Accessibility Homepage Skip navigation Sitemap


Register and log in to gain access to our forums and chat about everything 'hedgehog'!

Thank you for looking to contribute to the Hedgehog Street forum. Please note that when submitting replies or posts, these are run through our spam-checkers, so there may be a slight delay in your posts appearing, and reflecting in the forum post details below. However, if you think anything has gone awry please contact us.

The views and opinions expressed in this forum do not necessarily represent the views of PTES or BHPS.

Home Forums Hedgehog tales Mutant Rampaging Hedgehogs! Reply To: Mutant Rampaging Hedgehogs!

Avatar photo

Hi Penny

Very sad about the mistle thrushes. There have been a lot of baby birds here too – mostly starlings and house sparrows, but others as well. You are lucky having green woodpeckers. Years ago, the blackbirds made their nests a few times right outside the house, so I got a really good view of what was going on. With the first brood, he used to feed them and also sometimes sit on the eggs or brood the babies to give her a break. It was quite funny because she used to sit perfectly still, looking perfecly relaxed, when I went past, but if he was there he used to look very worried and jiggle around. When the babies left the nest he was totally responsible for them and she immediately got on with the next brood, which she seemed to deal with completely by herself until they left the nest. I suppose it was a bit warmer by then, so easier to leave them to get some food. Not sure he would have had time anyway with all those youngsters shrieking at him all the time.

It is not so much worrying about the hogs becoming reliant on us, although that is not ideal either, so much as that wild food is better than anything we can offer them. And if they ate a greater proportion of wild food, the less than ideal nature of what we feed them would become less important. So whilst trying to improve what is being fed, I feel we should be trying to reduce the need for it. We seem to spend more time talking about food and feeding hogs, than the most important thing, which is improving and increasing their habitat so that they can feed themselves.

I have often, even wondered about cat/dog food. The people who make it spend a lot of money on research, etc. making it ideal for cats and ideal differently for dogs. It seems to me, hedgehogs are more different to either cats or dogs than they are to each other. I supose the market isn’t big enough for anyone to concentrate so many resources into researching hedgehog food to the same extent.

I recently came across an extract from From Wildlife on line – European hedgehog:

… ‘Hedgehogs have a propensity for eating almost anything and will readily consume high fat foods (e.g. cat food, processed meats, etc.) put out in gardens and if offered in captivity. Hedgehog metabolism is geared to the digestion of high protein invertebrate prey and unrestricted access to high-fat foods can result in fatty liver disease, obesity and coronary complications as is seen among humans.’ ….

I am not suggesting that people should not feed hedgehogs at all. I am sure that supplementary feeding the hogs must, on balance, be beneficial to them, due to the insufficient amount of good habitat, especially at times of need – drought, pre and post hibernation, raising young, etc. But, ‘supplementary’ is the key word – leaving them time to hunt for themselves as well and not leaving out large amounts of ‘easy’ food all night. It probably didn’t matter so much when comparatively fewer people were feeding the hogs, but it may be too much easy access to unnatural food which is contributing to the problems of Metabolic Bone Disease, etc. Improving/expanding habitat is, as I see it, the really important thing and what Hedgehog Street is really about.

To that end, I have recently treated myself to a new shrub – deciduous – so nice leaves for hog nests, flowers and berries, and generally more wildlife friendly than the evergreen thing (which I don’t much like anyway) which it will replace. Whenever I find a hawthorn seedling, I put it in a pot to grow on and now have the beginnings of a little shrub area. Small things and easy to do, but hopefuly will be an improvement for the hogs. Even so, my small garden could never be enough on it’s own.

Not so much hoglet activity last night. I think they might be exploring further afield. I know they have to, but it is a dangerous time for them. I haven’t seen one of the girls for a couple of nights – a bit worrying with a buildng site nearby. Hope it is nothing to do with that and that she has hoglets.

Love the video, as always. Cheeky little squirrel! I liked the way the pigeon, initially, almost ignored it.