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Home Forums Champions’ chat WHAT TO FEED HEDGEHOGS 2018 Reply To: WHAT TO FEED HEDGEHOGS 2018

#9687

Nic

That’s a really good question, Lisa. I sometimes wonder, myself, whether some hogs are getting too much artificial food as opposed to natural food. Obviously natural food is best for them, but as things stand, there is a question mark over whether there is enough suitable habitat for them.

Ideally we all need to be improving and increasing habitat for the hogs and that is really what I see Hedgehog Street as trying to achieve. I usually only leave food out for 2 or 3 hours a night. This is a compromise which seems to have worked well in the past and for many years there has been a good population of hogs in this area. Unfortunately numbers seem to have gone down recently. This has coincided with my hearing about more people feeding them. Whilst I’m not sure how much can be read into that, what they are feeding could make a difference. For instance, if someone is feeding large quantities of mealworms, with their very poor nutritional value, it could mean that certain hogs are not putting on sufficient of the two types of fat they need for hibernation and so not survive. That is in addition to the problems with Metabolic Bone Disease.

It is thought that hogs don’t become dependant on the food we put out, but I have also read that hogs can suffer from similar problems to humans from too much fatty food, and cat food was quoted as an example. So, for me, the jury is out on how good for them the quantity of artificial food they are getting is. It may not only be one place they are getting artificial food.

There are certain times of year when it is more difficult for hogs to find food in the wild. These include pre and post hibernation and in very dry weather, when access to earthworms, for instance, is more difficult. Also, there was one hog here who didn’t hibernate and clearly, at that time of year, there wasn’t much wild food around so I did leave food out all night for him then. Water is essential 24 hours a day. A dehydrated hog may come out during the daytime and it could be a life saver.

Sorry I haven’t been able to give you a definitive yes/no answer, but, as things stand, I’m not completely convinced there is one. I would love the situation to be that there was no need for hogs to have any supplementary food, but we are not there now. But feeding should be supplementary.

Hedgehog