The hedgehog, the essential garden animal, a gardener’s friend
No, if you find a hedgehog in your garden, don’t chase it! It is not harmful, on the contrary, it will help you protect your garden from various insects.
The hedgehog consumes a large number of small garden pests. Here is how to facilitate its arrival in your garden.
Arrange a space
The hedgehog cohabits quite well with humans. Nocturnal, this small mammal hides during the day. Set up some hiding places for him. A bunch of leaves and branches, for example.
You can also build a suitable shelter by placing an inverted crate, with access in a bush, for example.
Feed it with animal locusts, it is also fond of small berries, ripe berries, mushrooms … Provide it with a water point;
The hedgehog’s life expectancy
The hedgehog lives on average 7 to 10 years but for a few decades with the influx of cars on the roads, the life expectancy of this small yet sympathetic animal has been reduced like the skin of grief (less than 2 years with a infant mortality of more than 20%).
The hedgehog is a carnivore that feasts on slugs, snails, beetles, earthworms, and cat food! It searches for food by sniffing the ground, it has a more developed sense of smell and hearing than sight.
It turns out to be a precious helper for the gardener who watches over the vegetable garden during the night and drives out unwanted people, who love vegetables.
Shortly after the end of hibernation begins the rutting season, which lasts until September. After a gestation period of 5-6 weeks, females give birth to 4-7 young. There may be 2 calving in the year. The young hedgehog becomes adult in the spring following its birth.
At the end of autumn, it begins to look for a place to hibernate. Its favorite hibernation sites are usually under a wood pile, a pile of leaves, under a shrub or any other place sheltered from the cold and the wind. Once the ideal site has been found, he creates a small nest padded with moss and leaves.
As soon as the temperature drops below 10 ° C, he goes into lethargy, but wakes up briefly once in a while when the temperature gets too low. With each awakening, it depletes its energy reserves, which can be fatal for it to spend the rest of the winter. The definitive awakening takes place in spring, around April, whatever the weather conditions.
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