Hogs!

Joined
3 Jan 2016
Messages
315
Location
Woking, UK
My wife and I have lived in this house for 10 years, and despite being blessed with a decent size garden we have always believed that we didn’t have hedgehogs.

It was back in January that we realised that was wrong. One of our cats suddenly stared intently out of the back window, and on inspection I could just make out a dark shape bumbling its way across the lawn.

So last week I decided to build a hedgehog feeding station using some block paving bricks stacked in a rectangular shape and some concrete paving slabs. I gave it an entrance “hall” with an internal wall to defeat cats or foxes from reaching in, and placed two shallow ceramic bowls inside: one with water, the other with dry cat food.

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To my amazement, food was taken on the very first night. But that left the question: what took it? A hedgehog, or a rat?

So this project, which started off costing just a tenner for the bricks (the paving slabs were lying around unused), suddenly got a lot more expensive when I ordered a trail camera to see if I could find out what was taking the food. And, after a few false starts as I experimented with camera settings (and one night where I left the damn memory card out of it), I had my proof...

At first, the visitor walks straight past:


And then returns a minute or so later and enters the feeding station:


And finally, after spending about half an hour inside, it leaves:

 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,218
Location
Bracknell
Hi @Dr Mike Oxgreen

That's excellent. I like your design of the hedgehog house. We had a distressed hedgehog in our garden a couple of years ago. We took it to a - wait for it - hedgehog hospital in the Camberley area, if I remember rightly. Probably not far from you. The lady that ran the hospital was passionate about her hedgehogs. She had about thirty of them - all in their own individual 'homes'.

I'm also interested in the Campark T80. I presume the video was all shot in night-time/IR mode? Will explore further.

JPC
 

mort

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
1,122
I live in a normal built up area and we have quite a lot of hedgehogs around us. Our friend acts like a hedgehog hospital for the ones to small to hibernate that are found in a few of us and she had 11 over last winter. They cost her a fortune to feed, deflea and worm but they seem to be doing great judging from the mating noises coming from our garden a couple of weeks ago. They really wind my and the neighbouring dogs up but it so great to see. Funnily enough a few had to go on a diet because they got so fat, over a kg, that they couldn't roll up enough to protect themselves. I have a hog house that's been used but we have so many slugs I don't directly feed them.
Unfortunately I mostly only see splattered ones on our roads but I've been thinking about a cam for the back garden so will look at your suggestion.
 
Joined
3 Jan 2016
Messages
315
Location
Woking, UK
Hi @Dr Mike OxgreenI'm also interested in the Campark T80. I presume the video was all shot in night-time/IR mode? Will explore further.
Yes, it automatically switches from colour in the daytime, and uses its array of IR LEDs to provide nighttime illumination. It has three PIR sensors: two facing 45° to the sides, and one pointing straight forward.
 

mort

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
1,122
Apparently slugs make up only a very small part of their diet. They mainly eat beetles.
They also make hogs fat. The first year my friend looked after the ones too small to hibernate, we collected as many slugs and worms as we could to supplement their diets. After a few weeks she found out that the hogs were putting on too much weight and although they make a satisfying crunch, the slugs were a big part of the problem.
 
Joined
3 Jan 2016
Messages
315
Location
Woking, UK
They also make hogs fat. The first year my friend looked after the ones too small to hibernate, we collected as many slugs and worms as we could to supplement their diets. After a few weeks she found out that the hogs were putting on too much weight and although they make a satisfying crunch, the slugs were a big part of the problem.
I didn’t know that!

Another food that people often feed hedgehogs that is really bad for them is mealworms. They love them, but they’re bad because of the high phosphorus content that causes calcium depletion in their bones, and they can end up badly crippled. Peanuts and sunflower hearts are bad for the same reason.

Nice work with the hog house
Thanks! Now that it has proved its value I might mortar the bricks in place properly - they’re just stacked at the moment.
 
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