months ago, coming for a drink during a dry spell. I leave a shallow dish of water out anyway. Keep your eyes peeled now you have a garden friendly neighbour!

    Jennifer

  • Thanks Jennifer. I will follow all you have suggested and see what happens. I am feeling really sorry for the birds in this awful weather. However, I can now do "hedgehog watch" in the middle of the night when I am not sleeping. Very helpful advice. Thanks again, Jennifer. Keep letting us all know what is happening with them!!!

  • We could all do a hedgehog alert if you know others close by who are also looking out!

    I will write and let you know how the small ones are getting on.

    Cold weather on the way apparently so they may just go to sleep. Have to play it by ear. If the food goes then they are about.

  • I love hedgehogs and would love to encourage them in to my garden

  • Well you know what to do now....get some hedgehog food and put it under some shelter, and a dish of water and just wait. It may be a little late this year but persist in the Spring and miracles do happen. Make sure they have access to your garden through as fence or under a gate. I'm going to post a couple of links as so many are interested in helping these little creatures.

  • Thank you that's a job for the old man when he gets back

  • Oh I like this. Would be great if everyone were like you:-)

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