Hedgehogs build their nests for when they have hoglets and during the winter season. It is important to know what hedgehog nests look like because you may come across one and don’t want to cause damage to it. After all, hedgehogs are few and far between in the wild these days. So, what does a hedgehog nest look like?
A hedgehog nest is made up of accumulated grass, leaves, and other foliage. These nests are loose in the summer and arranged closer together in the winter to ensure heat is retained.
As aforementioned, hedgehog nests are different in the summer and winter:
During the summer, hedgehogs still need nests to rest in during the night. The summer nests are flimsy, while the winter nests are closely packed to keep them insulated. Hedgehogs use nests during the whole of winter to hibernate.
Where Do Hedgehogs Make Their Nests?
Hedgehogs do not build their nests everywhere, and there are specific places they like. It is important to know where the hedgehog nests are, so you are careful when you are around the area.
Hedgehogs make their nests in sheds, under bushes, shrubs, leaf piles, and even under compost and rubbish. Therefore, if you spot a pile of any of these things, there is potentially a hedgehog nest underneath them so try not to disturb them.
Do Hedgehogs Make Their Own Nests?
Hedgehogs love to make their nests and begin making them as young as three weeks of age. By the time hedgehogs turn eight weeks of age, they become experts at making nests. Hedgehogs make nests with the help of their claws and sharp quills.
You may find hedgehog nests in the wild or your garden. Hence, it is essential to look out for hedgehog nests if you plan on having activities in your garden.
What Happens When You Disturb a Hedgehog Nest?
Even if you are extremely careful, there can be times when you may end up disturbing a hedgehog nest. During these times, it is best to stay calm and proceed with care to avoid disturbing the hedgehog nest further.
When you disturb a hedgehog nest, you should cover it again with a layer of leaves. This is because the hedgehog in the nest may be hibernating. Moreover, you should leave some food and water, so if the hibernating hedgehog does wake up, it finds food easily.
When hedgehogs wake up from hibernation, they will be hungry and will look for food.
Hedgehogs also use nests to look after hoglets. Nests are home to hoglets until they are six weeks of age. If you disturb a hedgehog nest and you find a hoglet, you must never touch the hoglets. Sometimes, the mother hedgehog will leave the nest to look for food and leave the hoglets behind.
When you touch the hoglets, you are leaving your scent behind. After encountering the unfamiliar scent, the mother hedgehog will assume her hoglets are in danger and, therefore, may eat them.
Do Hedgehogs Abandon Their Nests?
Hedgehogs do not stay in the same nest for long. During the summer, hedgehogs build loose nests for shelter. Hedgehogs will use these nests during the nighttime and for resting purposes. As hedgehogs like to forage through the night, these small mammals will also use nests made by other hedgehogs as they move.
As the wintertime approaches, hedgehogs will begin to prepare for hibernation and make nests. During this period, hedgehogs will stay in their nests.
While hedgehogs are not particularly fond of sharing, there have been instances where two or three hedgehogs have been found to share a nest. Hedgehogs will abandon these nests after their hibernation period has ended.
When hoglets are born, they stay in the nest for six weeks until they mature. During this time, the mother hedgehog will stay with the hoglets. The mother hedgehog will leave from time to time to look for food. However, as the hoglets mature, they leave the nest and never come back.
How to Build a Hedgehog Nest
To help hedgehogs thrive in your vicinity, it is best to provide them with the ideal environment. Hence, you can do so by making hedgehogs feel comfortable and building them a hedgehog nest. In addition, you can build a hedgehog nest in your garden for any passing hedgehog to seek refuge and feel safe.
You can begin by getting a box for your hedgehog nest. It is best to place the box away from direct sunlight and in a space away from any passing winds. For example, you can place the box under your garden shed or any foliage.
If you have found other hedgehog nests in your garden, you can place your nest in that place.
Hedgehogs may or may not choose the nest you have built for them. You must not be disappointed if hedgehogs do not use your box, as they may have built themselves a natural nest.
Hedgehogs are small mammals that love to build nests. These animals begin building nests at a young age when they are only three weeks old. By the time hedgehogs turn six weeks old, they are perfect at making nests. It is important to know what hedgehog nests look like because you may come across one and not recognize it.
The nests are accumulated leaves, grass, and other foliage. During the summer, hedgehog nests are loose, while the nests are made closer together during the winter, so they are insulated.
Hedgehogs make their nests under trees, in sheds, and under shrubs and bushes. Hedgehogs make nests using their paws and quills. These mammals use nests for different purposes. For example, when a hedgehog gives birth, the mother will use the nest to nurture the hoglets.
Moreover, in the winter, hedgehogs will use nests to hibernate during the whole season. If you accidentally disturb a hedgehog nest, it is best to cover it with leaves. Also, be sure to leave food and water near the nest.