What Is The Best Hedgehog House?
More Detailed Hedgehog House Reviews
The Hogilow Hedgehog Home is a futuristic pad for forward thinking hogs. It was featured on Autumnwatch and part-designed with guidance from the Hedgehog Society and Help a Hedgehog Hospital.
Made from FSC timber and recycled plastics for a lower carbon footprint, and measuring a roomy 500 x 390 x 230mm, this green architectural home looks fabulous in any garden, especially urban areas that enjoy designer landscapes.
The lid swivels to one side for easy inspection and cleaning but my favourite aspect is the anti-predator tunnel that sweeps around the main body to totally baffle any would-be intruders.
Nice added extras are the screwed construction technique that give this hog home strength to withstand crushing or garden strimmers, the breathing holes for ventilation and raised feet to keep the cold and damp out. Any hedgehog would be proud to call this home, and it’s an ideal present for wildlife lovers.
The Riverside Woodcraft Hedgehog House is a sturdy construction made from solid wood, which is good news for hogs seeking a long term des-res. Plywood tends to last only one or two seasons in the UK climate, so solid wood is good investment.
The floor is resin-sealed against damp and although the roof is composite wood it’s covered in recycled slate to keep the rain out. The roof is also hinged, so you can check carefully for inhabitants, and it’s lockable to keep out inquisitive little fingers.
Inside there are two sections and plenty of room for a hibernating hog or a mum bringing up hoglets. The anti-predator tunnel and ‘hallway’ helps keep out cats, dogs and foxes. This beauty measures 525 x 385 x 510mm – it’s a good, dependable purchase.
The Wicker Igloo hedgehog house is a very cute round residence made from a painted steel frame topped with a circular brushwood and moss trim that looks particularly attractive – but it also has the practical all-important waterproof roof.
This is a sturdy house that can be placed in undergrowth, beneath plants or just about anywhere in your garden and hogs will make good use of it. It measures 220 x 590 x 530mm which is enough room for a hog to hibernate and sleep during the day.
As with all floor-less varieties of hedgehog house you should peg it down if children, foxes, cats or dogs share your garden. This will prevent any injury to the slumbering hogs or disasters with small hoglets.
This is another great candidate for a feeding station – simply turn it over to re-fill the bowl and you’re done.
The Wildlife World hedgehog house measures approximately 250 x 430 x 500mm and it’s made from a coated steel rectangular frame with a water resistant felt roof – the perfect way to keep hedgehogs dry in a downpour. The outer is finished with brushwood, so it blends into a natural garden-scape well. The small entrance tunnel helps to keep out predators, but allows a hog easy access and a feeling of safety.
There is no floor to this hedgehog house, so its best to pin it to the dry ground with tent pegs so dogs, foxes or children are unable to overturn it and disturb your squatter.
Great value, camouflaged looks makes this a good buy. It’s also perfect as an easy-to-use hedgehog feeding station to keep out cats but remember – no milk or bread!
Another Wildlife World hedgehog house, worthy of mention is this camouflaged and sturdy construction. It’s made from a rust-proofed steel frame that’s covered with a natural finish and has an internal waterproof lined roof. Waterproofing is essential as hedgehogs will not choose to live anywhere damp. If your hedgehog house leaks during hibernation residents are at risk of fungal disease. Happily this house is waterproof and sturdy to prevent such happenings.
It measures approximately 250x430x500mm and is very pretty indeed, suiting a rustic or natural garden. This hogitat should be sited on dry ground and pegged down against predators. The small entrance tunnel will help to keep out cats and other predators, and again, easy access makes it perfect as a feeding station.
This wooden hedgehog house is a sturdy construction well made from solid wood and stained for protection against the elements. It measures 420 x 350cm x190mm.
The roof on this house is very attractive as its stepped and overlapped for good weather proofing and has a sealing trim along the top. It’s roomy enough for hibernation and for a mother hog to raise her young. Site it somewhere flat and dry, and half fill it with leaves, dust free hay and moss to attract a tenant.
