Most of the garden boys have woken from hibernation and returned to the garden for some food and water. And our two boys that we over wintered are now back out in the garden where they belong. Sam is still a bit pudgy, but is loosing the weight. And Frodo who actually did some hibernating overwinter isn't so big, so he is fitting in nicely. We did have a bit of a problem.... Frodo didn't want to leave home. We opened his pen once I marked and weighed him and he was free to go back to the garden. After a few days I checked the box and he was still inside.... or rather someone was inside. And actually I think there was more than one in the box. Once I felt a hog I quickly closed it and put things back to how they were so I didn't disturb them. I am needing the pen to get the girls outside. I checked yesterday and no one was in the box. I was beginning to think we would have to move the box with hog inside to under the conifers and then put in a new box in the pen. But when I checked yesterday it was clear. So I quickly shut the pen and cleaned it up ready for Eowyn to go into the pen.
This year has been a hard one for me as the hogs have all ballooned almost over night here. I will have to really think about what to do with any I get in for next winter. Their diet won't be as lush as these guys have had it. I am not the only one struggling as it seems alot of the carers are running into this problem.
At one point Eowyn had even stopped eating and was a bit constipated. This I cleared up and was feeding her the kitten biscuits to bring her weight up. I don't know if that was a good thing or not.... As now she is over weight a little and so will delay Galadriel getting out to the pen a little longer than I had anticipated. But we are getting there. And Galadriel is the only one left inside at the moment.
The garden hogs........ I have never seen so many different hogs showing up that I have no clue who they are. We managed to catch one young boy and have named him Strider after weighing, marking, deticking and defleaing him. We are still using names from the Lord of the Rings. And from the nightly videos we have at least two more that we are uncertain they have ever been to the garden before. And there are a few who are known, but their marks have changed and so we don't know exactly who they are. You can tell if they know the set up too, by their reactions on arriving at the food and water dishes. And how they react to the food boxes and tunnels. The new arrivals are timid and don't quite trust them. The experienced hogs just amble straight into them.
With the girls out in the pens and two of our girls showing back up to the garden, the Males have been going a bit nuts. They are aggressive to each other and they chase the girls around something terrible. Tyler actually got confused the other night and tried it on with Sam. Tyler and Harry go missing for a night or so and then come back to the garden racing here and there. Alex has even gotten interested in the girls this year. Poor little Cookie was biffed in the food box just this morning by Alex.
Anyway, Brandy and Suzy have been feeding like mad and drinking lots of water. Suzy went missing last night and tonight when she showed up she didn't eat. It only takes about 40 days for hedgehogs to be pregnant and then give birth. So we could well be looking at some new babies in the garden before long.
Here are are couple of videos to give you an idea of what is going on in the garden this spring.
Brian has got a new camera and so far it has been really hit and miss with it. It is a trail cam and can do both photos and videos. But we haven't had alot of luck with it until last night. He set it up near the pens where Arwen and Eowyn are staying. And it showed a tiny male trying his best to get to them. I will try to pop out tonight and see if I can catch him and give him a check over. He looks to be another new visitor to the garden this year. I really can't get over how many hogs must live in this neighborhood. Oh and we are convinced that there is someone else feeding the hogs around here. As most of the ones that have come in seem in reasonable good health and size.