What Hedgehogs Eat
Us hedgehogs are 'generalists' or omnivores who can eat a wide variety of foods, but our main diet consists of various type of insects and other creepy crawlies! (My favourite is worms! Yum yum!!)
Worms, slugs and beetles are most commonly munched as well as caterpillars, millipedes and earwigs, but pretty much any creepy crawlies we can find will be munched (that's why it's so important to have plants, soil and dark damp places that insects will live in!)
As well as creepy crawlies, my friends and I will sometimes also eat other things we might find, such as; eggs, frogs, baby rodents, baby birds, fallen fruit or carrion (animals that have already died and are on the ground).
At some times of year, or in certain areas (such as densely populated areas) us hogs are not able to find enough food. This creates a number of problems;
- Less hedgehogs can be supported in a given area
- We have to travel further to find food (meaning we are more likely to have to cross roads, and run the risk of being hit by a car)
- Hog populations reduce through starvation
You can help us hogs in these situations by providing us with some alternative food. The things most often used to do this are meaty pet foods (AKA tinned dog or cat food, but not the fish or gravy ones), or cat biscuits. There are plenty of other things us hogs may eat, which could be used to supplement our diets, such as;
Unsalted nuts, mealworms, chopped boiled eggs, sunflower hearts and dried fruit. It’s important to note that as these are not our natural foods, they should only be supplements to our natural diet – just like our human friends, Everything in Moderation!
There are also some specialist hog foods available now, such as my particular favourite 'Spikes World'. These are a great alternative and are specifically designed for us hedgehogs.
There are some key things to remember when putting food out for us hogs:
- Some food may attract other eaters such as cats, squirrels and foxes who might chomp the grub before we can get to it – you can protect our meals by putting them inside a feeding station (something that covers the food as has an entrance only small enough for us)
- The idea is that the things you put out supplement our natural diet, so if you can help our natural diets first that would be best (visit the Hog Help section for more info on what you can do)
- If you don’t have a stream or pond, please leave us a drink of water out with the food, in a shallow dish.