There is no tunnel to protect against predators but this is easily overcome with judicious use of spare bricks. Stick them against the entrance to ensure Rover or Tiddles can’t sneak in a paw and drag out any inhabitants.
Because there’s no base this is another good choice for a feeding station.
The lovely Tom Chambers hedgehog house is made from FSC woods with no ply in sight. This attractive hog house measures 270cm x 360 x 490mm, which is plenty big enough for a hibernating hog or a nesting box for pregnant mums. It’s waterproofed with a stunning slanted slate roof and dark stained wood.
This hog house has no base so it’s easy to clean out and great as a feeding station too. Houses with a base can be used for food, but hogs are messy eaters and you may find yourself washing out cat food and hog poo each day. This house can be moved around as a feeding station, but as a hedgehog house it should be left alone. Site it on flat, dry earth and wait for your new tenant to move in.
Hedgehog House Buying Guide
Hedgehogs are declining at a shocking rate in the UK. On a par with tigers our native hedgehogs are struggling with habitat loss and we’ve lost a third of them since the millennium, but the good news is your garden can provide a lifeline.
A hedgehog friendly garden means the absolute pleasure of watching our prickly friends going about their business.
Start helping hedgehogs by creating a hole in your fence line, or by digging a tunnel beneath it, then put out a shallow heavy bowl of water and some cat biscuits to tempt them in. Throw away slug pellets, pick up your netting and create an escape route from steep sided ponds to establish a safe and welcoming environment for Mrs Prickles.
Once you’ve prepared these steps a hedgehog house is in order – because once hoggies realise your garden is safe, well-stocked and has a steady water supply, they’ll want to move in.
Cost is always the overriding factor when making any purchase, but if you are able to stretch to the pricier versions that have a tunnel and two internal sections the hedgehogs will be safer from predators that can stick in a paw to drag out bedding or even the hog itself. Babies are especially vulnerable, so do make a tunnel yourself if you choose a house without one – a few bricks will make all the difference.
Wooden Hog Houses
If you want a wooden hedgehog house go for real wood. Ply won’t go the distance, and the last thing you want is rotting wood surrounding a nest or hibernating hog because it makes them vulnerable to predators and fungal infections – goodness knows they have enough problems to contend with already without adding to their list.
If you buy a stained or varnished hog house it will last longer, but it may take a season for hogs to move in. They have sensitive noses and strong smells can deter them. A winter of rain and wind usually changes all that.
Metal Framed Hedgehog Houses
Metal framed hog houses can cause condensation, so wooden houses are usually recommended by wildlife charities, but there’s no escaping the fact that metal-framed houses are usually better value.
Metal framed hedgehog houses should be checked inside and out before use, and again each year for sharp edges. A hog can easily cut itself on protruding pieces of metal, and once an open wound is created flystrike and a slow death is not far behind unless a vet or hedgehog rescue can step in.
It’s also a good idea to peg these down as they have little weight behind them, and an overexcited dog or child can easily lift it up and undo all your hard work. Four tent pegs work well – push them through the frame and brushwood into the earth beneath.
A House Versus a Feeding Station
You should use one hedgehog house as a nest and another as feeding station.
If you have a resident hog and put food inside its home this attracts other hogs, predators and flies into their chambers, making nest invasions inevitable. Putting food inside a construction you want to use as a house will put hedgehogs off too – they are clever souls.
Create your own feeding station by placing a patio slab on bricks.
When Will a Hedgehog Move Into My House?
You’ve got the house now to get the hog! Here are a few tips to make your hedgehog home irresistible – no estate agent fee required.
You will need hedgehog-sized garden access so that hogs can find your house. They don’t fly and they can’t climb over six foot fence panels, so a 15 x 15cm hole in the fence line is essential, or failing that, dig beneath your fence to create a tunnel. No access equals zero hogs.
