Hedgehogs are small animals best characterised by their spiky quills that cover most of their bodies. Some people have hedgehogs as pets. Others find wild hedgehogs in backyards and gardens, especially in the United Kingdom. These critters are a friend to most gardens, as they'll eat insect invaders. You can encourage hedgehogs to make a home in your yard, or provide an outdoor shelter for a pet hedgehog, by building a hedgehog box.
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Things you need
- Wood, 2-inch by 1-inch thick
- Measuring tape
- Wood glue
- 1-inch-wide 15-inch-long PVC pipe
- 1 piece plywood for the base and top of the box
Sketch the dimensions of your hedgehog box on a piece of paper. This design must include a covered entry ramp that is 4 inches high and 2 1/2 inches wide, which will be large enough for the hedgehog to fit through but small enough to keep out cats and other predators. Also, sketch the covered box of the hedgehog house. This area should have at least 2-square feet of floor space and be at least 2 feet high.
Mark the necessary measurements on the wood, according to your sketched dimensions. Cut the material into the appropriate sizes.
Lay the base board of the box flat on the ground. Glue the four side pieces to the base with wood glue, then secure them by hammering nails where the wood meets. Place the top piece of wood on the four walls of the box. Nail two hinges to this top piece, connecting them to the body of the box. This feature will allow you to access the inside of the box for cleaning.
Assemble the ramp that will lead into the hedgehog box. Place one of the 2 1/2 inch bottom boards flat on the ground, and glue the two 4-inch walls to the sides. Place the roof board on top of the two walls of the ramp. Attach it in place with wood glue and nails.
Measure the opening of the ramp and mark those dimensions on the main box where you want the entry to be. Use a jigsaw to cut a hole in the box to fit the entry ramp. Secure the entry ramp to the box with wood glue.
Place a PVC pipe against the back wall of the hedgehog box and trace it with a pencil. Use a jigsaw to cut out this circular piece of wood. Put the PVC pipe halfway through the hole and secure it with glue, if needed. This will ensure the hedgehog has enough ventilation when it is in the box.
Tips and warnings
- Place straw in the box to make the hedgehog more comfortable.
- Do not treat the wood with varnish or stains, as these smells will discourage the hedgehog from using the box.
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