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How to Build a Hedgehog House

A garden has several spots any hedgehog will find incredibly enticing to nest in; however, there are times when they’ll need a helping hand. It’s up to you, then, to build them the best home possible for hibernation.

Making Preparations

Firstly, pick somewhere quiet and away from direct sunlight when choosing where to build the home. Next, ensure substantial shelter from wind and plenty of building space (under thick vegetation or behind a shed are great choices). And not to worry if you have pets because hedgehogs don’t seem to be too bothered by them when moving in.

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Building Methods

Example 1

  1. Now that you have the ideal building area, find a planter, storage box, or milk crate and fill it with holes before finally flipping it upside down.
  2. A tunnel is ideal for the entrance, so get some sustainable timber and cut it into four separate lengths, all at 30cm. Once done, nail them together, so they make a rectangular structure. This will ensure no predators can swipe inside.
  3. Place the tunnel next to your chosen home (planter, box, or crate), ensuring you've drilled a hole big enough for it to fit nicely.
  4. Place some bedding for the hedgehog near the entrance, such as pet straw or dry leaves. The hedgehog will move this inside the home once ready.
  5. Cover your crate, planter or box with plastic sheets, leaves, grass cuttings, or soil for additional shelter and security.
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Example 2

Gather the following:

  • A 25mm wood drill bit
  • 1m length of a hosepipe
  • 1 large wooden wine crate (with a lid)
  • A jigsaw, drill and hammer
  • 25mm galvanised nails
  • Untreated timber (15cm x 2cm, 1.2m length)
  1. With your spot chosen, lift the lid off the wine crate.
  2. Grab some sustainable timber and cut it into four lengths, each 30cm long to create your tunnel for the entrance. Once done, nail them together, so they make a rectangular structure. This will ensure no predators can swipe inside.
  3. With your tunnel at the ready, use the jigsaw to cut a hole into one side of the wine crate that will ensure the tunnel fits correctly. If it does, nail it down from within the crate.
  4. The hosepipe will act as a ventilator for the hedgehog, so drill a hole in the back. Once done, place the hose on the ground outside the box to keep your spiky visitor warm and comfortable. The ground is the best spot for the hosepipe because it will ensure no rain gets into the home.

5. Finish the building process by placing the top back on your crate without nailing it down (you’ll have to clean it every year or two).
6. Place some bedding near the entrance, such as pet straw or dry leaves. The hedgehog will move this inside the home once ready.
7. Cover your crate with plastic sheets, leaves, grass cuttings, or soil for additional shelter and security.

Cleaning

The best time to start cleaning a hedgehog’s home is around March/April, or October. The hedgehog leaves home after many months of hibernation in March or April. On the other hand, October is when the hoglets (baby hedgehogs) will have been weaned, meaning you can clean before the hibernation period. To clean effectively, remove the bedding and douse the inside with boiling water to kill any parasites.

Please remember, however, that if you start cleaning and spot a hedgehog, replace the lid and don’t disturb it – doing so could result in a female hedgehog abandoning her hoglets. Fortunately, you can check if a hedgehog is present using several methods. One example is to leave a stick outside the home and see if it moves after some time has passed.

 

We hope this short guide has helped you in making your own hedgehog houses. If you would like to browse our tools and much more, please check out our extensive Garden Department.

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