Saturday, 23 May 2009

Hedgehog feeding station

This afternoon I have made a hedgehog feeding station from this plastic container (£4.50 from Wilkinsons), into which I have made a doorway in one end. I have put layers of hard-wearing weather resistant tape around the doorway so as to protect the hogs from any sharp edges. The tape cost £1.19 - also from Wilkinsons - so that's a hedgehog feeding station costing a grand total of £5.69.

So, why the feeding station, you may well ask. The hogs have been feeding in my garden for a year now perfectly happily and unmolested. Feeding stations are often used so hedgehogs can feed safely whilst cats, dogs, foxes and other animals can't get to the food.

In my case the problem arises on occasions when I'm out for the evening and need to put food out for the hogs earlier than I would normally do so. Usually I only put food out when it gets dark; if I have to put it out earlier - and bear in mind I usually feed our hogs on mealworms and peanuts - the birds come down and eat it all.

Now I realise that birds can easily get into the feeding station, unless it's something like a big fat woodpigeon, but I'm hoping that the food being in a box is going to be a deterrent. However, birds can be remarkably clever and they may figure out after a while what they've got to do.

All I can do is to try. I'm going to put the feeding station out soon and see what happens. There will be two things to watch for: 1) that the birds don't go in the box and eat the food, and 2) that the hogs DO go into the box to eat the food!

If the birds do figure it out quickly, the other solution would be to switch to putting cat food down for the hogs when using the feeding station. That would be one solution, although I know my hogs far prefer mealworms to catfood.

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