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Feeding hedgehogs in your garden

The hedgehog’s natural diet mainly consists of slugs, ground beetles, caterpillars and worms. During cold or dry periods, these creepy-crawlies become much scarcer in gardens, so hedgehogs will benefit hugely from a shallow dish of water and supplementary feeding.

Hedgehogs will relish any combination of the following:

  • Meat-based dog or cat food
  • Unsalted chopped or crushed peanuts
  • Sunflower hearts
  • Dried meal worms
  • Dried fruit

Two hedgehogs eating together.

Place in a shallow dish and put in a sheltered area of your garden around sunset. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant so please do not give them milk.

To avoid the food you put out being eaten by pets or foxes you could make a feeding station that is difficult for anything larger than a hedgehog to access.

You could use a piece of piping, or build a shelter out of bricks and paving stones or get some inspriation from a nifty solution by Hedgehog Champion Sophie Lawrenson below.

A pet-proof feeder made from a plastic storage box.

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Hedgehogs live for an average of 2 years in the wild