National deep box to hedgehog nest?

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oliver90owner 

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Not quite beekeeping, and I’m probably a bit late for this year, but I intend converting one of my many now-unused timber deeps to a hedgehog nest. Anyone done it? I expect insulation is quite important? Any tips or pics?

One question is whether I should perhaps use a 14 x 12 (extra deep or jumbo) and then a lady hedgehog might find it useful as a nursing box?

I’m currently replacing a fence, so am going to install a drain pipe, or hedgehog tunnel, in one corner of my garden. All I have worry about, I think, is bees setting up residence!
 

Erichalfbee 

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My wooden boxes aren’t insulated. They just need to be waterproof. Add a chicane. Put it somewhere quiet in the garden. I used to cover mine with branches but don’t bother now. Stuff them with hay. Don’t sweep too many leaves up as the hedgehogs like to add to their nest
 

Boston Bees 

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I don't think using a 14x12 would make it more attractive as a nursing box - it would just be more air to keep warm, for no greater floor area. I think it might make it less attractive, if anything. You do want a chicane though to make it feel more secure.
 

hemo 

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I think a deep is more suitable then a 14 x12, no insulation or added extras needed. Use two boxes side by side one or very close, one for food and one for nesting as they prefer to be separate. Equally a super would most likely be ideal as well.

I moved a shed to a new position in the garden and as with all my sheds I sit them on bearers on blocks or bricks supporting and a bit of DPC. When I moved the shed I found a H/H nest underneath and it was a decent size all made up from the garden leaves and other gubbings. The aeration and dry area underneath was obviously a perfect nesting site, dark quite with out disturbance.
 

Erichalfbee 

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I think it’s unwise to put feeding stations anywhere near nest/hibernacula
Nursing females can be disturbed by others feeding.
 

oliver90owner 

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Ahh, a feeding station required too? I thought there were enough snails and slugs to keep them going - on the lines of a well fed cat is not a good mouser!

I suppose food would encourage them to visit regularly, at least. I’ll have to be sure it’s not feeding rats - none obviously around (since J stopped feeding the birds on open stations). The night camera will be put to use to see what happens in the spring.

I’ve checked out a few designs from the net. A shallow is likely better from point of view of bees taking over, or does plenty of nesting material put them off?

Bees seem easy, compared to these little critters. Matchsticks might come in handy, mind - as a tell-tale sign of entry.🙂
 

Erichalfbee 

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Hedgehogs eat earthworms beetles caterpillars earwigs and millipedes mainly and a wide range of other insects. More infrequently, they will take advantage of carrion, frogs, baby rodents, baby birds, birds' eggs and fallen fruit.
Slugs carry serious parasites and are resorted to only when hogs are starving.
The best food to put out is dry kitten food. Change regularly if not taken. Hogs wake up often through the winter for a drink( water is very important) and a feed.
Feeding them will habituate them to your garden and provide a very important supplement to lactating mothers
 

Erichalfbee 

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A shallow is too shallow for nesting and hibernating. Ok for a feeding station. You need two entrances so that little hogs can escape from bully big ones. A deep and even a 14x12 would be fine with lots of hay ( not straw) in it 981D2257-7D0F-4F55-98AC-8CAF731430AB.jpeg
 

hemo 

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Black fly larvae aka calci worms are also a good treat for them, not very fattening but high in protein. Don't feed meal worms though as not recommended.
 

Erichalfbee 

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No mealworms. They lead to bone disease.
 

oliver90owner 

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Thanks, particularly to Dani. I shall have to read up a lot on the subject. Any good (trustworthy) videos on the subject?
 

Erichalfbee 

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We’ve been feeding ours this food and they do seem to like it. I have tried locally to buy more but have been unable to find any😩
Don’t waste your money. Giving properly balanced food is important only with captive rescue hogs. Even then these get tinned cat food … the cheapest.
Supermarket brand dry food is fine
 

roche 

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A shallow is too shallow for nesting and hibernating. Ok for a feeding station. You need two entrances so that little hogs can escape from bully big ones. A deep and even a 14x12 would be fine with lots of hay ( not straw) in it
Why hay, not straw?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Straw is too harsh and gets stuck in sensitive places. All the hedgehog charities say that.
 

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Just bought a bag of “Brambling“ hedgehog food.

I’ve read barley straw is ok to use, Dani? Currently have two houses primed with it, so hoping ok...
 

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