So, it’s been a busy few days but I haven’t been able to write anything on my blog, partly because I’ve been so busy and partly because the internet has been down again with BT and yet again, it was due to engineers being ‘ham-fisted’ with the fibre optic cables when they were working in the boxes. Their engineer’s words, not mine.
Anyway, we are up and running again.
Eric is absolutely fabulous! He topped the scales yesterday at 1120g! He had to be turned sideways on the scales in order for me to read the weight as he had grown so much!
With it being so mild these past few nights, Eric has had the run of a hog-proofed yard outside the back door. It was the dog yard but it has been disinfected and as I said, hog-proofed, with chicken wire, planks of wood and large stones. It is about ten feet wide by thirty feet long. There is a little tunnel in one of the stone walls of the dog yard where hedgehogs have come and gone in the past to get to one of the feeding stations from the rest of our garden, so as soon as he was let out for a run on the first night, he was straight to the tunnel and I think he was making a run for freedom but the tunnel had been barricaded with wood and heavy stones. His bowls of food and water are placed all around the yard for him to search out but as the walls are mainly dry stone walls, he has had loads of fun standing on tip toe on his back feet and scratching in the soil between the stones, to root out the odd grub and worm. After about half and hour to an hour, he would come back inside to sleep in his large rabbit hutch in the boot room. He was originally in the guest room, but since he needs ‘hardening off’ before going outside for good, we put his hutch in the boot room, which has no heating but is still inside the house. Anyway, his new hog house came today and I thought I would just set it up in the corner of his new hog yard ready for in a few nights time when the nights are even milder and he could sleep outside all night. I filled it with some of the strips of fleece that he has been having in his hutch and went back inside to get his water and food. When I came back outside I couldn’t find him. I had left him with his head and body half way inside a crack in the stone walling, snuffling out grubs but in just the space of sixty seconds he had found his new hog house, gone in and hunkered down, inside all the fleece! When I couldn’t find him anywhere in the hog yard I lifted the inspection lid and there he was, happy as Larry. So, I guess Eric is camping out in his new hog house from now on until his big release hopefully in April.
The Trailcams in the woods have caught on camera other hedghogs this past week, that have come out of hibernation because of the mild days and nights. Two last night: one small one was on the terrace at the feeding station there and the other, a medium sized hog, was snuffling out grubs in the grass in the woods. The first two photos below are from last night and the third is from a few nights ago…
I’ve been keeping a nature journal few years now and keep notes of when I see the first hogs, frog spawn, swallows and the like. Having the Trailcams has made this record keeping so much better. We have a very large log pile that has sat undisturbed for a few years now and we reckon that is where most of the hogs hibernate, with other possible sites being under the summerhouse, under the winehouse and under Steve’s timber stack. You can just see my hide hiding behind the log pile. At the bottom of this post is a link to a video of a hedghog just out of hibernation. Don’t miss it!
Here is a link to a video of one of the hedgehogs not long out of hibernation.