Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Night noises...

It was so stiflingly hot last night that I decided to sleep downstairs. Buried under a sheet in the vain hope of fooling the mosquitoes, I finally drifted off, only to be wakened in the early hours of the morning by a loud bang in the garage. I leapt out of bed, turned the garage light on and just caught sight of Mr Black Possum hightailing it out the cat flap. I think the possums make regular visits to the chook food bins - which I have learned to seal fast. This time, in the hope of getting some more, undisturbed sleep, I dragged a small chest across the cat flap and crawled back into bed. 

Sometime later I heard a commotion down the hill in the chook enclosure. I raced upstairs, found a torch, scooted downstairs, removed the chest to get out the garage door and stumbled downhill. The big girls were all roosting quietly in their house. Amber and the 11 chicks were on the move in a very agitated fashion. My biggest fear has been that one of the cats would get into the enclosure and pick off chicks. However no cats were visible. Since all the movement was away from the A-frame where Amber takes the chicks at night, I shone the torch in there and discovered - a little hedgehog!!  All that fuss for a hedgehog not much bigger than the chicks and probably way more frightened.

I decided to let Amber sort it out and made my way back to bed. The moral of this story? Sleep upstairs in the heat or get earplugs...


  1. A hedgehog! Stiflingly hot! LOVE reading your blog (and Niki's) from the other side of the world. Do you have a lot of hedgehogs? I have never laid eyes on one. It's as hard for me to imagine a hedgehog in the chicken house as it is to imagine not having squirrels. And I do love night noises---that is, if safe from whatever is making them :-)

  2. Hedgehogs are quite common in home gardens but, being nocturnal, you don't see them much. You can hear them snuffling at night in the undergrowth and occasionally running on surprisingly long legs. Sadly also many end up as road kill. I love hedgehogs - partly I suspect a legacy of being brought up on Beatrix Potter!!

  3. Hi Jane .. Neat story and total sympathy in trying to sleep in the dry heat. I was always told hedgehogs carried germs and not to touch them but find them cute as well .. although have learnt that they are something to be wary of as will climb to eat eggs and kill chicks !! So Amber would have instinctively known that.

  4. I did not know that about hedgies!! Never thought of them as possible predators. So good on Amber who really was kicking up a fuss and moving the wee ones in the dark - not easy for chooks. Thanks PG for the info!