After an absence of 4 or 5 years, the hedgehogs have returned to our garden.
Well, one hog, at least that's a start.
So now we need to give this little guy a helping hand.
I did build a hog box 18 months ago, but it was obvious that none were visiting at that time. If you have a mown lawn, it is evident from their droppings when a hedgehog has been foraging around. And this was the case a few days ago, but we also have the benefit of evidence from our Browning Trail Cam.
Hedgehogs are in decline, and as our property is flanked by 2 busy roads, we had wondered whether we would ever see another hog in our garden.
When this one arrived we had to balance the desire to put food out, with the problems of feeding the wrong animal. We get a lot of cats in our garden, so if we simply put out dried cat food, the cats and the foxes are probably going to get to it first.
So I quickly came up with my Mk1 hog feeder;
|cat food: other brands are available!
This is just an old fat-ball plastic bucket with a 5" x 5" hole cut in the side. I took these dimensions from a hedgehog hut design, but upon reflection, the hole is probably bigger than necessary.
The half brick has two functions; (a) it adds weight to stop the container being tipped over by a cat or a fox, (b) it stops a cat from putting its head in far enough to get to the food on the other side of the brick.
And here is the proof of concept;
Naturally it won't stop mice and rats from getting to the food, but so far they haven't been around. I think they prefer the bird seed under the feeders.
I can't believe how successful this simple design has been, and just hope we are not over-feeding the little guy.
I've just moved the feeder and the trail camera closer to the drinking water...
|bird bath by day, hog water cooler by night
...so I hope to get some better pictures. The water is really important if you are feeding the hedgehogs with dry cat food. Judging by the captured video, our hog certainly spends a lot of time drinking.
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