Build Hedgehog house for the winter

Hedgedog house

Did you also see a hedgehog scurrying through the garden in autumn? Maybe he’s looking for a place to sleep for the winter. You build a cozy little house for the spiny animal with little material.

As early as mid-October, the food supply for hedgehogs becomes significantly scarcer, the adults begin to build their winter nests, young hedgehogs eat bacon diligently.

A good winter quarters already consists of a pile of dead wood, brushwood and leaves. They also find protection against the cold in hollows in the ground or under hedges. In addition to natural shelter options, hedgehog houses are a good option, especially in very “tidy” gardens. The move-in date is usually when the ground temperatures drop to zero.

You need this:

  • Cordless jigsaw with curved saw blade for wood
  • Cordless two-speed impact drill
  • Cordless multi-sander
    > All devices here are powered by the same 18-volt battery
  • Wood drill 3 mm
  • countersink
  • Forstner bit 15 mm diameter
  • multiplex panels e.g. B. Birch, 15 mm thick (40 x 17 cm, 2 x 40 x 22 cm)
  • 30 x 4 x 50mm screws
  • 16 x 4 x 17mm screws
  • 4 angle connectors (4 x 15 mm)
  • 6 meters of birch trunks (diameter 4 to 6 cm)
  • optional moss
  • Protective equipment: gloves, hearing protection, goggles, dust mask
  • screw clamps
  • pencil
  • folding rule
  • triangle ruler

1.Sawing birch trunks

First you saw the birch trunks into 50 cm long pieces. First mark the desired length with a pencil. You then fix the trunks on the workbench so that you have more control when sawing and can work safely.

Hedgehog house notching
Photo: Bosch Home & Garden

2.notching trunks

Then the branch pieces are notched at both ends. To do this, first mark 5 cm for the length of the recess and then mark another line in the middle of the trunk. Make sure that a trunk piece is notched on the same side at the ends!

Tip: In the picture for the fourth step you can see a finished notched piece of birch lying on the workbench. So a longitudinal and a cross section are made that meet.

3.Saw out the front and back

Print out the templates for the front, back and inside wall of the hedgehog house twice and cut them out. Glue them together in the middle.

You can also draw the sketches freehand on the multiplex panels and design them individually. It is important that you mark an entrance on the front through which a full-grown hedgehog fits. This can grow up to 30 cm long and 20 cm high!

But be careful: Do not make the opening larger than necessary, otherwise larger animals such as cats or martens can disturb the hedgehog’s hibernation.

Clamp the multiplex panels to the table and saw out the shape of the front and back along the marked cutting lines. Before you start sawing out the front door, use the Forstner bit to make a large hole at the tip of the hedgehog’s nose. This makes it much easier to insert the jigsaw blade and thus saw out the entrance. The center wall is also cut to size.

The cut edges and surfaces are then carefully sanded.

Assemble the hedgehog house
Photo: Bosch Home & Garden

4.screw components together

Now the basic structure of the hedgehog house is assembled from the three wooden elements (front and back plus middle wall). Fasten the center wall with two opposite angle connectors on the front and back of the hedgehog house.

Important: The recess for the inner passage is on the back side of the house, so that the resident can walk around the corner. As a result, cats, dogs or other larger animals cannot enter the separated area of ​​the hedgehog house.

Hedgehog house roof birch trunks
Photo: Bosch Home & Garden

5.cover the roof

Now it’s time for the construction of the roof: Gradually place the processed logs with the notched sides on the outside of the house so that the cut edge of the notch docks onto the front or back from the inside. Start at a bottom end and crimp the trunk piece in place. Then you drill and countersink the holes from both sides and screw the parts together.

Optionally, you can then fill the gaps between the trunks with moss. This seals the roof and the hedgehog is particularly snuggly in winter. And to make it really cozy, you can put moss and leaves in the house.

construction and location

You should set up the hedgehog’s winter quarters in a place that is shaded all year round, for example on the north side of the house, under a canopy, under an evergreen shrub or a fir tree. Placed under a hedge, the house cannot be easily knocked over, even by larger animals.
If the sun shines on it in spring, provide shade with a temporary roof. The location should be sheltered from the wind and the entrance should be on the side away from the rain.

Simple variant

A particularly simple hedgehog house made of composite or bricks, which are stacked in a square with a cavity of 30 x 30 x 30 cm and of course with an entrance, is created without any tools. Either you take a simple board or a wooden board as a base or build directly on the earth, if necessary with a mixture of sand and gravel or with wood chips as a bottom layer. A simple, protruding wooden panel is suitable as a roof to protect the interior from rain.

It is important for all removable roof variants for hedgehog houses that they are weighed down with stones etc. so that they can withstand both the wind and predators. With a self-made wooden hedgehog quarters, you can attach hinges or secure the roof with storm hooks.

Attention: The roof of a hedgehog house with a floor should be removable or hinged, otherwise it cannot be cleaned after the winter.

The eagle owl and badger are considered the hedgehog’s main natural enemies, but are less common in urban gardens. Martens, polecats and wild boars can also be dangerous to the spiny animal, but they tend to prey on sick and weak animals. Foxes and dogs can be better kept away from the interior of the hedgehog house by separating the entrance and sleeping areas with a wall with a small opening, as shown in these instructions.

feed and care

Late young hedgehogs are sometimes out looking for food during the day in autumn. Under no circumstances should you take in these animals – only if a hedgehog is noticeably malnourished or sick should it be taken care of or handed over to a hedgehog sanctuary. Taking them into care or spending the winter at home should remain an absolute exception and always aim for a quick release back into the wild. Hedgehogs are wild animals and cannot be tamed or kept as pets.

The menu

Hedgehogs find food in bushes, on dry stone walls, under fruit trees and on lawns. If you want to offer food yourself when food is scarce, it should be high-quality wet and/or dry food for cats with a high meat content. Cooked (never raw meat!) unseasoned ground beef or scrambled eggs can also be fed. Milk, nuts, fruit and kitchen waste are definitely unsuitable for hedgehogs. Special hedgehog food makes little sense.

Hedgehogs need a lot of protein and fat, the carbohydrates they eat through eating insects are indigestible and only serve as roughage. This is why dog ​​food is not suitable due to its composition, which is lower in protein and richer in carbohydrates than cat food. You should always offer fresh water.

Clay coasters have proven themselves as bowls because they are very easy to clean and disinfect. The food and water bowls should be cleaned daily and leftover food removed. The best time for feeding is in the evening.

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