Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Running late

I was beginning to get worried that no hedgehog visitors would come to the garden tonight. I kept checking out the back door window and the bowls of food were still left untouched, until I looked out at approx 10:45pm and saw a hog tucking into the mealworms.

A little after 11pm I looked out again and all the worms were gone, so I went out to put some more in the bowl and met this little hog waiting by the empty bowl. I'm pretty sure that this was the same "cheeky hog" that I reported about last week. It didn't seem too worried by my presence and even posed quite nicely for the camera!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Lucky I got some more mealworms in!

These hogs are getting used to me. This lovely little hog hardly batted an eyelid as I opened the back door (which is a noisy process, it must be said) and went outside to take a photograph of it. Barely a month ago, the hog would have been long gone by the time I stepped outside.

As you can see, this hog was interrupted happily tucking into a bowl of mealworms. They can be quite greedy and have been known to get through a whole 100g tub of mealworms in one night. Usually I don't put out quite that much for them. Perhaps three handfuls in a single night.

Mealworms can be quite expensive - for example in Robert Dyas a 100g tub is £5.99, and I've seen a much smaller tub, less than 50g in an animal supplies shop for the same price! I buy our hogs their mealworms from Wilkinsons, where they currently retail for £2.49 for a 100g tub. I think we've cleared out the entire stock in our local shop on several occasions.

Our supplies at home were getting low after the hogs had a particularly greedy session last Saturday night, but on visiting our local Wilkinsons on Sunday and again on Monday, there were no mealworms in stock. Today, I spent best part of my lunchhour cycling from the office in Oxford to a different Wilkinsons store in Cowley Centre, where I stocked up with five tubs of worms. When I got home I found Karen had been to our local branch where the worms are now back in stock and she had bought three tubs. So, our hogs have now got quite a bit of food here to keep them going for a while.

Monday, 27 April 2009

'Giant' hedgehog put on a diet

I'll have to make sure my hedgehog visitors don't get over-greedy and end up like this:

A rescued hedgehog that is four times the size of a normal animal is having her food intake restricted to help her slim down.

Huff Puff tips the scales at 2.04kg (4lb 6oz) while the average female hedgehog weighs about 600g (1.3lb).

Maureen Webb, who runs the Furze Pig Hedgehog Rescue Centre in Herefordshire, said the podgy hedgehog just kept "growing and growing".

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Saturday night and the hog with the bad leg is back

Early hours of Sunday morning: This is the same little hog that came to visit the previous Saturday night - the one I was worried about because I thought she was walking funny. (I say "she" because my feeling is this is a girl hog, but I could be wrong).

This picture illustrates why I was worried about this little hog. Here we see her trying to make a swift exit - but look at the way she's dragging that hind right leg. That can't be right.

I then did something I hadn't done before - I picked her up to have a look. Now, I don't like handling hogs - I don't want to scare them unduly - but I've been reading Hugh Warwick's "A Prickly Affair" and he talks about handling hogs as if it's no big deal. Besides, I wanted to see if I could help her. However, she curled up into a tight ball so I couldn't see her face or any of her limbs, so unfortunately I couldn't inspect her bad leg. Not that I'd know what to do about it anyway, unless it was something obvious like a Post Office rubber band wrapped around it.

I put her back on the ground and left her some mealworms. Here we see her tentatively having a look to see if the coast is clear. Poor little hog.

By the way, she came back again on Sunday night, so she couldn't have been too traumatised by my picking her up the previous night. I watched her very carefully this time and noted that she can move very fast indeed, despite the painful-looking dragging of the right hind leg. She obviously seems able to get around alright. All I can do is keep watching for her, I suppose.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Under the table

For some reason the hogs really seem to like sitting under the garden table behind the grow bags on the patio.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Cheeky Hog

This hog was waiting right outside the back door for me to come out and fill up the hedgehog bowl with mealworms! I swear he was looking through the window. Look at his little face... what a cutie!

It was quite a brave little hog and didn't run away when I went outside to fill the hedgehog bowl with mealworms, and even after I went back for my camera so as to get these pictures, he still didn't run away. Later on he did go around and hide behind one of the large flowerpots and very cheekily peered round the side to look at me as if playing peek-a-boo. I definitely got the impression that this was quite a playful little hog.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Saturday night and a hog with a bad leg visits

Saturday night - I was trying to work out if this hog was injured as it was walking rather awkwardly and seemed to be dragging one of its rear legs. Nevertheless it still moved off quite quickly.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Three hogs visit on Saturday night

Saturday night hogs (4 April 2009): The hogs came running to their food bowl last night whilst I was standing there just 3 feet away. I was amazed - they are normally so shy.

I was just fiddling with the video camera - trying to get the infrared to work, and so long as I was being quiet and not making any sudden movements, the hogs didn't mind me being there. At one point there were three hogs all munching noisily from the bowl of worms. Then I went to get my regular camera to get a shot of this and when I came back just seconds later there were just these two hogs left - a little one and a great big one. (This was when I took the above photo). I think they were starting to get frisky. The little one ran off and went underneath the bike shed and the big one followed but was too fat to squeeze under and it went around the shed looking for somewhere it might squeeze in. Eventually it managed to do so. Then after a few minutes there were lots of grunting and snuffling noises coming from that direction. I assume they were behind the shed at this point as there wouldn't have been any room to do anything with the available headroom beneath the shed.

Please excuse the hog poo in the above photograph - they are messy creatures and the patio needs regular cleaning after their visits.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Hog city

It's been hog city in the garden tonight. I think I've counted four of them.