I’m way past due posting an update on our hedgehogs!
To recap; we finally made a hog hole in one of our fences and soon had at least two visiting hedgehogs and I was feeding them on the patio with what I had to hand – mealworms and sunflower hearts. I then learnt that too much of those isn’t good for them, so I stepped up plans to get proper hedgehog food.
I had also managed to get a few hedgehog footprints in a quick, temporary mammal tunnel I made with logs and other bits and pieces in the garden.
Since then I have made a feeding station similar to this one and I have some Spikes Dinner hedgehog food to put in it.
The above prints are from this feeding station – I wanted to be sure the hedgehogs were using it OK, so for the first night it doubled up as a footprint trap 🙂 And the hogs seem to like the food just fine.
We then made another hole, this time in the fence on the opposite side of the garden. Our neighbours that side said they had a family of hogs, so we were hopeful we’d get more visitors. I made another home-made footprint trap with a cardboard box on a dry night, and put it by this hole. I got footprints, so we know the hogs use it.
Then I went a bit mad and made this giant open footprint trap! I left it out on the patio overnight with bowls of food in the middle.
But perhaps I’m not totally mad because it worked! We watched them from the patio doors too; we had a bit of a hedgehog party going on! At least four at once if I remember correctly.
I believe we now get at least 6 individuals. I’ve seen three babies at once, and three adults (two at once, and one is a noticeably different size) 😀
If you’re going to try a footprint trap yourself, remember to make sure to use non-toxic paint; I use charcoal dust mixed with vegetable oil. It’s also really important to make sure there is somewhere for them to drink.
Since I had this monstrosity of a trap, I reset it for the next night. In the meantime I got bird footprints! Blackbirds and sparrows were clearing up any food the hedgehogs left behind.
I’ve now moved the hedgehog feeding station down the garden – they started pooping on the patio quite a bit and that’s where the family hang out the most. The food disappears almost every night, so I know at least some of the hogs are still visiting, it’s just harder to see them. We venture out in the dark sometimes listening for them, and we do see them sometimes.
Next job is a hog house 😀
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If you want to learn more:
My post on helping hedgehogs
Or look through my tagged hedgehog posts