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Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog What can I feed visiting wild hedgehogs (that is good for them?). Reply To: What can I feed visiting wild hedgehogs (that is good for them?).

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Hi Yve

Part of the problem is that Hedgehog Street still says:

Hedgehogs will relish any combination of the following:
Meat-based dog or cat food
Unsalted chopped or crushed peanuts
Sunflower hearts
Dried or fresh meal worms (in moderation)

I recently sent an email and referred to the article which Penny posted a while back, (which, I think, is the same as, or similar to, the one you have posted) (and also extracts from a previous post you ‘linked’ on the pre-update forum) saying that:

I ‘wonder if it is time to revisit this advice and consider (a) including hedgehog food in the list – there are numerous types available these days – and (b) excluding peanuts, sunflower hearts and dried mealworms or at the very least say that they should only be offered in small amounts.’

(in moderation) has since been added after mealworms, but peanuts and sunflower hearts still remain.

The following comments were made:

‘ …. Please remember that all the research done so far (which to be fair is very limited – attached) on supplementary feeding shows that wild hedgehogs only use it as a supplement. These claims about the CaP ratio are more significant to animals in captivity that are only eating a limited range of things…..’

‘ ….. Hedgehogs are facing a lot of far more significant threats and we are resource limited in fighting them, so I would urge you to focus on issues that we know are a problem – these are listed in the strategy in detail.
You can play an important role in this by encouraging fellow carers to complete Lucy Bearman-Brown’s important questionnaire, which will hopefully provide a baseline for a centralised database for your sector. With this in place we could start to rank the hazards that hedgehogs face in order of importance and we could also we could use the number of animals being submitted as another way of monitoring the national population status. It would be a major step forward to know even basic information about the animals being processed by the 800-odd rehabber centres across the UK  indeed it is quite shocking that we don’t know how many hedgehogs get rescued every year when it could a significant proportion of the UK population…’

Whilst information collected from this questionnaire could be very useful, it must be confusing for people, if Hedgehog Street is offering different information regarding feeding hedgehogs, from what many of us have been repeatedly saying on the Forum.

If so many hedgehogs are turning up with problems as a result of eating too many mealworms, etc. perhaps some of them are actually, now, using the food as more than just a supplement (the research was quite old). Whilst I appreciate that resources are limited, it seems to me that it would be a simple matter to amend the list of foods and anything which can easily be done to help hedgehogs should be. My feeling is that if we are trying to help hedgehogs, we should give them the best food for them which we can – regardless of whether it is only supplementary feeding..

I am not a carer, just an ordinary person who is concerned for the welfare of hedgehogs. Perhaps it needs someone ‘on the front line’ to make the suggestion to the powers that be(?).