Secondly, a clean, reliable water source is vital. Wildlife will visit your garden if you leave out water from hogs to dragonflies – they just appear overnight. The trick is to make it clean and consistent. Hogs travel several kilometres a night and they get very thirsty. In hot weather many hedgehogs are taken to wildlife rescues with severe dehydration – imagine not having a drink for days in a heat wave. If you spot a hedgehog sunbathing take it straight to a vet or wildlife charity.
After water comes food. Never give hogs bread and milk no matter what your friends say. They are lactose intolerant and although the hog won’t keel over and die in front of you, it will have dehydrating diarrhoea in its nest and die there instead. It might sound dramatic, but it’s important. Bread won’t kill them, but it has no useful nutrients for small mammals. The best food is dry or wet cat food in a meaty flavour. Dog food is good too.
Should I Put Food Inside The House to Tempt a Hedgehog In?
No, don’t put food inside the hedgehog house. Nests are invaded by other hogs looking for a meal and old rotten food attracts flies.
Where Should I Put My Hedgehog House?
There are some tricks to siting a hedgehog house because they won’t move into just anything – it has to suits their needs.
Choose a sheltered spot on dry soil that doesn’t get waterlogged. Think about the winter months – is it wet there? If not the turn the door so it faces away from prevailing winds. A hog won’t like 50mph gusts blowing it frozen.
Also think about heat. A hedgehog house in direct boiling sun will kill the hedgehog, it needs shade as well as rain shelter, so if you have any large bushes, evergreens are particularly good, that’s perfect because hogs like a bit of cover when they emerge and it helps maintain a consistent temperature.
The final step is to make sure it’s not placed on a hedgehog footpath. If you have hogs and they run along your fence line, don’t put the house there. It’s too busy to be attractive to potential residents. Hogs like secret sheltered places.
Finally, don’t be tempted to bury it as this creates damp. Cover it with leaves if you want, and then keep watch from a distance.
What To Put in a Hedgehog House?
Hedgehogs are good at finding dry, warm bedding materials, but you can help with dust-free hay, leaves and dry moss. Half fill the house and leave some around the entrance too. Whilst you’re doing this, clear your garden of anything unsuitable they might try to use such as plastic bags. I once found a sock and a cloth napkin in a hog house – they are nothing if not resourceful.
Don’t put food, water or any type of chemical, including flea powder, in the house.
When Should I Put Out A Hedgehog House?
Anytime is a good time – right now in fact!
Hedgehogs are active for most months of the year, even during hibernation time they are often looking for water and food in warmer snaps, and Spike may just happen across your much more suitable accommodation.
Hogs use houses in a number of ways:
1. Hibernations – Hedgehogs overwinter for several months because food is in short supply, but feeding them cat food won’t stop hibernation – it’s the cold that triggers the instinct. Hibernating hogs will feel cold, breathe shallowly and appear dead. Don’t move any hog out of a house in winter because you assume it’s died – it’ll just be deeply asleep.
2. A day nest – don’t worry if your hog disappears for a few days, they have large territories and can’t always make it back in time, so they have several nests in the area. Dirty stop outs indeed – but something as simple as a dog walker at 5am can prevent them returning before sunrise
3. Nests – Females can have several litters a year and your hedgehog box is the perfect nursery.
Can I Look In The Hedgehog House?
Yes, hedgehogs are amongst our most accessible wildlife because they don’t bite BUT do not look too frequently and when you have a resident, leave them alone. They will move out if you disturb them, and a mother hedgehog will kill her babies if you touch them or she feels invaded.
If you want to see hedgehogs then dusk and dawn are good times, an inexpensive night time camera is perfect for hog watching and if you stand outside to listen you’ll no doubt hear them before you see them. Hogs are noisy, messy eaters and their courtship is really quite frightening to hear.
Why Should I Buy A Hedgehog House?
Because putting a hedgehog house in your accessible garden, near a clean regular water source, will make the world of difference to our struggling hedgehog population. They are endearing spiky little friends that help with slugs and snails, so keep your eyes peeled and your hog house open for inspection.
Hedgehogs need all the help they can get and your garden is one of the best places to keep the dwindling population alive for future generations of Mrs Tiggywinkle.