Hedgehogs are insectivores with over 70% of their natural diet being insects and beetles, some worms and a very tiny amount of slugs and snails.
**Do not give them bread and milk**. They cannot digest the bread and cows milk gives hedgehogs very bad diarrhoea. Many hedgehogs die because of this wrong diet.
What to feed them on…
- Tinned Cat, Dog, Puppy or Kitten food. They prefer Chicken flavours best.
- Cat or Kitten Biscuits. Only give meat flavoured biscuits. The premium brands like Royal Canin, Burns, Hills, James Wellbeloved or Arden Grange are much better for them (The “cheaper” common brands contain much more cereal and are not so nutritious)
- Spike’s Dinner hedgehog food either tinned or dry which is also available from good pet shops
- Ark Wildlife Hedgehog food
- Garden Bird Hedgehog food
- Wildthings Hedgehog Food
- Any cooked meat leftovers like chicken or mince. Chop all meat in very small pieces. Hedgehogs only have tiny teeth and cannot chew or tear big pieces.
- Small pieces of chopped mild or medium cheddar cheese
Chopped Peanuts( the same peanuts you feed the birds on. NOT SALTED NUTS) Don’t put these down but if the birds drop them, the hogs will eat them OK in small amounts
- Lots of Water, especially in hot weather. Hedgehogs drink a lot of water.
- DO NOT give salty foods like bacon and corned beef
- In winter or cold weather use biscuits, peanuts etc instead of tinned meat which freezes quickly
I regularly get asked about giving cheese to hedgehogs when they are lactose intolerant.
I have never experienced any problems with hogs having small amounts of cheddar. The only problem I ever get is that they can get constipated by it on occasion.
Even though hogs are lactose intolerant, cheese although containing lactose, the lactose must be converted in the cheese making process to a harmless form
Normally lactose intolerance leads to diarrheoea and I have never experienced that in hedgehogs. I wouldn’t over feed on cheese but small amounts down for the wild ones does help supply needed energy and it doesn’t freeze when left out overnight.
We used to give a few sultanas and raisins, but recent information suggests that many hogs will eat a lot of this high sugary food and get really bad tooth decay. If the odd sultana or raisin drops from the bird feeder or bird table and the hedgehog eats them, then don’t worry. An occasional one won’t do any harm.
We also used to suggest chopped peanuts, but recent research shows that hedgehogs eating larger quantities of these, can suffer from brittle bones as the calcium gets leaked out of the system by eating too many.
Feed at night after the flies have gone and remove the food in the early morning, before the flies arrive. Fly maggots cause serious harm to hedgehogs.
Hedgehog Food Original is a complete, nutritionally balanced 100% natural Hedgehog Food which actively promotes animal health and vitality. The natural ingredients are boosted with the addition of essential vitamins and minerals and completely free from artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives.
The size and shape of the crunchy biscuit is designed to assist with dental hygiene whilst still being highly palatable to hedgehogs of all ages. Young or infirm hedgehogs may benefit by soaking the Hedgehog Food in warm water for a few minutes before serving.
From £3.75 depending on pack sizesBuy Now
It is ideal for young and old animals alike and will draw your prickly friends from far and wide to your feeding station.
An advantage of Ark Hedgehog Mix is that it will not attract cats and can therefore be left out overnight
From £3.65 depending on pack sizesBuy Now
Once you start to feed the garden hedgehogs, you should continue every night
- If you go away on holiday ask a friendly neighbour to help.
- Don’t forget to leave a small dish of biscuits and water while the hedgehogs are hibernating. They often wake up and have a quick snack. That food can be a life saver
- You should put out food and water all year round for them.
- Put water outside your front door as well as in your back garden
Slugs and Snails
Many gardeners wrongly think having hedgehogs in the garden is all they need to keep the slug and snail population down. please read HERE to find out why this is wrong and very bad for the hedgehogs
See these couple of videos of hedgehogs eating in the garden