🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Dinner is served!


Many of us who put out food for hedgehogs would like to know more about our night-time visitors and how the food affects their lives. How far do they come to feed? How much do they eat? How important is this extra food supply? And are we discouraging them from their natural diet? The answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions are based on a survey of "garden hedgehogs" carried out by a team f biologists.

Hedgehogs don't necessarily live in the garden where they are fed. They may live nearby, or some distance away; some hedgehogs may come half a kilometer to the food bowl.

They certainly don't move their nests to get nearer to the regular food supply. It's not proven that, when they set out on a night's foraging, that they head straight for the food bowl and sometimes might not pitch up at all.

Hedgehogs are not "faithful" to one food bowl. They are likely to visit several gardens, and don't behave as if they "own" the feeding site; they don't squabble with one another when they meet there either.

the hedgehogs' appetites vary. In the survey, the most food eaten at one visit was 94g, more than one-tenth of the hedgehog's body weight. The most eaten in the course of an evening was 157g, but the average was 7g for every minute they spent at the bowl.

People are sometimes concerned that putting out artificial food will discourage hedgehogs from eating enough natural food. And how much is "enough" natural food? One thing is certain - even though hedgehogs may welcome the food we provide, they still seek out natural food even after a hearty meal at the bowl!

And what happens when the regular food supply is interrupted - when we go on holiday, for example? The hedgehogs don't seem to mind - they continue to forage for natural food in the area, as they have done all along!

Info from "Everything You Want To Know about Hedgehogs - Dilys Breese"



  1. "They don't squabble..."?

    Mine do!

  2. I'm sure it's a captivity thing GL - I also put various food bowls in different places, but for the most part feeding is a peaceful business.

    1. what do thay eat and drink xx

  3. what do thay eat and drink ?

    1. Hi Anon, Hedgies have a varied diet - in the wild they eat insects and will even tackle a small snake. In captivity they will eat bread and milk, tinned dogfood, mealworms (which I used to farm for them, a favourite!) and, of course, if they free-range in your garden, all the insects they can find!



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