The hedgehog house for animals at risk: how you can help in the winter

safe shelter
Hedgehog house in the garden? This is how you help animals during the winter

When temperatures drop, hedgehogs need shelter to hibernate

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From October onwards, hedgehogs can be seen rushing through gardens in many places in search of suitable wintering grounds. Due to the disappearance of forest areas and meadows, animals find fewer opportunities to retreat from year to year. Perhaps you want to give them a safe shelter?

Old leaves and dead wood provide adequate protection for hedgehogs in winter. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer garden owners like litter of trees scattered, so leaves and branches are regularly removed from the lawn. For animals, whose natural habitat is shrinking every year, finding suitable shelter is more difficult than ever. Especially since important food sources like beetles and snails, which usually frolic in leaf piles, are also disappearing. It is very important in the fall to provide extra protection for young garden visitors – for example with a hedgehog house.

Time and place: how to properly create a hedgehog house

The right time: When temperatures drop, hedgehogs go in search of suitable wintering places. For this reason, you should place the shelter in the garden or on the balcony in late autumn (that is, from October, but at the latest in November). It is important to know that spiny animals are lonely and therefore not in pairs hedgehog house can move. So if you want to take care of more than one hedgehog, you will have to make several homes outside.

Correct location: In order for the hedgehog to feel comfortable in its new home, the house should be placed in a quiet corner of the garden. The site should also be dry so that rain and snow do not damage the animal. Too much sun is also not good, otherwise the hedgehog may wake up from its hibernation – because of the warmth, and not because of the occurrence of light. The entrance to the hedgehog’s house should face southeast if possible, so that wind and weather cannot penetrate inside.

Important: the hedgehog’s house must meet these criteria

Hedgehogs also have to comfort themselves from time to time while hibernating, but they don’t go out to do this – they go to their places of residence. To keep the shelter reasonably clean, a hole should be dug in the bottom of the house (if there isn’t one) and filled with some sand or gravel. This allows urine to drain better. Additionally, the roof should be removable in case you need to inspect an infected hedgehog, add more straw, or add some hedgehog food. Below we present four different models:

1. The hedgehog house is made of beech wood

this is Hedgehog Igloo House Made of impregnated beech wood as well as insulated from the inside to protect the animal from cold temperatures in winter. It has a narrow entrance so that natural predators such as badgers and foxes cannot cross. At the back there is a large lid that can be opened for cleaning, for example.

2. Hedgehog house made of fir wood

Made of strong fir wood The Hedgehog House for Dahner It has – according to the manufacturer – a weatherproof roof, which can also be removed for easier cleaning (after hibernation). The interior consists of two separate rooms to allow the animal to better protect and retreat. With a net weight of only 300g, the Hedgehog is very light.

3. The hedgehog house is made of multiple panels

This model She is the largest in our presented tour, and therefore suitable for a whole family of hedgehogs – the animals are solitary, but can also use shelter in the spring to build nests for their offspring. According to the manufacturer, the hedgehog’s house was made of multiple weatherproof panels, there is also a removable roof and two separate entrances.

4. Pine Hedgehog House

to Connie Oberkircher There is a model made of glazed pine wood. They must be weatherproof and protect the animal inside from intruders – this is possible thanks to a protective wall. It is important to know that this hedgehog house is delivered in individual parts and must be assembled. Since there is no bottom, it should be covered with straw or dry leaves.

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Building a hedgehog house: you need to know in advance

In order for animals to survive solitude in the winter, they need a safe and dry shelter. If you want to build it yourself, then you should consider the following points:

  • The size of the hedgehog’s house should not be less than 30 x 30 x 30 cm so that the animal has enough space during hibernation.
  • The entrance should be big enough but not too big due to predators. Dimensions 10 x 10 cm are recommended.
  • To protect the hedgehog from the weather, use weatherproof building materials such as real wood, natural stone, concrete or brick.
  • The cover should be removable so that you can easily clean the inside of the hedgehog’s house after hibernation.
  • Insulate the interior and provide the hedgehog with straw or dry leaves to get comfortable.

And another note: Once the hedgehog withdraws into its home and begins to hibernate, it should not be disturbed anymore.

Source: Naturschutzbund Deutschland eV

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