I installed a hedgehog box in our front garden about five years ago after we heard hedgehogs mating in the garden, but this summer is the first time anyone has moved in!
We started seeing the mum (Haggis) in mid July and then the babies started getting out and about in late July. They looked about 3 to 4 weeks old at that point and there were at least five of them… but it was quite difficult to keep track of them all whilst counting!
Throughout August, they quite often came out during the day to snuffle around. Maybe baby hedgehogs wake up a lot during the day in the same way that baby humans wake up a lot during the night…? Or maybe the box was just a bit stuffy with six hedgehogs in it and they needed air! Either way – they didn’t stay out for long and didn’t move far from the box.
At least three of the hoglets survived to a good healthy size and over the last few weeks they have dispersed and we’ve just had one living in our box. Initially we had a lone hoglet… but I guess they’re still bed-hopping because Haggis has been staying with us this week.
Watching the hedgehogs has been a daily dose of joy in a somewhat challenging year. We’ve been putting out food and water in a sheltered spot every night at dusk, then watching them through the window. Last week I added a ‘food shelter’ (which is basically half a broken pot on it’s side) so that their food doesn’t get soggy in the rain.
The photo below was taken through the window at dusk so a wee bit blury… this is Haggis with one of the hoglets when they were about eight weeks old.
Last week we decided to invest in a fancy new hedgehog box with an internal camera. It has ventilation, an internal wall for protection from predators and a rot proof lid… so hopefully someone will fancy hibernating in it and I’ll be able to share some of the footage and hedgehog joy with you!