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Hedgehog FAQ [7/7] - Wild Hedgehogs
Section - <12.4> Hedgehog housing

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Top Document: Hedgehog FAQ [7/7] - Wild Hedgehogs
Previous Document: <12.3> Feeding and caring for orphan baby hedgehogs
Next Document: <12.5> Hedgehogizing your garden
See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Most European countries are very protective about their native hedgehogs,
so this section does not refer to caging or keeping hedgehogs, but more 
about providing shelter and protection for those that come to visit, or to
spend their winter's nap in your yard or garden.

Providing housing that is suitable to hedgehogs can both encourage them to
live in your area, and be frequent visitors, and it can also provide a safe
place for them to spend the winter, rather than curling up in a pile of
leaves or compost that can lead them to grief.

Here are some ideas from Peter Captijn on providing dens (see [12.4] also):

    I have two daytime-sleeping-dens under some foliage. These are 
    open constructions which give protection against wind and rain.
    And they like it, I may say. Every year there are some hedgehogs 
    in the garden, and sometimes, when I'm lucky, a pregnant female 
    likes it so much that she decides to have her hoglets in one of 
    the dens. I call it daytime-sleeping-dens but the hedgehogs 
    regularly hibernate in them.

    The roof isn't attached permanently but can be removed by lifting 
    it.  It fits tight by some wooden blocks. Hence I can clean it
    once a year (when it is not in use: no fresh droppings).  The
    den is made of water-resistant multiplex (without formaldehyde!), 
    the roof is decked with asphalt-paper.  Untreated wood can be 
    painted (use lead-free paint!) to give it a green-brownish look. 
    In the left top view: in the right under corner I drill some 1 cm 
    holes to let the piss drain away, but I'm not sure it's really 
    needed.  Hedgehogs use these dens to sleep in and do not often 
    soil them.  If they do, they choose a corner and use that always. 
    I fill this den with some fresh (pet store) hay, but the hedgehog 
    usually redecorates it with old leaves and such.

Peter also sent along some great drawings, which I will try to ASCIIize 
and include down the road.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society [11.4] actually produces a booklet
on making hedgehog dens, and I believe they at least used to sell hedgehog
houses at one point.

The idea behind creating a den or house is to create a well ventilated,
cave-type structure, that can be packed with leaves and grasses to create a
cozy den.  This can be partially underground, depending on what you have
available to you, such as by burying a wooden box (upside down) with a short
underground access.

For winter, it should be well insulated with plenty of leaf litter and the
like, and protected from strong winds.


The next point that comes up is where to put it.  Sticking your nice new
hedgehog house out in the middle of a well trimmed lawn is not likely to get
much prickly approval.  Dens or houses should generally go along natural
borders, which are where hedgehogs are most likely to travel.  It should also
be in a location that is not too busy -- either with human or furry traffic.

The best advice I can give, is to try and think like a hedgehog.  You're
active in the dark and you don't see terribly well, but you don't want a den
that every badger in town is going to find an easy trail to.

User Contributions:

Rio
Report this comment as inappropriate
Apr 26, 2012 @ 10:22 pm
Hi, my hedgehog started running around her cage squealing so I took her out to see what was wrong. Her genital area was inflamed and she had open sores all around that area. I gave her a bath, but I'm really worried about her. Do you have any idea what this could be?
Thank you!

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Top Document: Hedgehog FAQ [7/7] - Wild Hedgehogs
Previous Document: <12.3> Feeding and caring for orphan baby hedgehogs
Next Document: <12.5> Hedgehogizing your garden

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