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Hedgehogsty

For organic gardens
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Wild hedgehogs are lovely little devils, though seldom sighted, and help to keep gardens free of pests.

A cosy, dry wooden hedgehogsty will hopefully encourage one or more of these gorgeous Erinaceinae to take up residence in your garden. The sty can be stuffed with straw and whatever the 'hog decides to drag back to use as bedding.

Secluded in a quiet corner of the garden with a nice pile of logs, branches and straw atop, the sty is not only camouflaged and insulated, but comes with its own larder. The wood and straw will harbour a huge range of grubs, beetles and other insects.

A motion sensor at the door reports the time when the beasties emerge each night to a digital readout some way away. This makes it much easier to time your wildlife watching to match the hedgehog's routine and will hopefully enable you to see them more often.

An additional benefit of knowing when the hedgies come out to play is that you can nip round the garden shortly beforehand to collect slugs and snails from your veg patch or whatever and deposit them in a handy bowl for the prickly ones to devour.

squeak, Jun 14 2006

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       bun, lovely. And when they have got nice and fat they realise too late that the straw stuffed sty with its cosy dry thatch roof is actually your hedgehog roaster!
ConsulFlaminicus, Jun 14 2006
  

       Googling for - recipe "roast hedgehog" - actually gets some hits.
normzone, Jun 14 2006
  

       How do you stop Mr. and Mrs. Rat from moving in to such an abode?
Texticle, Jun 14 2006
  

       Invite Sir Cat round for a while. He'll eat Mr. and Mrs. Rat during their housewarming party, while giving a wide berth to Mr. Hedgehog and his paw-hurting pointy bits.
wagster, Jun 14 2006
  

       Wouldn't the point of having this little hedgehouse be so that the little hedgecreature would do the work of ridding the garden of pest? Why would you go around collecting bugs to feed it? What are you trying to do- take away its purpose in life? That's animal cruelty, that is.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Jun 15 2006
  

       [BrauBeaton] You make it sound like you live near to a shooting range.
skinflaps, Jun 15 2006
  

       [NTSS] Well, yes, But just to make sure it gets all the bastards from my vegetable patch, I'd lend a helping hand.
squeak, Jun 16 2006
  

       Ah so. I've been reading a lot about organic farming/g gardening and I think the trick is balance. You don't want the hedgehogs to eat *all* of the bugs in the beginning because then they won't have anything to eat later. So if you're willing to let them forage for themselves and allow a few pest here and there, the balance will take care of the rest. Sure you may still have some bugs, but not enough to do any real damage and you won't have to use your own manual labor. Plus I like the addition of setting it up so you can watch mother nature do the work she was intended to do.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Jun 17 2006
  

       They like cat food, leave some behind a tree...you never know, one might swagger for a munch providing that there is nothing else around, that also likes catfood. Failing that, bread and milk.Or, I could send you one?
skinflaps, Jun 17 2006
  

       I remember a time in Fairbanks, Alaska when a friend of mine (who had grown up in Alaska) got a call from a friend of his (who had a trust fund and had grown up in Southern California). The Californian and a friend of his had been on a "hunting trip".   

       They had gone out hunting for rabbits and ended up shooting a porcupine instead. They called my friend, Steve, to ask how to finish skinning it.   

       We went over there, and they had a half-skinned porcupine on the tailgate of the pickup truck. Steve finished the explanation of how to finish the "cleaning" and then asked why they shot this thing in the first place.   

       "We were looking for rabbits, but we found this" was the response. "We're going to fire up the grill and cook it", they said. Then they asked, "are they good?".   

       Steve said, "Oh, you'll like it, I'm sure."   

       We left a few minutes later, and as we got in the truck, I said, "So, are porcupines really good to eat?" He gave me that 'you've got to be kidding' kind of look, and said, "I would no sooner eat that greasy, gamy thing than... but they will... ". He just shook his head.   

       I'm guessing the recipes probably need extra spices.
zigness, Jun 17 2006
  

       [zigness] Those spices being malt and hops?
Galbinus_Caeli, Jun 18 2006
  

       [skinflaps] Not bread and milk. Hedgehogs can't digest lactose. It is v. bad for them. God knows why this was the traditional thing to feed to them.
squeak, Jun 19 2006
  

       I never knew that.
skinflaps, Jun 19 2006
  

       Yay for hedgehogs. Now if only they lived in Washington.
PollyNo9, Jun 19 2006
  

       Hah. Do porcupines eat slugs? I think porcupines live in Washington.
PollyNo9, Jun 20 2006
  

       I find the little critters make an exquisite frozen dessert: Hedgehäagen-dazs.   

       I've got a batch of the stuff in the trunk of my car.
nihilo, Jun 22 2006
  
      
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