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Image by Vincent van Zalinge

A badger's year


Badgers spend more time underground because of bad weather and less available food. Sows are pregnant and can give birth. Badgers can air their bedding outside the sett at this time of year.


The badger's favourite food - earthworms - are plentiful. Badger cubs explore the sett entrance and may emerge. The sow protects her cubs making sure they are always by her side.


Most pregnant females give birth to two or three cubs. There is more mating. Male badgers (boars) travel across neighbouring territories looking for females to mate. 


Badger cubs are now three to four months old and come above ground to explore the sett and play with other badgers. 


Badgers become more active as the weather gets warmer and more food is available. Cubs are still dependent on their mothers. More badgers are killed on the roads at this time of year than any other. 


Cubs are now weaned and know their way about their territory. They can confidently forage with other members of the group, or alone.

Badgers sometimes sleep in day nests above ground.  


Cubs are half the weight of adults and should be growing fast. Prolonged dry weather can cause problems for badgers and may even mean starvation. Hungry badgers can sometimes forage during the day time.  


Badgers put on fat reserves for the winter eating fruits and other food. They prepare their setts, excavating tunnels and bringing in fresh bedding like dry leaves and grass. 


Badgers spend lots of time digging and extending their setts. They may eat cereal available at this time of year but prefer earthworms.


Badgers don't hibernate, but as food becomes harder to find they become less active.


Badgers benefit from extra food sources at this time of year, including windfall apples, blackberries, acorns and insect larvae.


Badgers sleep longer and deeper. Although badgers mate at any time of the year, the sow's fertilised eggs implant and develop over winter - this is called delayed implantation.

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