Winter can be hard for badgers.
Whilst better built than others for the colder climbs that cloud the years close and birth the badger can still struggle when the frost comes.
Badgers do not, however, hibernate in the traditional sense though they do to some extent implement a sort of ‘hibernation lite’. They do fatten up during the autumn when there is an abundance of food and access to food.
If it is particularly frosty and cold in the winter, if the ground has become particularly hard and getting worms and other food is getting difficult, if the cold is particularly energy sapping and tough, badgers will spend more time underground but they do not go into any form of extended sleep that would constitute hibernation.
But winters in this country are becoming more irregular and harder to understand and predict. Badgers who have developed behaviour patterns that fit winter as it has traditionally come to this country are now being tested. In my local area I know the resident badgers very well and have seen their struggle with these increasingly erratic weather patterns.
At a sett near my house recently I have been trying to help badgers going through a tough time by heating them with a wood burner that burns briquettes and pellets so it doesn’t add to the problem! just to try and bring some heat to them and help them along a little. The good thing about a briquette and pellet burner is that it doesn’t produce too much light or noise, so if the badgers do want to sleep, nothing’s stopping them!
Now that makes for a happy badger!
I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do or if it is going to some how mess them up or something, but it seems to be going OK. I think we’ve just got some happy, cosy, comfy badgers on our hands! And that can’t be a bad thing, now can it badger lovers?